Comments are closed.
Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.
An old friend taught me my favorite way to deflect unwanted quizzing - he'd say "Now, now - that would be telling!" and move on to something else.
It's pretty hard to imagine someone saying, "Just us straight gals!" with a, er, straight face, though.
WHO you are is, ideally, part of your public persona for all the reasons Dan listed.
What you are doing in bed, however, is not part of normal, polite conversation. And if someone starts an interrogation: "When did you know, who did you first sleep with?" respond by (1) pointing out that they wouldn't ask that same question of someone progressing to be straight and therefore (2) to STFU.
OTOH, if someone is genuinely wondering about your journey, you could leave out the names and dates and explain that you mostly knew long before you acted on it. And trying the other gender (you needn't specify) left you sure.
(1) I found the remark that she hadn't at first "had the opportunity to really put theory into practice" very odd. I'm a hetero dude and I've never had any homosexual experiences, but I have the utmost confidence in saying that even if I tried it I still wouldn't enjoy it. Don't most people know their own sexuality long before they've had any "practice" (i.e., romantic/sexual experiences)?
(2) As a hetero dude married to a bi gal, I think my wife chose the perfect time and manner to come out as bi. Unless you have the perfect conversational opportunity, where it's a natural and relevant response to something somebody else said, you can wait until National Coming Out Day and make an announcement on Facebook at that time. Because if there's one appropriate forum for spontaneously talking about oneself, it's FB.
I don't think anyone's ever asked me when it started (in my 20's) but it's true it gets marginalized by straight and gay people usually until I say I've had LTR's with both men and women. For whatever reason, that seems to be the validation I'm not just "curious"
1) think you're hitting on them when you really aren't and don't want to
2) forget and you have to come out again later? (My own husband forgot.)
Because as someone else who could have written this letter minus the FWB (and minus being confused, I've known I'm bi since before puberty), that's been a lot of my experience. That or if I say a real person is hot then disapproving shock, am I cheating??? (I'm not.) I feel like I must be coming out wrong, or something. It's hard to find the perfect conversational opportunity where one of these doesn't happen because it's so natural.
I know some other people who are bi in ss relationships but they've also dated os before, so that doesn't count to you, right?
BUT I am uncomfortable telling anyone they need to come out especially for political reasons. It's a personal and to some degree private thing that can't be forced or rushed. It's a hard enough to come out in the best of circumstances and even harder when you're older and the people in your life already have a fixed definition of who you are.
Schmacky @4: No she won't. I am similar to LW in that I felt attraction for girls and boys from a very young age, but I falsely convinced myself that I wouldn't "know for sure" until I actually had sex with a woman, which didn't happen for me until I was 26. In retrospect, I knew for sure from the first crush I had on a girl. LW can honestly say she knew for sure in high school.
Long-time @14: See above. Particularly in a society where bisexuality is both frowned upon and eroticised, at least when you're female, that part of you that's in denial suggests that maybe you just want to seem cool or edgy, maybe eating pussy is actually disgusting, and won't you feel stupid if you take the bold step of coming out and then discover pussy is disgusting.
These are not thoughts that heterosexuals ever really have to deal with, since no one is going to condemn your sexuality.
And what Lucy and Beansprout said.
Nadge @18: Bi? Queer? Twice as happy? :)
Sargon @20: I also know bisexuals in same-sex relationships, marriages even. (I argue that even when monogamous, they aren't "gay" relationships because one of the people is not "gay." They are "same-sex relationships.")
Tab @25: Sadly, one element of biphobia is that people interpret your talking about your orientation as talking about your sex life. Gay or lesbian is who you are, but bisexual is who you do. Agree with Dan that this attitude needs to change, and fewer people being ashamed of it is a good start.
• People now know bisexuality exists. Acknowledging we live in a bizarre age when proven facts are now only temporarily true (at last check, the Earth is flat, evolution is just an 'opinion', and ignorance is strength), the bisexual cat is out of the bag. Meow.
• Bisexuals are less concerned with bisexuality being "part of who they are" homosexuals.
• Bi's on the whole don't really feel discriminated against or threatened. Meanwhile, staying closeted has its perks.
So why should bi's really care who knows it? Personally, I still find discussing sex a no-go topic in the professional world and in polite conversation, and I don't hang out socially with bro-types who's interests are limited to hooting about awesome sports and infantile comments about boobies and poop. So there's really no reason for me to ever 'express' myself publicly about my own private desires. I suppose if I ever decided to have an actual active sex life, that might be another matter, but for me, it's not an issue.
Dan's answer sort of backfired for me. Unless there is a political agenda—and of course there is, but Dan tried to make this not about politics—why don't we just assume that people have all sorts of sexual attractions, which are private, and leave it at that?
The answer is that it is political. We're still living in caveman times. While there are islands intelligence throughout the world, there are many powerful and socially regressive backwaters like the United Red States, Russia, much of Africa and the Middle East. Actually, the majority of the world still follows archaic tribal traditions intolerant of social change. We progressives may be working toward an era when sexual tastes are nobody's business but our own, but we're not there yet. And politically speaking, there's a lot more backsliding that can occur, especially in the US. We've lately seen settled matters like abortion law and scientific theory re-opened, and bedrock principles like privacy, social security, and labor laws are being actively undermined. If you want to see how far we can fall if political wins are not constantly defended, just look at the past. So for the good of a progressive society, LGT's need to be out, and the B's need to join them.
So in the end, perhaps Dan's answer actually didn't backfire. Fancy that.
Son-- except on a need to know basis -- why should anyone else want to announce sexual preference?
Politicians announce it, which I think is understandable so they are not trapped later by right-wing idiots.
But otherwise, except in terms of fishing for more sex, why announce anything?
Think about it: she's a straight-identified married woman, and her relationship with her FWB is, by her own description, comfortable and affectionate, but still essentially sexual and not romantic. So how is talking about it not simply discussing her sex life?
If she were bisexual to the degree that she could potentially fall in love with and marry a woman - if she were "bi-romantic", as it were, that might be one thing. But she's not. I think she's obligated to stand up for bisexual rights, and defend bisexuality if someone is slagging on it, but I honestly don't see the obligation to 'out' herself as bisexual if she doesn't want to. 'Bisexual erasure' or not, I don't think that anyone in her position should feel compelled to either stay in or leave the 'bisexual closet', just make the choice that feels best to them.
TLTL: Anyone who goes out of their way to mention the details of their sex life to others generally are also huge fucking assholes. Here's the things that you can mention: you have sex. I don't want to hear what positions, with whom, if you got off, any of that. That goes for any straight sex too. Jesus. Unless you are cool with hearing someone else tell you about how they masturbate and what their fantasies are, I'd keep it in the can unless it's explicitly asked of you, but don't go out of your way.
And unless a straight person comes out straight ( for some good reason such as are you just going to bed with me,) why would anyone care?
Just going to ask asking someone about their sexual preference seems a bit inappropriate, why would they mention it? Obviously there's lots of exceptions but In most cases it's TMI.
We don't want a society in which people are expected to announce their sexual preference.
"So, hey, why do the gays and lesbians and bis make such a big deal about theirs?" some straight people (the not-very-bright ones) wonder.
Queers have to come out—we have to out ourselves—because otherwise that default setting (which is always and everywhere straight) shoves into the closet. If everyone assumed you were gay unless you said you were straight... straight people would out themselves constantly.
Finally, it would be better, some argue, if no one made any assumptions about anyone else's sexual orientation. But the overwhelming majority is straight. So the assumption isn't an irrational one, it's correct almost all of the time, and consequently people will go on making it. So the onus is on us queers to be out. And the onus is on you straights not to be obtuse about why we have to say, "I'm gay/lesbian/bi."
Top hit for “straight people don’t flaunt it.”
Ryan is consistently difficult to read. If the "monogamy-isn't-natural" movement has to have a spokesman, I wish it were someone else.
but I call square dances on weekends so maybe that's just me.
Given that this woman is married to a man and is socially monogamous, I think any proactive coming out as bi would be offering TMI about her sex life. But she can be reactive. If someone makes an anti-bi, or homophobic comment, it's appropriate for her to say that as a bisexual woman, she is offended. If someone declares bisexuality to be nonexistent, she can out herself. In neither of these cases is she required to announce how she "knows for sure" she is bi, if she is currently having sex with a woman, or give any more details of her sex life. If someone makes the claim that bisexuals can't be monogamous, she can out herself as bi and decide whether she also wants to out herself as being ethically non-monogamous.
Without following up on Dan’s sources for bisexuals and health, my assumption is that the biggest issue is bisexual (not biromantic) men sneaking around without informing themselves, feeling guilty and not using basic prudence. That’s why these days sexual health interventions will target MSMs (men who have sex with men) and not gay or bisexual men: they describe their target population in terms of behaviour, not identity. There are a bunch of men out there who identify as straight and who like to suck cock sometimes. Used to be called DL or “on the downlow.”
But yeah, it makes a difference to coming out. If it’s part of your core identity it feels natural. If it’s just a private kink it feels distinctly unnatural. (Similar to a distinction between being poly and swinging. If you’re poly you want all your partners together at the Thanksgiving table with your parents and kids and sibs because they are all family, all core. If you swing, then the exact nature of your get-togethers with that other couple is none of anyone’s business and absolutely not Thanksgiving dinner conversation.)
And the thing is, if you care about bisexual health, it’s the weird, unnatural-feeling disclosure of your sex life that’s most important. Guys need to stop sneaking around having unsafe sex with other men. To do that, they need to stop feeling guilty or freaky about it. For that to happen, it needs to be normalized. Hence the importance of coming out.
If you’re bisexual but not biromantic, use Facebook to make a short post on national coming-out day. Explain if you want; don’t if you don’t.
Including Fetish @38, who illustrates so well why it's hard for many people to say "I'm bisexual." Just equating the two words "I'm bisexual" to an in-depth, detailed discussion of one's sexual proclivities is inaccurate and insulting. "I'm bisexual" tells you nothing about who I fuck, how I fuck them, how often I fuck them, or even whether I fuck them. (There are bisexuals who have been single for a long time.) It just tells you that, as Dan states @40, if you'd previously assumed that I was the default setting of "straight," you were incorrect. And if you were thinking of saying something homophobic, you'd better think again, because there's a queer in your midst. Surprise!
Also, just because LW's FWB is an FWB, it doesn't mean she is incapable of falling in love with any woman. She may be biromantic, but also monoromantic, and already in love with one person, her husband.
I understand why it's important that bi people be visible, but our culture is very judgmental when it comes to non-monogamy, even if it is ethical non-monogamy (which many don't see as ethical, no matter what).
It's also not like TLTL is going to come in to work on Monday morning and talk about her weekend with her FWB. Presumably, she spent the weekend with members of her family; if the FWB was also there, she was likely to have been with her husband and kids, too.
"What did you do this weekend, Sarah?"
"Well, Mike and I had a barbeque with my husband-approved female friend-with-benefits and her husband on Saturday, and on Sunday we saw that new action movie. What did you do, Mitch?"
How does TLTL work her bisexuality into conversation in the way that someone dating or married to someone of the same sex would do?
In other news.... Unrelated to Dan's urging I did come out to my supervisor last week. I think he was somewhat relieved when I told him I have no intentions of showing up to work in my female persona, yet still accepting nevertheless.
"I thought you're trying to tell me something for some time, I thought you're bi."
That said, while it might be handy for her personally, I don't see much broader social benefit to her coming out as bi. The violently biphobic aren't going to be safe to come out to in the first place, not to mention being unlikely to share TLTL's social circles. (In fact, I'd argue that the violently biphobic are all but nonexistent. There are folks who are violently unsafe for bis to be around, but those people tend to be violently homophobic. I don't think there's anyone out there who'd be unsafe for bis but who'd give gays a pass.) Instead, most of what bis face are common stereotypes; straight women think bi men are partially closeted gays or otherwise insufficiently manly, gay men think that bi men are just looking for a little extra on the DL, and both straight men and gay women think of bi women as primarily straight but who want a little inconsequential fun with another woman. Coming out as "bisexual, homoromantic" (or to put it in plain english, "I'll fuck you, but I could never seriously date you") is unlikely to change the gay half of the perceptions one whit, and coming out as "I never have, but I have the potential to" (read: "but I could if I wanted to") is also unlikely to shift perceptions.
I do take your point that it's hard to work your orientation into conversation when you aren't in an open same-sex relationship. I had a similar problem during my last long-term monogamous relationship with a man. I was just presumed straight, and you're right, there aren't many opportunities to bring up a same-sex relationship that doesn't exist. Maybe she could wear a "bi pride" badge or have a little bi flag at her desk. She could also start going to pride marches, or talking openly about her crushes on female celebrities (though some straight women do that too).
But at work? At a PTA meeting? With her parents at Sunday dinner? When she and her husband double-date with another couple (a different one than the one that includes her FWB) to go to the theater and then out for drink? To someone she's just met at a fund-raiser and is making small talk with?
"Hi, I'm Sarah."
"Hank, here. Hi."
"What do you do, Hank? I write educational software."
"I own a fleet of limos, and I raise ostriches on the side."
"Wow. Where'd you think of doing that? By the way, I don't feel comfortable hiding part of who I am anymore. I've decided to be open about being bisexual, even though I am happily married to a man."
"Um, that's great. Oh, I just remembered an appointment I had. Nice meeting you"
(leaning in, eyes lighting up) "Really? Tell me, do you like it when your husband--or maybe another man--watches as you have sex with a woman? Can I introduce you to my girlfriend? Can you talk her into being bi with you so I can watch?"
In any of the above cases, it would be seen as a bizarre, unwarranted, inappropriate admission. And while she doesn't have to talk about what she does--while being bi is part of who she is not what she does--it is about who she does, which seems to most people like TMI.
Not questioning your observation, yet interested in your take on the reasons for this behavior.
Then most people are wrong. I don't know how I can put this any more clearly. "I am bi" says NOTHING about who a person may or may not be, currently, in the recent or distant past, be having sex with. If people are making assumptions, then they're being rude.
TLTL can mention that she is bi when the conversation turns to topics of a personal nature. So yes, in other words, she can come out to people she's comfortable discussing dating and relationships with generally. No one's obligated to come out mid-conversation, as you say, or to people whose personal lives she knows nothing about nor wants to. But if she wants her good friends, family members or close colleagues to know, it may never come up, so she'll just have to say it.
And you know what, most people are unlikely to be fazed. It was a real relief finding that out.
I understand the liberation that would come with being honest about who you are. I get that it would be a relief realizing that most people are unfazed by bisexuality or one's bisexuality.
It's just that this is a relationship which, even though it's being undertaken with the knowledge and approval of the spouses, is kind of private and hidden.
If this couple has been operating in the world as a monogamous unit, and is going to continue to prefer to be perceived as monogamous, then outing herself as bisexual is either outing herself as non-monogamous, or seems to be just an identity statement out of the blue.
@60 was one of my rare, tension-breaking, light-hearted remarks. But it is the case that I've noticed far more biphobia among gay people than among straight people.
1. Because of the whole numbers thing, a bisexual is more likely to "leave a gay partner for" / date an opposite-sex partner next. To a hurting ex, that feels like a blow not just to you but to your entire sexuality.
2. Bisexuals, as Dan says, are able to hide in closets far more easily than GL people, and many resent us for that. We can "claim straight privilege"; we have the option of engaging in happy OS relationships. GL people see us as having choices that they don't.
3. Many gay people, before they discovered their true orientation, went through a period of wondering if they were bisexual -- which may have been a less scary thought than being gay, for the reasons in Point 2. Therefore, when someone claims to be bisexual, they project and think "You're gay, you just don't want to admit it."
4. Militant lesbians particularly hate men and think their fellow queer women have sold out to the patriarchy when they have sexual relationships with "the enemy."
5. A lot of GL people try to make a point of convincing society at large that LGBT people are "just as normal as everyone else." Gay people aren't these flamboyant drag queen types, they are buttoned-down, family oriented, church-going suburbanites who just want to get married to their monogamous partners and have kids together. Bisexuals -- particularly non-monogamous ones -- and trans people blow that "normal" image they've tried very hard to cultivate.
Standard disclaimer that these are attitudes I have witnessed among some gay people, not all, etc.
And, @60, you're totally right. The number of people who are biphobic is pretty amazing. The perception being that you just want to fuck everyone. Right--we have zero standards at all...we're just looking for a lay, constantly. We're also totally incapable of being faithful or in a happily monogamous relationship. THESE are the things I HATE about being out as bi. Thankfully, they seem to at lessen as we get older...either because people get smarter, or we stop putting ourselves in situations where we might be assaulted by ignorant idiots.
That said, outing yourself is a personal choice, but it's not as gut wrenching as it seems. Casual is the way to go. The less of a big deal it is to you, the less drama others SHOULD feel the need to cause about it. Good luck all!
@67: badassmama, I see your point, too. But the difference between you and TLTL is that you have a same-sex relationship or some same-sex dating in your history; you can tell your kids stories from your past that feature former boyfriends or former girlfriends. You don't need to come out in a formal way. If someone asked, you could just say, "yes, I have dated both men and women; I'm bi" and be done with it. Now you are in a marriage that either is or is presumed to be monogamous. At the least, it sounds as if you're socially monogamous. You can be open about your bi identity without disclosing the way you conduct your marriage, which you might especially be recluctant to do if you aren't monogamous and you have kids.
Your past dating history is what TLTL doesn't have. She can't just tell a story about that time when she and an old ex-girlfriend ran out of gas on the first date and her dad had to come to her rescue and generously let her take his car so they could continue their date, and then walked to the gas station with the five gallon jug and back to the car himself. Her friends, her co-workers, her parents and siblings, her neighbors: all think her marriage is monogamous and TLTL wants to keep it that way. Here's what she says:
"I'm finding that I don’t really want to let people in on the private details of my marriage. So how does a socially monogamous, bi, married-to-a-dude lady without a lady-loving past to refer to, go about coming out?"
I thought she might have kids, but she doesn't mention them. She describes herself as "30 something," so she may or may not have children, but if she does, they are likely to be far too young to be aware of mommy and daddy having a separate life.
It's not the bisexuality that is confounding her; it's the nonmonogamy.
I've been married for 17 years. I'm monogamous. I have had very few homosexual experiences. But I am full on 100% bisexual.
For a long long time I thought it didn't matter. I'm just with my husband now. It literally doesn't matter.
But then I had a daughter. She's in middle school now and we've talked a lot, A LOT, about sexuality, about being a woman and about the burdens and wonders of being women. I sadly let many moments pass where I could have told her I was bisexual but I let my own bi-phobia get in the way. I didn't want her to think I was going to leave her dad. Or have an affair. Or bring strange women into the house. The ignorances I grew up with.
One night we were talking and I said it. I told my daughter I was bisexual. I explained that it doesn't mean I am going to leave her dad or get a girlfriend. I have no interest in such things. I'm happily fulfilled by her dad. She burst into tears! She said that she was bisexual but was too afraid to tell me because she was afraid it meant that she couldn't ever have what I have, a happy monogamous relationship.
That of course lead to long talk about what is and isn't fact about bisexuality.
I'm glad I had this talk when she was 11 and not too much later.
I guess I will have to think about how and when to come out to my niece and nephews, but that's a lot lower stakes. They live in a different country, for one. But I do want them to know that I'm a safe relative to come out to should they turn out to be queer, or non-monogamous, or genderqueer, or anything they might not be able to talk to their mothers about.
This is my favourite SLLOTD ever.
1. Is the queer scene you encountered in UK different than the one you witnessed while still in the US, assuming you were indeed involved?
2. Looking into CFNM as well as feminization stuff on the internet, it seems like the better porn and literature of those come from the UK. Now I know those actors and actresses and everyone in between have all appeared on numerous Shakespearean productions since they were kids, which may explain their fine acting, but is there also an increased genuine interest?
@BiDanFan, Kittymama, et. al. It's not just that in the case of this lw, "when she says "I'm bisexual," people will automatically just hear that as "I'm having sex with a man and a woman right now." And therefore, she will have just told people that she's having sex with a man and a woman right now. Yes? But that's NOT what it means necessarily, and just because it's accurate in this case, doesn't mean she has to confirm or elaborate."
Yes, being married and saying, "I'm bisexual," doesn't necessarily mean that you're currently having sex with both men and women. And you're right, BDF, that it's no one's business who she is or isn't having sex with. But TLTL makes it clear that she is a married woman who is socially monogamous and she wants people to continue with their assumption that she is sexually monogamous. I guess TLTL could make it seem as though she had women in her sexual past before she married, or that she is attracted to women but won't act on her attraction to them (or other men) while she's married to her husband.
I understand the need to undo bi-erasure, but I don't think that someone should be told to out a completely different aspect of their lives in a way that may have consequences they don't want for no practical purpose than to be a social justice warrior (thank you Mr. Ven and ciods for that term). TLTL isn't in the position of having to suppress a major part of her life by not coming out. She isn't going to bring her lover to Thanksgiving dinner. When she is invited to a coworker's wedding, she's going to attend with her husband; the fact that her coworker's invitation isn't extended to her extra-marital female lover doesn't mean that she has to go the wedding alone or pretend to be single when she's really coupled. It doesn't betray a giant part of who she is. Coming out about her bisexuality under the current circumstances wouldn't be an act done so that she could have her love recognized; it would be a purely political act; but it would be an act that because of its dependence on outing her as non-monogamous, might lead to social censure totally unrelated to the sex of her lover.
If TLTL and her husband decide to come out about being ethically non-monogamous, then sure, she can mention that her extra-marital lover is a woman. If TLTL and her husband divorce or she is widowed, she can either make a statement about her bisexuality or simply start publicly dating both men and women and people will figure it out.
I really don't get the connection you're drawing between saying she's bi (identity) and outing herself as nonmonogamous (behaviour). Do you automatically assume all bisexuals are non monogamous? Do most people? (How do you know?)
It would't occur to me to infer one from the other. I'm weird though.
“If I like girls, there's a damn good chance that one of my girls will like girls”
Not necessarily. Even if this is the case in your family it is far from certain that parents do pass the orientation torch to their off springs. In fact, some children may develop fears that this is indeed the inevitable, hence the need to wait in some cases before coming out to them.
In my case the ex asked me to wait couple more years till they kids will have a better understanding of what “my situation” is all about. It appeared to be helpful to some degree. The girls took it better, the boy was worried he will end up like dad. He didn’t.
I have learned so much from this discussion.
I don't think that was sexist at all. Mothers carry the joy and burden of talking to their daughters about sexuality and their bodies and it's power and it's vulnerability. It's a special connection.
She can keep that bit to herself. Like Alison says, her behaviour is no one else's business.
You and I are bi. What seems so obvious to us as to not need saying may be less obvious to others. It's good to be reminded now and again, so I'm interested in what nocutename has to say and why and how she draws a link.
A quick story about why else this can be important: our sweet 13 year old son was nervously told by his girlfriend of one year (they'd been friends for 5 years before that) that thought they should break up because she was feeling like she might be interested in girls. He told her that it was ok and he understood-that all the girls in his family were either bi or gay. She burst into tears and hugged him. Best 7th grade (ex)boyfriend in history. Still the best of pals.
And the issue is less about people refusing to acknowledge that bisexuals exist, so much as the stereotype that they're either partially closeted gays or attention seeking straight people. So while a person coming out as bi may raise visibility a little, if their further behavior looks 100% straight, I don't know that the visibility is worth the part where it just reinforces stereotypes.
"The socially monogamous, bi, married-to-a-dude lady opens her mouth and says, "I'm bisexual," as often as circumstances allow/demand"
You'd be stunned how little that happens. What you don't understand as an out gay man, is the way that you normally come out to strangers. Just think how you normally do it:
"Hi, I'm Dan, and this is my husband Terry".
Then you just kind of let them assume that you're both gay. I see it happen all the time actually, at parties and other social gatherings. Queers very rarely say "Oh hi, I'm gay, by the way." That's just socially awkward when it *does* happen anyway. Culturally, we don't really have any other way of declaring our sexuality in mixed company.
Being bi and married to someone of the opposite sex (or really, to any one person), I can't do that. If someone's sexuality comes up in conversation, then sure I try to wedge it in there, but it comes up so infrequently in straight circles. Work is especially hard for an out bi guy to come out without brining up actual sex and that "oh yeah, I've got a girlfriend and a boyfriend on the side and we all got together on the weekend and had a really good time."
Which is, um, yeah. More than a little much.
I’m a 30 something, married female. I had figured I was bi since high school, but had never had the opportunity to really put theory into practice. Well, about 6 months ago I met a married woman and, with the consent of both of our husbands, we hooked up. I went into it with the idea that it would be a one-off thing just for me to satisfy my curiosity about myself and my identity. Instead, we really hit it off and have been meeting up ever since. The sex is amazing, we enjoy each other’s company as friends, and she is so, so smoking hot. I lucked out big time.
My question isn’t what you might think—everyone involved is happy with our FWB situation and we’re both devoted to our husbands. The thing is, I have always felt the desire to be out about being bi, but felt I lacked the certainty or cred to do so with confidence. Now that I'm there, I'm finding that I don’t really want to let people in on the private details of my marriage. So how does a socially monogamous, bi, married-to-a-dude lady without a lady-loving past to refer to, go about coming out? Or does it even matter at this point? Should I just let people assume I’m straight and keep on keeping on eating pussy in private?
I'm not weighing in on the abstract issue of identity vs. behavior or bi-erasure.
TLTL has said clearly that she sees disclosing her bisexuality to be a matter of disclosing her non-monogamous status and she doesn't want to do that. That's all I'm referring to.
I suggest she tell those she knows are the biggest gossips,
that a) she is bi and b) she , with her husband's and the woman's husband's approval, has a female lover.
I read that as, "I don't want to come out by saying, 'I'm fucking my husband and a hot woman!' but I don't know how else to do it."
How else to do it is by saying, "I'm bi." She can do that when people are saying dumb things about the QUILTBAG/GSDs, or she can say it on Facebook on national coming-out day. This avoids the problem she wishes to avoid.
My main observations are that much of B and L/G hitting each other with clubs is, if not an outright straight contrivance, then something the Wainthropps see as a benefit to themselves, and rejoice in its continuance accordingly - and that your (and my, for that matter) not wanting children is likely worth exploring for how big a difference it makes.
Ghost @96: I guess this is why they invented National Coming Out Day.
Nocute @91: So if TLTL's question is "How do I go about coming out without revealing the details of my private life?" the answer is "You say you're bi and don't provide further details about your private life."
And no, "coming out" or "being out" does not require that every person you interact with for two seconds of your life has to know. How many colleagues or acquaintances or neighbours do you know whose sexual orientation you have absolutely no idea about? Yes, Coming Out Day and when bi-/homophobic comments are made in conversation. But she can also attempt to steer the conversation. "Did you see 'Carol'? I thought it was a lovely movie. There aren't enough depictions of married bisexuals."
Chi @88: "While a person coming out as bi may raise visibility a little, if their further behavior looks 100% straight, I don't know that the visibility is worth the part where it just reinforces stereotypes." -- Actually, "bisexual and in a [to all appearances] monogamous marriage" contradicts the stereotype. That's why she should come out. Re-read @73.