Hey Siri, define my sexuality
CW: Homophobia; biphobia
My brother always thought I was queer growing up. I guess somehow he knew before I did—I didn’t know I was queer until I was 23. And even now I’m still not sure if I identify as queer. Hell, I don’t even know how to identify my sexuality.
When I looked at girls, I thought I was looking at them because I wanted to BE them, not BE WITH them. I thought I stared at their bodies because I wanted to look like that. I thought that I thought about that girl in my class for years because I wanted to be her best friend.
But then it started with a threesome. And I thought that I was enjoying myself more with the girl only because it was new. But then the next time when it was only just the girl, it was harder to justify to myself. ‘Experimentation’, I called it. Everyone has that ‘I kissed a girl’ college phase that they talk about in the movies, I had thought. So when I changed my Tinder preferences to both sexes it made sense. It wasn’t a commitment to being queer, rather a flirtation with experimentation.
And then the unexpected happened and I fell deeply in love. With a boy. Fancy that. A boy, who my friends say is like a golden retriever—always happy, always friendly. He games. He likes cars, motorbikes and being ‘handy’. He is a stereotypical ‘masculine man’, a type I have never been attracted to. But yet, I love him endlessly.
The ‘Q word’ was removed from my brain … for about a minute. I was left unsatisfied with myself; for someone who so proudly proclaims to be an ally, I was clearly refusing to acknowledge my own queer life. It forced me to question my allyship, and whether, in truth, I am more words than action. I am not sure if what I feel is internalised biphobia, or, simply, confusion. Am I playing into the biphobic narrative that by being with a man, I cannot be queer? Or have I been swayed by the likes of Sex and the City, pushed into believing that bisexuality is, ‘… a layover on the way to Gaytown’, or 30 Rock, which claims that bisexuality is no more than, ‘… something they invented in the ‘90s to sell hair products’? Do I struggle to admit to myself that I am bisexual, as an accumulation of all this? Or is it simply that I am confused?
I struggle to define myself as bisexual. I’m in a committed and loving relationship with a man—surely that means I betrayed the LGBTQIA+ Community by settling into heteronormativity. Do I even belong to the rainbow community? I still question whether the way I feel about women is legitimate, or just the experimentation I had played it off to be.
I just … I don’t know how to be queer. How to be bi … How to define sexuality when it’s so deeply complex and complicated and intertwined with yourself and your being. I find it hard to dissect where my sexuality interacts with my identity and where it doesn’t. If only I could just ask Siri: how do I define my sexuality? Should I look it up in a dictionary? Do a Buzzfeed quiz? I wish it were that simple.
I still question myself regularly, and am hesitant to reveal my sexuality in public, or with people I am unfamiliar with. I am especially scared to admit to being bi to people within the LGBTQIA+ Community, for fear of being outed as an imposter. I know this is irrational, but self-doubt is an all-consuming beast.
So with my beautiful, golden retriever boyfriend’s hand in mine, I am knee-deep in my journey of sexual identity and introspection. Am I bi? Who knows. I still don’t have an answer, except for this one glimmer of hope I found in a TikTok comment: