Questioning

I had a date yesterday. It was unusual in a lot of ways: he asked for my number at work (this happens often), and I gave it to him (this is unprecedented). He’s tall–much too tall. He frequents coffee shops, which mostly bore me. He is yet another straight white man. I enjoyed his company, enough to make a second date, but I’m questioning.

I’m questioning my own judgment. To a lesser extent (all but drowned out by the thunderous wrath of my own queerness), I’m questioning my own values and identity. For all that I will fight and rage when people say “bisexuals are just confused,” I am looking at myself right now with the same dismissiveness and disdain that gay men and lesbians display when they note my history of “straight” relationships.

I’ve always trampled down the second Q of LGBTQQIA. I want to treat it with a sort of ruthlessness, because “questioning” can so easily be used to call all of us into question, because its very framing is tenuous and uncertain and I am afraid of any hint of uncertainty. Because bisexuality specifically has so much added scrutiny, beyond other forms of queerness, that I don’t dare add my own questioning to the questioning I’m bombarded with so often. But yes, it’s there.

The truth is I feel like I am failing at bisexual praxis. I’ve had three partners in the last six months. All casual. All straight white men. They’re mentally and psychologically exhausting in a way no other people are, even the most progressive of them. And the truth is that exhaustion leaves me vulnerable to questioning. To wondering if all the women and genderqueer folk I’ve dated or fucked or just lusted over for all these years were just a fever dream, or a delusion, or a phase.

The truth is that choosing a radical expression of bisexuality leaves me, by definition, rootless, and it is inefficient to gather nutrients without soil.

I am not sure what to do about this. I am questioning my options and my choices and myself. It is exhausting.

3 thoughts on “Questioning”

    1. I know this, but it’s a whole different thing to feel it. And while affirmation helps (thank you!) I do live in a world where most people are not affirming, either consciously or unconsciously, and their input does add up. So while I know this feeling of being an impostor is based on internalized biphobia and sexism, that doesn’t make it go entirely away, just makes it a little harder to talk about. This is important in another way: not only does bisexuality get erased and denied, but discussing the questioning of self that can some up for us in certain situations is taboo, because of the certainty and strength of identity we have to portray if we want to be taken seriously. We don’t have (for the most part) access to bisexual communities where we can share these feelings amongst ourselves. LGBT support and community generally focuses on LG people and bi people in LG-coded relationships. Stresses specific to bisexuality (having to come out to partners, having to come out to everyone with every new relationship continually and repeatedly, not being believed, the sense that there is something less valid about our sexuality, that it needs to be justified at every turn, that we have to constantly defend against claims we “reinforce the binary” among other things) do take a toll, and it does need to be said.

  1. I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately, too. When I first moved to Korea six years ago I was only dating women and publicly identified as gay; last year, I started dating men again, and every single male friend of mine freaked out, like I’d tricked them. One even told me that it “wasn’t fair” that he “hadn’t gotten a chance” (!). The only time I felt accepted in LGBT communities was when I denied my bisexuality and only dated women. It IS exhausting, you’re right. Maybe we have to root ourselves in a different place or a different way. Maybe we’re just hydroponic.

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