Starting in my adolescent years, I experienced only “heterosexual” feelings. When I was older, I began to feel attracted to other females as well. I have only been in a handful of relationships, all with males, but I’ve had a few sexual encounters with females and would like to have a same-sex relationship.
I was wondering how common it is to not realize one’s bisexuality until later in life. I have gotten skeptical looks when explaining my sexuality to my friends, both gay and straight, because they feel if I truly am bisexual I should have had these feelings earlier on in life.
In the early 1970s, an academic coined the term “microaggression” to describe the subtle hostility against minorities found in personal interactions. Later, “microinequities” and “microaffirmations” were added to the lexicon. I believe it’s time to throw another into the pot: “microbrainwashing.” I’ll define it as the process by which a member of the majority community says something to convince a minority that the former’s philosophy trumps the latter’s experience, resulting in the minority disbelieving zir own experience.
I’ve witnessed this more than you would expect.
No one is sure how common it is to realize one’s bisexuality later in life because so many who experience this dare not admit it. They have been microbrainwashed into thinking they are wrong and either must have always known they were queer or they aren’t queer at all.
If you are of a certain age (and American), you’ll remember the Anita Hill episode as Clarence Thomas was in the process of ascending to the Supreme Court. The Bi Community Activities MeetUp in Boston recently assembled to see her documentary and even the woman herself (!). It reminded me of the I Believe You, Anita bumper stickers from the early ’90s. How those must have heartened Hill during a time when the powerful elite was bent on portraying her as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.”
I believe you, Nim. I believe that your experience is the same as many, many people in the world. I appreciate that you’ve shared it with us. And I believe that anyone else who “disagrees” with your experience has but one choice: to change their own mind.
Are you a bi lady in need of some good advice? Write to Tiggy Upland at firstname.lastname@example.org. This advice column is for entertainment purposes only. The columnist reserves the right to edit the letters for any reason. Find more Ask Tiggy on www.biresource.net.