By Kim theBwordPoet
As I think about being Out at Work, I typically imagine that
all co-workers and customers would have no doubt that I’m
part of the LGBT family. I consider myself to be Out at Work
because I wear a rainbow bracelet all the time; during Pride
Month I wear even more rainbow bracelets, and during the
Bisexual Awareness Week I wear bi pride bracelets. However, I
am certain that if asked, no one I work with could definitely say,
“Yes, we know she’s lesbian/bi/gay.” Sometimes I wish people
would just ask me what my rainbow bracelet(s) mean so I can
make the knowledge official.
What exactly would I say to people though? In addition to
identifying as bi, I also identify as asexual. Though I am a bi
person who desires to have more than one romantic relationship
at a time, I don’t want to have sex with future partners. There’s
no easy way to explain that to people. Why be in a relationship
without sex? Why be with someone of my own gender if I don’t
want sex from them? Why even come out if I’m not even actively
The intersections between bi and asexual are what hold me back
from feeling like I’m truly LGBT. In a lot of people’s minds,
identifying politically as LGBT is not enough; they expect
you to be sexually LGBT. I’m not sexually LGBT. I’m not
sexually anything. I would love to date, have fun with, march
in the trenches with, live with, cuddle with, enjoy kisses with,
eventually marry and be intimate with a male-bodied person and
a person of my own gender. As long as I’m not having sex with
them, I’m happy. These facts don’t make it easier for me to feel
like I’m really LGBT. It’s one thing to say you are, but actions
speak louder than words.
I feel like it’s harder for me to be asexual and bi. Being both
feels even more dividing. I feel like I have four identities.
Being bi, I find myself constantly drawn to my own gender
and male-bodied individuals. Being asexual, I’m constantly
wanting romantic connections, but not wanting sexual
connections. I fight my own emotions, wishes, hopes, dreams
on a regular basis.
Every explanation I imagine comes out as complicated. And
the last thing I want is for the professional world to look at
me as attention-seeking or weird. I wish I could simply say
I’m lesbian or even that I’m bisexual. But neither of those
identities fit me. Because of the rainbow bracelets I wear, my
co-workers could easily say I’m lesbian. But I want a romantic
relationship with a male-bodied individual, so I don’t consider
myself lesbian. So, then my co-workers could say I’m bisexual.
But I’m not sexual. So, I don’t consider myself bisexual, but
rather biromantic. Then I can see the conversation diving into
the complexities of how I am asexual yet bi and—oh dear!
All the emotional labor I’d be expending! At that point, am I
trying to convince them of who I am, or myself? I hate being
in a constant state of wanting to be completely Out at Work
and simultaneously being terrified of always having to explain
my orientation so people don’t mislabel me.
I wish I had a tidy way to end this essay, but alas, I don’t. I
am constantly on the quest to find a balance between my
identities so I can stop looking at them as a burden. I have
no doubt that I will grow into accepting and embracing my
asexuality as I did with being bi. Then finding out how they
can comfortably coexist. In the meantime, thanks for reading
my thoughts while I try to sort it out.
Kimberly is a 39-year-old biromantic, demisexual, cisfemale
from Cleveland, Ohio. She runs Bi+ Initiative Ohio, and is a
Soror of Alpha Zeta Gamma Sorority, Incorporated, the first
sorority with a specific focus on bisexual women.