Ask A Bi Dad: I don’t feel bi enough dating a man

By Lewis Oakley

August 17, 2022

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Hi Lewis,

With Pride season over, I’m left feeling a little disheartened. I’m a woman who has been in a relationship with a man for 7 years now and it feels like the world just sees me as straight. I guess I just don’t feel bi enough and I’m looking for ways I can better celebrate my bisexuality and actually be visible. What would you recommend?

Fiona

Two pairs of attractive couples laugh together while they carry their partners on their backs outdoors.
Bigstock/Xavier Lorenzo

Hey Fiona,

Great question, thanks for reaching out.

You’re certainly not alone in your feelings. Many bi people in "straight facing" relationships report feeling that their bi identity is hidden and struggle to find the best outlet for it.

Some might wonder why this is so important to us, and the truth is, your sexuality is a part of you and a part you want to share and celebrate. What's more, accepting that the world sees you as straight can feel like you are playing a role to please others or that you’ve been shamed to going back into the closet. It is a reality that for bis in this situation we do have to work harder to establish our sexuality and feel connected. Particularly compared to say a gay couple who simply has to hold hands in public to ensure their visibility.

However, there are lots of things you can do. One thing I would caution though, is that you don’t want to get into a situation where you feel that you are performing bisexuality to others. You need to identify something that feels natural and organic for you personally.

Simple things like posting about bisexuality on your social media channels can really help you feel like you are being visible. Waking the word "bisexual" or even the colours of the bi pride flag in your bio’s means that people will not assume you are straight for much longer. Going hand in hand with this is to follow more bi or queer content creators, this can help you feel like you’re part of a queer community, even if you don’t interact with bi people everyday in your physical location.

It is also worthwhile having a Google for local groups. Especially if you are in or near a big city, there can be many local bi meet-up groups. There you might be able to find friends you connect with and be able to expand your network of people to share your experiences with.

By far, one of the best things you could do is join an LGBT group. I’m aware that historically bi people have experienced a lot of biphobia in LGBT group settings but if you feel confident enough you could be part of changing this. LGBT groups can often forget about the B when deciding where to put their money and effort. If bi people like yourself are at that table and part of those discussions you can play a vital role in ensuring the B is understood, remembered and cared for.

Good luck with it.

Lewis

What advice would you give to this reader? Give us your take in the comments below.

Lewis Oakley standing confidently and smiling against a brick building.
Image/thegayphotographer

Bisexual people often have few other bi people to turn to for support or to ask questions. This means we often can’t build on the experience of other bi people and improve things for the next generation. Ask a Bi Dad is aimed at tackling this.

Lewis Oakley is one of the leading bi advocates and writers, campaigning to improve the public’s perception of bisexuality. Recognised by the Pride Power List 2021 and with various award nominations under his belt, Lewis has been successful in making bisexuality national news.

Lewis knows more than most how lonely being bisexual can feel, particularly in those early years. Now, confident in himself, his relationship, and a dad of two, Lewis recognises how rare and lucky he is. This is why he wants to help where he can by answering the questions of bi people from all around the world.

If you have a question that you would like a perspective on, email at [email protected]

*Lewis is not a licenced therapist, and the advice offered in this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological, or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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