As I sat down to write this piece about my journey thus far as a bi man, I couldn’t help but remember that scared, unsure person I was before I came out almost six years ago. Oddly, remembering him put a smile on my face. Not because I wish I could go back to my closeted days, but because the old me truly had no idea how incredible my life would become after coming out. Before that past version of myself lies everything he could have ever hoped for: a life full of love, support, and challenges that would help him grow into the self-assured, vocal advocate for the bi and LGBTI communities he is today.
I will never forget how hard my hand trembled as I hit the publish button on my coming out article all those years ago. Countless emotions surged through my body, ranging from pure joy to absolute terror, as the article hit social media, but the feeling I’ll remember the most was satisfaction: whether the world accepted or rejected me, there was no going back to the person I was before. That in itself was a victory to me.
Luckily, as I’ve written about time and time again, I was almost universally accepted by my friends and family. They gave me a gift I can never repay; that’s why I mention their support so often in my articles. Through their acceptance, I was able to grow into my true self and find the confidence to broadcast my voice as a bi man. It may seem odd that this group, consisting of predominantly heterosexual individuals, set the groundwork for me to build my bi community, but I will be forever grateful for their open-mindedness, willingness to learn, and acceptance of who I was.
Through their support, I became a bolder bi man. When I couldn’t find the answers I needed in the LGBTI community, I figured I might as well try to start some conversations about bisexuality through writing. As a newly out man, the flame of advocacy burned bright and I look back at those passionate conversations with a mixture of humor and happiness; there is no denying the fire that fueled my fingers as they danced across my keyboard in those days.
It was through those early writings that I found what has been one of the most beneficial aspects of my growth as a bi man: a bi writing community. Here were people who understood what I was going through and who were eager to share their thoughts and ideas about the “B” in LGBT. By being a part of this group, I have become a more thoughtful, grounded advocate. Yes, the fire is still there, but it has matured from dazzling blaze to a consistent, steady flame— one that is more focused on longevity and creating warmth in the world than burning bright for a few glorious moments before fizzling out.
By joining this community, I learned how to articulate my ideas in a way that leads to constructive conversation and solutions, rather than discord. Of course, there are always going to be those in the world who have an issue with what I have to say; that’s just part of being a writer— not to mention being a part of the LGBTI community. But through the skills and camaraderie of this group, I think I can continue to make small positive changes in the world rather than simply sparking arguments on social media.
In the years since coming out, I have seen these small progressive changes take place. Like I said, it’s a slow process: a small conversation here or there, or a quick question via email which may seem like it’s not worth answering may ultimately make all the difference in the world. As time goes on, my bi community continues to expand through these interactions. More and more people feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, opinions, and sexual orientation, which to me seems like the greatest win in the world.
My bi experience is not universal; no two bi people's experiences are the exact same. But it is my sincere hope that by being active and vocal in the bi community, I can help others come forward and express their own experiences. I can’t wait for my bi community to continue to grow; if the past few years of growing my community have taught me anything, it’s that there are still many experiences we can learn from which will help us become a stronger, more unified LGBTI community.