How to Stay Connected With Your Bisexuality in a Straight-Presenting Relationship

By Mandy Shunnarah

May 27, 2022



Photo credit: Image/Ann H

Nearly every bi person I know encounters issues when they’re in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

I know I did when I first started dating my partner, and even now that we’ve been together for eight years, I still sometimes worry that I’m not “queer enough” or that I can’t call myself a card-carrying bisexual. As one of my friends described it, that “chaotic bi energy” keeps us wondering how we really fit into the LGBT umbrella.

Being in a straight-presenting relationship, it can feel like you need to make a concerted effort to stay connected to your bisexuality. Here are a couple of things I’ve done to find and connect with bi people, stay in touch with the community, and let my bi flag fly. I hope these tips will help you too.

Portrait of young caucasian couple in colorful clothing smiling and hugging together while sitting on floor isolated over violet background
Bigstock/Dean Drobot

Join Bi Support Groups

Many cities and towns have LGBT groups, which is awesome — but because I knew I wanted to connect with my fellow bis, I tried looking for a bi-specific group. I searched Meetup and Facebook, and I checked the bi category on my favorite local LGBT news site (more on that in a sec) and eventually found a group I could vibe with.

Not only was there a standalone bi support group, there was also a bi subgroup within a larger LGBT organization. On top of that, I found that some all-inclusive LGBT groups are filled predominantly with bi people, so although they might be welcome to all, I fit right in.

Though I’m thankful to now be living in a city large enough to support multiple LGBT organizations and groups, that wasn’t always the case. Someone had to be the first person to start the group, and in your town, that might be you. Consider taking the leap! You can join or start a chapter with amBi!

Intentionally Nurture Bi Friendships

Though joining support groups is a great way to meet more bi friends, don’t forget about the ones you already have. I don’t know about you, but I definitely let some of my friendships slide during the pandemic when it wasn’t safe to spend time together in person. On top of that, it can feel like adulthood is sometimes just telling your friends “we should hang out soon” and then never making plans.

While all friendships need love and care to thrive, it’s time to pour some energy specifically into your friendships with other bi folks. Is there someone you connected with but haven’t talked to in a while? Send them a text. Is there someone you went to queer functions with in the past but haven’t hung out with in ages? Reach out. Is there someone you DM and share memes with all day who always has the best bi gifs? Plan that hangout for real.

Though my introverted tendencies often tell me to just hang out at home, I’ve never regretted intentionally nurturing my friendships with other bi people. The feeling of being around people who truly get it is a gift.

Keep Going to Pride

Yes, we’re queer all year, but once you’ve strengthened your bi friendships, it’s worth getting a group together to go to Pride. You are queer enough and you belong.

Rep your colors and even bring your partner along if you want. Worst case scenario, someone gives you a look for being in a straight-presenting relationship and you have both your partner and a pack of bi friends to have your back. There’s strength in numbers, especially considering that Gallup shows bi people make up nearly 60% of the LGBT umbrella, making us the single largest group under the rainbow. That means in all likelihood, the majority of people at Pride are bi like you.

I put out my bi bat signal with the flag, but I also found a t-shirt on Autostraddle that says “still bisexual after all these years” that I especially love wearing to Pride. Not only does it make folks subtly check their biphobia, a ton of bi folks come up to tell me they love my shirt. That shirt has been a gateway to making friends and connecting with bi people with very little effort beyond simply getting dressed.

Read Queer News

It’s easier to stay connected to the community when you’re informed about what’s happening in it. While large national publications might cover the biggest LGBT stories, there’s something to be said for the more localized queer news outlets, especially when they include clickable categories for particular subsets, which makes it even easier to find news that’s relevant specifically for bi folks.

There are queer publications at both the city and state level, like Southern California’s The Los Angeles Blade, Washington DC’s Metro Weekly, Ohio’s The Buckeye Flame, the Georgia Voice, and the Philadelphia Gay News. If there’s not a dedicated LGBT news site for your city or state, check your local news sites to see if there’s an LGBT section header.

An attractive asian couple sits on the couch back to back smiling looking over eachothers shoulders holding each a cellphone.
Bigstock/Tong Patong

Follow Bi Activists and Artists on Social Media

Filling my social media feeds with bi activists and artists has been a game-changer in terms of how I perceive myself as a bi person. Seeing bi influencers talk about their experiences and all the supportive comments rolling in reminds me that I’m not alone on a (bi)sland.

A couple of my favorite bi Instagrammers are @femmmeow, @travon, @robynochs, @zoestoller, and @rubyrare, though there are so many more! Check out the #bisexual hashtag for a ton of posts and bi creators.

And while you’re there, follow @bidotorg for even more bi resources like this.