The first piece I ever wrote went viral. It was for XoJane's "It Happened to Me" section, and the piece was titled, "I Came Out as Bisexual and Now Can't Date Anyone Gay or Straight".
The article, as you can probably gather from the title, discussed some of the troubles I've had dating as a bi man. After years of struggling with my identity, I came out as bisexual. Foolishly, I thought the world would be my oyster. I thought folks of all genders would welcome me as a potential partner with open arms. Little did I realize how often both straight women and gay men would refuse, either explicitly or implicitly, to date me, simply because I'm a bi-identifying man.
I didn't write the piece with the intent of it blowing up. I didn't write it thinking that it would launch a career in writing about LGBTI topics. I wrote it because I was angry and needed an outlet to vent my frustration.
What I didn't expect, were the dozens upon dozens of messages I received from strangers, telling me that my experience mirrored theirs to a T.
I was shocked. For the longest time, I thought I was one in a million: A real bi man, who wasn't going to identify as gay a month after coming out as bi. After the piece was published, I realized that I wasn't alone at all. There are hundreds of thousands of men, women, and genderqueer folks just like me.
Unfortunately, bi individuals are not commonly represented in mainstream media (and the few times we are, we're not depicted in the best or most accurate manner). There aren't bi events and spaces like there are gay and lesbian ones. While I've seen more articles in the past few years about bi identity, they still pale in comparison to the number of pieces I see about gay and lesbian identity.
When faced with this response, I kept writing and telling my story, knowing how important bi visibility is. I then started creating a platform for others to share their stories, conducting more interviews and profiles. The more I wrote, the more positive feedback I received, and the more I realized how much bi visibility is lacking.
Then I started writing for larger publications, like The Washington Post and Cosmopolitan, and I was asked to come on podcasts, as a relationship expert. I was even a guest on Dan Savage's podcast Savage Love, and together, we tackled some questions from a bi man struggling to meet women. I then became a contributing editor at The Advocate, primarily covering topics relating to sex and sexual health.
Here, on bi.org, I would like to go back to what inspired me to become a writer. I want to discuss all sorts of relationships: relationships with ourselves, with friends, lovers, family members, the larger LGBTI community, and the straight community. I want to tackle how to not only find but sustain meaningful relationships as bi+ identifying individuals.
Because in one sense, we're exactly like everyone else, regardless of sexual orientation. We're on this green Earth trying to make authentic connections with others. But in another sense, we are different. We live in a society where it's considered abnormal and in many cases deviant to be attracted to multiple genders. This changes people's perceptions of us, creates additional challenges for us, and alters how we're going to engage with the rest of the world.
Every other week (biweekly!), I will discuss the challenges we face, as well as provide the tools — actionable items — to help find and sustain heartfelt relationships.
To sum it all up, I want to help you find and embrace Good Bi Love.
If there's something you'd like to see discussed — something that pertains to bi identity and/or relationships, please email me at [email protected]. This column is as much for me as it is for you.
Wishing you nothing but love,