Why It Bothers Me When People Assume I'm Secretly Gay
By Lewis Oakley
March 10, 2018
Photo credit: Pexels/Min AN
A common stereotype people believe about bi men is that we're struggling to accept ourselves as gay men. It's a strange conclusion, as most research shows we'd probably have a better time if we were gay. I'm used to this misconception, and arguably, it shouldn't really bother me after all this time, but the truth is, it still makes me angry.
Why? Well, because by their standards — I'm a monster!
By their calculations, my girlfriend is a cover — someone I'm stringing along for my own benefit. That would really make me a reprehensible character. They think I'm someone who would build a life with a person out of fear, someone who would promise a future together, all as an act so that people don't find out that I'm actually gay.
They're basically calling my relationship a joke, a lie — I love my girlfriend more than anything, and that suggestion makes me want to punch them in the face. As most people will tell you, it's not when you attack them that they get mad; it's when you attack those they love. Who wouldn't be angry if someone walked up to them and told them their relationship was a joke?
It also means people assume I have a problem with being gay or that I'd somehow be embarrassed about it. I was with my ex-boyfriend for two and a half years; we held hands, we kissed in public. And outside of that relationship — I've had a lot of sex with men! If I was gay, I'd be gay!
It's infuriating that someone can come along and think they know you better than you know yourself. It was a hard path to figure out I was bi in a world that believes men are one or the other; some self-righteous idiot coming along with their sexuality-detection device is infuriating.
I'd hasten to guess I've put way more effort into finding out who I am than they have. I got on my knees, put my money where my mouth is, and experienced an entire rainbow of sexual encounters in order to figure out what I actually liked.
Don't come at me with your monosexual experience and think you can teach me anything about human attractions. Your sexual experience is an infant in comparison to mine. Not that there is anything wrong with being straight or gay, but there's just no question that I've had more experiences than you.
The next time you decide to tell a bi person that they are really gay/straight, think about what you're implying about their character. Also, don't forget to ask yourself if you're actually qualified to be making a judgment on someone's sexuality. Even if you think your friend is a monster and that you are qualified, you still shouldn't tell them that you know more about their desires than they do.