To newly identify as bisexual, to me, is to be in a perpetual state of transition. Constantly slipping into different pockets of my emerging self with no control over my trajectory. Existing in a state of fluidity that seems to evoke a need to justify every action, every moment. To be everything at once.
I am overwhelmed by a looming pressure to choose where I fit. There is a dual narrative running at overtime in the forefront of my brain, policing how I dress, speak, walk, think. I weave through life accompanied by a quiet voice, simply saying not gay enough – a phrase I’ve learned to hate, but nevertheless feel deep in my chest. And I can never seem to tell; am I a misfit puzzle piece of the heterosexual world, or am I a member of the queer community?
It is hard enough to grapple with my bisexuality, only to have an extra layer of doubt weighing over it like a strange straight cloud. And especially being someone who came out late – already aware of their adult self, confident in their sexuality, only to have a queer curveball thrown into the works.
I find that much of my time is spent attaining a heterosexual pretence. I do not feel a right to be anything else, especially when it is the way of existing I have blindly accepted until recent discoveries of myself.
But this is what true invisibility feels like. How can you exist as a whole and human person when you feel invisible? It is a state of chaos, of being in consistent and unrelenting conflict with yourself.
It is exhausting. Which is an especially important thing to acknowledge when the mental health of my bisexual peers is so heartbreakingly dire in our current political climate.
It is feeling as if there is nowhere you are fully yourself.
It is living with one foot in the closet, because your heart does not belong inside, but your whole does not feel welcome in the queer sphere, even with the sea of the welcoming voices calling out from within it.
It all adds up to an inability to fit. An inability to step outside with a rainbow badge on my shirt, because I do not feel real enough. A hesitance of coming out to those I know are queer, in case they share a knowing look of disapproval. And a never-ceasing fear of not being believed.
When you exist in a margin between, it is phenomenally hard to believe yourself. ‘If you feel queer, you are queer’, I hear over and over, but I still feel fraudulent in the rainbow colours. I feel as if I have not earnt the right to be loud or the right to be proud. That I have not suffered enough to deserve it.
But what I have learnt in my short time exploring this world is that queerness is no longer a competition of pain. It is a beautiful, liberating thing that I am allowed to wear as little or as loudly I like.
So maybe bisexuality is messy. Maybe I will forever be caught in this tug of war, or maybe I will find a way to settle. But I am done denying myself queerness; labels do not have to be limiting, and I wish to claim this one as mine. I am done loathing being in between.