US: op-ed, If We Want to Tell Authentic LGBTQ Stories, We Have to Show the “Bad” With the Good

The first piece I wrote that was ever published was titled, “I Came Out as Bisexual and Now Can’t Date Anyone Gay or Straight.” I wrote the piece for XoJane’s infamous “It Happened to Me” vertical, and much to my surprise, it went viral. 

The piece wasn’t anything groundbreaking. It simply dispelled the trope that “it gets better” when you come out. After years of sleepless nights questioning my sexuality, blacked out unprotected sex with men, and feeling like a liar to every person I ever dated, I was excited about the prospect of finding love after embracing my (bi)sexuality. I was young, naive, and believed Woody Allen’s joke, “Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.”

That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Both gay men and straight women refused to date me for the stereotypes commonly believed about bisexuals: I’m actually gay; I’ll leave them for a person of another gender; I’m confused, greedy, incapable of being monogamous, and so on and so forth.

After the piece went viral, I was suddenly given a platform to keep writing about bisexuality, and I grabbed it with both hands. There was only one problem: I knew very little about identity, LGBTQ culture, or more specifically, bisexuality politics. All I knew is that my experience wasn’t as unique as I thought it was—the dozens upon dozens of emails I got after my piece went viral had made that abundantly clear. I wanted to increase bisexual visibility, so these people could know they weren’t alone. But what I didn’t realize is that when it comes to the visibility of minority groups, depictions must always be positive, even if that leaves out some unsavory truths. Read more via Slate