This post is basically just a stream of consciousness. It’s word vomit. It’s not pretty. But it’s been on my mind, so read on if you’d like.
I’m bisexual. I also go with pansexual because while I’m attracted to men and women and non-binary folks for those identities, I am also simply attracted to people. By that I mean, sometimes I’ll see a woman so femme that she stuns me and I’m like, “Wow, I really love women.” But sometimes I see a person, and they could present androgynously or not, and I don’t even notice their gender representation first. I just see them. And I like them. So, yeah. I’m bi but also pan.
But here’s the thing with bi people. A lot of the time we’re in “hetero” relationships. Why? Well, many reasons, but mostly because heterosexuality is considered the social norm so we’re more likely to meet and have the opportunity to flirt with a gender other than our own. Plus, and for me this happened, we may not fully realize our sexuality until we’re already in a committed relationship. And then I’m happy and look like a regular hetero gal dating (now married to) a regular hetero guy. And that’s how people see me.
But that’s not how I see myself.
I’m bisexual. I’m pansexual. I’m queer. And I am proud of that. But I don’t really feel like I have space to wear that pride.
To everyone in my family, it’s a non-issue. I mean, they think, “Okay, Alyssa says she’s bi. But she married a man so she’s basically straight and it doesn’t matter.” Right? Wrong! It totally matters. I feel like I have to play the part of “straight happy wife” when that’s not who I am. I’m queer wife. I am happy in my marriage, but not in my feeling of inauthenticity.
And then there’s the flip side. Where do I fit in queer spaces? Am I queer enough? I’ve done my homework and I know progressive LGBT groups talk about bi erasure and how the gay community needs to embrace us. And I have gay friends. But it’s not like we’re friends because we’re both gay. We became friends before I even knew (as a solid understanding, because deep down we all know early on I think) I was bi. And so I’m not a part of any queer groups. I’ve never gone to a Pride Parade. I don’t feel connected to the community. And I feel like because I haven’t had a serious relationship with a woman or other non-male identifying person that gay folks will think I’m not gay enough.
This is me being self conscious, I know. These feelings are valid, of course, because there are people on both sides (hetero and gay) that think bi people are confused, selfish, cheaters, and greedy. And it leaves us in this kind of limbo where we’re neither here nor there.
I experience that limbo as a Latinx as well. I was born in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents. But they came here as kids and met here and started an American family. So I was raised as an American with Cuban background. My abuelo says I’m not Cuban-American. I’m American-Cuban. Because I’m American first. But to Americans? Do you really think my Miami English and Cuban Spanish makes me fit in with white whites (by white whites I mean non ethnic white folks, i.e. those directly descendant from white Americans)? No. I haven’t lived outside of Miami yet, but I have a feeling I’m not going to pass for a WASP when I do.
And that’s good! I don’t want to. I’m proud of being Cuban. But to Cubans, I’m just not Cuban. This book I read recently called The Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco really captures that feeling like you don’t belong anywhere as a Cuban-American. I really appreciated this book for helping me feel seen.
Identity is weird. This post is a ramble. A scrambled ramble. But, alas, these thoughts are on my mind at 11pm and I just have to get them down.
So how is all of this for you folks? Are you on any in between identities? Do you feel out of place on both sides? What do you make of it? How do you deal? I’d love to read your thoughts on this.
Not Gay or Cuban Enough