Family / Life / Sex & relationships

Caught in the Middle

I do not believe that being bisexual is just a failure to admit that I am gay. But I have been told it is.

I do not believe that being bisexual is simply experimenting until I find the right man to settle down with. But I have been told it is.

I do not believe that marrying a woman would have made me lesbian. I do not believe that having married a man makes me straight. I do not believe that priests taking vows of chastity (and keeping those vows) makes them asexual beings.

I have a daughter who has two biological, legal parents: a man and a woman. She has a father who identifies as heterosexual. She has a mother who identifies as bisexual or queer. She lives in a world that identifies her parents as heterosexual and barely, if at all, considers that other options might exist.

Lesbian_Family_Love_is

Gay Rights Protest in Washington DC, Summer 2009. (And yes, I recognize the gender stereotyping of my stick figures…. but I was trying to make a point that was understandable with stick figures).

Somehow this battle seems hard to fight. Affirming my own completely invisible sexuality while still affirming my husband and our relationship is daunting. This isn’t something that just comes up in conversation.  Yet recognizing all the unearned privilege that goes along with raising a daughter in a male-female coupling makes talking about my sexuality and the invisibility of it all the more essential to me.  The weight of that privilege is real because I always see and feel myself on the other side of the equation (even if the rest of the world refuses to).

Being called an ally at best feels like a sham.  Most of the time it feels like I am negating women who I have loved, who have changed me. Women who continue to be an important part of my life.  Women who I considered marrying and creating a family with.  Women who for one reason or another just didn’t work out.  The word “ally” doesn’t identify me.  It negates the me as I define and understand myself.

Here on Lesbian Family, I know that I am in a safe space. I know that, at least, this is what we are all sincerely striving to create.  I was touched by the outpouring of support for Issa who came out on the blog and N who came out in reverse and has made repeated mentions of her bisexuality.  Yet, in a binary world, I didn’t know how to categorize my blog and therefore for years did not list it in the Lesbian Family blogroll.  This is ironic because I clearly feel at home here and have contributed since 2007!  I could have simply asked.   I know the founder in real life; I could have asked!  But the invisibility of it all, and my inability to put words around something that made me feel completely vulnerable, kept me from doing so.

Until now!

Announcing Bi Families!  Currently, mine is the only blog sitting there, but I know that others will join me soon.  My feeling invisible will be less, because we will be announcing our existence and, in our own tiny way, demanding that the world see us.  Or, at least, those who visit the Bi Families Directory on Lesbian Family see us.  Still.  I feel better.  Don’t you?

P.S. While writing this post, a Huffington Post blog came out that really struck a cord with me.  The piece was called Like Me.

P.P.S. There is also a fabulous two part series by a bisexual mom over on Gay Dad Project who is trying to figure out how and when to come out to her daughter (part 1 and part 2).  If you have know of other resources (or good commenary) on bisexual parenting, please share them here!

P.P.P.S.  LesbianDad, who probably thinks I should have brought this up 6 years ago, will appreciate that I am reminding everyone that per our “List your blog with us!” intake page:

Pick as many listing categories as make sense to you. Think we should consider additional categories? Email us at info [at] lesbianfamily [dot] com.
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  1. Honored to have you mention me in such a post, and will happily move our blog to that section (as soon as I figure out how…).

    That HuffPost blog really chilled me, because it’s so true, and so easy to forget.

    • I agree about the huff post piece. I actually posted on my personal Facebook wall and was amazed by the huge response I got of personal emails of people’s reactions.

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