A little over a year ago, I met a guy who made me experience something I had never felt for another man before – attraction.
I was shocked, bewildered, and confused. I had never in my life even considered the possibility of being anything but straight. And yet, here we were. After accepting that I was a bisexual male, I began wondering if I should start presenting differently.
I would frequently wonder, “How gay should I be acting?” “Is this gay enough?” “Is this too gay?”
This internal dialogue reminds me of a scene in Love, Simon. (Spoilers, if you somehow haven’t seen it yet) The main character, Simon Spier, is outed by a classmate during winter break. The morning he’s set to return to school, Simon finds himself trying on all sorts of different outfits, all while Googling “how to dress like a gay guy”.
Simon’s trepidation and uncertainty on how to present, is reminiscent of the struggles bisexual men face on a daily basis. For me, I wanted my outward expression to convey my interest in men without convincing people that I batted entirely for the other team. Considering my bisexuality made me acutely aware of how I walked, talked, dressed, and even wrote. It was extremely difficult to find a way to present as equally gay and straight.
But none of it really mattered.
If you are a bisexual male and have similar concerns, then please know that they are not worth the stress. The second I let go of these worries, I really came into my own. Instead of rely on faulty stereotypes, I allowed my personality and style to develop independent of my sexuality. As a result, I was able to simply be myself.
In an age where toxic masculinity dominates the news cycle, it’s important to realize that there is no right way to be a bisexual man. There is no standard you have to conform to, or check list of items you must meet.
A perfect example of this message is expressed in the Doctor Who character, Jack Harkness. Jack is a loyal badass with a futuristic James Bond vibe. Without shame, Jack openly owns the male and female partners he’s had in the past. Doctor Who refers to Jack as “omnisexual,” which refers to people who can have relationships with humans and aliens of just about any sexual orientation. [Unfortunately, this description of his sexuality is problematic because of how many TV shows used to avoid the term “bisexual.” Luckily, this has recently begun to change.]
If you’re still concerned about how you’re perceived as a bisexual male, then consider this question: Do you remember first becoming interested in something you love? It could be as simple as finding a fantastic video game, or taking up a new sport or discovering a love for another instrument.
Now think, were you suddenly concerned that you needed to “act differently” because of your newfound interest in these things? Did playing the saxophone or joining the soccer team fundamentally change you? No.
And sexuality is no different. For many, sexuality is fluid and it takes our entire lives to really figure it out. It’s a journey, and you shouldn’t be worried about how you should act…because the various destinations along the way will be so rich in color that it will impact you in ways that will ultimately shape the person you are becoming.
Written and conceived by AJ Rowe with edits by MC Robinson.
Follow AJ on Twitter: @AJBroken_
Featured image credit: Andrew J. Eastwood