I recently came out as bisexual to my British husband of 6 years. I hail from New York but live permanently now in south west of England with him in a relatively rural location, well outside London, so I have come to expect some relatively provincial attitudes about most things related to gender, sexuality and marriage roles.
My husband’s response was loving and beautiful and akin to “oh now that explains some things.” He was only sad that I took so long to trust him with this and that still lingers between us, unresolved. And though he was raised by middle English parents with some run of the mill and tedious homophobic attitudes (his parents think our gay male nanny is a ‘obviously’ a child molestor and are entirely blind to the fact that their younger son is quite likely gay), his attitude to my bisexuality is so-far postive and progressive.
After making it known to him, though, I slowly started to make it known to friends and colleagues, gay and straight, that while I was happily married with kids, my psychosexual self (for lack of less psychobabbly term) was bisexual. I got every response from neutral acceptance through to encouragement from my gay and lesbian friends, but the straight friends still surprisingly held some seriously old fashioned views.
So far none of them have shunned me or seem to direct any overt hostility towards me, but there is a passive aggressive line of questioning that I keep getting. Questions like: “But doesn’t that mean you are really just a lesbian and don’t want to admit it?” or, “So are you leaving your husband for a woman then?” And my ‘favourite’: “How can you be bisexual and monogamous?” That seemed to be the prevelent attitude really — that bisexual either meant a life-long menage with both a man and a woman at once or a life where you could not commit to only one partner.
The concept that I was a married, monogamous woman just happy and more content to finally be honest about who I really am was not sufficient. Saying I was bisexual now meant I needed to “do something about it.” Again, this is all very new to my friends and husband… but that is what I experienced so far. A set of sadly retrograde questions and the expectation that my ability to be faithful was under scrutiny. I suspect there will be more to come, but for now … that’s it.
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