Photo Credit: Rick AielloPeople who are physically and sexually attracted to both men and women usually identify themselves as bisexual. However, not everyone who has had feelings or experiences with both men and women describe themselves as bisexual. Some people find bisexuality hard to understand, but remember: there’s nothing “wrong” about feeling or being bisexual.
Why are some people bisexual? Researchers believe that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of our biology (genes and hormones) and our environment. This is true whether you are homosexual, bi-sexual, or heterosexual. The main thing to remember is that being ‘Bi’ is not a disease or illness to be cured or fixed. It is part of the broad spectrum of human sexuality.
How do I know if I’m bisexual? You might be bisexual if you recognize that you’re attracted to women and men, but these feelings don’t necessarily have to come up at the same time or with the same intensity. What’s important is that you don’t deny your feelings, or try to bury them. Take time to explore your sexuality at your own pace. It’s also important to remember that you’re definitely not alone, and you don’t have to deal with your questions or problems by yourself. You might have friends or family members who have had similar experiences and can talk with you about your feelings. If you need to speak to someone who isn’t directly involved in your life, you may be able to find a support group in your area though the Human Rights Campaign and be sure to check out some of the other articles in this section. If someone tells you that bisexual people are just confused about their sexuality, that bisexuality doesn’t exist, or that you can change, look for someone else to talk with.
Bisexual relationships. Regardless of your sexuality, it’s important to be open and honest with yourself and your partner about your feelings and attraction to other people. Beyond that, there are no predetermined rules to follow in a bisexual—or any type—of relationship. And, a person who is bisexual can be in a monogamous relationship with someone of the same or opposite sex. To be bisexual does not mean that a person has to be with someone of both sexes at the same time.
Am I gay or lesbian? Bisexuality is a sexual identity unto itself and being bisexual does mean that you are gay or lesbian – how you identify is your decision.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.
Tony Aaron Fuller