Being in only about one significant romantic relationship for my whole life, I had never explored whether or not I was possibly anything other than straight. I was fortunate enough that I didn’t face any familial pressure on the subject either way. Even though most of my family falls somewhere on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, I had always assumed I was the “societal default” or a cis-gendered heterosexual woman, probably due to the “othering” that goes on in media of the LGBTQIA+ community.
As a college student, I have taken gender and sexuality studies classes before, but I had never looked internally, only externally. Recently, I took a class called Biology 30: Human Sex and Sexuality (fondly referred to on campus as “dirty thirty”). This class was taught by the youngest and most candid professor I’ve had to date, and he helped me jumpstart my own questioning with the discussions facilitated in the class. I now identify myself as somewhere between straight and bisexual. By academic definitions, I hit about a 2 on the Kinsey scale. For those who may be unaware, the Kinsey scale was the first significant measure of sexuality as a spectrum, it ranges from 0-6 with 0 being the straightest you can be and 6 being strictly homosexual. It is now understood that this is not all-encompassing or inclusive, but it is still often used when talking about cisgender sexuality.
With friends, I have jokingly referred to myself as “heteroflexible.” Initially, I was incredibly nervous about discussing this with my boyfriend. We have been together for about five years now and never had this conversation. I know that there are common issues with the LGBTQIA+ community with bi-erasure and that there is a tendency to fetishize sexually fluid women.
Fortunately, having this discussion with my partner was surprisingly easy, he was very accepting and was noticeably trying hard to avoid the pitfalls of societal hypersexualization of women who are/could be sexual with other women. It was a good reminder of exactly why we are together and reinforced exactly how important communication is within a relationship.
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