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To Tell Or Not To Tell

Should bisexuals disclose their bisexuality to a potential partner?

“She liked to ignore the fact that I had made love to men and enjoyed it. She liked to ignore it until the very moment she decided to be threatened by it. That seemed to be her pattern. I was a lesbian when she loved me and a straight woman when she hated me.”

Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Here, Taylor Jenkins Reid very pointedly encapsulates the excruciating torment that some people feel regarding their partner’s bisexuality. As a result of such reactions and others similar to it, many bisexuals grapple with the question: Should I reveal my bisexuality to a potential partner? For some, the answer is an emphatic “Yes.”  However, for others, it is a struggle..

The fear of rejection is a major cause for why some bisexuals struggle to disclose their bisexuality. While some may reject a bisexual person solely based on orientation, others may do so because they believe in the erroneous notion that bisexuals are promiscuous and that a bisexual partner will potentially leave them on a whim.

The fear of sexual exploitation is another reason why some bisexuals, particularly women, conceal their bisexuality. For example, in some cases, when a woman reveals her bisexuality to a man, some, not all, view her as hyper-sexual, and therefore as a sexual object. From that moment on, she is not seen as a potential love interest by these particular men, but as an opportunity for them to explore their sexual fantasies, particularly a  threesome.

Some bisexuals conceal their bisexuality because they just choose to do so. Some choose to conceal because they genuinely believe that it is only part of their past and disclosing the information will cause mental torment and anguish to a partner.

Nevertheless, should bisexuals disclose their bisexuality to a potential partner? This is ultimately a question that each individual should decide for themselves. As a bisexual woman, I  fervently answer yes in relation to my own life because I believe it is important to disclose it, irrespective of whether or not I am rejected or it is genuinely received with ignorance. I  tell them and let them decide. By revealing my bisexuality to a potential partner, I not only set a tone of honesty but also enter into an experience without a secret,  which would only hang over my head.  In some regard, I choose not to hide and duck corners if I am with a partner and I see an ex, for instance.  Rather,  I choose to stand inside of my truth, and if I should see an ex, walk over to them and introduce them to my partner.

In the end, bisexual disclosure is a dubitable issue. Regardless, it is an important one because bisexuals are often viewed (by some) as being insensitive or having a cavalier attitude about sex and relationships. This is simply not the case. Bisexuals are complex, too. So much so that when it comes to bisexual disclosure, some tell their partners with ease, some refuse to, and others struggle to decide what to do. It is up to them; however, each decision has a consequence that can strengthen the relationship or destroy it completely.

Resources

●       Bisexual Resource Center

 Mental Health Biphobia Brochure

●       The Trevor Project

●       The Human Rights Campaign

●       National Domestic Violence Hotline

●       GLAAD


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