Gay Britannia and Bisexuality 

*This post started as a mind explosion and I typed whatever came to mind on Sunday evening. I have tidied it up a little but I’ve noticed this with a lot of my posts…that I’m not very good at concluding or keeping a good flow….. I’ll work on it.*

So the BBC is showing a load of LGBTQ+ programmes at the moment and so far what I’ve seen has been great! I know so little about LGBT history, it’s shocking. And with all this and pride at the moment it’s really got me thinking about who I am and what makes me me.

I can’t imagine living with constant fear and not being able to be who you are. I know it is still often the case, but we can’t be arrested for it! These programmes are making me realise really how much we really do have to thank the older generations for pushing through and doing what they did. So brave, so courageous.

I’ve watched ‘Prejudice and Pride: The people’s History of LGBTQ Britain’ and ‘against the law’,  ‘queer art’ and ‘The man in the orange shirt’.  While watching some of the programmes with Rosie (I have the irritating tendency to talk through a programme. Rosie pauses it. haha soz) we talked about bisexuality and how it never has been that much of a deal. I mean even the programmes so far have been predominantly about gay male relationships. (It is the 50th year since the act was abolished so there’s justification behind it.)

A big thing we have realised is that gay men suffer their own insults but they don’t generally get the brush off that bisexuals and lesbians do. …The number of times I have heard, “they just haven’t found the right cock yet.”  How many times have you heard someone say a gay man hasn’t found the right vagina yet?

However! I’ve got a big buzz with it all at the moment! The “Everything is great and will be great and I’m bisexual and being bisexual is amazing”. It’s a nice feeling! Feeling that it is perfectly fine and there’s nothing wrong and just have a good time and love who you feel like loving.

When I can talk about my relationship freely like those in straight relationships, it feels so natural. Withholding what I want to say because i don’t think people will understand or take it the right way or if i’m worried they’ll respond badly is really hard to handle (let alone not telling anyone and having to hide it entirely!).  It’s like a subtle and ongoing sensation that makes you continually doubt your validity.   Being able to sit with my arm around Rosie while chatting to other people and couples is one of the greatest feelings in the world to me. Just the unity and fuzzy feeling is a guilty pleasure. ❤

We also brought up how the things we have read about women’s sexuality have always been pretty negative and hard: depicting the struggle. Which is great for inclusiveness when you feel like you’re dealing with it all by yourself. But it doesn’t often bring hope. So I want to be positive on here! Show why It’s so worthwhile!

If anyone asks me, I say that I am bisexual. It has been a long and winding path to get to this point but it’s definitely what rings truest. If I found myself single one day, I have no idea if the next person I would date would be male or female. I like it. It’s exciting. I definitely go through phases where I feel like I’m more attracted to one than the other but the ability to feel towards both is always there. Often, i’ll just be spending more time with a group of one or the other sex and that can sometimes feel like it’s shifting a preference. For example, at university it’s pretty much 85% female so the chances that I’m going to find people I get on with that are women is pretty high, so maybe that swings my preferences.

It is a shame to be put into the wrong LGBT group. I guess most people that know of me will assume I’m a lesbian. * It’s Tuesday now and a conversation I had today proves this more for me*  But it cuts out so much of my life and story and makes it all seem so clear and easy. Being LGBTQ+ is hard, and I know most about being bisexual.

Bisexuality is hard because when you have the option to go with the ‘normal’ and easier sex (I.e hetero) it makes it harder for others to understand why you would choose to be in a homo relationship. I certainly think that’s why It took me a long time to think about the possibility of dating women. Because if I know I’m happy enough looking for Mr Right why would I make life that more difficult by being open to finding a Mrs Right too? Obviously, it just doesn’t work like that, but I suppose it kind of does, I suppose it could be possible to hide one part of your sexuality forever for the ease. But that wouldn’t be fair on you or do you any favours.

It’s a mindfuck when i consider that I would likely never have met nor spoken to Rosie if I hadn’t have decided to try dating women. And yet she is the closest person I have ever been to, my bestfriend and I am absolutely ridiculously head over heels in love with her… except when she does something that annoys me 😉
So therefore I do think that bisexuality is an invisible sexuality at the moment and there are a couple of campaigns running along this line too.  Basically, If a bisexual woman is with a girl, she’s a lesbian and a guy, she’s straight. And bisexual men are men that are actually gay but don’t want to totally admit it. Excellent.

There’s also a lot of talk about promiscuity with bisexuals. Like how can you trust a bisexual when they literally fancy everyone? Haha… Because there’s never been any cheating in straight or gay relationships…? But perhaps as some bisexuals will agree that the sex of a person is far less important than the person they are, it suggests that we could be fussy because we’re looking for someone we really connect with.

So onto Sexual fluidity. The concept that every single person is on a spectrum and lay somewhere between straight and gay and where you are on that spectrum can change throughout your life. Before I go any further, this really does have to be the simplified version as there are groups in LGBTQ+ that aren’t included in the spectrum. (asexual, pansexuals etc)

I know a lot of girls (probably because we’re more happy to talk openly about it) who have considered their sexuality once or twice or quite a lot.  They’ve wondered if they had had a crush on a girl previously or have kissed girls on drunken nights out etc.

I’m not saying that every one of these girls is a bisexual and should relate and be categorised under this term (no way!), but they are on the spectrum like everyone else and would probably be placed somewhere closer to the middle between straight and gay than just one or the other side.

So, for me, sexual fluidity would be something like this…

For example, let’s say if a girl is 80% straight, she only dates men and has only had relationships with men. But, she has wondered about being with a woman once or twice. Now, whether she would ever take it any further, think more, act on her thoughts and whether she would even feel right in a relationship with another woman is a totally separate thing. But say a couple of years later, for whatever reason, it’s now 60:40, that could be enough for her to start thinking and acting on it. She’s still more into men and it’s all she knows and starting to date a woman is going to take a lot of encouragement and persuasion. It’s going to be confusing and baffling for most of the time too. It’s going to be a case of getting to a point where she feels she needs to answer this niggling question… Can she be with another woman, does she fancy women? I feel like a lot of women don’t feel the need to answer this niggle. And obviously, that’s entirely fine, they’ll be closer to the straight side of the spectrum,

So for me, when I was younger I only ever thought of men. I had the occasionally feeling towards girls but brushed it aside thinking i was in awe etc. Then i got older (obviously), met new people, saw new places, read new things and my mindset altered, I became open to other options.

I have read blogs and discussions about how bisexuality is it’s own entitity entirely. And i don’t think that’s wrong. The spectrum really helped me come to terms with my sudden shift a couple of years back and it works for me.
When talking to people about bisexuality there’s a sense from them that you are or you aren’t and you must have an answer. Whereas if you’re happy with the sexual fluidity perspective, you do what feels right for you at the time. Possibly partly why I struggle to accept the term bisexual. It’s actually quite inflexible and vast and doesn’t say much about an individual at all.

So yeah, this is where I originally came to a totally dead end in my word splurge on Sunday evening. Not even a hint of a conclusion. haha. But today I had a conversation with two girls that I have been working alongside with at university a lot recently. They’re absolutely lovely and we get on well but this just proves an inability to understand the concept of bisexuality.

So basically we were working with two absolutely gorgeous male clinicians. They’re charming and they bought us coffee. Putty in their hands we were. And we were talking together about one in particular. And I said how I liked his blue eyes. (drowning in crystal blue seas and all that… ). One of the girls said to me,

“Well it doesn’t matter to you as you’re not into men.”

I mean for one thing, you don’t have to fancy a person to be able to appreciate how good they look.  But anyway!

I was a bit taken aback but we were all messing around and so i didn’t get particularly serious. I just replied that I do like men. The other girl shook her head and put her hands out to show the separation and said “no, you just can’t like both, one or the other.”  And so I looked into her eyes and said “watch me.”  To which we all laughed.

But actually, how can you feel so confident to tell me that I’m wrong about who I feel attracted to? Why would I lie or pretend when I’m so open about other things? I used to think that I could only like one or the other but that was the most confusing part of all because I couldn’t choose which. I don’t need to choose.

It was lighthearted and they did not mean to insult me. It just showed the ignorance that is out there.

What if I became single and started dating a chap? Would they tell me that I was straight (and just experimented or went through a phase with Rosie) or actually just a lesbian who’s hiding how she really feels? There’s seems to be no understanding that the sex of a person is just not on my priority list. It’s absolutely the person.

So, I could just not care I suppose. I could just not right this article and not care how people see me or how they categorise me. To be honest, I don’t really mind. But i don’t like that people don’t understand me, what I’ve gone through and how I think and feel, especially those people that I otherwise have a good time with. Though actually i don’t like the feeling it’s assumed to be a phase, as though i’m just messing around with people and testing waters. That would belittle any relationship I had over another persons, when to me, my relationship is the best and strongest and most serious and loving and stable relationship I have had.

So let’s conclude lol. The BBC is doing a great job in celebrating LGBT. But there is still a long way to go. If you’re in the LGBT club, you are still considered different and I don’t think that should be the case. There are misunderstandings everywhere regarding LGBTQ+ groups and one of them is not appreciating bisexuality. What does it mean to be bisexual? why it’s not a bad thing, a phase or experimenting. One of the ways I explain it is through the sexual fluidity concept. And it is hurtful and harsh to brush off a person when they say they’re bisexual because you’re invalidating their entire history. You’re saying that they actually were never really in love or felt for the one person they used to see because they’re now in love with a new person of a different sex.  Maybe not on purpose but you’re telling me that a big part of my life that probably helped shape the person i am wasn’t real and wasn’t significant. And we can entirely talk about crushing on any sex. But we can also talk about how hot someone is without bringing sex into it too.

A bisexual is someone who has the ability to feel attraction to another person they’ve connected with regardless of this person’s sex.

Rebecca x

Don’t judge for adding a wikipedia link.. it explains it well – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisexual_erasure

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/12/bi-erasure-hurts/

i feel this article a lot :http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ravishly/on-bisexual-erasure-in-th_b_9995418.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p059lylf

Relationships and Gender roles

This blog post has been brewing in my mind for a while. It’s quite a hard piece to write as I don’t want to come across badly, judge-y or stereotypical or like I’m speaking for everyone.

So as far as LGBTQ+ goes I would associate myself with bisexual the most. It doesn’t really work and I don’t really like categorizing people or myself because it’s so rigid, and however hard you try not to there are usually certain characteristics/traits that become associated with them.

So I grew up fancying boys, then men and I only remember a couple of bouts of ever even considering fancying girls. Looking back on it now It was pretty clearly a crush on a girl but at the time I put it down to just being in awe of them. I had just met them and thought they were great. I was also happy to move on and very quickly got over whatever it was.

I had a successive run of unsuccessful dates. Met some really great guys who I got on really well with and fancied like mad but they never came to anything. I just put it down to not meeting the right one and that being that. But it was sad and It was hard that nothing seemed to stick or be able to work. I had a particularly bad run in with a couple of dates and some of the men in my life disappointing me.  Without actively thinking it I went a year or so with being happy to be single and not really looking. Then summer 2015 hit,  I spent a lot of time with quite a few number of friends and mostly girls.

I don’t think there was ever really a point where I thought, I fancy you or I want to be more than friends but I started to think slightly differently about relationships. I started to think that If I could have such a great time with another woman would it be that bad if it became a relationship? Over the summer I remember thinking of it as a woman companion. And I began to realise that that’s really all I was after. Just someone to spend my time with, someone to be there for support and comfort. It took a bloody long time for me to consider it also being a romantic thing too. Definitely resisting the thought that I could be attracted to another woman. It was not a road I wanted to go down.

Heading into Autumn I did start to fancy a girl I knew, big time. And it was the same kind of light obsession I’d had with men that I fancied. I kept totally shtum about it for the next 5/6 months because It wasn’t something I wanted to think about. But it did upset me and it was really difficult to come to terms with. A big part of me was entirely up for it, there was nothing strange about how I was feeling, it was natural, it was growing love for another person. The other half of me was like,

It means you’re a lesbian,

how can you be a lesbian now?

how can you be a vet and a lesbian?

how would any of this even work?

what would people think?

I bet they wouldn’t even be surprised,

but you’re not butch or like a boy or even that much of tom boy.

I had every stereotype and prejudice of lesbians and LGBT people going.

I’m not sure what made me take the first steps. I think hearing of people in university coming out made me think about starting to get some answers. The reception to them coming out was not a negative one.

I’d been on Tinder since the summer, hadn’t gone on any dates though and don’t actually remember really talking to any guys that much. One night over Christmas I just swapped the option around so that instead of looking for men I was looking for women. First, I was really quite excited by the number of women I found on there that were at uni. Lots of surprising ones, girls that weren’t butch, some that were, some that I knew had had relationships with men too.

I didn’t contact anyone from uni and turned off my account whenever I wasn’t using it so that no one would find me.

But flicking through all the profiles I actually started to realise that there was a bit of a pattern in who I seemed to like the look of or wanted to chat too.

‘But is this just me looking at who’s friendly and who I might get on with.’ I often thought but then.., ‘well yes, but a companion is what I’m after isn’t it?’

So yeah, the weeks went on and I chatted to a couple of girls. I felt a bit of a weight off my shoulders as I got used to the idea of it all. In this time, I started chatting to Rosie too.

I got to the point where going on a date and confirming that these feelings might actually be a thing was what I needed to do. I still wasn’t convinced that I was actually attracted to women. It was all very confusing and I wanted an answer.

It took quite a while to build up guts to meet anyone, Rosie was my first date. And I said right from the start that I have no idea what I’m doing or I might just freak out and run away. I really thought that these feelings I have now might totally disappear when I wake up the next day. That feeling continued well into dating Rosie but it became more a concern that I would end up messing her around. But ha, no, the feelings haven’t gone away.

I still have a huge part of me that regularly tells me that what I’m doing is wrong and unnatural. But the other half of me has doubled in size and strength and pushes it down. I see the relationship that I’m in and how I feel and there just can’t be anything unnatural about it at all. I also, no longer really care if it is wrong or right because I’m not prepared to change anything. I don’t spend so long thinking and trying to answer everything because I don’t think there is a clear one.

I knew within the first couple of dates with Rosie that I was onto something really good. It wasn’t just how much I was starting to like her but actually how our relationship with each other was.

A big issue for me, that I’ve always been uncomfortable with is men paying for meals and the first date and second and third sometimes! I really didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, I was over the moon with having a night out and not having to spend any money, I was grateful and thankful too. But I always from then on felt like we were not on the same line or wave. Like I now owed them something and then If I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to buy the next round and I essentially got into more debt with them it made it worse. And I think it’s feelings like this, looking back on it now that I’m in a relationship where there isn’t this almost competition to spoil.

I think this is where I can get into the realms of stereotyping and judging but I’ll say it anyway. Pretty much 100% of the men that I dated and more were definitely keen to be the more dominant, they wanted to spoil me. (1. Maybe I just chose my dates badly and 2. I was always very grateful!) But I think I just never wanted or needed that. What I was looking for was someone I could have a proper no bars held conversation about anything. I wanted to know someone really well. I didn’t want someone who wanted to look after me. And I don’t have the interest in looking after someone else either. There’s support and there’s being there and listening but then there’s also being someone’s parent. (when they’re perfectly capable of caring for themselves!)

I know of friends in relationships who would be given flowers by their partners on a regular basis for what appeared to be a thanks for reminding them to have a shower or wash the dishes or finish an assignment. And they were very clearly head over heels for each other and in no doubt their relationship was great, it just wasn’t what I was after.

This relationship with Rosie suited me perfectly because obviously being both women, it was always going to be splitting meals, we’re both driven to achieve our ambitions, we’re both able to look after ourselves but when one of us is having a bad day we’re able to talk it through.

Women are known to be better at speaking about emotions and experiences but personally, I think it’s not a feminine trait it’s the way we bring up males and females.

I know I was just very lucky to meet Rosie as soon as I did, but equally I know that If I’d have dated other girls I’d have met some that liked to be spoiled and treated and protected. I also know that if I carried on dating men I would probably find one at some point that wasn’t so keen on the protective side and was able to talk to me like I can talk to most women.

I feel very much like it’s the culture that we’re in regarding how we raise children so differently because of their sex that makes me more likely to be in a relationship with a woman than a man. If Rosie had been a Robert I’d be with him now. It’s an interesting way of thinking about it. I find that there is a difference between most girls and their willingness to be helpful and useful and most men and their not. I just think it’s the way we’ve been brought up. Maybe girls are more willing to help and be useful from a younger age but maybe also boys should be taught a little bit harder how to help.

I am being quite broad here and I’m not including everyone by any means but there is a trend. And again I’m not saying any relationship is more valid than another but I just can’t stand gender roles. Men can still treat and spoil women if they want too and women can look after men if they want to but to assume that that’s the way things are and should be I don’t like… to the extent the boys and girls are brought up differently I don’t like.

So basically I look back on the guys that I really did get on with and wonder if we could have made something of a relationship if either one of us wanted the same thing from a relationship. I feel like most of the guys must have sensed that I appreciated but didn’t really enjoy it. It almost seems like a really big shame that it was something kind of simple that stopped any progression. Obviously, it’s unlikely that they would have all worked out well long term etc etc but I wonder how many might have been a few more dates or a relationship had I been not so keen for conversation and he not so keen to treat me like a princess.

I also actually do wonder why some women like to be spoiled and why some men like to spoil. Is it what they are used to? Is it the best thing?

I’m totally biased and I know it. I obviously feel that my side of the grass is greener. I just feel that relationships are more likely to be healthier if we’re not demanding and depending on the other. But if we see the other person as a companion rather than (a cleaner lol) someone who needs to fit a traditional and expected role. How about just knowing naturally how to work as a team because we’re human and not because we’re either male or female?

But saying that, every relationship is different and people do want different things.. but why do we want different things?

Gender roles is a big no in my books at the moment. It has so many consequences to it.

I do wonder if men in gay relationships find that they are just more comfortable in the kind of relationship created by two men rather than with a women?

I think I’m always going to be able to add more to this, and discuss more!

Rebecca x

p.s

I feel there were often times when I would feel there were things appropriate and inappropriate to say. Being a vet student you do build up a bit of book of stories. I felt some guys responded badly to me talking about gross things, like it’s not they were expecting of me. I mean, also, fair lol, probably shouldn’t be talking about poo on a first date. Yeah, actually, maybe it wasn’t particularly nice of me ha. But there were times when a guy would say something a bit gross but I could be them and suddenly I wasn’t so womanly any more. Ugh. Go home. anyway!

I feel like most people can be really untidy, But leaving a mess knowing full well and happy to do so that someone else will tidy up the mess is more a male trait I think. Shoot me down if I’m wrong. But I feel most women are messy but know it’s their mess that they’ll sort out.. at some point. Men, I don’t feel are the same. More happy to be cleaned up after. That’ll be an upbringing thing too I bet. And I ain’t go time to be cleaning up someone else’s mess. Ugh. Go home.