“Writers are very often miserable people: some thrive on unhappiness, others don’t. But few are immune from feelings of deep and avid dissatisfaction. We write because we are constantly discontented with almost everything, and need to use words to rearrange it, all of it, and set the record straight. ”
Sometimes, the New York Times’ Modern Love hits it out of the park. This is one of those times.
In this column, writer Wilson Diehl chronicles the process of telling new partners that she’s bisexual and dealing with their many mixed reactions. Some say it’s a phase, some say it’s hot, and everything in between comes up too. She tells them early on in new relationships, sometimes worried they’ll be “scared off.”
Diehl is married to a man now, but she says she does everything she can not to erase her bisexuality (sometimes in a humorous way):
In our little family, Jared is more or less the sole breadwinner, and I’m usually at home making sure our two children don’t stick their diminutive flatware in the outlets — which is to say, our roles aren’t just hetero-normative but old-school hetero-normative.
Is it strange that I call myself bisexual even though he and I have been married for four years and I haven’t so much as held hands with a woman in seven or eight? Is it reasonable for me to claim queerness when I’ve benefited so much from heterosexual privilege: shared health insurance, uncomplicated baby-making, implicit legal guardianship, inarguable life insurance beneficiaries, a federally recognized union?
Strange or not, reasonable or not, it is what I am. And because my bi-ness seldom has occasion to come up organically, I intermittently bring it up apropos of nothing. “I can’t pick a restaurant — I’m bisexual,” I’ll say. Or “I’m wearing jeans and a skirt today because, you know, I’m bisexual.”
Speaking as a fellow bi girl, though I’m not married, I have a hard time finding really great writing about what it’s like to be bi and dating someone, no matter that person’s gender. This column does a wonderful job, and I’m going to hold onto it. What did you think?