My Learning Journey from Marriage to Exploring Privilege as a Bisexual Columnist

Bisexual Columnist Shares Three Years of Learning and Inspiration: Challenging Stereotypes and Embracing Your True Self

For the past three years, I have had the great honor of being one of the only columnists dedicated to advising the bisexual community. Bisexuals from all over the world have come to me for advice in their darkest moments. They have shared secrets with me that they thought even their closest friends and family could never share. It is a great responsibility to try to help them with the issues they face.

The idea for the advice column was purely coincidental. As an outspoken bisexual who regularly writes articles in the media or is interviewed on television and radio about the bisexual experience, one of my greatest pleasures is to have bisexuals around the world write to me after reading these articles.

Sometimes it's just a thank you, but a lot of times there are follow-up questions that I just can't keep up with. This tells me that there are a lot of bisexuals out there who struggle and feel like there is no one they can turn to for advice on issues specifically related to bisexuality. That's where the idea for the advice column came from. In fact, there is such a dearth of advice that bisexuals desperately need that my column is now being turned into a book, "Bisexuality: The Basics," which will be available in May and is designed to answer all of the most common questions faced by bisexuals.

### What did I learn?

This journey to becoming a Bisexual Pain Uncle has helped me to better understand what is really going on in the world of bisexuals. What fascinated me was that although the people who reached out to me came from all over the world, with a wide range of ages and life experiences, I observed three issues that seemed to come up again and again.

### Out.

Coming out is a big deal for bisexuals, and statistics show that we are the least likely to do so in the entire LGBTQ+ community. One of the most fascinating things is the number of older bisexual men who have reached out to me. Often, these men are married and want to know how to talk to their wives to tell them they are bisexual. It's important to note that these men usually don't want an open relationship or to leave their partner. They just want to be honest about who they are with the people they have loved all their lives. Often times, these men question whether their wives love them or the straight role they have been playing all these years. This is always a difficult question to suggest.

### Bisexual friend

Another issue that I find very distressing is the lack of bisexuals who claim to have bisexual friends. Statistically speaking, it can be an extremely isolating experience for a bisexual to have no bisexual friends or people to turn to. Often, this means that bisexuals are at the mercy of both homosexual and heterosexual advice when facing problems specific to bisexuality. They usually have no one to share their experiences with as a point of reference and to gauge what they should do in a particular situation.

### Shortfall

Inadequacy is also an important issue that I see time and time again in the letters I receive. Many bisexuals feel that they are not bisexual enough, and this can take many forms. For example, I have heard some bisexual men say that they have only ever dated men, so the world thinks they are "gay". However, even if they have women in their lives who are attracted to them, they worry that they aren't "man enough" and that people will laugh at the idea of dating women.

On the other hand, there are many bisexuals in heterosexual relationships who feel they are unable to share the issues they face because they feel they benefit from heterosexual privilege. They don't feel empowered to make their voices heard in LGBTQ+ environments because they don't feel cool enough.

It's frustrating to encounter this because there is no approved process to identify bisexuality - if you are attracted to more than one gender, then you are bisexual and your identity is valid. For the past three years, I've made it my mission to explain this to bisexuals - they should be confident in themselves, their attraction, their voice in the cool crowd, and they shouldn't have to worry about what other people think. They don't have to prove they are bisexual. They are valid and powerful.

As my column evolves into a book, I hope to continue to amplify the issues affecting the bisexual community and provide a beacon of support for those who need it most. Together, we can challenge stereotypes, foster inclusivity, and create a world where everyone feels seen, heard, and accepted for who they really are.

Lewis's book, Bisexuality: the Basics, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishing, is now available for pre-order. releasing May 21, 2024. [Order here.] (#)


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