As more and more people begin to accept and embrace the diversity of sexuality in society, they are also beginning to discover more freedmon to explore their own sexuality and understand it better. Or they are finding that they are simply better able to live honestly from their true self. But with greater openness and honestly, with a new interest in exploring different aspects of themselves, comes new challenges as well. Once a person begins to realize and accept that sexuality exists on a spectrum, it becomes valuable and even necessary to understanding where they fit. Many straight people are aware they they have a certain percentage of themselves that is attracted to the same sex. This may be a minority percentage, such as 20% or 30% for example, but one they want to understand in order to become fully themselves. Other people fall very close to the middle. With bisexuality comes unique issues.
Bisexuality can be a sexual orientation that includes both men and women. It can also be an affectional orientation toward both men and women. As we become capable of understanding sexual diversity in the human experience, we also begin to see how attachments can be sexual, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual, and any combination of these to varying degress. Being "bi" can very much be an identity, even of a person isn't sexually active. For a long time, bisexual people have faced criticism and negative stereotyping, coming from both the straight and gay communities. They have been judged to be confused, promiscuous, evasie, or in denial. Mainly there has been a misunderstanding of bisexuality, even among bisexual people themselves.
In my counseling work with bisexual clients, we seek to better understand bisexuality in general, and what it means to the client specifically for themselves. A healthy bisexual sense of self is necessary to feel confident and clear in your life and in interacting with the world. As with most clients, the foundation of all mental health, healthy functioning, and healthy relationships is a sense of a strong, clear, coherant sense of identity. When you have giving meaning and clarity to your identity, you are no longer negatively infuenced both others' opinions of you. You no longer second-guess yourself. Counseling is the venue by which clients can explore and understand their bisexuality in a supportive, positive environment, with a therapist who will give objective feedback and help you find your true selfhood.
Have you experienced any of the following issues?
- Feeling socially isolated, rejected, or alone
- Not able to fully relate to or be a part of either straight or gay social groups
- Feeling anxious and fearful of people finding out
- Confusion about your feelings and what you really want
- Fear or confusion about being attracted to both men and women
- Buying into negative stereotypes about bisexual people
- Negative feelings or attitudes from partners about your bisexuality
These struggles and challenges can give rise to social anxiety, depression, generalized anxeity, loneliness, frustration, and other emotional problems. If you would like sometime to talk with to help you make sense of your sexuality and resolve some of the negative emotions or issues that are a part of that struggle, please contact me and I would be happy to help. - Erik
In his article, "What's It Like To Be Bisexual? The Tough Quesitons" by Justin Weller, he writes: "I was persecuted for being myself. Today, I lead an intentionally against-the-grain life. I choose to be different in my work, my passion, and my expression. I did not choose to be bisexual. I would not choose to be straight."
Check out the Bisexuality section under Queer Voices at Huffington Post for news, articles, and information about being bisexual.