When it comes to the LGBT+ crowd, the “B’s” don’t get equal attention. There is a lot of myth and bias against bisexual people. It’s worth your attention and time to learn about how being Bi is something we should affirm and celebrate as a form of human expression and love. This post contains a few thoughts I have from my own experience and some concerns about how Bi people are particularly vulnerable to ex-gay theology and religious stigma. Being Bi is a gift, and I am very grateful for every single “B” in the LGBT+ community! I hope you find this post encouraging.
I have never been officially “tested,” but after 49 years of sometimes obsessive introspection, I am somewhere on the Kinsey sexuality spectrum near the number 5 “Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual.”
For example, I came out of my self-imposed celibacy twice during my ex-gay days. I dated a woman in 1997 and another in 2006 and loved them both, especially the latter. Our relationship was genuine, and I was attracted to her in every way. Did I have crushes on other guys while we dated? Yes. Is what I had with her the same as what I have with Dan today? No, not even close. But again, our relationship was genuine, honest, and real.
Of course, I am very glad we did not progress on toward marriage. I know now that while what we had was very sweet, it wouldn’t have lasted. Well, obviously, because it didn’t last. Today it’s crystal clear that I am created to be in a relationship with a man. I will always love, support and encourage her though; nothing but respect. I am a better person for having dated her.
During my ex-gay days, oddly enough, I created the space to question and explore my attractions. Among many issues explored, I realized I never had any negative feelings toward woman’s sexuality. Growing up, while I was obsessed with Bo and Luke Duke, I did have a crush on Janet Jackson … until George Michael came along. However, in a world that stigmatizes being gay, I was told and believed that the fleeting attractions to women were “proof” of God’s original intent and should be cultivated. That any attraction to women was a sign of “change” and highly rewarded with affirmation and “atta’ boy!” type of attention. The myriad of crushes and attractions to men was to be condemned and considered “broken” and a core soul/spiritual “weakness.”
Nutshell: Same-sex attractions were met with attitudes of “deep prayerful concern” and shamed with descriptions like “inherently disordered” or “outright rebellion” and going-to-hell-worthy sin impulses. However, share about having opposite-sex attractions and be rewarded with great big smiles and “Hallelujah for embracing your heterosexual potential!”
I firmly believe that most people who are ensnared by ex-gay organizations and stay there a long time are somewhere in the bisexual area of the spectrum. Even the slightest hint of opposite-sex attraction is a powerful hook into thinking what these organizations offer in the name of “healing” is true. It breaks my heart that Bisexual people are literally being ripped in two with the toxic messaging these groups produce.
So during Bisexual Awareness week, my love and thoughts are with all the Bi folk out there who are often misunderstood, mischaracterized and don’t often feel accepted by their own community. My thoughts and love are especially with those who remain ensnared in ex-gay theology and stigmatizing religion because they do experience a measure of opposite sex attraction. It’s nuanced but what a powerful shackle to keep Bi people enslaved to stigmatized views of who they are.
If you are Bi, you are a gift. You are a treasure. As a Christ Follower, I believe you have been given a special gift to love beauty in a way that manifests through how you know and are known by others; how you love and are loved by others. We know who you are drawn to is not based on one attraction being better than another, it’s based on who our Creator is drawing you toward.
Don’t fear who you are, God doesn’t. Enjoy the gift you have been given.
Being Free is Good,
P.S. Follow Eliel Cruz on Twitter to learn more about #BiWeek, learn of his own journey and the various resources he recommends.