My name is Edith and I am bisexual. My bisexuality is a very important part of who I am, it shapes my experiences and my relationships and generally the way I see things, and I am proud.
I have struggled to accept it. A lot. Funnily enough, most of my struggles were internal. I am lucky enough to have experienced very little bi/homophobia (although that probably shouldn’t be considered luck). Like most people, I have had to deal with the odd comments and looks, but my family has mostly been supportive, and I live in an environment where I can forget that a large percentage of the population is straight for days on end.
As I said, my struggles were mostly internal. When I was growing up, I would always have very intense friendships with other girls, in which I admired them and wanted to spend time with them, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be them or look like them or be successful like them? I liked myself quite a lot, so I was so confused as to what it was that I saw in them that fascinated me so much. And then those intense friendships would fizzle out for no reason, and I would move on. I stopped getting emotionally involved in friendships. Confusion. Detachment.
I was eight or nine when I first realised I might like girls. I was sitting at the restaurant with my parents, and they were telling me that some gay people remain closeted all their lives and get married to someone who doesn’t know. I confidently declared that if I was a lesbian, I couldn’t bear such a life. And as I said those words, I suddenly felt fear like I hadn’t felt before in my life. I nearly started crying, and as I choked on the last part of that statement, I quietly went back to eating my dinner. Confusion. Repression.
When I was fifteen, I had the most intense crush on my boarding school roommate. I liked touching her hair a lot, and she would make me touch her abs. “Feel how hard they are, Edith.” It was the first time I actually realised that I fancied a girl. I’d fancied other girls before, and I can name all of them in hindsight. But this was the first time I was actually aware of it as it was happening. She came from a very religious background, and I was already getting bullied enough as it was. Attraction. Repression.
She came out as bisexual the next year. It didn’t matter, it was a one-off thing, right?
I was only gay for her once. I was most definitely straight, because I liked guys. Right?
I made myself crush on guys. It’s not that I wasn’t attracted to them ; I most definitely was. I just couldn’t relate to them. I always liked the company of women more.
When I graduated high school, I got a boyfriend. He was kind and funny, and I loved having sex with him. I eventually fell in love with him. And then I moved away for university and we went long distance. My flatmate came out to me as bi. I started watching The L Word, and I thought that was radical. I’d never seen women act like that, fuck like that, and be proud. I knew I liked girls, too. Liking men didn’t mean that I couldn’t like other genders, I realised that. But it didn’t matter, because I was in a relationship with a man and I loved him and were going to be together forever. Temptation. Repression.
My boyfriend and I grew apart. I changed a lot. I became more and more involved in the queer community at university. I couldn’t stop being attracted to other people. I related less and less to straight people. I accepted it, I was bi. I AM BI. Eventually, even though it hurt like hell, I broke things off. I slept with so many people. I became the cliché of the greedy, sexually promiscuous bisexual. Sleeping with a different person every night. Sometimes a different gender every night. Enjoying a different kind of sex, and different kinds of bodies. Revelation. Pride.
Eventually I missed the intimacy and the closeness of a relationship. I met a man, again, who made me feel like I didn’t need anyone else. He’s queer, and so am I. We love each other. We understand each other. I don’t feel confused or trapped anymore. Love. Contentment.
I still sometimes struggle with the term ‘bisexual’. I feel like it’s restrictive, like it comes with the expectation that I’m only attracted to men and women (I am not. I am attracted to the same and other genders), or that I’m equally attracted to all genders (I am not. I am equally sexually attracted to all genders, but I relate to women more on an emotional basis). In the right circles, I use ‘queer’. It’s more political, more inclusive, more vague. It doesn’t have any connotations on the kind of sex or bodies that I prefer. There’s also something satisfying about using a reclaimed slur with pride after years of fear and repression.
My name is Edith, I am a bisexual woman in a relationship with a man, my identity is valid and important, and I am proud.
My name is Edith, from France, in my last year of studying Film & Television at the University of Glasgow. I want to make films about being queer and Scotland and being queer in Scotland.
Check her tumblr here anti-love-song.tumblr.com