By Ashley D’Souza:
When you grow up and start thinking for yourself, you realise how much your society contributes in shaping your life. Not just your professional and social life but also your personal life.
I’m a proud member of the LGBT family. I am one of those who go out on the streets, fighting for equal rights and to be identified as a normal human being. Even there, I’m not choosing one side. You see, I like men and woman. I’m bisexual.
To many, this may seem like I love to have the best of both worlds. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a hot love life.
Actually, my romantic life is crap. To be honest, it’s not always been like that. I can be quite charming when I need to and I have an interesting job. My friends say all this makes me a ‘good catch’.
I’ve dated some pretty amazing people, men and women. The problem comes much later, once we get serious. I believe in open and honest relationships. If I like someone and I want to get serious with them, I believe in telling them the truth about myself. Those conversations largely haven’t gone well.
The first person I came out to, looked at me in shock and immediately responded that they weren’t gay. They also specified that they didn’t want to be with someone who was. Homophobic much, right? I’ve been told by many that I’m just confused. Others recommend me to sleep more with opposite gender. Some even suggest me to choose one.
I’ve been told by elders to get married as that would solve my crisis. I have always tried making them understand that being bisexual isn’t unusual or weird but that leads nowhere. Back in college, there were times I would actually question myself: Was I normal and not just confused?
My longest relationship lasted ten months. When I mustered some courage to tell the truth about myself, I was laughed at. I was told that I needed to get my act together before thinking about any commitment.
Even though the person wasn’t homophobic, they couldn’t wrap their head around the fact that I could relate to two different genders. That incident left me devastated for a long time. If well-educated, liberal and modern people couldn’t understand bisexuality, what chance did others have?
After that incident, I started hiding my sexual identity. I would date for a few months and break up when we would get serious. I couldn’t face having a similar confrontation again.
While all this broke me, I found the biggest support within the LGBT community. On the behest of a friend, I started visiting a therapist. It was tough to open up. She told me I needed to be true to myself and embrace my identity instead of looking at it as something weird and unnatural.
Now, my dating strategy is simple. On my second or third date, I tell the person I’m bisexual. A few of them never call back. But I’m glad to see them go. I’m still single and yes, I’m still in therapy.
About the author: Ashley D’Souza (name changed) is a 25-year-old vet based in Pune.