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How Do I Come Out as Bisexual Woman?

Ask a Gay Woman: "I'm Bisexual — How Do I Come Out?"

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, an out and proud gay woman helps a 16-year-old girl figure out how to come out.

Today's question: "I'm a 16-year-old girl who's currently in a relationship with a boy. I'm taking college classes along with my high school ones, and I have poetry that's published. People tell me everyday that I'm gorgeous and absolutely amazing. My downfall? If they knew I was bisexual, I would be alone. I've come out to three of my gay friends, but that's it. I was voted most optimistic for favorites, but people don't know how really miserable I am. I'm in love with a girl, and I want to give myself to her completely. To kiss her, to hold her. But I don't want to be hidden, and I don't want to lose everything I have. HELP ME, I'M BEGGING. Signed, Tormented."

To hear what a gay woman has to say,

.

Dear Tormented,

I know what you are going through is hard and scary. When I was growing up I felt very confused about the intense feelings I had for other girls, and I couldn't even admit to myself that I was bi or gay, let alone anyone else. So first and foremost I just want to say that you are very strong and brave to admit these feelings to yourself and reach out. Please don't take your fear as a sign that you can't handle this — if you couldn't handle it I think you would have buried it way down and not even bring it up as a possibility. There are a few different things about your worries that I want to address:

First, before you decide how to handle your feelings about this other girl, you have to figure out your feelings for your boyfriend. Do you really want to be with him? Or are you just being with him because it is safe and simple? It is too hard to figure out how you are feeling about your sexuality and the girl you say you are in love with if it is all wrapped up with shame and secrecy about possibly cheating on the person you are dating. If you know deep down that it is someone else and not him you want to be with, then break up with him. You don't have to tell him all the details of why you are ending it — just that it isn't working for you right now. Then you can have some space and time to think through the issue of your bisexuality without the anxiety of betrayal.

Secondly, I am not sure exactly what kind of community and family you are living in, so it is hard for me to address how real your concerns are that you will lose "everything." It sounds like you have some gay friends, which means people are out in your community and you have some support, so I think you should consider that maybe after the initial shock this wouldn't be as devastating as you think. Definitely it is still not the total norm, but living in fear that you won't be accepted is making you miserable, so I am not sure that finding out that certain people will be fine with it and others won't be could be that much worse. But I think you need to talk to some people you trust to help you figure out how to best handle your specific situation. If there is a gay and lesbian community center in your town you could get some confidential advice from someone. There are also some good websites: Sex Etc. (a website about sex run by and for teens) and this Planned Parenthood teen talk blog.

The most important thing is to know that you are absolutely not alone with this, that a lot of people go through this, that you will be OK, and that there is a lot of support for you out there.

Signed,

A Gay Woman

Image Source: Shutterstock
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xherwin xherwin 6 years
how can you email at tressugar?help me pls?
Girl101 Girl101 6 years
I agree with most of the above comments. I think honesty with everyone is important, including yourself. The people who really care about you will accept you for who you are. I also don't necessarily think just because your attracted to women means you gay. I am straight and think women are just more physically attractive than men. The same goes for experimenting with women, it can be very fulfilling to have a intimate relationship with another women, and yes I have. We just understand each other better. My husband was very loving and accepting of my desires and let me get it out of my system and we have a stronger marriage because of it.
Spacekatdude Spacekatdude 6 years
This guy's perspective: I think a big part of the issue is the fear of losing everything - everything changing, her relationship with her friends, her family - and her boyfriend. Seems to me that she has a choice - and this is the most important decision of her life - she can stay in the closet, being miserable, hiding. Or she can come out, with all the risks. I definitely vote for the coming out, because people will probably know - or suspect - anyway. If she's in love with and in lust with another girl, her boyfriend has probably noticed already, and that's prolly causing strain in their relationship, and general unhappiness. He's prolly scared she's going to leave him, and may be angry at her for not coming clean with him. She's already cheated on him in her heart. She needs to talk to him. Maybe he'd be ok with an open relationship, maybe not. Or maybe she needs to straight up break up with him. It's not fair to him, not fair to her family, not fair to herself to live in deception. I agree with SKG (of course) - being open and honest, and having open and honest discussions about this has been really powerfully bonding, really rewarding. If you can't have emotional intimacy and honesty in a relationship (which her relationship with her bf right now lacks), then what do you have?
Spacekatdude Spacekatdude 6 years
This guy's perspective: I think a big part of the issue is the fear of losing everything - everything changing, her relationship with her friends, her family - and her boyfriend. Seems to me that she has a choice - and this is the most important decision of her life - she can stay in the closet, being miserable, hiding. Or she can come out, with all the risks. I definitely vote for the coming out, because people will probably know - or suspect - anyway. If she's in love with and in lust with another girl, her boyfriend has probably noticed already, and that's prolly causing strain in their relationship, and general unhappiness. He's prolly scared she's going to leave him, and may be angry at her for not coming clean with him. She's already cheated on him in her heart. She needs to talk to him. Maybe he'd be ok with an open relationship, maybe not. Or maybe she needs to straight up break up with him. It's not fair to him, not fair to her family, not fair to herself to live in deception.I agree with SKG (of course) - being open and honest, and having open and honest discussions about this has been really powerfully bonding, really rewarding. If you can't have emotional intimacy and honesty in a relationship (which her relationship with her bf right now lacks), then what do you have?
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 6 years
More people will be understanding an accepting than not. I have very few people tell me "it's a phase" or "that's disgusting." But a lot of people see bisexuality as promiscuity, or expect you to have done the dirty with every woman you know.
niqua230 niqua230 6 years
Awwwwwww! Everything everyone said before me is really sweet and helpful! I ♥ our little online community! We are very caring! I wish I could give better advice on the subject but all I can say is that I think you will feel a lot better coming out instead of living in fear! I always feel sad when I hear about how people are treated different after they come out! I'm going to pray for you and I hope your family and friends will be understanding and love you no matter what! GOOD LUCK!
niqua230 niqua230 6 years
Awwwwwww!Everything everyone said before me is really sweet and helpful!I ♥ our little online community! We are very caring!I wish I could give better advice on the subject but all I can say is that I think you will feel a lot better coming out instead of living in fear!I always feel sad when I hear about how people are treated different after they come out!I'm going to pray for you and I hope your family and friends will be understanding and love you no matter what!GOOD LUCK!
sham28 sham28 6 years
Good luck babe. I still struggle to convince female friends that I'm not trying to sleep with them if I give them a hug. And brace yourself for guys asking "can I watch?" over. And over. And over again. But honestly you'll be ok ultimately. Tell your best friends no matter what, because they'll be on your team (or if they aren't, you learned something important). As for parents, sometimes their greatest concern is the possible loss of grandchildren, a son-in-law, and a wedding, and all of the "normal" straight plans they had for you. Remind them that you're 16, and have your whole life ahead of you, and that they need to love you and support you so you feel safe being yourself.Good luck.
sham28 sham28 6 years
Good luck babe. I still struggle to convince female friends that I'm not trying to sleep with them if I give them a hug. And brace yourself for guys asking "can I watch?" over. And over. And over again. But honestly you'll be ok ultimately. Tell your best friends no matter what, because they'll be on your team (or if they aren't, you learned something important). As for parents, sometimes their greatest concern is the possible loss of grandchildren, a son-in-law, and a wedding, and all of the "normal" straight plans they had for you. Remind them that you're 16, and have your whole life ahead of you, and that they need to love you and support you so you feel safe being yourself. Good luck.
gamestomper-6 gamestomper-6 6 years
:ponder: you want to come out - come on out - because the stigma is going to be there regardless of how you try to do it, so you have to come out for your peacd of mind. and pray that the ones you care about will understand your need not to live a lie. :pray:
gamestomper-6 gamestomper-6 6 years
:ponder: you want to come out - come on out - because the stigma is going to be there regardless of how you try to do it, so you have to come out for your peacd of mind. and pray that the ones you care about will understand your need not to live a lie. :pray:
janneth janneth 6 years
You've got a lot of good things going on in your life, and that will help as you move forward on this issue. First, end your present relationship (and perhaps avoid rushing in to another one). Some straight people may not understand bisexuality very well, so go slowly, but it's nice to know that there are already some non-straights in your social environment. Good luck. This is your time to be you.
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