Maybe – Joi

Please forward this error screen to 173. Telling people that you are bisexual can seem a big step, but for many it’s a way to become comfortable with your sexuality and to stop feeling like you’re “hiding”. And if you decide you should, who should you come out to, and how should you do it? The first person maybe – Joi need to come out to, and perhaps the only person you really have to come out to, is yourself.

When you come out to yourself it can be quite enlightening – being honest about who you are and who you’re attracted. It can feel like taking a load off of your shoulders. Take your time, look at what you feel and what feels right for you. Fred – “When I was a teenager and came out to my parents and older sister, they said they already knew I was bi. That’s been a bit of a theme for me, actually. I’ve had a second phase of coming out bi, since my marriage ended, as some people who first knew me as ‘a person married to a man’ assumed I was heterosexual.

Nobody seems particularly surprised to discover that I’m bi, though! If you’ve done that, and you feel you do want to come out to others, then you need to pick your moment. You don’t have to do it the very next day if you don’t want to. Some people find it’s easier to come out as bisexual after first attending a bisexual event and hearing how other people have done it. There’s a list of local groups on our Bi in the UK page. Mood matters too: if you solemnly say “I have something very important to tell you, I think you had better sit down” then they’ll be assuming it’s something horrendous, and that can put people in the wrong frame of mind! We suggest not making your sexuality seem to be some sort of doom-laden revelation – instead it’s often best just to casually mention it when the other person is relaxed and in a good mood.

Some people won’t see why you want to tell them, or would prefer not to have a conversation that is directly about sexualities. Perhaps instead of taking a deep breath and “I’m bisexual! So I told her – I’m bisexual. Be prepared for awkward, or strange questions.

Be ready to calmly answer these with simple short answers. Put yourself in their shoes – they may be surprised at first and not seem as supportive as they really are, just due to the shock. If they are confused as to the differences between lesbian, gay and bi, then you might get questions you weren’t expecting, such as “but don’t you want to get married one day? Remember to keep reassuring them that you’re certain, that this isn’t a change that you’ve suddenly decided to make to your life just now. You’re still the same person they knew all along, just one that’s being more open with them about a part of your life. When you come out to someone, you are saying to them “I trust you, so I’m going to be more honest with you. Jacqui – “I have to come out a couple times a month.

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