Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bi and nearly 50 1: Laura

Due to popular demand, I have expanded the remit of this blog series to include people who are nearly 50. There are even more of us out there!

As before, the questions in bold come from me. Otherwise, all the words are from the interviewees themselves.


I am Laura, 48, female, chronically sick from Ehlers Danlos, living in the USA since February 2013, in The Netherlands before that.

I am married to a woman, since May 2013. From 1986 till 2005 I was with a man and had two children with him.

How did you come to think of yourself as bisexual?
I have always had crushes on boys AND girls. Sexuality in The Netherlands is not a taboo and certainly not in my family. When I told my mother that I was seeing a girl, my first sort-of-relationship when I was 16, it got accepted without any word of surprise. When I got my first real relationship with a boy at 18, that was no subject of discussion either. I don’t even remember when I started calling it bisexuality, I do know that when I dated that girl it was not a word I used. And it did not change for me during the years.

Has this changed over the years, and if so how?
After my first girlfriend I had a few sexual experiences with girls but after that I met my boyfriend, later husband, and stayed with him for almost 20 years. After that I started dating again, but by then I had a chronic illness and the responses of the men I dated was horrifying. The last date ended with the guy asking: “But what if I want to go out on Friday evening and you are tired?” and that’s when I decided I’d had it with men. So I contemplated: how about dating women. And that was quite a step. Because I knew I was interested sexually and I knew I could fall in love, but having a relationship with a woman? And I didn’t want to date women and then have to tell them, no sorry, I’d like a night with you but a relationship no thanks... But I took the step  and never looked back. I met my present wife, by the way, very unconventionally, via Farm Ville on Facebook.... She was a new neighbor, saw my pic, thought hm ho, asked me if I needed something for FV and after the second talk we were both hooked.

When I was dating, many lesbians had atrocious statements on their profiles, like “if you’re bi, don’t even bother dropping me a note, I won’t even write you back”. The bi-hate is so big in the lesbian world. That was very very hurtful, and still is. They try to make it sound like just one of the many preferences they have, like preferring tall women, but it boils my blood. So lets not go there today.

What do other people in your life know about your bisexuality, and how do they react?
Here in the US I don’t know a lot of people, and since being gay is hard enough, I refrain from taking it one step further. When I started dating women after my divorce though, there were people who were sort of offended that they didn’t know that about me. Well, when I am with a man, you can’t TELL that I am bisexual. And if the subject doesn’t come up...

Looking back over your life so far, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
Not in regards to my bisexuality, no.

What about your hopes or fears for the future (regarding bisexuality)?
I hope that the biphobia and bi-erasure will stop, certainly from within the LGBT-community.

Any words of wisdom for younger bi people – or older ones?
Don’t let others tell you what your bisexuality means for you. People like to think that they know better, but there’s only one person who knows you best: you!

Would you like to help combat bi erasure and increase visibility of bisexuals over 50 (or thereabouts)? There are plenty of us out there but far too many people don't know that.

I am looking for other individuals who would like to contribute their "email interviews" to this blog, as Laura has done here. For more information about what to do, take a look at this post.


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