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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 23 January, 2018
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Dear Fifi: Me being bi freaks out some people I date - is it okay to just not tell them?

Tuesday after a Bank Holiday. A day where advice is sorely needed by many and DailyEdge.ie’s resident agony aunt Dear Fifi is here to do it.

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No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, everyone can agree that all weeks should start with a Bank Holiday. It’s a belief that brings people together, unlike my belief that ketchup should be kept in the fridge.

Got a silly problem? Or a serious one? I’m here for both. Contact me anonymously here.

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I’m a bisexual man and I’ve only ever dated gay men or bisexual women. Almost every situation I’ve been in with a heterosexual woman was ruined as soon as I mentioned being bisexual, I guess no matter “pro-LGBTQ” some people say they are, when actually faced with being in a queer relationship, they run. Anyway, there’s a straight girl I really like at the moment and I haven’t told her I’m bi.

I’m considering just not saying anything I am because it never has worked out in the past. Am I being dishonest by not telling her? I know you’ll say that if she really cares it won’t matter, but plenty of women have cared and it definitely mattered. 

First of all, let me start out by saying that biphobia is a very real thing and you’re the unfortunate living proof. All too often bisexuality is either erased or entirely misunderstood – even within LGBT communities and, as you mention, by people who most likely consider themselves “right on” in lots of other ways. We could all do better on this front.

I think the heart of your question is distilled in the headline I gave this article. Disclosing your bisexuality has burnt you in the past. A few weeks ago, I contacted Bella FitzPatrick of LGBT youth organisation ShoutOut for some expert perspective on coming out. She said:

“It’s okay to be out to some people and not others. That’s not dishonest in our homophobic and heteronormative society – it’s an exercise in self-preservation.”

Of course, this is a different situation. This is about coming out to someone you want to date and perhaps start a relationship with. That said, I don’t think it’s at all dishonest to wait until you’ve built trust with this woman before telling her you’re bi. You’re not tricking her! It’s simply not relevant information until you get to know one another better.

But think of this in a larger sense too. You seem to dismiss the idea that if she really cared, it wouldn’t matter. As a bi man, you’re presumably going to be most comfortable in a queer-friendly relationship. Don’t discount the idea that a bad reaction to you being bi might mean deeper, more challenging compatibility issues lurk not too far down the road.

I don’t want to sound like an ornament your aunt has in her kitchen, but you’ll be most happy in life when you’re true to who you are. It’s a trite soundbite, but it’s said a lot because it just so happens to be true. You should never suppress any part of yourself in order to fit in with someone else’s picture of you who should be. (Why do I feel like that sentence should end with “…padawan”?)

Good luck and I hope she’s cool. And if she isn’t, on to the next!

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 Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

Check out previous advice>

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