My sexuality has never been a closely guarded secret, but I guess many people just naturally assume I am straight. After all, I am married to a man, my second husband, and I have never had a serious or long-term girlfriend.
Nevertheless, I am bisexual.
I don’t need to go 50:50, nor phone a friend. Please don’t tell me “make your mind up”.
Bisexuality is not about being half gay and half straight. It is not even about shades of grey between gay and straight. It is more like a spectrum, experienced differently by different people.
Personally, my shade on the sexuality spectrum is “hetero-romantic pansexual”. That means that when it comes to romantic relationships I have only ever been interested in men. However, when it comes attraction, I could fancy anybody. Gender is immaterial to me. That may sound complicated, but to me this has always been just normal.
Being bisexual does not mean I am about to leave my husband and run off with another woman, although I may find them attractive. Being in monogamous relationships does not stop any person from finding other people attractive, whatever their sexual orientation, and bisexuals are just as likely to settle down.
The diversity and inclusion team where I work recently published ten top tips from Stonewall about how to be a positive LGBTQIA role model and explained why this is so important. That was a bit of a kick up the backside for me to speak more openly about my sexuality.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have visible LGBTQIA role models in high school showing kids that it is okay to be gay, or bi, or trans, that this is natural and normal, that LGBTQIA people are everywhere, that we are just ordinary people with nothing to be ashamed about. This is a matter of life or death for some kids.
I am a huge admirer of Andrew Moffatt’s No Outsiders inclusion programme, and I would like to see that message – that nobody should be made to feel like an outsider – taken forward into high schools and workplaces.
Nobody should ever be made to feel weird, ashamed or excluded because of their sexual orientation.
My dream is for every child to be brought up to celebrate and respect all human differences, freeing everybody to be their authentic selves, and for that message to proliferate across society.