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Opinion

As a proud transgender bisexual man, my labels are comforting, freeing and feel like home

Stephan Kyriacou September 18, 2020
Bisexual Awareness Week: A transgender man on navigating bisexuality

Stephan Kyriacou says his gender and sexuality intersect in a very important way.

Happy Bisexual Awareness Week, everyone!

Are you aware that bisexuals walk amongst you every day? We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not just confused or going through a phase. Bisexuality is as real as the air we breathe – and I discovered this myself after what felt like the world’s longest coming out journey.

Aside from being bisexual, I’m also transgender. This may seem like an irrelevant piece of information to bring up in a piece about Bisexual Awareness Week, but, for me, my gender and sexuality intersect in a very important way. 

I found myself questioning my sexuality from quite a young age, but was too scared at first to really confront those feelings. When I eventually did come out at the age of 17, my first-ever label was bisexual. But I stopped using it a little while afterwards, and chose others like ‘gay’ and ‘queer’ – even though the bisexual feelings I had were very much still there. I think it had a lot to do with struggling with my attraction towards men – some unaddressed internalised homophobia, basically – and the only time I allowed myself to revisit those feelings was after I’d accepted myself as a trans man and begun my transition.

I stopped calling myself ‘bisexual’ when I struggled with my attraction towards men.

Embracing my gender felt like a huge step in understanding myself; it was a freedom that came as a sigh of relief, which then allowed me to explore other facets of myself, namely my sexuality. It was just as nerve-wracking facing the idea of being bisexual when I still identified as a woman as it was after coming out as a man. Coming out as a bisexual woman left me feeling vulnerable to fetishisation and the belief that I’d just “end up with a man”; coming out a second time as a bisexual man meant I now experienced total ignorance and dismissal from others, along with (yup, you guessed it) the belief that I was actually gay and that I’d just “end up with a man”.

Before and after I transitioned, being bisexual meant people assumed I’d end up with a man.

Both of these experiences opened my eyes to the reality of biphobia and how prevalent it still is, especially when it comes to bi-erasure, even within my own LGBT+ community. 

But, despite that, I couldn’t be more grateful for my journey and where it has led me. Years of confusion and fear evolved into knowing myself on a level I never could have anticipated. I never thought I could ever be so comfortable with my identity, yet I’ve never been more content than I am whenever I say the words: I am a bisexual transgender man.

I’m not a huge believer in labels. I think you should absolutely use labels if you want to, but there’s no pressure to use any if that’s not your jam. But for me, my labels have given me a sense of security that I never could have envisioned. They are an anchor for me to hold on to when I’m feeling unsure about my place in this world, especially when intertwined with mental health issues that make it difficult to know yourself at times. My bisexual label feels like sitting in front of the fireplace with a sugary cup of tea, wrapped in a thick blanket while I watch my favourite TV show. It’s comforting and freeing and feels like home.

Now, my bisexual label feels like sitting in front of the fireplace with a sugary cup of tea.

I can’t quite put into words the feeling of freedom I get from truly knowing who I am. Both my sexuality and my gender feed into that feeling, but my sexuality in particular is something that I struggled to pin down for so long. From first coming out as bisexual as a teenager and then using myriad labels in the years to follow to being led back to bisexuality in the end – it feels like my exploration had to happen in order to bring me here, back to where I started. Because it turns out where I started is where I should’ve been the entire time. And it may have taken me a little while to figure that out, but I’m so glad I did.

So, I stand before you a proud bisexual man, and I hope all of my fellow bisexuals can join me this Bisexual Awareness Week in celebrating our pride!

If you’d like to know more about bisexuality or if you’re questioning your own sexuality, check out our video below.

And once again, happy #BiWeek, everyone! Make sure the bisexuals in your life know that you’re aware of them, and more importantly, make sure they know that you love them and support them in being exactly who they are.

And to anyone who has an issue with us bisexual baddies, I will simply throw up a bisexual peace sign and quote the infamous words of *NSYNC: BI BI BI.

More: bi erasure, biphobia, bisexual awareness week, Homophobia, Trans

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