Being A Mother Doesn't Make Me Any Less Of A Bisexual

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty Images

I’ve known I was attracted to women since I was 11 years old. I also knew that I was absolutely, one hundred percent in love with men. I have engaged in more relationships with men than I have with women, but that doesn’t make my feelings toward women any different.

I was in a long term relationship with a man and we had a child. But in spite of that, I’m still very much attracted to women. I am proudly out as a bisexual woman.

I also happen to be a mother. Just because I’ve chosen to be in relationships with men and have a child doesn’t make me any less bisexual than a person who more evenly chooses relationships with men or women.

One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with since embracing my bisexuality is gaining respect and acceptance. As a teen, many of my friends saw it as a phase, not knowing that it was something I had been secretly figuring out since I was a tween. If you say that you like women, but then only actively pursue men, most people will try to invalidate your attraction to women because you aren’t as openly discussing your feelings for them.

But even though I didn’t talk about my feelings, they were still there. I didn’t have posters of Christina Aguilera on my walls because she was my idol; I had them up because I thought she looked hot in a crop top and low rise jeans. I just couldn’t articulate that, because I felt that people would write it off. It was something I was only honest with myself about behind closed doors or when no one was looking. My bedroom was the safest place for me to be who I was, who I still am.

I have only had one relationship with a woman, when I was 17. It was never anything serious, and never anything more than physical. But it was hugely transformative for me. It validated all the feelings I had been having up until that point. But my friends were dismissive of it — so much so that it shook my confidence and, from that point on, I only pursued relationships with men.

When I told men I was bisexual, it was immediately turned into something dirty and fetishized. So I generally kept it to myself, unless I met someone who I really felt I could be honest with. But things changed this past October, when I finally publicly outed myself to my family, friends, and the world.

The support I have received has been nothing but positive, but there was one thing I was not expecting — all the comments from friends who are in my shoes. They are bisexual too, but never felt comfortable revealing it because of the lack of acceptance. They are women who are attracted to other women, but afraid to live that truth because they are currently in heterosexual relationships, and some of them are also mothers like me. Knowing that they aren’t alone was comforting for them, and it was comforting for me too.

Now that I’m out and single, I’m not opposed to the idea of having a relationship with a woman if the opportunity presented itself. Dating in general is hard right now with a young child at home and being a single parent, but when I begin to dip my toe back into the dating pool, I’m keeping my heart open to whoever comes into it. There is a woman I’m incredibly attracted to, but she lives across the country, so the odds of us being in a relationship are slim. But she is the first woman who I have actually wanted to pursue a relationship with since my teens. She also knows I have a child and that I’ve been in relationships with men. Granted, I know everyone will react to this differently, and I won’t know until I put myself out there. But still, just admitting my feelings to her — even if nothing comes of it — is a huge step in my journey.

Sometimes I wonder about explaining a same-sex relationship to my four-year-old son. He’s never known me to be in any sort of romantic relationship since his dad and I split up when he was a baby, but he knows that we were once together. I’ve taught him that there are many different types of romantic relationships, of course, but I still worry that it would be difficult for him to understand my romantic involvement with someone, especially a woman.

I have no idea what the future holds for me in terms of relationships, but I do know this: No matter what happens, even if I only ever have a relationship with one woman ever, that doesn’t lessen anything. At the end of the day, I will always be bisexual. This is not something that can be scored. If I marry a man and have ten more kids, I will still be attracted to women. Being bisexual isn’t contingent on who you happen to be partnered with in that moment; it is what’s in your heart.

And to my fellow bisexual mothers who may feel less than, I see you. You aren’t any less than anything or anyone. Even if you don’t feel it, you’re still who you are.