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Old 08-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bisexual and over 60

I'm recently divorced after a 20 marriage to a woman. I have known I was bisexual since I was in my teens and have always been honest about my sexuality in the four long term relationships I've had with women. And obviously the men I've been involved with have known.

I've recently moved into a very straight, conservative area in Southern California. I've made a lot of friends and I'm active in local AA. I've kept my sexuality hidden for three reasons: I don't want to be ostracized from the men I dearly love in local AA; I want to be able to date women; I could possibly jeopardize my personal safety in this community. I am only out to two of my close straight friends.

I've just recently understood how difficult it is to be bisexual. It hasn't been an issue for me in so long since I was in a monogamous marriage. I have lost the ability to date both men and women. When gay men find out I'm bi they disappear. The gay community is very critical of people who say they are bi. They consider us "confused," " in denial," liars, sluts, unable to make up our minds - the list goes on and on. The stats are depressing: 80% of gay men are out to family and close friends. Only about 12% of bi men are out. There is too much grief - too much explanation required. We make up the largest segment of the LGBT community but we remain hidden.

Straight women don't trust us. They believe we could never be monogamous. That we would always need a "guy" fix every once in a while. When I point out that all men give up the variety we crave when committing to monogamy, it doesn't compute.

One thing I've learned in sobriety is when faced with a problem ask someone who has dealt with that problem for direction. I was surprised to discover that although I have a lot of gay and straight friends, I do not know ANYONE who is openly bisexual.

I found a local discussion group made up of bisexuals. I felt like I had found heaven! For the first time in my life I was in a room full if people who were the same as me and openly discussing their frustrations. But when the meeting ended I was ostracized. I then realized I was old enough to either father (or perhaps be the grandfather) of all of the members and they didn't want anything to do with me. I felt like I had finally found people like me and then was left out.

I'm 29 years sober and have not felt this alone since high school.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's really terrible and so common in GLBTQ culture. I see it all the time. We all have our little sub groups. And, we spend so much time snubbing those groups that are not in ours that we forget that we are all the same. We're all looking for the same thing and our division inside our own culture is the biggest obstacle to obtaining it. Chin up, I hope you find a place you're comfortable soon.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for sharing and welcome to our corner of the SR forum.

I am sorry you are feeling so alone. It is a sad fact that even though many of us include ourselves under the GLBT category there are people who wind up feeling left out. One would think that with the history of persecution and discrimination that the GLBT community has experienced the last thing it would want to do is to perpetuate that within its own community but unfortunately peoples own selfishness and fears often take over. I do hope that you find you are not alone here at SR. The GLBT area of the forums is an inclusive area from everything that I have seen over the years and you are definitely welcome here.

As far as dating goes, I wish I had some wonderful words of wisdom but I don't instead all I have is my experience to share. I am a lesbian but I was in the closet until my late 20's early 30's. I was even married and divorced twice during that time. When I finally did try to start dating I ran into similar attitudes as you did, several women were interested in dating me until they found out I had been married and in the closet so long and then they assumed that my wanting to date women was just because I wanted to experiment and i was not really gay. It was frustrating as even though it took me years to come to terms with who I was because of my ultra religious upbringing it did not make me any less gay than if I had been out all my life. In retrospect I think that those women ran because they were afraid of getting hurt, afraid that they might get involved and I might change my mind. The reality though is that in life all relationships are a risk whether someone is gay, straight, bi, trans, or whatever. We always stand the chance that the person we date is going to hurt us but if we never take that chance we miss out of meeting some really wonderful people and possibly the one that is just the right fit for us. My thought is don't give up. Just be honest, be who you are, and don't quit trying. Keep reaching out in friendship as often friendships are a great starting point to a solid relationship. I wish you the best and hope you stick around here at SR.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have dealt with this prejudice by staying quiet on the topic until asked directly, unless I'm prompted by HP in a certain situation to get political.

Most people think I am whatever they are, and I don't bother to correct them unless they are quite close or we are considering becoming closer.

Some of what you describe, I would understand as issues with polyamory/ethical nonmonogamy. I have met people who feel as you do in the polyamory community, and maybe that is where you could look for support? I don't think your age will be a problem there, many popular and valued members of that community are your age and older.

PS-- I've always preferred bisexual men when I was dating men. I seem to be attracted to people who really are monogamous by preference. That doesn't exclude bisexuals-- it is an ugly and pernicious stereotype that bisexual people cannot be happy and completely fulfilled in monogamous relationships.

Monogamous people can best be happy in monogamous relationships!

For me, sex isn't about the specific configurations of my body or my lover's, but how we express ourselves with whatever we've got. I know many people think the bodies are super important... but I'm (sexually) attracted to the person, or not, and the shape of the bits in the pants does not factor even slightly.
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