Dear Prudence Doesn't Think You Should Bother Coming Out as Bisexual

Dear Prudie is just a troll, right? That's her thing? Like, that time when she attempted to "help" a "gluttonous" child (CHILD!!!) with a mocking animated video that depicted said child (CHILD!!!!!!!!) as a ghoulish pig-monster—she didn't really believe that that was a good, ethical, constructive thing to do, right?

She can't be serious, right?

Take today, when she advised a young woman not to come out as bisexual to her family, because it might make Thanksgiving awkward—and then doubled down on the advice when respectfully called out on it by an LGBT activist. Picture her trolling, right!??!?!?



Irrelevant Closet: I am a happily married, 27-year-old mother of two. I have recently revealed to my husband that I am bisexual, something I have only recently admitted to myself. He is completely supportive and we agreed that this does not change anything in terms of our monogamy. The only issue is that he thinks it would be irrelevant to come out to friends and family since I am in a heterosexual marriage. I know that my family will be accepting, however, now I'm worried that he is right and it would seem out of place to make such a revelation.

A: Let's say you discovered a late breaking interest in plushophilia, or you now realized you were turned on by being a dominatrix. This would not be news you'd be required to announce at the next Thanksgiving gathering. The rapidity with which society has accepted, even embraced, gay sexual orientation is a glorious phenomenon. But you are confusing your personal sexual exploration with a social imperative. It would be one thing if you left your marriage because you were pursuing relationships with women. That would be worth talking about—if you wanted to—as a way of explaining the dissolution of your marriage. But you say you are planning to not only stay with your husband but remain monogamous. I agree with your husband that making a public announcement about something so private will not be illuminating but discomfiting.

And then:


Q. Re: Irrelevant Closet: I have to disagree with you on keeping bisexuality to oneself if you're in a heterosexual relationship, Prudie. A 2013 Pew Study found that around 70 percent of bisexual people are not out to their family and friends. You wouldn't believe the amount of people who think bisexual people just don't exist until you read that statistic. Gay and lesbian acceptance has dramatically improved in the past decade especially, and it's because gay and lesbian people, and their allies, are vocal about it. I'm not saying during the family reunion this woman should say "Can you pass the butter, grandpa? Oh, and by the way, I'm sexually attracted to women, but am still monogamously committed to Jared." But, there will be many opportunities to let the people in her life know in the context of the fight for marriage equality and sexual orientation as a federally protected class. If a homophobic, or even ambivalent person, knows more LGBT people, the less likely they are to hold prejudice.

A: Good points, but such things have to be taken in context. It's one thing to have dated men all your life then realize you want to start seeing women, do it, and then tell those closest to you. It's another to be in a monogamous marriage, have children, and then start telling people about the sexual desires you have that you are not going to act on. If a married person realizes he or she is not by nature monogamous, but is not going to act on urges to have sex with other people (whatever their gender), I don't think they have to tell their nearest and dearest this.


Obviously this letter-writer isn't obligated to tell anyone about her bisexuality, but she explicitly says that she wants to and she doesn't think her family would even be awkward about it. The only person who doesn't want her to come out as bisexual is her husband, who's having some jittery freak-out about it, and siding with him—prioritizing a bystander's comfort over someone's identity as a human being—is a bizarre decision.

I just don't get you, Prudie.

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