Why I've Struggled to Accept My Bisexuality

October 24, 2022 Mel Bender

Living with borderline personality disorder (BPD), many aspects of my identity have felt unstable over the years, including my sexuality. I came out as bisexual in 2000 or 2001, but after about a year of dating women, I went on to date cis men almost exclusively. My sexual attraction to women never went away, but the way I feel about it has fluctuated. I had trouble accepting my bisexuality.

It isn't just my unstable sense of self that's to blame; I've also struggled with internalized homophobia since childhood. Over the past two decades, I've experienced brief periods when I could embrace my queerness and acknowledge my attraction to women without self-judgment; however, most of the time, I've felt compelled to hide this part of my identity from others -- and myself.

My BPD, Acceptance of Bisexuality, and Internalized Homophobia

One of the key components of my BPD is the compartmentalization of various parts of my identity. My bisexuality feels like it's separate from the rest of who I am as a person. I feel like my bisexuality has been pushed down and buried out of my fear of being judged and rejected. 

I don't judge anyone else for being queer. If I'm being honest with myself, though, I do sometimes wish I was straight. I just don't know what to do with my feelings of attraction to women. These feelings are so uncomfortable most of the time, and they often seem foreign to me, like they don't belong to me.

The sensation of feeling estranged from myself is not an unfamiliar one. I felt invalidated quite often by my parents as a child, and this seems to have set a precedent in my life for needing the approval of others to feel good about myself. I've noticed that I tend to edit out the parts of my identity that feel prone to being rejected in any given situation, including my sexual orientation.

This isn't a healthy way to live; who we are shouldn't be defined by the opinions of others. Still, that's my life with BPD: I feel like a different person from one day to the next, and I can't seem to stop presenting a curated version of myself to each person I meet.

I Need to Accept My Bisexuality and BPD

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being bisexual, and I shouldn't feel bad about having BPD, either. Both are things about me that I can't control. I need to accept -- and even celebrate -- the fact that I'm queer, and I owe myself a lot of respect for coming as far as I have with BPD.

It's easier said than done. There's still a lot of stigma about both bisexuality and BPD. I think the only way forward is this: to find the courage to accept all parts of my identity as being valid and bring my full self everywhere I go. There's always a risk of getting rejected for my sexual orientation or mental illness, but I can't let that stop me from living my life as authentically as possible. I have the right to a happy, healthy life as much as anyone else does.

APA Reference
Bender, M. (2022, October 24). Why I've Struggled to Accept My Bisexuality, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 24 from

Author: Mel Bender

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