When Your Boyfriend Says You Might Be Gay
by H. Champion
I’ve always felt like I’ve had a good handle on my sexuality; as a child I grew up crushing on
men, imagining marrying a man and having children. Heterosexuality always felt like the default
so that’s just what I believed everyone was like.
I won’t go into the moments I realised that yes, other sexualities do in fact exist, because
those moments to be frank, weren't particularly interesting. I just believed one thing and slowly
learned that not everyone was into those of the opposite sex, and moved on.
It’s important to note that I grew up in the 2000s, homophobia was for sure not as widely
displayed as it had been in the past, but sexuality was still a thing to be mocked for and the
education on sexual orientation was severely lacking. Though I knew it wasn’t wrong or strange
to love someone of the same sex/gender, I feared that my showing affection to another woman
would give people a reason to isolate themselves from me.
That affected my relationship with my sexual identity, not only did I not realise that most
straight teenagers didn’t find themselves attracted to people regardless of gender, but also led
to me asking some rather intrusive questions to my out friends. This was of course out of sheer
curiosity, but when I think back on the social boundaries I must have crossed in the name of
trying to learn about someones sexuality, I hang my head in shame.
It wasn’t until I met my partner (and out and proud pansexual man) that I even realised I
was attracted to people other than cis men. My partner came out before we even met and he
was frank with me about it from the very start of the relationship. I found this confidence
attractive, he has always been so open about it regardless of the mockery he faced, and he was
always willing to answer my questions.
Then jealousy reared its ugly head. The biphobia still very much rampant today, got to
me. People would tell me he was even more likely to cheat, that him leaving me for someone of
another gender would just destroy me. I was fickle and ignorant, and such comments made me
insecure, regardless of the fact I knew they weren’t true. I was constantly afraid that I was
holding him back, that I had trapped a very much not straight man in a hetronormative cage. My
mistrust contributed to the awful stigma held against those in the LGBTQ+ community without
even knowing it.
Perhaps it was his openness, his constant understanding and patience towards my
insecurity that made me question where I fit on the sexuality spectrum. It took me a long time to
even realise that I found myself attracted to people who did not identify as cis-men. It wasn’t as
if I knew this to be true and simply refused to admit it, it just took me years to even have the
So after seven years with a man, I finally said that I didn’t think I was straight. His
reaction was something along the lines of ‘well yeah, no duh’. This came as a surprise to me, to
know that my long-term boyfriend had suspected the very thing it took me a decade to figure
Upon doing my research, searching for people with a similar experience to mine, the
general rule seems to be that it made sense to end my relationship to explore this new
realisation. This in itself made it harder to know where I fit in, I felt as though I couldn’t claim
to be LGBTQ+ if I have every intention to remain in a heterosexual relationship.
I’m still admittedly trying to figure out how it is I’m feeling, which label I find suits me or if
I need a label at all. My status as a happily taken woman does confuse that slightly; I don’t feel
inclined to come out as I don’t think it will actually change anything about my life.
Of course that’s rarely the point of coming out, the point is that I understand both my
past and present self a little better. It may take me awhile to figure out where I fit, but I’m
thankful to live in a time and place where I have the opportunity to be honest about myself
without facing persecution, to have accepting family and friends. I am also grateful to be in the
type of relationship where my partner has never treated me as if I am less for being curious.
Above all, I’m thankful to have someone so honest by my side, someone who has helped me
come to terms with the fact that I’m not the person I’ve always thought I was, and that it doesn’t
change a damn thing.