J&J Chats: Coming out later in the relationship

The title image states, J and J chats, coming out later in the relationship.

Welcome to J&J Chats! A series of advice and discourse discussions from J (Jess) & J (Jas, aka, my girlfriend). Topics sent anonymously via curious cat. Current topic: A lesbian coming out later as bisexual in a relationship or vice versa.

The anonymous request states the following. Summary, discuss about how significant others or partners or people in a relationship should react if their partners came out whilst in a relationship. this can also apply to trans people as there's a huge discourse but I would recommend for this topic to be a separate post as it's completely different.

[Jas] I mean this is tricky because I know how I would react, which wouldn’t be any different. I’d just be like, “Oh, okay. Cool!”

[Jess] Yeah, well, this kind of happened for us didn’t it? We both went into the relationship identifying as bisexual, and then we both ended up being lesbians.

[Jas] Yeah.

[Jess] And we were both fine with that.

[Jas] If you trust your partner enough, it shouldn’t matter. It’s not like you’re dating someone who said they were a lesbian and then they came out as straight. That you could be angry about and have a proper reaction to, but if it’s from bi/pan to lesbian/gay or vice versa, then they’re clearly still attracted to you.

[Jess] I feel like the only reason people would be angry about their partner’s identity switching—well I don’t even want to say “switch” because it could be more about realizing what had been true the whole time—but if you’re angry about this label “switch” with your partner, then you’re either buying into negative stereotypes or you didn’t really love them in the first place.

[Jas] And you can talk to them about it. Like, it’s worth talking about. But it shouldn’t make a difference to your relationship.

[Jess] I’d say that the only thing the other person—the one not switching identity labels—are “owed” is just a conversation.

[Jas] There should just be a conversation to say “Oh, I’m bisexual” just so there is that openness and honestly between you two. But I don’t think it needs to turn into anything more than a conversation.

[Jess] Right. You don’t need to prove your identity or anything just, “I’ve been feeling this way and this is how I identify now,” and just open a discussion I guess. I mean with you and I, Jas, it was something we both had talked about a lot leading up to it because we happened to be going through it around the same time. And the fact we both ended up realizing this new identity was never a surprise to me. In fact, it was never a, “Oh yeah, by the way, I’m gonna ID as lesbian now.”

[Jas] I think you said to me that you wanted to identify as queer.

[Jess] Yeah, I remember that actually.

[Jas] I remember because one of us was posting something and it came up. And I think you were just like, “Oh, just put queer.”

[Jess] Yeah it did come up I think someone had asked you about it, so you had asked me. I remember I was not really vibing with bisexual anymore and I wasn’t really ready for lesbian yet and it was an awkward time. But I think those conversations are important for both parties. And I don’t know, maybe I’m naïve enough to think it doesn’t actually happen too much in our generation? I don’t know I think of it as more of a straight thing with bisexuals coming out in a seemingly-straight relationship, and the straight person freaks out about it.

[Jas] I mean I do remember it happening in the queer community where someone was in a relationship and then after the relationship they came out as straight.

[Jess] Oh, woah.

[Jas] But that’s different, you have more of a reason to be angry. Because how it would come across to you would be, “Oh, my relationship was a lie because they were never attracted to me.”

[Jess] Yeah, that is actually wild.

[Jas] But if your partner goes from lesbian to bi or something, they are still a person who loves women, and that shouldn’t matter to you.

[Jess] I don’t know if this has happened with any queer people I know within the community, but the only experience I can recall, is my bisexual woman friend came out to the guy she was seeing and he had a not good reaction to it. He didn’t just stop seeing her then then and there but it was pretty much a straight dude’s reaction and cringey to see.

[Jas] Midwestern white men for you.

[Jess] Oh yeah. So, I’m pretty sure this request talks more about the situation within the queer community, but obviously this is something that straights are guilty of as well.

Summary: If your partner gets mad at you for understanding your identity and switching labels, they’re a piece of shit.

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