Abigail Garner

She’s bisexual and married to a man.

Q:

I am a bisexual woman married to a man. We have two toddlers. While we might have the outside appearance of being a heterosexual couple, most of our friends and social activities are LGBT.

My husband is straight but, he is also active in his LGBT group at his company — works on the parade float, performs in the parade, goes to parties, etc.

Our children are definitely being raised in queer culture. How do we explain this to them as they are growing up?

A:

I am sure you have noticed that so much of the conversation about LGBT parents is really about “same-sex parents.” Bisexual parents who are married to someone of the opposite sex are often overlooked for the very reason that their sexual orientation is not as obvious — they are mistaken for heterosexual couples.

Your kids are young enough that your family’s involvement in the LGBT community will be something they know and accept. You take pride in being a part of this community; they will probably enjoy it, too.

Still, they will need you to help them find the words to better understand their family. They need to hear in casual and frequent ways that you are bisexual or whatever word works best for you to describe yourself. If you don’t say anything, as they grow up, they will wonder but will be afraid to ask.

What matters to the kids is that your sexuality is not going to threaten your relationship with their dad. Most of the conversations they will overhear in the LGBT community about bisexual parents will involve someone coming out and then divorcing. They need to know that for you, part of being bisexual means that you love their dad very much and you are staying with him.

===

Related Links:

bisexual.org: A resource site maintained by the Bisexual Foundation

Bisexual Resource Center

13 Responses to “She’s bisexual and married to a man.”

  1. Dannyon 04 Nov 2003 at 11:38 am

    I couldn’t agree more with your advice Abigail. The woman in question is quite openly bisexual to the world and their whole family is involved in the gay community. Both the children’s parents consider themselves part of the gay community. Therefore it is important that the children know the nature of their involvement. it’s better that they find out from their own parents, about their sexual orientation, rather than someone else.

    They also need to be equipped for possible teasing at school. Finally, as you said, the children will have no doubt have questions to ask about their families involvement within the gay community.

  2. Yvonneon 08 Nov 2003 at 8:40 am

    I think it’s great that you are both so active in the LGBT community, while remaining a married couple. Your children are so young that they will think your social activities are normal…until they get into school and learn from friends’ families what else is “normal”. You are teaching them by example that all people are different and special, and this will turn them into non-judgemental adults…which the world can always use more of!!!

    P.S. After 23 years as a lesbian, my mother is committed to a man. My 4 year old son spends lots of time with my Mom’s ex who still lives as a lesbian. He calls her and her partner “Grandma.” Someday he’ll learn that it’s different, but for now I enjoy the innocence.

  3. Roberton 04 Feb 2004 at 11:29 pm

    I always enjoy reading your advice (though sometimes I do so a while after it comes out).

    When I read the recent advice item about a bi married woman with kids, it occurred to me to suggest a yahoo group I read called “Making Mixed Orientation Marriages Work.” (I’m a bi man married to a straight woman.)

    Link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MMOMW/

    I’ve found the group to be a good place to find people who can debunk the myth that a marriage with one gay or bi partner cannot work.

    Best regards,
    Robert

  4. chiefon 21 Mar 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Being bisexual is infidelity and thus confused. Choose one and forget the other.

  5. Karenon 19 Feb 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Abigail,

    You can also check out http://www.dottiesmagicpockets.com for “Dottie’s Magic Pockets” – a new DVD aimed at helping all kids understand and accept queer families.

    Good luck!

  6. Anneon 28 Aug 2009 at 12:03 am

    We have three preschool children and my husband knows I am bisexual. We’ve agreed to keep it quiet. He says as long as I am discreet and cautious he will stay with me. Honesty is the only way to deal with this issue. Never hide it from your spouse.

  7. BrendaLeeon 02 Nov 2009 at 12:33 am

    I am a bisexual mom of two, and have been married to an LGBT-friendly man for over a decade. The key to the success of our marriage has been honest communication. My orientation has never been a secret, although not everyone in my family “knows”.

    Monogamy is far from dull. We are comfortable enough in our marriage to discuss what we find attractive and to discover together what makes us feel good. We find others attractive and share our thoughts without feeling jealous, because we trust each other implicitly. We are faithful to each other and won’t jeopardize our relationship for a fling. Being open about our desires has served to strengthen our marriage rather than damage it. Like any couple, we’ve had our share of stormy weather, but things are easily resolved.

    Now, as for our children, they have known since an early age that I used to date women and we have taught them that families come in many shapes and sizes. They have grown up with tolerance, compassion, and respect for others. Having a bisexual mom has not affected their orientations; it has made them more aware of the spectrum of love and more kind towards others.

  8. Visitoron 08 Nov 2009 at 8:18 pm

    It is disgusting that you would lead a “bisexual” lifestyle and have ANY children. What an injustice for them.

    If your husband doesn’t get his own “kicks” from your “bi” choice, which would be unhealthy anyway, then he’s a total moron for tolerating you and your “discreet” activities.

  9. Jasonon 25 Nov 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Disgusting? How so? Are bisexuals not supposed to have children? Oops, nobody ever told me. Me wife is also bi. We have an unusual family true, but we are all very happy. As both Anne and Brenda commented being open and honest is absolutely vital. Our children are very aware that they have a special family. Our society loses so much by not accepting persons who are different.

  10. Marauderon 30 Jan 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Visitor, why are you assuming that the woman who wrote the question is also having sex with a woman? There’s nothing in her letter that indicates that at all.

    Thanks for answering this question, Abigail. With any luck my fiance and I will be in the same situation in ten years or so. :)

  11. different visitoron 28 May 2010 at 12:29 am

    To the visitor’s response that has disgust. If its so disgusting to you and you felt the need to leave the crude and invasive comment then how is it you came to this site and to this blog? You took the time to read the story and the answer and comments. Seems to me your a bit curious yourself or you would not of been in this particular site and blog.

    My opinion is that as long as you are comfortable with your kids knowing and comfortable with the possibility that your children may end up living the same life style as yours then go for it. Children have a mind of their own and can make decisions on their own. You can have your dreams for your children, but keep in mind they have their own dreams for themselves.

  12. jayon 19 Aug 2010 at 6:46 pm

    When I was 13, i realised my mum was more than close to another female. Later I saw that they were in fact lovers when i came from school early and found them. we talked and i was and am fine with who my mum is. it made me open-minded and led to my own experiences.

  13. jsc65on 11 Oct 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I was raised in a open-minded family with my mom and sister. I started to experiment in my early teens. When my mom discovered me with my best friend, she came in and talked to us about it and told us that it’s ok to be bisexual. At dinner we discussed it as a family and found out that both my sister and mom have had bisexual experiences.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply