Sexuality is something so exceptionally personal, it makes no sense for people to either assume yours, or question it; unless you want to have sex with that person, why are you even asking?
I think, since I’ve been attracted to anyone, it’s always been both boys and girls, I just never really thought of it as anything to do with my sexuality – perhaps I passed it off for years as appreciation, not desire. However, never having been in a relationship with a woman, does not delegitimise the way I feel. Would you ask a 21-year-old virgin if they were sure they were straight? ‘Yes, but how do you know if you’ve never tried it?’ Of course you wouldn’t, because you just assume that they have not ‘tried it’ due to circumstance: they haven’t found the right person, or perhaps the right person wasn’t interested in them, that sort of thing.
Maybe it’s for this reason that I’ve never called myself bisexual out loud, or perhaps it’s because nobody has ever questioned it. Though, these days, bisexuality is regularly labelled a fad among the older generations, as we see such an increase in those identifying as bisexual. For them, its prevalence is due to it being ‘trendy’ to be bi, but for me, there are more and more people becoming open about their bisexuality not because they want to join in and be different, but because the conversation around sexuality is opening up to the point where they feel like they can join in and embrace their difference.
I’m not saying that the whole world is bisexual and some people just deny it; I understand that there are individuals who see breasts and feel nothing, or see a penis and want nothing to do with it, but I also understand that sexuality is personal. Whether it is a spectrum or not, it is experienced so differently by each individual, and this is so difficult to categorise.
People should not wander about guessing, presuming, or asking anything to do with people’s sexualities if a) it doesn’t concern them, or b) they do not have the kind of relationship with said individual for such questions to be comfortable, or welcome. Perhaps, for some of us, our sexualities are not outwardly visible until we watch Friends With Benefits together and can’t work out if we made you put it on for Justin Timberlake or Mila Kunis, but why should it matter? Maybe your clothes don’t scream ‘I fancy girls and boys’, maybe your love for WHAM! indicates nothing about your sexuality, but maybe it’s nobody’s business.
There is a huge need for visibility in society, so that people of different sexualities feel comfortable, feel as though they are valid and important and normal. However, there is also a need for respect, and if people don’t choose to walk around discussing their sexual preferences at every turn, then we must respect that. Unless you wish to make them a cup of tea, then their cup of tea does not matter to you.