By Anne Müller
I grew up in the northern part of Germany in a large farm house far away from other children except my three much older siblings and was rather lonesome. I liked being with animals and with my books and was not prepared for puberty and its effects on me. From books and magazines I knew much more about sexuality than was appropriate for my age, and when I was a teen I was eager to explore my sexuality with men and women. But at the same time I was rather shy. I was a tomboy and didn’t feel included in any gender group. My fellow students didn’t know what to make of my behavior, and neither did I. It took me a long time to figure out myself and my sexuality.
I had my first boyfriend when I was 18 years old and my first girlfriend at 19. Back then I thought sexuality was something you do to have fun, but it doesn’t define who you are. During my twenties and thirties, after I had moved to Hamburg, my lifestyle alternated between heterosexual, gay, and asexual.
It was only when I reached 40 years old that I met bisexual people who strongly identified with their sexuality. I started to go regularly to bisexual meetings. These meetings are attended by approximately fifty people from all over Germany and neighboring countries (www.bine.net) . That is where I experienced a sense of feeling at home I had never experienced before. It was not so much the fact that people defined themselves as bisexual that brought me in, but the way people treated each other – with great communication skills, with respect, and with love.
One aspect I liked about being at those bisexual meetings was the easiness of being myself without worrying about fitting in or being bullied as I had been in my teenage years.
Another thing was the cuddly atmosphere where everybody seems to be prepared to give a hug or a hand to hold whenever somebody needs comfort or tenderness.
Over the years my circle of friends came to include more and more bisexual people. One of us founded a Facebook group called “the family we wish for.” There is a lot of truth in this title.
While engaging in activities like presenting myself as bisexual at Christopher Street Day (Germany’s LGBTQI pride parade), talking to people about it, handing out leaflets and doing some work for our bisexual community, I came to know people from different countries.
I got to know Robyn Ochs, for example, and admired her work in Hamburg during the Christopher Street Day in 2016. A year later I had the chance to visit her in Boston and get to know even more bisexual women. Their hospitality was overwhelming.
Right now I am hosting a bisexual student from the Middle East for a few weeks. And I am getting a new perspective on our western beliefs and privileges. My bisexuality has expanded my view of the world in so many ways. I feel it is one of my strongest resources. I now realize that my identity is strongly connected with this part of myself.
I feel strong and supported by being part of the bi community. Every one of us is part of the family.
Featured image: Anne (left) marching with BiNe at Christopher Street Day, Hamburg