By Amber McLaughlin
As a bisexual, being in a relationship with another bisexual provides me with a unique sense of bi+ pride and joy. My boyfriend and I have been together almost a year and a half and in that time I have found that being with him gives me a sense of queer pride that I had lacked in the past. He is not only my partner, but also one of my best friends. He is able to relate to and understand me in a way that no one else in my life can because of the way his personality intersects with his sexuality and mine. He not only respects my multiple, evolving identities, but he puts in the effort to understand them, and me. He knows what it is like to be bi+, which has led us into many interesting conversations. We have been able to discuss our individual experiences and attractions, and talking with him about those topics has given me perspective, laughs, and a deeper understanding of each of us. He makes me feel proud in my queerness and helps me to be confident in always being myself. Even though I am still figuring out who I am and growing as a person, he stands by me and works to elevate me and my queer identity.
Along with being bisexual, I also identify as fluidflux and non-binary. My gender identity has taken me more time to understand, articulate, and present publicly than my sexual orientation. My boyfriend knows and respects this, partly because he is a good and kind person, and partly because he knows from firsthand experience what figuring out one’s own queer identity is like. He constantly affirms my identity and reminds me that being out and proud is a pleasant way to live. He encourages me to take steps toward my dreams and toward being my authentically queer self. Having someone like him in my life who not only understand me, but is truly there for me brings me more joy than I can describe. Because of him, I have become more myself over the past year and a half and have learned to love all the queerness that is within me. There is no shame or doubt with him, only pride and joy. Having this unique and wonderful connection in my life lifts up my spirits and makes me even happier to be oh so queer.
Amber McLaughlin is a University of California, Davis graduate working to make the world a queerer place.