Bisexual to straight = Black hole?

Originally Published: April 19, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 20, 2007
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Dear Alice,

Thank you for everything, and it is being appreciated by thousands. I have read all your advice to others and have learned a lot. However, I have a problem that I do not know how to handle. It started when I decided to turn myself around from being bisexual to straight (nobody knew what I was, except my best friend, who is also bisexual). I now have a big hole inside me that is being filled by the dark things of life (such as hatred). I had good qualities, such as a great personality, being open-minded, and I would rather go through life without it than turn back to the "bad" habits (please do not get me wrong, I will never judge gays for I have been close to being one). Please help me to fill the hole with life, to get back or improve on my qualities, and to gain the knowledge to approach and attract someone of the opposite sex. And one last thing, do you think it is wise to let my future girlfriend know what I used to be?

Thank you,
— Black Hole

Dear Black Hole,

Having feelings toward people of the same sex, or having sex with them, are not "bad habits." They are feelings, your feelings, which deserve to be felt, and, if you choose, expressed and enjoyed in either fantasy, reality, or both. Human sexuality is more complex than many of us realize — although some people would like to boil it down to "right or wrong," the fact is that sexuality is quite complicated. More importantly, it's critical for you to recognize that you can still retain all of your "good qualities," no matter who you have feelings for or who you choose to sleep with.

It sounds like your decision to turn away from your bisexual self to be exclusively heterosexual is causing you distress. If you have noticed changes in your personality (such as the hatred you mention) it is important to talk to someone you trust about your feelings. There are many people who experience conflicting feelings about their sexuality, they way you are now. Some people were taught it is wrong to be gay or bisexual, others may have religious or cultural pressures to be in opposite-sex relationships. You may want to explore where your feelings are coming from to help figure out why you are feeling so strongly that you should be straight. You can check out some of the related questions below to start the process.

Before you think about how to handle disclosing your feelings with a future girlfriend, it is important to make peace with yourself. There are counselors who help people manage their feelings concerning their sexual orientation, as well as any feelings of depression they may be experiencing. Seeing a counselor, even for a short while, can help. If you are a Columbia student you can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) at x4-2878 to make an appointment. If you are not at Columbia, you can contact the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) to obtain the name of a sexuality counselor near you who can help you sort out these issues in a way that gives you peace of mind.

Alice