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  • Ali Eggleton

Why Imposter?

I was speaking to a friend of mine about being bisexual and pansexual. She understood me more than anyone I have ever thought could because she understood being an ‘imposter’.

The validation of the straight heteronormative community in the ability to ‘pass’ as straight is a crazy concept and whether it truly exists is a whole other topic but to me being ‘straight passing’ (for lack of a better term) was a hindrance to my experimentation and understanding of my own sexuality, because I was able to not think about it for just a second. I was able to suppress it. To not think. To not be. For just a second, because I wasn’t unhappy being with a man.

When I was in this heterosexual relationship, the questioning of my sexuality was almost non-existent. I was with a man, I liked men and that’s very easy for the middle class white community to understand. Being with a man equals being straight. Simple. This meant not only was my ability to unconsciously hide my own sexuality from others becoming increasingly easier but it also meant that the need to ‘come out’ was becoming more and more non-existent. What’s the point when I could just end up with this man? What’s the point in attempting to gain their understanding when my life could be so much ‘easier’ if I was to just marry a man. What’s the point of ‘coming out’.

The heteronormative structures which are in place within the United Kingdom very much allow for a traditional ‘nuclear’ family (this being a family consisting of a mother, a father and their (two) children). The idea of traditional ideals is a big part of British pride; you grow to love the British football teams, the traditional British food, the Queen, the sights of London, the tiny quaint villages, the castles, the pop stars, the great universities, blah, blah, blah, blah. Everything that makes tourists want to come to the romanticised version of the GREAT Britain. Being proud of where you come from is very common within the country; the Northerns love the North, Londoners love London. Some Cornish people want Cornwall to be it’s own country! We are bred to be patriarchal. We are bred to fit within the traditions of this country. So what happens when suddenly you don’t fit into this traditional view of Britain. What happens if you don’t want to marry a man who loves Chelsea football and you suddenly start to look at women in a new light?

Life suddenly isn’t as easy.

It important to understand that this is coming from a very personal place about spaces I feel like I belong as a bisexual woman. There seems to be a big discourse within both heterosexual and LGBT+ spaces about the belonging of the ‘bisexual’ and this is where being an imposter seems to become prominent. If you do not belong in LGBT+ spaces then you must belong in heterosexual spaces (right?).

But it can simply feel as though you fit in neither - you are an imposter in both heterosexual and homosexual spaces.

Obviously this is not true of all spaces, especially LGBT+ space with most being deeply caring and supportive of bisexual people.

But, there are moments when I truly do not feel as though I belong as a queer woman, as a bisexual woman.

I exist as an imposter in myself, my safe spaces and the sexuality i identify as.

That's why this is called Imposter.

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