*Names have been changed.
I had recently come out as bisexual before I met *Emily. It was my first time seriously dating a woman, and my time with her was more passionate than with many of the men I’ve been with.
Emily and I were lying on her bed one day when she told me that she couldn't commit to a relationship and that she wanted me to see other people as well as her. Since she had talked about taking things slow before, this wasn't shocking to me. So when an old flame contacted me, I asked her if she’d be upset if I went to their house. She said she wouldn’t, and we ended up sleeping together.
It didn’t mean I didn’t love her or want to be with her -- but part of me needed to distance myself from my feelings for her since she wasn't ready to commit. When I told Emily about it the next day, I understood the saying that women don’t always say what they mean.
After an emotional discussion, Emily told me that she still wanted to try to be together while dating other people and that she wanted to come to the party I was going to that night. We agreed that while we were out together we wouldn’t hit on anyone else for the respect of each other. Little did I know that there was no going back from what I'd done.
I spent the night constantly trying to find Emily, watching her flirt with other people and learning later on that she ended up making out with someone and got their number. I was pissed, but I understood that I had hurt her.
After the party, Emily and I were waiting for the bus with a couple of my friends. We stood there in silence, both resentful of the other, when she yelled out, “I fucking love you!” We had never said this to each other before, and I didn’t think it was the time or the place, since we were both drunk off our asses and angry as hell -- but not saying anything didn't calm her down any. As we got on the back of the bus and I tried to talk things out with her, she decided to move to the front and pulled the cord for the next stop.
As I was about to get up to follow Emily, the man who was sitting beside me suddenly started to talk.
“You're beautiful. You can come home with me,” he said.
The man appeared to be relatively sober, and despite the fact that everyone on the bus could hear our conversation, he was clearly within earshot enough to know that my partner and I loved each other, were in the middle of a fight and there was zero chance I was interested in his dick. But none of that mattered because in his eyes I was a challenge -- the lesbian he could turn.
Did he really think I was so drunk and vulnerable that I would leave my crying girlfriend to go bang him?
“That's not cool,” said one of my friends. As I was more concerned with getting Emily home safe than telling him off, I let the two of them argue with him about what an asshole he was being and focused on the task at hand. But in retrospect, if I had said something to him, it probably would have been along the lines of how I would never go home with him regardless if I had a girlfriend –- who was most certainly better at fucking me with her fingers than he would ever be with his dick.
As someone new to the LGBTQ community, I'm also new to these kinds of comments -- but I know that they happen often. I have a friend who can't walk down the street with their partner without a man making a comment about them being lesbians. It's bad enough that we get catcalled for simply being women, but getting hit on when we're clearly in a relationship with another woman is a completely other level of sexism. Not only are we sex objects to these men, but our sexuality isn't even taken seriously. To them, we can't exist without a penis being somewhere in the occasion.
I know lots of men who are respectful of women in the LGBTQ community. In fact, the friend who stood up for me is one of them. We need these men to stand up for women more when they're being catcalled or harassed, to show other men that it's not okay or funny to hit on a woman who's drunk and emotional and just wants to get home.
When I finally got Emily to come back to my place and talk, I told her that I loved her too. Although our relationship didn't work out in the long run, I learned a lot from being with her -- that people don't always say what they mean, if you love someone you should think harder about the choices you make and that true intimacy isn't defined by the body parts you have.
We went to sleep in each other’s arms, knowing that our love was real. I hope the rest of the world will one day know the same.