A Confession Of A Bisexual Granted Straight Privilege

by Rev . Dr. Janet Edwards

Eternal God,
I confess I have sinned against you in thought, word and deed;
By what I have done and by what I have left undone.
I have not loved you with my whole heart.
I have not loved my neighbor as my self.

Holy Week invites us to engage intensely in examination of our actions—known in Christian tradition as confession of sin—more than any other moment in the church year. Our hosannas on Palm Sunday give way to our somber confession on Good Friday, captured in the Good Friday hymn “Ah Holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended?” This meditative song always stirs my soul, especially in the second verse:

 ‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.

How have I denied Christ by action or inaction? What is mine to confess during these climactic days heading to the cross and tomb?

During the course of this past year, I have become especially aware of the straight privilege I am granted—even though I am bisexual.

I identify as bisexual because I know I am able to love people of my own gender and of a gender different from me. I’m not straight, but I can pass as straight because I am married to a man. We will celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary a few days after Easter.

It is important to examine and confess my own willingness to hide behind the assumption that I am straight for several reasons. When I lay low, I am essentially sinning by omission. I deny my whole, authentic mysterious being, made by God, known by God in my mother’s womb, declared by God to be good and so loved by God in Christ that He suffered and died for me. Peter denied Christ, and I join him when I deny any part of God’s precious gift of this life.

I cannot love God with my whole heart when I am keeping a central aspect of my self—my soul and body—hidden from both myself and from others. This is what made coming out as bisexual so energizing: my heart became way more harmonious than it had been before.

Whenever I pass as straight, I do not love God as fully as I am able.

I also deny Christ’s love for me, the bi person. This is my sin, for which I seek forgiveness from God and from all those who risk so much more than I when coming out.

I pray You, of Your mercy,
Forgive what I have been,
Amend what I am,
Direct what I shall be,
That I may delight in Your will and walk in Your way
To the glory of Your Holy Name.

I love the way this traditional prayer reminds us that forgiveness is just the beginning. Praying for forgiveness is good. I trust God’s assurance of that forgiveness through Christ’s sacrificial love for me. Then come the amends.

As I see it, amends around the straight privilege I am given go in two directions.

First, by sharing my story, I hope to help break stereotypes about bisexuals. I want my experience to help us all broaden our understanding of human diversity. Expanding our minds beyond our dualistic perspective is a form of amends.

Secondly, my amends here take the form of standing squarely with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Because I am so solidly protected by being in a marriage with a man, this very protection compels me to speak up for those whose voices have long been silenced and whose sense of self or livelihood is still regularly threatened by the church.

Straight people do not face the constant stress that LGBT people do. Straight people need not wonder with each new encounter how they will be received. I use my protected situation to be a voice for the Gospel of God’s love for all. I have tried, and will continue to work for love and justice for God’s LGBT children in church and society. I see this as a kind of amends.

I am sure there are other ways to use this straight privilege for good that I have not yet seen.

I continue to watch for God’s direction. Perhaps you have a suggestion. Perhaps your thought will be a word from God, pointing me to what God desires of me. I keep my eyes open, as I already know such delight in following the way God has set before me so far.

Thank you for receiving my confession. May Christ comfort you this Holy Week.

Image credit: Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards

Comments (10)


Thanks for posting this. I
Thanks for posting this. I identify as “mostly straight.” Sexuality, I think is a spectrum or continuum rather than neat little set of cubby holes people fit into. Because of that, I work for justice for people of all identities. It difficult indeed to “come out” and share the burden of others who do not have that protection of passing being cis-gendered or straight.

I do, however, face the same fear when someone’s “gaydar” goes off and threatens me as a gay person. I lose the cover of being straight and yet to not gain the protection of the solidarity of being gay. I feel alone.

We are all broken people. All fall short. We can only hope to walk the walk Christ desires for us through his love and grace.


I too could no longer live
I too could no longer live “under the cover” of a straight life. It ended my marriage. I understand the longing to fully love and to fully be the person God created me to be. It’s been a hard road, but a necessary one. God makes no mistakes, and I take her at her word.


My bad that was for kiki’s
My bad that was for kiki’s comment.

Kiki Miralez

Uhm, so what you are saying
Uhm, so what you are saying is that if I were a pedophile, I better accepted myself as I was, so I could accept and love Jesus the best? And then He will love me, despite the sick thing I am living in and accepting as perfectly fine? This text is sick and I am really praying for everyone who believes these lies. The Bible clearly says that being gay is against nature, so if you are going to excuse your sin with what someone somewhere said, you better just stop calling yourself a believer in Christ because you are not.


Um pedophilia and
Um pedophilia and homosexuality are two completely different things. If you actually took the time to read the bible you would realize that most of the “anti gay” quotes you are reading are mostly metaphor and are not to be taken literal. You have no idea what you are talking about.


Actually, she’s not saying
Actually, she’s not saying that you should “accept” your pedophilia. In fact she didn’t mention it at all.

Loving your neighbor as yourself is also against nature. The bible tells us to do that…

And if you don’t like gay Christians so much, why are you hanging out on gay Christian websites? What do you expect to find here?


As to the so called privilege
As to the so called privilege that bisexuals have…Gregory Herek studies sexual prejudice against gender and sexual minorities, and has a fascinating body of research. In Heterosexuals’ Attitudes Toward Bisexual Men and Women in the United States.
The Journal of Sex Research, 2002, 39(4).he found that bisexuals were the most hated group in the US, hated more than gays or Lesbians, and the only group hated more than bisexuals were IV drug users.

For many years, research has lumped gays, Lesbians, and bisexuals together, found serious physical and mental health problems in the community, and these problems were used to get funding. But more recently the various groups have begun to be researched separately. When this is done, it is clearly seen that due to the stigma born by the bisexual community, the bisexual community bears the brunt of the problems. In childhood, bisexuals are more likely than gay men and Lesbians to be abused or bullied – see “Friedman, et al., A Meta-Analysis of Disparities in Childhood Sexual Abuse, Parental Physical Abuse, and Peer Victimization Among Sexual Minority and Nonminority Individuals. American Journal of Public Health, 2011, 101 (8), 1481-1494. In adulthood, 45% of bi women have considered or attempted suicide, 35% of bi men, 30% of Lesbians, 25% of gay men, and much lower rates for heterosexuals. Similar discrepancies are found for other health problems, and we are much more likely to be poor. A quarter of us are on food stamps, but only 14% or Lesbians and gay men. So it’s hard to see any “straight privilege.”

Yet over the past 30 years, while the LGT community has received $487,677,799 in funding, the bi community has received a grand total of $85.356. So the Gay and Lesbian groups use our suffering to get funding, and then do not spend any of it on us.

So while your honesty in reflecting on your privilege is laudable, the bisexual community needs your strong voice more in rising up and helping us ask for the funding we so desperately need as the largest group in the LGBT rainbow.


I am so very happy that this
I am so very happy that this site found me!! It feels good to know I am not alone and that it is ok for just now realize I am bisexual, even though I am married to a wonderful man and have three children!


I am ecstatic that you are
I am ecstatic that you are out and proud as bisexual, but please stop using that word, “Privilege. ” Bisexuals have the highest rates of suicide and illness, because we are belittled, demeaned, and denied our identity. Being mislabeled as heterosexual is not a privilege. This is forced invisibility and erasure of a vital part of ourselves. The results are disastrous. When you look at the whole picture, the word “privilege” becomes ridiculous.

Harrie Farrow

I appreciate you talking
I appreciate you talking about how it’s important for bisexuals to be out of the closet, and I appreciate that you have reconciled your religion with your bisexuality, but as others have said, it’s not helpful to imply that heteroprivilege is really experienced by bisexuals. You may find this interesting reading:

Comments are closed.