Voices: Like Rebel Wilson, I’m a woman who dates women and men. We face unique struggles

·3-min read
Revel Wilson and Ramona Agruma  (Getty Images for Operation Smile)
Revel Wilson and Ramona Agruma (Getty Images for Operation Smile)

Rebel Wilson is celebrating Pride by announcing she’s dating a woman. The award-winning comedian posted a sweet Instagram selfie with Ramona Agruma. In the caption, she referred to the founder of Lemon Ve Limon as her “Disney princess” and used the queer hashtag #loveislove.

We don’t often see a femme Hollywood star declare they’re queer and dating someone of the same gender. I also thought I needed a Disney prince, but started dating Disney princesses. Like Wilson, I also came on a gay day — Bi Visibility Day in September 2020 — which was the same week as the Diversity March in Montevideo, Uruguay, where I was living at the time. When I came out, I’d been dating my ex-girlfriend for a few weeks as well.

Wilson may have been testing the waters before posting her relationship on main. On June 1st, Wilson took to Instagram holding a rainbow donut, and Agruma has appeared on her Instagram feed for months, including during a visit to Disneyland in January. They attended the Oscars together in March, too. What’s clear is that coming out is nerve-wracking, even if you’re famous and in your 40s. While Wilson hasn’t publicly defined her sexuality, she’s now dated men and women and could identify as bisexual or pansexual.

Unfortunately, bisexuals face erasure from both the hetero and LGBTQ+ communities. I know this all too well. I’ve encountered lesbians who have firmly stated they’d never date a bi or pan woman because she still has sex with men, and it was a common trope in the nineties and early aughts for people to describe bisexuals as “making a stop on the way to gay town”. People who date multiple genders face damaging stereotypes: We’re often ridiculed, told to “choose a side,” and made out to be sex fanatics. Some lesbians do first come out as bisexual and then later come out as lesbian, but plenty of women are attracted to more than one gender. All sexualities are valid.

I now identify as pansexual, meaning I’m open to dating all genders and gender doesn’t impact my attraction to a person. I didn’t know this about myself until I dated a woman for the first time. During that relationship, I realized that all the things I desired with a male partner, I desired with her too. Experiencing a relationship without gender roles was very empowering and helped me grow as a person and a partner.

But dating women hasn’t always been all about mutual respect and honest communication, as I hoped it would be. I’ve been sexualized and objectified by women, and I’ve dated women who couldn’t express their feelings. I’ve learned gender stereotypes aren’t real — how your partner behaves in a relationship depends on who they are, not their gender.

A major difference when dating someone who has the same sexual organs as you is family planning. In May, Wilson shared that she wants to be a mother in an interview with PEOPLE. She said she’s on a journey to motherhood solo “because of the biological clock” but added back then that if she met “the right person” she’d be open to starting a family with a partner. Having a baby with a partner who has the same anatomy isn’t as straightforward as it is for heterosexual couples, of course. Wilson discusses egg freezing, sperm donors, and surrogacy with PEOPLE in the context of being single. Those things will likely still be on the horizon, even if she envisions parenting with Agruma.

Wilson and I both waited to come out publicly until we were dating women. But neither your relationship status nor your sexual encounters define your sexuality or dictate when you should come out. I found it was easier to share my truth when I was in my first queer relationship. Knowing I had the support of my partner gave me the strength to face any biphobia that came my way. Hopefully, Wilson feels the same way.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting