Today is Bisexual Visibility Day.
Part of me wants to hide in a corner, because I feel about as bruised as the Bi Pride flag can look. Part of me wants to stand up straight, proud of myself and those like me.
It’s hard to hear that you don’t count, that you’re making it up, that you just want attention, that you’re just trying to be “special.” It’s hard when you get excited about where marriage equality is passing, and in response to you using the term “we,” you get snapped at by another person who identifies as LGBTQ, because you’re currently in a relationship with the opposite gender, and so are “basically straight.”
It was months ago when that happened, but, I still remember the sting as if it were yesterday. I came into work, very excited about the passage of marriage equality, and came up to my lesbian coworker. “Did you hear that we can legally marry in [state] now?” I wasn’t prepared for the vitriol of her reaction: “There is no we, it doesn’t apply to you. You’re dating a guy, you’re basically straight, so why should you care?”
No, I didn’t argue that day with her. It was something I’ve heard from family and friends and acquaintances before. I get tired of defending myself; it’s easier to nurse wounds on my own.
My sexual orientation has nothing to do with whether I am monogamous or polyamorous. My sexual orientation doesn’t change based on with whom I am in a relationship.
I am bisexual.
All that means is that I don’t care about your junk, I care about you. I like you, regardless of how you identify, and regardless of what “equipment” you do or don’t have.
I still remember when I first admitted to myself that I was bisexual. It made sense. It was like a weight had lifted off of me when I did so. It put into perspective how I just really REALLY admired these women, and clearly just wanted to be like them… or be in them.
Bisexuals have to contend with negativity both from heterosexuals and from other LGBTQs. We are not out there cashing in on straight privilege. We don’t become lesbian and gay when we are with the same gender. We don’t become straight when we’re with the opposite gender. It doesn’t make us “non-practicing.”
When you go out, don’t assume someone is either homosexual or heterosexual. Take the time to educate yourself about bisexuality, and the issues that bisexuals face. Be aware of how you interact and what you say. Be an ally not just to L, G, T, and Q, but to B as well.
It’s easy for everyone to pass us over. Don’t do that. Help us see that we are visible, too.