Happy Bisexual Awareness Week! Friday, September 23rd has been designated as bi visibility day, recognized by organizations such as GLAAD and the HRC. The bisexual community dedicates this entire week to celebrating awareness of its members, because let’s be honest, we bi folks can get swept under the rug when we aren’t needed to help add diversity to a group who isn’t willing to go full gay.
Bisexual people are so often used to promote an inclusive agenda that’s anything but. We get a bad reputation for being promiscuous, uncertain, or edgy simply for the sake of it. For bisexual awareness week, I thought it might be beneficial to make others aware of what it means to me to be bi, and how important it is to reach out to bisexual people you know, whether you understand us or not.
Why do we need to acknowledge bi visibility? Well, how many bisexual people do you know? How many do you see on TV or in movies? Probably more than you’d think, because if a woman is dating a man, you assume she’s straight, and if she’s dating a woman, she must be a lesbian, right? When we see a person with a partner, we can’t tell from the outside looking in whether she (or he) is attracted to the gender other than the one beside her holding her hand, making her feel loved and safe.
Earlier this year I married an amazing woman, so I’ll never date a man again, but that doesn’t erase my bisexuality. The truth is, I think all versions of the human body are beautiful, and the confidence and sensuality that lies beneath the skin is what determines my level of attraction. I don’t need to make up my mind, as I am not confused. I don’t need to keep it in my pants, because I am not a slut.
Being bi sometimes means that no one truly understands who you are other than you. Being bi means running the risk that everyone you come in contact with might assume you’re attracted to them. After all, if you don’t discriminate between genders, what could the rest of your standards possibly be?
Sometimes I fear that girls I grew up with look at me know with the assumption that I was surely eyeing them up in the locker room before gym class. Sometimes I wonder where I really fit in. I am not straight, but I am not exclusively gay either. Those fraternity-age “no homo” jokes land with a heaviness when they’re thrown about now.
Sex talk with my straight friend can feel like it requires reminiscing over previous partners so that I can hang out in everyone’s comfort zone. Sex talk with lesbian friends can demand an exhausting facade too, one where I am a cool, confident gay girl with lots of experience and a total disdain for the male physique. I am neither, and I am both, and I am perfect just that way.
Being bisexual doesn’t mean I’m perpetually dissatisfied with monogamy. It means when I choose you, I’ve really thought it through, and you deserve my love, because my sea has double the fish in it. My wife is one in a billion, and in my marriage I am a woman who is loyal and in love with her partner, just like you. I am full. I am happy. I am important. And this is what it means to be bisexual.
I’d love to hear your stories. If you’re bisexual, or you know someone who is, let me know what you want people to know about what it means to be bi.