Friday, July 3, 2020

Column: Normalizing bisexuality

February 13, 2020
Photographed on Feb. 10, 2020.
Photographed on Feb. 10, 2020. —
Photo by Alyte Katilius | The State News

Bisexuality is being attracted to more than one gender.

I grew up around the queer community. Nearly all of my friends were queer and the people I followed on social media were, too — whether that was intentional or not. There was never a moment where I felt like being queer was wrong. Instead, I got the sense that being bisexual was. 

There always seemed to be a stigma surrounding bisexual people, that they’re weird, kinky, liars, and cheaters — I think it’s hard for people to conceptualize bisexuality because it’s not one way or another. People seem to want to label bisexual people as just gay or just straight. 

In the queer community, I often experience bisexual erasure when people refer to my girlfriend and I as “the lesbians.” This makes me uncomfortable because I am not a lesbian. Queer spaces can be very exclusionary towards bisexuals, which makes some — especially bisexual people dating members of the opposite sex — feel invalid and not welcome there. 

Sometimes, I hear both straight and queer people — when trying to find out if someone else is queer — say something along the lines of, “Yeah, they’re bi, but they’re dating (insert opposite gender),” which perpetuates stereotypes surrounding bisexuals. This statement infers that someone’s sexuality isn’t valid if they’re not, in that moment, dating someone of the same gender — so they must be faking. Little things like this push against bisexual pride and deter people from feeling comfortable with identifying as such.

I personally try to be a healthy representation of bisexuality, despite my inner biphobia that society has given me. I hope to validate my bisexual peers so they can feel confident in their sexuality, too — especially when day-to-day bisexual attraction can fluctuate just like anyone else. It helps me be strong in the fluidity that is my sexuality and help others know that just because one day they find men more attractive than women, doesn’t mean they’re all of a sudden straight — despite what society is making us think. 

I’m comfortable with my sexuality and love the fluidity of being bisexual. I get to love anyone and everyone, and that makes the world a lot more exciting.

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