Friends, Romans, countryfolks, lend me your ears:
I’m super Queer, y’all.
I use the term Queer because, for me, it’s both an identity and a call to action. It’s a radical stance in the face of a cis- and heteronormative society. It’s inherently political. …and it’s a hell of a lot easier to tell straight folks that I’m Queer rather than explain the nuances and fluidity of elements of my identity that are so intimate. I’m bisexual. Or, at least, I sometimes identify as bisexual, depending on the company. That’s not to say that I’m lying to some folks about my sexual identity; it’s a matter of communicating an idea as effectively as possible: depending on the company or the conversation, I’ll use “pansexual,” “bisexual,” “Queer,” and “ummm…idfk?” to identify myself in order to best communicate the necessary information about who I am and how I identify. Some folks only have a passing or peripheral understanding of various non-straight identities and experiences, so I alter the words I use to best communicate with them where they are at in their understanding.
I’m Queer. I’m bisexual*. I’m pansexual*. I’m something I don’t even have the words to properly express. What it comes down to is this: I experience romantic and sexual attraction to folx of all gender identities. There’s a great deal more nuance than that but, for our purposes, that will do.
So, in honor of Celebrating Bisexuality Day—a.k.a. Bisexual Visibility Day:
Bisexuality often gets erased. The whole idea of a bisexual identity gets undercut by stereotypes coming out of both cisheteronormative society and the gay and lesbian communities. “It’s just a phase.” “It’s just a stage of the coming out process.” “You’re just confused.” “Bisexuals are just greedy.” “Bisexuals cannot commit.” “They’re always going to cheat on you.” And one of the don’t exist, they’re just doing it for attention from guys.” Ew. And also, no.
Also? Bisexuality is an identity unto itself—whole and rich. Bi folks aren’t sometimes straight and sometimes gay. First off, that’s erasure: that insinuates—emphatically—that our identities are solely depended on the gender identity of our partners. Not cool. That’s not how identities work. Second, our identity as bisexuals is a full-time gig—it’s not like working two part-time jobs in an attempt to survive late stage capitalism, where the degrees you worked for years to achieve don’t mean anything and you’re in hella debt and the cost of living keeps rising and assholes in opinion columns just keep screaming at you to stop buying coffee and avocado toast … hmmm, that went to kind of a dark place. Sorry, not sorry.
It’s because of that kind of erasure that we have a day to celebrate bisexuality as a valid identity. We’re real. Our experiences are real. And pretty badass. I mean—seriously—take a look at our ranks: Oscar Wilde, Greta Garbo, Freddie Mercury, Alfred Kinsey, Lou Reed, Josephine Baker, Sir Alec Guinness, Anaïs Nin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Billie Holiday, Frida Kahlo, Tallulah Bankhead (actually, she identified as ambisextrous), Marlene Dietrich… and this, clearly non-exhaustive, list doesn’t even touch on more contemporary bicons. The “B” in LGBTQ+ means both bisexual and badass and you won’t convince me otherwise!
So, to those bisexual folks reading this: I see you. You’re valid. We’re valid. And we’re really friggin’ awesome!
To those folks that might want to argue against bi identities: We’re here. We’re bi. We’ll yeet you into the sky.
* I am very aware of the controversy around the pansexual and bisexual labels. My own personal stance is that bisexuality has plenty of room for attraction to gender identities outside of the constructed male/female binary. If someone who is bisexual refuses to acknowledge the validity of trans and nonbinary/gender nonconforming identities, that is not reflective of bisexuality as an identity, it is reflective of their being a transmisic asshole.