I do not want to offend anyone; I want to reclarify some questions about my sexuality on my now deleted Tik Tok. I identify as a bisexual cisgender woman. On Tik Tok, someone felt the need to correct me and say I’m not bisexual, but I’m pansexual. I think people forget that LGBTQ community wasn’t as open or accepted as it is now. When I was growing up, it wasn’t something that was talked about.
I will love whoever I want, regardless of gender. Bisexuality and pansexuality are very similar, obviously not interchangeable but under the same umbrella. In the end, it just comes down to which term I’m comfortable with. In my case, it is bi. Being bi doesn’t mean I reject trans people. I think it’s harmful to consider trans as a separate gender. Trans girls are real girls and the same for trans males. I believe there to be a different gender if a person declares explicitly being non-binary or other. To me, everyone is a blank state and considered them until they say otherwise.
To quote bisexual activist Rachel Ochs, “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
My sexual orientation or gender identity does not reveal my whole identity as a person. Identity is a journey. Our identity is just a story that we tell ourselves about who we are, what we do and our place in the world. And as I grow, my “labels” continue to change.
I’m tired of everything having to label me. Why do I have to try to put myself into a neat little box? I already have so many objectives, measurable personal characteristics on a checklist—race, sex, color, ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, etc.
I don’t associate my identity, sense of character, or being with the labels that the outside world uses to understand my life.
Can we stop labeling other people? I’d much rather judge a person on the content of their character than any other things I listed above. The labels that people use to describe me aren’t of importance to me.
The labels I use to describe MYSELF are what are important to me.
I do believe the labels we put on ourselves are merely tools used to communicate. To begin conversations and make things easier to understand.
Now for an abrupt change of topics. I feel no connection to the LGBTQ community. I want no part of the LGBTQ community. This community does not exist. I have come out to some, and the discrimination is real. Discrimination against bisexuals, pansexuals, and those who identify as queer that I know of is heartbreaking because it comes from within our community. This sort of discrimination still exists in various mainstream gay and lesbian communities.
I don’t want to blame ‘bi-erasure,’ but it’s impossible not to. I can only discuss my own experience. But bisexuality is so downplayed and disregarded in our society. It feels that screenwriters have entirely erased my sexuality in media despite there being gay, lesbian, and trans characters. How can we expect to be accepted when we aren’t even acknowledged? Or bisexuality is portrayed as a “phase” or “experiment.”
Bisexuality exists and is valid and real. I say this because, for so long, I would think: ‘But what if I’m not straight or gay?’ ‘What am I?’ ‘Am I normal?’ This kept me confused and closeted for most of my life. I always had gay friends, and they all told me repeatedly the same message. “Bisexuality isn’t real; you’re either one or the other, pick a side.” I trusted that viewpoint because I looked to them as having more expertise than me, and I believed them. Don’t believe this lie; this false narrative that you have to pick. You are normal and loved and deserve to be visible. Heterosexuals may be the main ones to downplay bisexuality, but gays are just as guilty.
In the LGBTQ community, there is pressure placed on bi people to choose between being straight or gay. Bi people are bi, regardless of who they date! I’m criticized if I’m dating someone of the opposite gender at the time. My friends then begin to tell me how I’m going to “miss dating women” or “get tired of seeming straight.” I heard the stupidest thing when trying to explain this to a friend: “What you’re describing is biphobia. How can there be biphobia when the B in LGBT stands for bisexual?” Sad to admit it, but yes, there is biphobia and panphobia in LGBTQ communities. things I heard about myself: “I think she’s just flip-flopping” or “She’s a ho.” or “She’s just indecisive.” “Being bi isn’t real she’s just a confused straight girl.” “I won’t date a bisexual woman because they will cheat with a man.” I’ve had lesbian tell me men dirtied me. I’m selfish and greedy for wanting to date more than one gender. My significant other or partner always has a genderized pronouns attached to it. Straight men fetishize bi women because I must be open enough to want a three-way and get twice as much sex. The thing that hurts the most is being treated like a sexual deviant, even within the LGBTQ community.
With no sense of community, bisexual rates of suicide are three times the rate of lesbian- and gay-identified people. I prefer the “B” to GTFO of LGBT before our fellow queer folk hurt us even more.
I hate feeling like this. I can only help myself. Telling others to leave the LGBTQ community is useless. Separation does not solve the problem. It is a great idea, but we have to continue to fight for representation, making it more significant and more visible than ever. We need platforms for bisexuals, pansexuals, and queer to have accurate and realistic portrayals. I firmly believe bisexuals should start to publicize biphobia (and transphobia and racism) within the lesbian and gay community. Put them on the spot and let the wider community see how bigoted they are, just as LGBTQ publicize how intolerant many straight people are. The only way we can have a better society is to start to deconstruct and bi-/pan-erasure and queerphobia now.