As a writer, I rely heavily on my experiences and my identity.
Today, I’m proud to identify as bisexual and can’t wait to celebrate my identity, this Pride Month. However, coming to this understanding of my sexuality was not easy, but that’s a different post.
Pride for me represents my journey to find a label that I felt suited my identity. Bisexuality is a diverse sexual orientation because people within the bi+ community define it in various ways. Some identity as bisexual, while others use pansexual, queer, fluid, or no label at all to describe their attractions to more than one gender. While “bisexual” may signify different things to different people, all of us who experience non-monosexual attraction are a part of the incredible, diverse bi+ community—and that is certainly something to celebrate.
Wherever you are in your journey with your sexuality and identity is precisely where you’re you’re supposed to be — Pride is a celebration of your identity, too.
I’m tired of the bi+ community facing skepticism, harmful stereotypes, and being categorized as being “too queer” or “not queer enough.” We are often ignored or excluded from LGBTQ spaces. It is not surprising that attending Pride can be challenging for those who identify as bisexual, pansexual, queer, and sexually fluid.
I attended my first Pride when I was 18; I had come out as bisexual to some of my friends. Still, I had yet to come out as bisexual to my family, and I was planning to celebrate with other queer and bisexual friends.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I was mostly with my friend, who at the time was starting their transitioning process. We looked like a straight couple to the outside world, but in reality, we were two women. I remember us waiting for some friends before the march, and all the looks we got just made me so mad. Then a group of gay men were hounding both of us, but predominantly her, asking about our relationship. Because of that experience, I’ve never taken a partner to Pride with me when I’m in different-gender relationships. I don’t want to feel I don’t belong because of the privilege of “passing” as straight or because outsiders assume they’re not queer. That can be uncomfortable for everyone involved.
Queer couples who “look straight” have often been subjected to judgmental or harassing comments at pre-and post-match events—It’s glaring hypocrisy. Pride festivities are supposed to welcome all queer individuals. Still, sometimes it’s only the most privileged within the LGBTQ community who have felt free to embrace their identities openly. In just the place they’re supposed to feel safe and welcome, bisexual people are viewed as outsiders in their community.
I see the baby-boomer age gay/lesbian community still question bisexuality. I can understand why they resist acceptance. Because their coming-out was during overwhelming peer pressure and their actions trying to act heterosexual. But it is not just the baby-boomer gay/ lesbian community that are the problem. There are younger people and their surge of sexual identities. It is fine to identify yourself how you see fit, but don’t push out another identity.
Sadly, people within the LGBTQ community don’t know its history. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera — two transgender women of color who pioneered the LGBTQ rights movement — were bisexual. Brenda Howard, who co-organized the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, which gave birth to Pride parades today, was bisexual.
In the past five years, our culture is starting to recognize gender and sexuality as existing on a spectrum rather than as purely binary- Bisexuality isn’t binary. There has been an increase in bi representation in mainstream media over the past few years.
While I hope that we make progress quickly with bisexual visibility and acceptance, we have to accept the small victories. Let’s start building a community around us of people who take us exactly as we are — whether it’s friends, family, or a chosen community.
I call myself bisexual so that bisexual youth can know they too can claim bisexuality as their own.
Please enjoy these cute pictures. My friends and I threw our own pride party. I love my self appointed rainbow buddies.