Like most of my rants on similar subjects, the stuff you’re about to read in this post needed to be said for a while but I’m just now finding the right words to express it all. It’s no secret that I talk about my sexuality quite a bit. Between blog posts like this one, frequent stream-of-consciousness tweeting about the struggle, Facebook statuses about the struggle, my Bi Pride board on Pinterest, another Pinterest board called “Babely” that features aesthetically pleasing humans from more than one gender, and…well…my tumblr it does take up quite a bit of my social media presence. In fact, some people have brought it to my attention that they think I talk about it too much. I would tell these people to kindly fuck off and continue on my merry way, but since most of them are otherwise pretty cool I thought I’d take a little time to explain why talking openly about my bisexuality is important to me.
First off, bisexual erasure is a bitch. Straight people have used whether or not we actually exist as legitimate research question for studies. Because they can’t just take our word for it. Our existence needs validation from someone from the outside. Obviously. According to the average monosexual human girls like me are confused, just scared to come out as gay, actually straight but just doing it for attention, just doing it to turn straight guys on, greedy, liars, et cetera. People pigeonhole us as either gay or straight without even considering bisexuality as a possibility. More examples of this: Freddie Mercury and Lady Gaga are both bisexual music artists. However, it is commonly accepted as fact that Freddie was gay and Gaga is straight because EVERYONE KNOWS that bisexual men are actually gay and bisexual women are actually straight because the world revolves around dudes. My internalization of this bullshit was a huge factor in the fact that I didn’t come to terms with my interest in women until last year. Hearing the world invalidate the existence of my people day after day is exhausting. What you see as me being a drama queen I see as refusal to be invisible.
Though I consider January 2nd to be the day I came out, I will probably never be done with the process. One of the first things I think about when I meet a new potential friend is if and when it is necessary to have That Conversation with them. Sure, I can drop hints all over the place but for the most part people don’t come to the right conclusions. Man, if I had a dollar for every time I told someone about all the LGBT groups I’m in and they still thought I was straight I’d buy some pretty cool shit with all that money. If said new person sees my various posts about bisexuality soon after I meet them, it eliminates those awkward situations.
Similarly, bisexuals who are involved in LGBTQ+ activism are regularly accused of not being ‘gay enough’ to speak up about our issues and I say fuck that shit. The B exists in the acronym for a reason and that reason is that we are, in fact, an oppressed group that has many common causes with other minority sexual orientations and gender identities. In case you don’t believe that the world isn’t kind to us, take a look at the CDC’s report on sexual orientation and health, particularly the stats about mental illness and suicide. Then there’s also the fact that bisexual women are much more likely to get raped than straight and lesbian women. That shit is scary, y’all and you’re probably questioning the legitimacy of it because a lot of biphobic people who do acknowledge that we exist are convinced that we have straight privilege. Which, hello, we’re not straight so how does that even make sense?
I walk a very fine line between wanting everyone to be aware of my sexual orientation and being afraid that people will think less of me because of it. One of the first people I came out to was pretty awful about it so that set me up to be scared that others would do the same. My openness about it is just as much over-compensation for my fear as it is an unapologetic act of rebellion. I hope that if I keep being brave in the face of oppressive bullshit I won’t be afraid anymore someday. It’s a classic case of faking it until I make it. You lot can help me with that process by paying attention when I talk about issues that affect me as a bisexual woman and actively avoiding perpetuating biphobia/bisexual erasure yourselves.