Dear everyone who isn't bisexual/pansexual/a queer identity that isn't 100% gay or lesbian...we need to talk.
I can't believe it's 2018 and we still have to fight about this, but since it's Pride Month it seems like as good a time as any to give y'all a totally not subtle reminder that BISEXUALITY (and any identity involving attraction to more than one gender, and OF COURSE not experiencing attraction at all) is REAL and VALID. Biphobia and bi-erasure are real issues perpetuated by both straight people AND people within the LGBTQIA community.
Niamh rocking Voodoo - click through to shop
I'm sure most people don't need the lecture on sexual fluidity, but here are some truths. Firstly, sexuality is just that: fluid. It can change and fluctuate, just as much as it can stay the same forever for some people. Some people can experience attraction to men for years, then all of a sudden discover they are attracted to women. They might never feel attraction to men again. They might only be attracted to that one particular woman. There are no rules. It's different for everyone. Let's take me, for example. I knew I liked girls before I really knew for sure that I liked boys. My first kiss was with a girl at the tender age of 13. I secretly identified as bisexual for years. Then my internalised biphobia showed up and was met with the external homophobia from everyone else and I suppressed it. Sure, I was into some of the guys I dated, but it didn't feel right. Eventually, I learned to embrace my queerness. For about 4 years, I identified as gay as I no longer experienced attraction to cis men. Now, I identify as pansexual. I sincerely thought I would never want to be with a man again, but things change! It's okay for your identity to change. Nothing is permanent. As I've also become more educated on different genders, I've realised that it's not as simple as a male/female binary. I experience attraction to people regardless of gender!
Bisexual+ people are not “confused” or “greedy”. Like...they aren't even trying to date all of the people in the world all at once...so it's more confusing that the greedy stereotype even exists in the first place. Do I assume all straight women want to get it on with every single man? Nope. That would never cross my mind. It would be weird too. Where would she find the time??
Bisexual+ people are also not all swingers, polyamorous, or inherently promiscuous. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with being any of those things. Lots of straight people are also those things. But when those assumptions are made more frequently about bisexual people, that's when we gotta draw attention to it and challenge it. Being attracted to more than one gender doesn't have anything to do with your sex drive. It doesn't make you want to have sex any more or less than anybody else.
Bisexual+ men are not secretly gay. Bisexual+ women are not secretly straight. It's not a phase. It's not a fun experiment. We're probably not okay with you assuming we want to have threesomes with you and your partner. You can't “turn” us straight. We aren't here to satisfy your fantasies.
Niamh slays Decadence - click to shop her look
Straight up (pun not intended) it hurts to be excluded. It hurts, even more, when it comes from your own community. It's damaging to our mental health. It's exhausting to constantly have to fight to be seen and heard. We don't need to prove ourselves or our identity to anyone. We're right here. I'M right here! I exist! And if that's not enough, how about I throw this list of famous bisexual+ people at you:
Margaret Cho, Josephine Baker, Alfred Kinsey (yes, that Kinsey scale guy), Janelle Monae (the new patron saint of pansexuality), Gillian Anderson, Christian Lacroix, Dusty Springfield, David Bowie, Billie Holliday, Sarah Paulson, Oscar Wilde, Marlon Brando....need I go on?
If you identify as queer, or not straight, you ARE queer enough for the community. I see you and I love you! If you need more convincing about why you should treat bisexual people with the love and respect we deserve, why not check out this episode of Outcast: HERE
Also, check out Janelle Monae's video for “Make Me Feel”. How could you have a problem with bisexuality+ when it looks so cool??