Being Bi and out in the workplace can be a bit complicated or maybe a better way to put it is, endless. I have heard this before and it seems spot on, coming out as a Bisexual is a little like Groundhog Day because it just keeps happening over and over.
I am radically visible just about everywhere I am. I make no secret of my bisexuality. I am very proud of the magical beauty of bisexuality and would never, ever want to be mistaken for straight, or gay, for that matter. However, because Bis deal with the misapprehension that our sexuality is defined by our partner I am often mistaken as heterosexual because I have been married to a cis man for many decades. Now, don’t get me wrong, I disabuse folks of that mistaken notion every opportunity I have. But, it persists.
I have cleverly included Bi bling in my workday ensemble and that has helped a bit. It means I don’t necessarily have to have a big ‘coming out’ moment when someone new starts work. Those in the know recognize the Bi colors on my earrings or, if they ask, I can just very matter of fact-ly say, oh those have the Bi pride colors because I am Bi. I have had a range of reactions to that statement but I just like to make sure that others don’t have any confusion about my sexual identity because I certainly don’t. ; )
My workplace is mixed political orientation-wise but many of the folks are fairly progressive so, other than some surprise, I have not had any negative reactions. At least, not to my face. I am very open and can usually find a way to work my orientation into a conversation….not EVERY conversation, of course…..but, for me, the B in LGBT is not silent so I express who I am when it seems relevant.
I also do a few things that should alert even the dimmest of colleagues that I am a proud bisexual. Here are a few tips and ideas to fly your Bi flag proudly at work.
- When a high profile person (i.e Alan Cumming, David Bowie, Sara Ramirez) is referenced in a conversation I make a point of saying I share their sexual orientation.
- When a celebrity or other high profile person comes out as bisexual I find a way to share my pride that another valid, vibrant individual has joined our community.
- If I am asked about anyone I have dated in the past I share the accurate information that I have had relationships with folks of various gender identities.
My strategy may not seem like much but I think there are few folks I work with who are not aware I am Bi. I like it as I never have to hide my authentic self. I would encourage you to be out as Bi at work. There are so few of us who are out and proud and being visible may encourage someone just peeking out from the closet door to open it wide.