It is almost Pride Month in the US. While Pride is celebrated at different times throughout the US (although primarily in June as that month holds the anniversary of Stonewall) and the world our local Pride celebration will be the weekend of June 8th-10th. We plan to have a Bi contingent in the local Pride parade and that is very exciting.
However, I would be lying if I said don’t have conflicted feelings about Pride and our relationship to the larger LGBT community. Pride is far too often a white-washed, corporate event which does not take into account or embrace the diversity of the entire LGBT community.
As we take baby steps to craft a solid, supportive community for Bi, Pan, and all non-monosexual folks we have found no response from our local LGBT center. I recently contacted the local LGBT film festival asking to volunteer and offer my Bi voice to the festivities. Again, crickets. I can only hope that this non-responsiveness is not intentional. It is important we remember that our first priority must be to save space for our non-monosexual sibs and then to demand our place at the Pride table. We must do this regardless of how reluctant the LG portion of the community seems to be to accept and embrace the B and the T.
My point here is that while Bisexuals are definitely a part of the Queer community and, in fact, are the Queer Majority we are often made to feel we don’t belong. We are often made to feel we are not Queer enough to participate in the Pride festivities. I know that because my partner is a man many would look askance at our participation.
My message to gay men and lesbians is if you are at a Pride event and see what ‘looks like’ a male/female couple and you feel the urge to complain about ‘straight people coopting Pride space’ remember Bi people belong at Pride, Pan people belong at Pride, Trans people belong at Pride, Ace/Aro people belong at Pride….there is a wide and diverse community which has just as much right to be Proud as you do.
I am writing this to make sure that my Bi siblings realize we have every right to be included and embraced at Pride. We need to remember that Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two Bi trans women of color were there to lead the way at Stonewall. To push back when they were pushed around by the cops, to use their revolutionary fire to jump start the Gay Liberation movement. We need to remember that a Bi, polyamorous woman named Brenda Howard was instrumental in starting Pride marches, the precurser to the Pride parades we have today. We have a rich history of being a major part of the LGBT movement and a have helped create all the gains, legislative and social, we enjoy today.
So, let’s remember to practice self-care for ourselves and offer supportive care for our non-monosexual sibs. We belong. We are valid and valuable. We have every reason to be proud of who we are. We have been instrumental in the movement since the very beginning and we continue to be. So, wear your Bi Pride colors, wave your Bi Pride flags and demand your Bi space at Pride.
We’re Here. We’re Queer. Get used to it.