I have recently begun facilitating a bisexual/pansexual/non-monosexual/queer group along with two other activists. We have a long way to go but we have taken the first step to help foster community with our local non-monosexual friends. I wondered a bit if I would be considered a ‘legitimate’ bisexual given my long term relationship status. I have battled those who felt they could question my legitimacy as bisexual more times than I can count. There are times when it has just felt exhausting. When it seemed as though it would be easier to just let other people define who I am. And yet, I persisted in expressing exactly who I am despite those who felt they knew better than I did. They were wrong.
It is hard to express how affirming and uplifting it is not to be asked how I can still consider myself bisexual even though I have been married for a long time. Other Bis just understand that long ago I choose a person not a gender. It would not be possible to choose one gender over any others, ever. I will always be bisexual. I will always embrace the enchanting beauty and attractiveness of men, women, trans folks, non binary folks…in other words, the entirety of humanity.
It was just so refreshing to be around people who fully understand and comprehend all that our sexuality is. We will always have the freedom and the proclivity to be attracted to our own and other genders. Our sexuality is not a phase or something that confuses us at all. There was not a single person in the gathering who, when they found out I was married, exclaimed ‘well, how can you call yourself bisexual if you are married?’. There was not a single person who questioned whether or not I could still call myself bisexual despite my long-term relationship. Everyone understood that bisexuals are not defined by their partners and never will be.
We sipped our coffee and spoke of issues confronting bisexuals, the challenges of bi-erasure and bi-phobia, how best to provide space and reach out to others in our community to let them know there is a safe, welcoming and supportive place for them where no one will question how they identify. I just felt as though I could exhale and I could be myself. And, I would extend the same kindness and courtesy to everyone who joined us.
It all boils down to this. If someone tells you who they are do not question them. It is likely they have had enough questions to last a lifetime. I know I have.