Recently, we have started to create a vibrant, valid, safe and supportive Bi+ community where I live. It has been wonderful and exhilirating and, at the same time, disappointing. Disappointing, not because I have met fantastic non-monosexual friends, but because so many of the myths and stereotypes I found challenging as a young person 4 decades ago still persist and are a stumbling block for young Bi+ folks.
So, let’s take a moment to bust the myths that persist:
- Bis can’t commit: I have been married for 33 years. We have a relationship which has stood the test of time. We have had our ups and downs but, at the end of the day, I know my husband’s acceptance of me and my authentic self is very valuable. I am not the only Bi I know in a long-term, vibrant partnership.
- Bis have to ‘pick a team’: Nope, we already have. We are non-monosexual. We know we have without ourselves the ability to love/lust/be attracted to folks of multiple and many gender identities. We aren’t gay. We aren’t straight. We know who we are and we are #BiCertain. We don’t need to be put in a box and we won’t be put in a ‘straight-jacket’.
- Bis don’t have to have been in a relationship/have had sex with human-beings of many genders to know who we are. We feel who we are in our hearts and minds. We know that folks who are female-identified, male-identified, genderqueer and non-binary can make our pulses quicken. We have eyes to see and hearts to feel and we don’t need to prove anything to you or to anyone else. Don’t judge us and do not, ever, pigeonhole us. We are sexual rebels, we often live outside hetero and homo normative expectations.
- Bis want attention: We are just living our lives, doing what we do…if you think that worthy of attention, well, so be it. Maybe you are just fascinated by our magical, mystical, ‘free ass motherfucker’ way of life. Not that we can blame you but you cannot try to be us…..we accept that you have a limited scope in terms of relationships…but don’t try to place your limits on us.
- We want to emulate celebrities: Many of us have lived our Bi+ lives without any role models/celebrity icons to validate us and we have been ourselves without that. This is just a ridiculous notion. Do we appreciate Bi+ representation; we sure do but we don’t need it to be who we are.
- You don’t exist: This is the most damaging myth there is. We have already established we know who we are/we feel it/we live it….and then we are ERASED. The pain and heartache this has caused for generations of bisexual human beings cannot be overstated. We are here, We are Queer, and your opinion of us is neither required nor desired. Ya feel me….we know we exist and we don’t give a flying freak what you think.
So, how to combat these myths….well, for us, we start the discussion, we share our experiences, we see how much we have had in common, and how much these stereotypes and myths have caused harm to all of us….and then we move on, we support each other, we reach out and try to heal our community. And, while we are healing, we have an awesome inclusive, loving, safe, enriching, bi-centric experience together. There is power and peace in numbers and our numbers are increasing everyday!