“You’ve got your Mother in a whirl. She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl”
Rebel Rebel was released by David Bowie in 1974 and it really spoke to me as a Baby Bi. At that point I had not really given my gender identity much thought at all but I knew I liked both boys and girls. I also knew it made me a sexual rebel. To quote David, ‘You like me and I like it all”. Heterosexuals like opposite sex folks. Homosexuals like same sex folks. At that point, I knew I liked both and later came to find out I liked it all. Bowie had not said he was Bi yet…at least, not out loud but I could tell there was an edge to him that did not seem to be straight and maybe seemed a little gay. Was that me? It took more research for me to name my sexuality but I knew my sexuality was expansive. I knew there were people who would tell me it was wrong but I also knew it felt very right.
Later when I became involved in feminism, Democratic Socialism and LGBT activism I knew my bisexuality truly pushed the boundaries and I wanted to push those boundaries personally, politically, sexually….in every way I could. This was long before intersectionality was a theory/practice but it just felt right to be inclusive in every way possible.
That inclusivity is what can make folks fear bisexuality. It is not uncommon for folks to fear what they don’t know, what they cannot experience themselves. People are afraid of bisexuality they think bi people are really gay or can choose to be either gay or straight, are confused or going through a phase, are promiscuous, or are carriers of sexual diseases. This is absolute mythmaking but, unfortunately because so few Bis are out the myths persist.
One myth is accurate in my view. We ARE rebels. We ARE revolutionaries. We DO live our lives outside of the societal status quo. We envision a present and future where gender conventions and binaries are no longer something which confines us. We know in our hearts that Bisexuals are the queerest of the Queers. We embody queerness with a sexuality and worldview which is beyond strict concepts of gender norms and sexual and emotional behavior. I think some folks might think that without a ‘status quo’ to cling to it might be terrifying. Bisexuals, if they are honest with themselves, see this chaos as liberating.
Bisexuals are the most diverse group in the LGBTQ universe and, as such, the most intersectional. Our umbrella is large and inclusive. Are there those who use gatekeeping to divide us even within our own community? Yes, that is sadly true, but the community in general, as we become more vocal and visible, is accepting and celebrating and elevating our diversity. Chaos is often a state which leads to increased creativity. I see bisexuality as the catalyst to this exciting, revolutionary, expansive future.
Let’s not try to fit in. We cannot and should not be constrained. We should not allow it. Instead, let’s stand out as loud, proud Bisexuals. Bi Visibility Month comes to an end tomorrow. Fellow Bis, I hope you have made use of this month to either take a baby step to accepting yourself or to take the opportunity to proudly exit the closet. It is only by living our best Bi lives that we can be role models for others and proclaim to the world that we are the worthy of acceptance and equality in the LGBTQ universe.