Well, it has been a rough week Biphobia-wise.
It is really rare I let any social media commentary get to me. I am sure of myself. I am certain of my bisexuality. I have a very clear view of what is and is not ok when it comes to folks take on bisexuality. However, it really occurred to me how incredibly difficult it is for folks who may not have had the time and support to build a strong Bi+ foundation. How very heartbreaking it has to be to see your sexuality diminished and, sometimes, deliberately denied in the media. It does not really matter what your age although I do worry about the youngest among us. The young people who may be a bit uncertain about who they are but who are starting to understand they are bisexual.
In a nutshell, I saw a post on Facebook about a new trilogy of books for queer kids. Very promising, or so I thought, until I realized the trilogy was about a gay boy, lesbian girls and a trans kiddo. Trust me, representation matters and I was very happy to see specific picture books with lovely illustrations which showed queer kids. However, where was the bisexual young one? I asked and the author was more than a bit snippy about it. I was told if I had the money to publish a fully illustrated book about Bi kids to have at it. And, that the book about the lesbian kids could have had a Bi+ character as we should not assume about someone’s sexuality. When I asked if the narrative explicitly stated that one (or more) of the characters were Bi I was told no but that the young reader could come to their own conclusions. My response was that true representation did not involve interpretation on the part of the child. There were other comments I won’t dignify with placing in my own blog but suffice to say there was lots of laughter and derision at the expense of Bi+ folks and the kids we all were.
There are a number of things this underscores…notably, that Biphobia and Bierasure are alive and well. We have a long way to go for the larger LGBTQ community to accept Bisexuals despite (or maybe because) we are the Queer Majority.
As always, there are ways we can deal with the twin evils of Biphobia and Bierasure. First, remember how much you matter. How valid your sexuality is. I cannot emphasize enough that Bisexuals have been activists and advocates for the Queer community since the very beginning and we deserve respect.
Remember when you look good, you feel good and if you look Bi you feel Bi and you make it clear you are not willing to accept disrespect. Wear that Bi+ bling. You will look ultra fab, trust me on that. I know when I wear my Bi earrings or Bi t-shirts I so often get a knowing glance from another beautiful Bi and frequently get a ‘me, too’. Knowing we are out there matters a lot. You can truly make someone’s day when you are being out and proud.
Remember who you are and how many Bi+ folks have created culture: David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Josephine Baker, Sylvia Rivera, Lady Gaga, Sara Ramirez, etc etc. We are everywhere and remember you have a legion of Bi+ beauties who live and love like you do.
Call people out when you hear biphobia and bierasure. Anyone saying Bi people don’t exist? Well, let ’em know you are here, queer and ready to stand up for yourself (safely, of course).
Always remember to take care of yourself. Whether it is reading positive blog posts (hint, hint) or following a positive social media account (I am on Twitter and Insta and sometime soon, I hope, TikTok) or reading Bi history or just taking a moment to appreciate the magnificent creature you are. You matter so much. So many more Bi folks are coming out every damn day. Our community is strong and getting stronger and more visible all the time.
Be kind to yourself. If you need to rage do it. If you need to cry it out, do so. Those emotions are not signs of weakness they are just signs that you are a real human being who sometimes feels fragile in a world that just does not elevate and celebrate Bi+ folks as they should do. It is totally normal to feel down sometimes. Just remember how noble you are, how noble all of us are and how we are here to change the world for our Bi+ sibs. Speak up. Speak out. Be strong. We can do this if we do it together.