Today's post is written by Alex, a member of our Q42 group, during Bi-Visibility week.
This week is Bi Visibility Week and I’ve been asked to write a little bit about my experiences as a Bi person.
I have known I was bi since around age 12 when I realised that when watching films some of my friends would only pick Captain America and I would pick both him and Black Widow.
I think I’ve always known that I wasn’t quite like the other people I knew in the way that I liked everyone no matter their gender, and so I did some research both online and asking friends who are members of the LGBTQ+ community and after a lot of research and questions and a few different labels I realised I was bi.
Please remember that it’s okay to be confused, and to try out different labels. You are your own person and just because you aren’t sure yet doesn’t make you any less valid!!
What does being bi mean to me?
Well to me, being bi is just an everyday thing. It doesn’t affect me daily, however.
Being bi is being able to love who I want. To love everyone and not worry about how society sees me.
Being bi gives me a community like one I’ve never been in before, the LGBTQ+ community is such a welcoming place for me and it helps to know that there are other people out there and that being bi isn’t a bad thing.
It’s not a bad word. It’s not something to be ashamed off. It’s something natural. Straight shouldn’t be society’s default setting!
What are some positive experiences you’ve had with your bisexuality?
There’re so many that come to mind, however coming out is by far the best one.
Obviously a big part of being LGBTQ+ is coming out. Whether you are in the closet or out, it is still a terrifying experience for a lot of people, including myself.
The first person I came out too in my family was my uncle. We sat outside in the rain for a bit and I just told him. I didn’t sugar coat it and his words are something that I personally believe every LGBTQ+ kid should hear. He told me, “no matter who you love, their gender, colour of their skin, anything, you are still my family and nothing will change that. You are valid, okay?” and we sat outside for another hour and just hugged.
With my friends, my first proper coming out was in an English classroom in school. We were writing poetry and the topic was secrets, my secret was the fact I was bi. I remember standing up in the middle of that classroom everyone staring at me. Reading my poem and the last line was, “I’m bisexual, and that’s okay.” When I sat back down my best friend hugged me and told me that she loved me.
This year my goal is to tell my family and I’m slowly getting the confidence bit by bit.
I think that coming out to those few people made my life that little bit happier and I can’t wait until I’m able to be open and I urge people to come out if they are comfortable (of course please don’t come out if you aren’t safe!)
What are some negatives?
As much as I’d love to say that every experience has been positive, it hasn’t.
Homophobia and biphobia are a big problem in society.
I told the story before of me coming out in class, and while most people were extremely supportive, a lot weren’t. I go to a school where the word gay is still used as an insult instead of something to be proud of. So when I came out I did get a lot of people making fun of me and I still do to this day.
If you get anything like this my advice for you is just be you. Being bi isn’t a bad thing. It’s not a bad word. It’s not something to be ashamed off. Straight shouldn’t be the default setting, so don’t let it become a mask to hide behind.
Be proud. Experiment. Love anyone who treats you right because nobody can tell you that it’s wrong. Love is not a choice.
Don’t lose who you are because there is only one version of you! Just breathe. It’s going to be okay!
What do you wish people knew about bisexuality?
I wish people realised it isn’t a choice. It isn’t being "half straight". It’s not a “phase” and being bi doesn’t end when you get into a relationship; You’re not automatically straight if a bi person gets into a relationship with someone from the opposite gender and visa-versa.
Another thing, although this isn’t just about being bi, bi is not the same thing as pan. Both labels are valid and both labels are unique in their own ways.
Why do you feel like Bisexuality Visibility Day is important?
I think that bi visibility is important because it’s nice to be recognised.
It's important to me because it’s a day that I can fly my flag higher than I usually would and be recognised for it.
It’s important because while bisexuality gets recognition, it is often stigmatised with people telling me and other bi people to “pick a side” and other negative things and having a day for us specifically is great because the sense of validity is incredible and honestly it’s one of the highlights of my year!
Are there any famous bisexuals who you would like to promote today?
I watch a lot of Minecraft streams on twitch in my spare time and there’s a really cool streamer called Eret. They use all pronouns and is arguably one of the biggest LGBTQ+ streamers. As well as being someone who constantly advocated for LGBTQ+ rights, Eret is also raising money to help pay for his friend’s medical bills.
In my opinion, Eret’s content is something I can just put on and enjoy without stressing. His Minecraft streams are incredibly chilled out and his subscriber base is friendly and welcoming. You can find Eret at twitch.tv/theeret.