You guys, I’m bi. I’m bi as all hell. I’m also super lucky – I’m white, excruciatingly middle class, cis, healthy, young, educated, I am physically and mentally healthy and I have no disabilities. I live in a country where LGBT+ people, whilst still struggling for equal treatment in many cases (especially in the cases of trans and non-binary folk) enjoy a relatively high level of acceptance*. My bisexuality has rarely caused me much beyond a little awkwardness.
I’m in a long-term relationship with a straight cis guy. He’s fine with my bisexuality. I have been in relationships with people who weren’t fine with it. Weirdly, those weren’t successful. We live and learn. It’s easy for people to assume that I’m straight and since “straight” is usually seen as the default, I’m rarely presented with opportunities to correct people. Perhaps I should work harder at that. When it does come up it’s usually along the lines of:
Me: *Says something indicating I might not be 100% straight.*
Person: But wait… what? Aren’t you…
Me: What a person has in their pants isn’t a factor when it comes to whether or not I’m attracted to them.
Me: I’m bi as all hell.
Usually that clears stuff up, but since I don’t introduce myself with, “Hi there, I’m Becky, physics PhD student, bisexual, science communicator, goof-ball…” It can take a while for people to catch on if that conversation never happens and I never go out of my way to tell them.
Usually when people find out they’re fine with it. Some people don’t believe me and expect a detailed list of all my sexual partners. The worst people make jokes about how lucky my other half is because of all the threesomes or unlucky he is because he has twice the competition. People can be pretty dense, fortunately I am a horrible person when I want to be and have no problem shutting that shit down. The best case scenario is a discussion about whether or not I should really define myself as “pan.” I should, by the way, but enough people fine the concept of bi confusing already and I don’t want to make it hard for them.
So I’m bi (pan) and I’m pretty much fine pretty much all the time. So why do I need Bisexual Awareness Week? The truth is, I don’t but the younger me did. In high-school the idea of being found out to be gay was terrifying enough but I wasn’t even gay! At least gay was starting to move into the mainstream – people were already watching Will and Grace – gay was a thing that made sense. I didn’t even have a word to describe by sexuality until I was about 17. I would have loved to have known a little bit sooner that I wasn’t alone.
Other young people need to know that too. Whatever their sexuality they need to know that other sexualities exist and that they are not wrong, they are not abnormal, they are not even unusual. Bisexual Awareness Week, and other similar calendar events exist to help people understand that. I’m glad it does exist.
*This isn’t intended to gloss over violent acts committed against anyone in the LGBT+ community. The UK certainly has its share of horrible bigots (my hope is that their numbers are falling). I’m simply comparing the UK to other countries in which being a part of the LGBT+ community can be far more dangerous. While I’d like to see things improve here too I am thankful that things aren’t worse.
Originally posted here: http://unazukin210.tumblr.com/post/129633665755/bisexual-awareness-week