Today is Bi Visibility Day. It is a necessary day, not because bisexual people tend to be completely transparent, but because there is still a lack of acceptance for bisexual folk.
I suppose, technically, I am bisexual, although I hate that word as it reinforces binary notions of gender. Instead, I tend to use the vaguer term “queer”, or simply “hi. I fancy you.” I’m roughly a 3 on the Kinsey Scale. I like cock. I like cunt. I like boobs and bums and beards and I don’t really mind if all of those things occur on the same person.
A lot of the time, I do not really feel the need to be visible. Most of my friends and lovers also happen fall somewhere in the great territory between heterosexual and homosexual. Those who are not are usually unfazed by my sexual orientation; it doesn’t bother them in the slightest.
And yet, from personal experience, there are some times that I see just why we need a day for bisexuality to be celebrated. There are some times that I see just why we need a day for bisexuality to be visible.
It’s those times exclusively gay women will believe me to just be experimenting, and therefore will reject any opportunity for us to experiment with each other to see if they are sexually compatible. There are still some people that hold the belief that it is not possible for me to be genuinely attracted to both women and men (and, of course, those in between). Luckily, they are few and far between, but when that happens it’s like a slap in the face for how far we need to go.
It’s those times when heterosexual men will believe that I am attracted to women purely for their gratification and wonder if maybe, just maybe, I might snog their girlfriend so they can get their cheapies.
It’s those times when I hear that godawful Katy Perry song that reinforces this awful stereotype that bi women do not really exist, because it’s a pop song about precisely that. It’s those times when I see that very same godawful stereotype rehashed in a popular women’s magazine as a way to turn on “your man”, and nothing else.
It’s all those times I turn on my TV and characters will be either straight or gay. They might “turn gay” or “turn straight”. The notion that they are bisexual is never even entertained. When a show which had previously good bi credentials seems to forget its roots, it makes me cry a little inside (and blog, angrily).
I exist. I do not need the media and other people telling me I do not. I exist, and I am furious that we are still in a position where we need a day to point out that I exist and that millions of others like me also exist.
We have work to do. Heaps and heaps of work to do. To start with, let us make sure we are visible every single day; challenging our general invisibility with in-your-face visibility; challenging prejudice with love.
I exist, and I want everyone to know this.
One thought on “In which I am visible and bi”
There’s a good discussion here on my post, mainly about men’s bisexuality, which I think is more stigmatised than women’s overall. Though bi women are not exactly treated marvellously either.
The R4 programme by Tom Robinson linked to is worth a listen if you haven’t already.