jennifer hanigan

a pinch of this and a dollop of that

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The Guilty Bisexual

It’s Bisexual Visibility Day and I’m here to share some things.

Those of us who are bi+ make up more than half of the LGBTQ+ crowd. This makes sense if you recognize sexuality as a spectrum because more people will fall in the middle than at either end. But simultaneously, we’re often forgotten, or even disparaged. And we’re certainly misunderstood.

So, bi erasure is a thing. A big thing. And while it feels terrible and even sometimes makes me angry, I’ll be honest: I contribute to it. You see, on any given day, in real life, if sexuality comes up, I’m more likely to say I’m gay or queer than to say I’m bi. The reasons for this are numerous: People understand gay, but often become confused about bisexuality. Bi women are hypersexualized (I’m not here for your threesome fantasies, thankyouverymuch). Far too many people assume being bi+ also requires being non-monogamous, and I’m actually super monogamous. Too many people still think bi peeps are into the false gender binary. It just all gets very complicated.

And, I find it impossible to imagine myself in a relationship with a man. Oh, I find some of them physically appealing, I just don’t like who men tend to be in this culture. I spent decades trying to date, and that’s a thing I don’t need to do again. So it’s easy to reduce my identity to my function: I only date women, so I’m gay.

But every time I say that, aren’t I hiding a piece of who I am? Just like when I let the world think I was straight? I say I value truth, is that the case even when the truth is complicated? I say it’s important to claim labels because labels bring solidarity. Isn’t that still true? Don’t I, in a sense, owe myself and my bi+ siblings the affirmation that comes with proclaiming my identity?

These are the things I struggle with. So today, I’m wearing my Bi shirt. This week, I’ll retweet all the bi visibility things, revel in the pink-purple-blue color scheme, and remind myself every day of who I am. And perhaps this week of kinship will bring me strength.


An important reminder: Wonder Woman is bi+