Cross-posted from my facebook - and I'm setting this one to public, no less.
Today is bisexual visibility day. So, for anyone who doesn't know, or who suspects but hasn't had it confirmed:
Yes, I'm bisexual.
I want to address a couple of myths...
-Myth 1: There are no male bisexuals. (Yes, there really are. More LGBT men identify as gay than bi over multiple studies - but there is, I think, more pressure for men to appear straight. Bisexual men have an "easier" time of this than homosexual men do, I think.)
-Myth 2: Bisexuality is a phase. Bisexuals are experimenting, or haven't had the courage to come out as "actually gay" yet. Most people grow out of it. (Nope. There's nothing wrong with experimenting, but bisexuality isn't a phase. Most people settle down with one person, but that doesn't mean they "finally chose" to be straight or gay.)
-Myth 3: Bisexuals are all greedy sluts, likely to cheat, and usually have STDs. (Nope. No more or less true than anyone else.)
-Myth 4: Bisexuals who date someone of the same sex are just waiting for someone better of the opposite sex to come along. (There are jerks of all sexualities. But no. This one just makes me sad.)
-Myth 5: Bisexuals are attracted to cisgendered men and women only. (Nope. The "bi" in bisexual doesn't limit to two genders. Plenty of bisexuals are attracted to trans* people, genderfluid people, agender people...)
And I wanted to tell a couple of truths...
-Over 40% of bisexual people have considered suicide.
-27.6% of bisexual people live in poverty.
-Almost HALF of bisexual women are survivors of rape. After all, bi girls are up for anything, right? By contrast, in the same study that found this, 13% of straight women and 17% of lesbians reported being rape survivors. (Worth noting: there are similarly horrifying statistics on the victimisation of trans* people. I'm not including them here because I'm talking about sexuality, not gender.)
Bisexual visibility day is necessary because of a phenomenon called "bisexual erasure". It is easy to believe that bisexuals don't exist - after all, if a woman marries another woman, mightn't you assume she's a lesbian? And if you're a bisexual amongst people who are homophobic, mightn't you just play straight? And when you think of "bisexual", what you might imagine are girls making out at parties to excite their boyfriends - easily dismissed as a phase or "actually straight".
I believe that being told that our sexuality doesn't exist, or that it means we're sluts, or somehow untrustworthy, contribute to the problems I mentioned above. And it's not just the straight community that does this - the rest of the gay community has a love/hate relationship with bi people, too. So, you know. Have you hugged your bi friend today?
Anyway, thanks for listening. Love you guys.
Bi visibility day website: http://september23.bi.org/
UK Bicon 2014: http://www.bicon2014.org.uk/
NYT article "Yes, I really am bisexual. Deal with it.": http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/fashio
San Francisco Human Rights Commission LGBT Advisory Committee report - "Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Reccomendations": http://www.sf-hrc.org/Modules/ShowDocume
Edinburgh LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing: http://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/