london pride 2016 bisexual bisexuality march

The opposite of shame: On finding bisexual pride

There’s a very common bisexual inside joke about our regular existential crises.

We wonder if we’re gay and in denial about it one day, only to turn around and become convinced we’re straight the next.

We think: “Well, I’ve only had ‘heterosexual’ relationships, so maybe I’m actually straight?”

Or: “Wow, all I seem to have crushes on lately is my gender, so maybe I’m gay and only thought I was bisexual because society expects me to be attracted to men?”

Then there are the messages we receive about bisexuality from both straight people and other members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Biphobia hurts

It’s hard to not internalise messages that we’re sluts who can’t make our minds up and will inevitably leave our lovers after toying with their emotions for our own experimentation.

Worse than simply being confused, we may worry we’re doing something wrong, taking up space where we don’t belong.

That’s why biphobia hurts so much more from within the LGBTQ+ community.

Yes, there are people in the LGBTQ+ community who are biphobic.

I believe that most of them would never voice their bad takes if not for social media, and I also notice that when they do, most of the commentary is ripping them a new one.

I don’t want to erase your experiences, but I think it helps to remember we’re not alone in being made to feel unwelcome in ‘gay’ spaces.

Femme lesbians, trans and non-binary people – many have felt erased or unwelcome in the community – and that’s without touching on intersecting identities like disability or race.

Think gay men are immune? Listen to RuPaul’s Drag Race finalist Kim Chi: ‘no fats, no femmes, no Asians’.

Welcome to the club

Our infamous existential crises are a result of doubting ourselves the way the world has doubted us.

When you feel doubt, take it back to basics.

Are you sexually attracted to both your own gender and another?

If the answer is yes, what is that called? Bisexuality.

Well, there it is, you’re bisexual.

Welcome to the club!

True acceptance of who you are is one of the roots of pride.

Not pride like you have a shiny new toy to show off, but pride as in the opposite of shame.

After finding a sense of confidence in your bisexuality, it’s time to claim your place in the community.

This is not about being the loudest or doing the most, it’s about our rights and protections, and our personal doubts seem far less important in context.

The truth is that the people who truly hate the LGBTQ+ community don’t care about your identity crisis.

Learn our history, protest for our rights and the rights of communities that intersect with ours, tip drag performers who can’t work during COVID-19, or boost a fund for gender-affirming surgery.

Not only is there strength in numbers, but emotions like pride and joy are also magnified.

Whatever you have the ability to contribute is valuable, and after a journey of doubt, it feels like home.

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