DEFINITION OF BISEXUALITY:
I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
“For me, the bi in bisexual refers to the potential for attraction to people with genders similar to and different from my own.
I am witness to the increasingly complex and diverse ways in which people come to understand and identify their sexualities. Labels should not be boxes into which we feel we must squeeze ourselves, but rather tools with which to communicate and to begin conversations.
Identity is a journey. We travel through life becoming and discovering ourselves. There’s no shame in living with uncertainty, or in changing your label(s) as new information comes in.”
Labels should not be boxes into which we feel we much squeeze ourselves, but rather tools with which to communicate and begin conversations.
ON COMING OUT:
For five very long years I was trapped in the space between knowing and being. I knew who I was but I did not know how to operationalize my identity – how to exist as a bisexual person in this world.
When I finally began coming out to people, I experienced a profound sense of relief. I felt light and wonderful. And I was surprised because I had never before realized the weight of my silence.
Activists are cultural artists. They envision a world that does not yet exist and then take action to bring that world into being.
Some folks say that bisexuals are not oppressed because at least we are accepted by mainstream society when we have different-gender partners. Agreed, society may like us when we show only that aspect of who we are. But conditional acceptance is not true acceptance. When we show our same-gender-loving side, we suffer the same discrimination as other gay men and lesbians. We don’t lose only half our children in custody battles. When homophobia hits, we don’t get just half fired from our jobs (put on half time, perhaps?). We don’t get just half bashed when we are out with our same-sex lovers (“Oh please, only hit me on my left side. You see, I’m bisexual!’).
Inclusion is not about an entitled group of privileged citizens deigning to open up the big door to let their inferiors in. Inclusion is about acknowledging what already is. When lesbian, gay, bi and transgendered people insist on equal rights, respect and acknowledgment in the mainstream community, we do not ask as outsiders. We are pointing out that we are already here, we have been here for a long time, and we demand that our presence as citizens be recognized legally, culturally, and interpersonally. And as a bi-identified woman, I expect the same of gay men and lesbians. Bi and trans folks have long been part of what some call the ‘gay and lesbian community’ and what I call the ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and ally communities.’ I’ve been active in my local community since the early 1980s, and I’ll continue to be here with or without anyone else’s permission. It would be a lot easier for me and for a lot of my bi and trans friends, as well as for my forward thinking gay and lesbian friends and allies, if conservatives – heterosexual and gay – would acknowledge what already exists. I’m sorry that some people have such a hard time accepting reality, but I am not going to disappear, or keep quiet, to make biphobic or homophobic people more comfortable. We’re here. Get used to it.
Other places to find links to groups:
La Red: The Network for Battered Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Women
An organization dedicated to ending abuse in lesbian, bisexual women’s and transgender communities (Acabando con el abuso en comunidades de lesbianas, de mujeres bisexuales y de gente transgénero).
Robyn Ochs, various articles, including:
I am frequently asked to recommend FILMS about bisexuality. Interestingly, there is not a single film that reflects MY experience, that deals comprehensively with bisexuality, is of high production quality, available, and that treats bisexual identity with respect. But there are a few quality films out there, each of which does a good job addressing a slice of bisexuality. Here are a few:
Please feel free to write to me with additional recommendations.
BiCities – Out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. Hosted by Dr. Marge Charmoli and Dr. Anita Kozan. They do some wonderful interviews. I’ve been on their show twice and can vouch for this!
Two Bi Guys – Hosted by Robert Brooks Cohen and Alex Boyd. A podcast about fluid sexuality, gender, masculinity and femininity, intimacy, relationships and more — hosted by two bi guys. They interviewed me in this episode.
Bisexual Brunch – Hosted by Nichi Hodgson, Lewis Oakley and Ashley Byrne, Bisexual Brunch is a unique podcast for people who identify as bi to come together and celebrate their sexuality. Catch my interview in episodes 13 and 14.
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