Happy Celebrate Bisexuality Day! While September 23 is the big, annual celebration of bisexuality visibility, events and writings have been happening throughout the month of September! These are my people, and I'm delighted to share our stories as this week's Sex Stories We Love dives deep into bisexuality.
What to Know About Bisexuality
As we grow as a sexual culture, there are still some very basic ideas that distress and confuse people. Bisexuality is one of those ideas. On the surface, being bi is simply being attracted to both male and female people. Sure, sexuality and gender understanding has progressed to more nuanced understanding of both sexuality and gender, but that isn't even the problem most people have with accepting bisexuality. Somehow, the divide between the two genders is supposed to be so wide and so differing that one person cannot possibly be interested in both. Bisexual erasure and denial is still prevalent in both the straight, cis community as well as the LGBTQI+ community because it remains largely misunderstood. And a significant reason for that is that people just don't understand bisexuality.
Differing Bisexual Experiences
Everyone experiences sexuality in their own unique, beautiful way. There are no universal sexual experiences. Even when people find an identity or label that fits them, their reality will not exactly match the realities of folks who identify in the same way. This is what makes each and everyone of us special. So, even though the term "bisexual" does catch a number of us under its umbrella, bisexuality brings with it different joys, feelings, and challenges for trans people, women, and men. Sure, there are going to be some commonalities, but each person will come to understand their own differences.
Bi In and Out
As with other sexual identities that differ from the small box that is cis heterosexuality, understanding your own bisexuality and then coming out can be a struggle. Because we are often inundated with so much straight mainstream media, it can be a challenge to accept or even recognize our own bisexual desires. Stigma and misconceptions around bisexuality and bi folk are still pervasive. Even if you do fully embrace this identity, chances are you're going to come up against some resistance to your bisexual reality. That makes coming out as bi even trickier. And if you do come out, I apologize in advance, but you will no doubt hear this phrase: "It's just a phase." Take heart and know that, despite some people's inability to understand, your bisexuality is real and wonderful. Embrace it, revel in it, and experience it in whatever ways feel best for you.
Bi Mental Health and Research
After reading about the unique struggles and challenges that bisexual folks are faced with in the above articles, is it any wonder that bi people are at greater risk for mental health concerns? Yet that isn't the only take away from this article. Absolutely, we need to train responders, physicians, and therapists in the unique challenges that bi folks can experience and to then view those challenges through a bi lens to ensure adequate help and treatment. However, in order to do so, more research is needed. More bi people need to have their voices heard. Funding needs to increase for research into bi people and our lives...the good and the bad. If you are bisexual and you do participate in research studies or surveys, be sure that you clearly state your sexuality so that our numbers can be counted.
Yay for Owl House
Things are changing. Things are getting better. Bi representation in film and television has rarely been particularly positive, but we're moving in a better direction. Who'd have thought the mouse would lead the way? In recent episodes of the animated series Owl House, the main character has been exploring her bisexual feelings, and this is significant. Cartoons are accessible and comfortable for people of all ages. Luz Noceda is a teen character, and when other young people who might be struggling to understand their sexuality see her, it might help them feel more comfortable with their own identity. Luz is also of Latina descent, which can help people of colour understand that bisexuality is also for them. More positive moments are needed, but this is a great bit of momentum.
The Bi Pages
Finally, are you interested in learning more about bisexuality? Check out these great reads!
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