I first came out as bisexual in high school in a scary wasteland called Montana in 1999. Now, I wasn’t out to everybody, but enough people guessed I was queer of some sort I routinely got called the f word. I came out to more people as bisexual in high school than I did trans because I still didn’t quite know what trans meant for me. I also assumed that being bisexual would be easier to explain.
That was a bad assumption. Bisexuality still seems to have issues in the LG community and the hetero community. A lot of cis gays assume bisexuality is just really a cover to be gay but you can’t quite say it. Cis lesbians think bisexual women are just going to up and leave you for a dude the first chance you get. Straight people assume bisexual people are greedy and want to date both at once. None of these assumptions are true!!! Katy Perry of course didn’t help bisexual women any with her catchy shitty pop anthem.
Some trans people have a problem with the term bisexual because it seems exclusionary to non binary and trans people. I get that argument but I use bi to also mean pansexual/queer. It’s just easier because at least most people have heard the term bisexual before.
I started using the word queer and moved away from the word bisexual for a lot of reasons including most of those above. Queer also seemed like a very political identity, one that is rooted in taking back a word that has been hurled at me as an insult. After talking with some people who don’t like the term queer because they still have weird feelings about a former slur, I can see why they still identify as bisexual.
It’s 2015 and I still see bisexual erasure. I have friends who are in ostensibly heterosexual marriages get told that they cannot be bi because they are a married heterosexual couple. A few weeks ago there was a Freddie Mercury meme going around making fun of Kim Davis.
Freddie Mercury publicly identified as bisexual most of his career. In fact he had a long term relationship with a woman. He also had one with a man. They both got part of his estate when he passed. Freddie’s bisexuality gets erased because he was one of the first famous people to die from AIDS-related illnesses. Since AIDS and HIV at the time were considered a gay male disease, Freddie’s love of women too was erased.
Other celebrities who identify publicly as bisexual include: Carrie Brownstein, Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Anna Paquin, Orlando Jordan (professional wrestler), Lady GaGa, Lou Reed, and Cara Delevingne.
I am proudly bisexual/queer and I am tired of seeing bisexuals treated as some strange disorder by everyone else. We just happen to be attracted to more than one gender.