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Remember the B in LGBTQ?

Happy pride month! Pride month is a time to celebrate everyone in the LGBGTQ+ community and all things queer. Creating joy-filled events with others to celebrate identities and expressions. It's colorful and fun, it’s a time to enjoy and celebrate being who you are despite the world telling you not to be.

So, why do I feel left behind? Logically, I know why. I identify as bisexual but I’m in a cis-het passing relationship. If you were to see me in public, you wouldn’t look twice or question me. It’s a privilege to have that safety in public that other queer folks may not have.  While there may be a sense of safety in public spaces, it can also lead to erasure and invisibility within queer spaces. 

What is bi-erasure? Bisexual-erasure is a form of stigma that questions the legitimacy or existence of bisexuality. Often bi-individuals that are in relationships with the opposite sex are assumed to be straight. When bi folks correct this assumption, it can be met with a couple things;  invalidation of their identity due to currently being in a straight relationship therefore erasing their feelings and experiences as a bi-person and/or calling their sexuality a phase. Bi-erasure can be shown in other ways in society, ways that maybe aren’t as overt. I can recall people talking about others “switching sides” or telling someone they turned their ex gay, as if that’s possible. This is a dangerous line of thinking that implies sexuality is a choice and that external factors alter our sexuality which is not the case. 

There’s a stigma attached to the word bisexuality as well. It is often assumed bisexuals are more promiscuous, more likely to cheat. If you tell someone you’re bisexual, you may be met with “well are you attracted to me?” or even worse “can we have a threesome?” (Yes, it's absurd and yes, it happens to bisexual folks – especially AFAB (assigned female at birth) people). A sexuality does not determine behavior nor should it be fetishized. Perhaps the most harmful thing of all is that bisexuality is “just a phase”. The notion that bisexuality is just a phase further marginalizes bisexual individuals, both within and outside the LGBTQ+ community. This creates a feeling of never being queer enough to be accepted in the queer community, but not straight enough either. This dichotomy can create feelings of isolation and a sense of not belonging fully to either community. It can also create pressure to conform to societal expectations or be forced to choose to identify as gay or straight, leading to misconceptions about the stability and validity of their orientation. 

All of these aspects of bi-erasure could be their own blog post. I’m just scratching the surface. During pride month, remember the bi-folks. It's important to affirm and validate the experiences of bisexual individuals and to recognize that their attractions and identities are just as legitimate as those of individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, or straight. Bisexuality is a valid and integral part of the diverse spectrum of human sexuality, and respecting and affirming bisexual identities is essential in promoting understanding and acceptance within society and within LGBTQ+ communities.

To my fellow bisexuals: Your experiences and identity are valid, and you deserve to feel fully embraced and celebrated during Pride and every day.


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