LGBTQIA, or Quiltbag, there’s a B in there which stands for bi(sexual), and even though it’s been there since the first iteration of the acronym I used (HBT), I’ve never felt like I fit in, in LGBT spaces, or pride events.
That said, the first one I went to 10 years ago, HBT Festivalen in Gothenburg, Sweden, there was a panel, or talk about bisexuality being so much more than just liking two genders. And I got it unveiled for me as a spectrum, and how there’s two sides of it, both romantic and sexual which both have a long spanning spectra all on their own.
This has stayed with me through the years, and maybe not really sunk in until just recently. I’ve started to see how it fits into my own life, but also learnt about how a lot of us bi women are afraid of other women because we just don’t know how to deal with each other. This inherent belief that men are easier.
Earlier this summer I met a woman, I dunno if she was lesbian or bisexual but it doesn’t really matter too much. She taught me that I wasn’t alone with this fear, and that a lot of bisexual women simply don’t go after other women because we simply don’t know how, or we’re afraid to for a reason or another.
Being taught this, and her helping me cross that threshold, it has since been easier for me to actually keep trying to reach out to women I like. I still feel like men are “easier” to deal with, but I find myself finally able to dare speak with women and flirt, and take that next step.
Yesterday for Bi Visibility Day, a friend brought me to BiPhoria in Manchester as a way to get to know new people (since I just moved to the UK), and apparently it is something that always comes up “Am I bisexual enough?“, often enough for it to be on their website. BiPhoria also happens to be “the UK’s longest-running social & support organization for bisexual people”.
Am I bisexual enough?
This question that keeps plaguing us, how can I be bisexual when I’m married, when I’ve only dated men, when I don’t really even dare to talk with women?
At the meeting another aspect of it was brought up, and that’s the statistics of it all. There’s likely to be more men who are into women, than women who are into women (who are bi), and that’s why it’s very common that bi women are mainly dating men.
Yes, of course there are lesbian women who also like women, but I think a lot of bi-women may feel like maybe they don’t want to trick a lesbian cis woman. While this could also play both ways, it seems like there’s this belief that women only like other women (while also liking men) to attract men. Which is both a harmful myth, and one that’s probably helped women come out as bi a lot easier, because they’ve had room to play around.
Why is that harmful as a myth if it allowed us space to explore ourselves and each other? Well, bi-men have not really gained that opportunity to the same extent, so it’s possibly been a lot harder for them to come out as bisexuals because of it. There’s possibly a lot more stigma around it (still). Is it because you’d be labeled as gay, in a derogatory way, or is it something else?
I don’t think we inherently, as people who are bi, believe that being gay is bad, but it’s still something that’s thrown around in society as a slap across the face for a lot of us, no matter our space in the quiltbag. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a really long way to go when it comes to acceptance of ourselves, each other, and acceptance from others.
As some people much wiser than me have said, we don’t want to be merely tolerated, we want to be accepted and allowed to live, breathe and thrive in this society.
This blog post doesn’t cover nearly everything I wanted to talk about after yesterday’s meeting, and unfortunately my mind is slightly too scattered right now.
That said, please be kind to your fellow friends in the QUILTBAG, we’re all in the same boat, and let’s fight for each other’s right to exist.