Bi Visibility Day 2016 - Joy's Story
Published: 24 September 2016 Tags: community, bivisibility, biphobia By John Walding
When did you first realize you might be bisexual?
I was in college, about 24 years old and had been dating a man for about 3 years. We were at a party, and he was flirting with another woman, and I realized I felt jealous — not because he was flirting with someone but because I had a crush on the woman he was talking to, and I wanted to be the one flirting with her. (I’m female.)
How did you come out? What were people’s reactions to you being bisexual?
It was fairly subtle. I was dating a man but I started wearing a pink triangle button and decided to stop self-censoring in conversations with friends when the attractiveness of certain women was part of the conversation, or if I was attracted to someone I would stop being vague and mis-gendering them if they were female.
What’s the best thing about being bisexual?
Being true to myself, I guess? I don’t really think about it in terms of perks. :)
Have you experienced biphobia? If so could you provide an example? Were you able to do anything about it?
Yes, though in fairly mild form. From men, I’ve gotten the “Can I watch?” leer on more than one occasion. From women, it’s mostly something like over-hearing them say they would never date someone who was bisexual. A bisexual friend was told she was “stealing women’s energy and giving it to men.” I haven’t really done anything about it other than try to remain visible and speak up.
Why do you think Bi Visibility Day is important?
So much of the popular culture sees sexuality as utterly binary, you are either straight or gay, and if you 'cross the line’ your state has to flip from one to the other. Example: Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer goes from having a boyfriend to having a girlfriend, and at one point reminds someone rather forcefully that she is ‘gay now!’ I think advertising and manipulative people like to describe everything in terms of dichotomies, and then worse, pit those “opposites” against each other (eg Team Edward vs Team Jacob). Not only is it important to other people like me in the world, I think it is good to be reminded that there are more than 2 choices in false conflict.