For the first 23 years of my life, I was afraid to be myself because of how I saw the media treat bisexual women. I mean, look at what happened to Aubrey Plaza. When it was announced that she, our favorite bisexual actor and icon, married a man this past May, the internet lost its shit.
Twitter was buzzing with biphobic tweets about how the gay community “lost someone great”—when really, these people should have been sad she was off the market completely, regardless of who she was with.
Aubrey plaza marriage with a man confirmed.......do not text pic.twitter.com/drhGMzy5Rc
— yeah (@Iavenderwitches) May 7, 2021
Then there’s that time in 2016 when Buzzfeed wrote an article about Halsey, claiming that she was “straightening” their persona for the sake of being a mainstream pop artist. (Which perpetuates the belief that bisexual people must choose to be straight or gay, by the way.)
Halsey responded in a series of tweets, now deleted, saying, “Well @buzzfeed sorry I’m not gay enough for you” and “tiresome analysis of my 1 year in the public eye and the ignorance of 8+ years of sexual discovery to determine if I’m truly queer + is part of a mentality so engrained in the erasure of bisexual ‘credibility’ even within the LGBT community.”
For these reasons (plus a few comments here and there from friends who claimed I wasn’t “queer” enough as a bisexual woman), I was terrified. I didn’t know what it would mean for me if I chose to be with a woman over a man or a man over a woman.
Would men not be interested in me because they thought I was gay? Would women not be interested in me because I wasn’t gay enough? Could I still be super into both Zoë Kravitz and Harry Styles?
I remember when I was in my first kind-of-sort-of relationship with a woman. Not only was I being invited to queer-led functions and meeting other bisexual femme women, but I also felt welcomed. It was clear that I was more accepted as a bisexual person dating a woman than I would be as a bisexual person dating a man.
When that relationship ended, I matched with a handsome self-declared mathmusician on Bumble a few months later. Within a short amount of time, I knew that I had just met my future husband.
But my fears about the validity of my bisexuality came to the surface when he asked me to be his girlfriend. Because despite being completely and utterly in love with him, my internalized biphobia stopped me from giving him an answer right away. I was scared of what it would mean for my sexual identity if I were in a straight-passing relationship.
Would I still feel welcomed at Pride even if people couldn’t tell I was bisexual? Did I have to shift my identity to fit the heteronormative mold because I was in love with a man? Some days, I was even scared to dress too masculinely out of fear of making my partner uncomfortable.
It wasn’t until I spoke with my therapist that something clicked for me. During that conversation, they reminded me that being with a man does not make my sexuality any less valid, even if other people try to invalidate it for me. And that regardless of who I am attracted to or choose to be with, I am still bisexual and part of the LGBTQ+ community. Full stop.
And although deep down I knew it was true, it was super affirming to hear it for the first time. So immediately after my appointment, I got back into my car and drove to my now-fiancé’s house to tell him I would be honored to be his girlfriend. Flash-forward two years later and we are now planning a dope Mexican/Jewish/queer wedding in Palm Springs.
I’m now happy to report that this Bi Visibility Day, I am more confident in my sexuality than ever before. I hope that anyone who chooses to celebrate today feels confident and seen just like I do.
Because even if I am the first one to say it, you are welcomed into the queer community and encouraged to be yourself—regardless of who you end up with.
And for those who need to hear it, being with someone of the opposite gender does not mean you are any less bisexual or queer. I see you, I hear you, I am you. You belong.
I’ll leave you with one final thought: Bisexual people make up more than half of all LGBTQ+ adults. Considering our numbers and the misconceptions, it’s time for us to move past the biphobia for good, don’t you think?
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