Bi Visibility Day: “My friend gave me a magnet that said ‘Bi Now, Gay Later’…”

empty-white-badge2Bi Visibility Day, says Sarah Evans, is a day to celebrate those who are vocal and proud – like these women.

I like to enjoy my supportive community and encourage others to be visible but the people I try and celebrate the most are those who make it their mission to challenge biphobia, bi erasure and my new pet hate – assumption.

In 2013 LGBT Youth North West started a brilliant campaign to challenge heterosexism (the idea that everyone in society is presumed to be heterosexual) called “Don’t Assume…”. It started with “Don’t assume I’m heterosexual” then young people started completing the sentences with their own endings. It made me think about how many people have assumed that my sexuality is a phase, that I won’t be monogamous, and that because I have a female partner I am no longer bi. I started to get angry. It’s been two years and the anger hasn’t stopped.

Constantly challenging assumptions is tiring, constantly having to explain yourself, getting into endless debates, most of which, for me over the past 5 years have started with “Yeah, but, you’ve got a girlfriend, that MAKES you gay”. It’s the ‘makes’ that hits me hardest, as if they are telling me that I essentially know nothing about myself and that I’m ridiculous to even think that I’m not gay. How stupid of me. Every time I hear it, it makes me want to scream. I understand why some people don’t challenge misunderstanding, ignorance and at times, just downright Biphobia but unfortunately, when we stop challenging, our silence speaks volumes of acceptance. And there is no way I can accept those things.

About ten years ago I went to a workshop on bisexuality. As expected, all but one of the attendees were bisexual. We were introduced to the Kinsey Scale and asked to take a test which would plot you on the chart. My results put me bang in the middle. Three members of the workshop told me “You’re the ultimate bisexual”, like I was some sort of bizarre superhero. I was shocked. I struggled to believe that in a room full of people who had just expressed how repressed they felt by the hetero and homo communities were reprimanding themselves for not being “A good enough bisexual”.

eye-909093_1280Being bi is a constant battle to be visible, and it’s so important to be. It’s a promise I made to myself back in about 2003 when I was given a magnet by a friend who had come out as gay after previously identifying as bi. Her girlfriend had given her the magnet which read “Bi Now, Gay Later”. It was given to me in jest, but it hurt. That day I promised that I would keep the magnet on my fridge and every day it would remind me of my promise to stay visible.

It may seem arduous and at times like you’re repeating yourself but I try and catch every little slip up that people make, I catch it, I challenge it and I open myself up to a string of questions because I know I need to do it. I need to be part of that change. I need to be visible. We need to be visible, together. Bi Visibility Day is a time for me to re-boost my passion for visibility and acceptance. Let’s use this Bi Visibility Day to celebrate each other, the good things we’re doing and support those who are coming out, shouting out and pushing for real acceptance. Lets celebrate you!

The following two tabs change content below.

Sarah Evans

Sarah is the Creative Director of Art with Heart (www.artwithheart.org.uk). She's a very vocal bi woman with a very loud laugh. She likes coffee, people watching, bunting and whistling. She loves glitter. Twitter: @artwith_heart

One Response to Bi Visibility Day: “My friend gave me a magnet that said ‘Bi Now, Gay Later’…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *