It’s Bi Visibility Day, & I Want You To See Me

// me, September 2014,  via Instagram

I am bisexual. I’ve finally found peace with this word, and am able to claim it while withstanding all of its negative connotations without shrinking. There’s something very radical to me about the word bisexual—to say it with pride, to use it as mine—probably because it has been so stigmatized.

People hate the word so much (I used to hate it, too), and they shy away from claiming it as there’s because of the bad vibes it can give off. So they use other words—queer, pansexual, fluid, heteroflexible—to take the sting out of what it implies.

But I’ve recently discovered that I don’t actually want to take the sting out; the sting needs to exist. The sting incites, prompts awareness.

And so I use the word bisexual these days very much like I use the word feminist—as a form of political activism and radical self-acceptance; to take up space and fan the flames of my own inner fire.

I am bisexual, and I am married—two major pieces of my beingness that I used to see as contradictory, but have transformed into symbols of my inherent complexity.

No, my fluid sexuality doesn’t negate my married self, and my marriage to a man (who, for the record, doesn’t identify as straight) doesn’t negate my sexuality. They work hand-in-hand simply because I’ve chosen to make them work in this way.

In a lot of ways, my marriage celebrates my bisexuality, and in the ways that it doesn’t, I celebrate and actualize it in my own way. (Opening up our relationship was one of the biggest expressions of that celebration, but writing posts like this, where I am come out from under my cloak and talk about my bisexuality is another.)

I am bisexual, and I want you to see me. Even though my origin story of bisexuality doesn’t date back to elementary school; even though I didn’t have my first raging girl crush until I was 18; even though my attraction to women is very much unlike my attraction to men—I deserve to be seen.

Bi erasure and invisibility is real—it’s being done to me, and I will admit that I’ve done it to myself. But I’m at a place in my life where I am ready to be seen as not only bi, but as a queer woman of color, as a tender witchy femme who believes in and conjures magick, as a fierce feminist with an affinity for both bell hooks and Beyoncé.

Words hold power, and within these particular ones—bisexual, QWOC, witch—I’ve found parts of my true self, and lasting liberation within those parts.

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More celebrations and glitter for bisexuality!

+ BLOGS : bidykebisexuwhales; bisexualweek.

+ RESOURCES : Autostraddle; Laci Green (this one, too); 8 Questions to Stop Asking Bisexuals; The Bisexual-Bisexual Marriage; and I Think I Might Not Be Straight, So What Am I?.

+ And. . . you’re in good company.

Special Note: Not only is today Bi Visibility Day, but it’s also Bi Awareness Week! Autostraddle, one of my favorite sites on the internet, has written a lovely little thing about how you can celebrate and support bi awareness.

© 2018 Ev'Yan Whitney. All rights reserved.