Happy Bi Visibility Day!
Today is Bi Visibility Day, although for once I have not dressed thematically, mostly because I couldn’t find the top I was going to wear. Imagine I’m wearing this:
(Image description: selfie of me wearing my purple ‘cute queers club’ top)
There’s a lot of information out there about what bisexuality is and about why people mark today, but this post is going to focus more on my personal experience – if you’re interested in factual information a quick Google search should help!
So, I officially came out in the first year of my PhD, in a move that surprised precisely no one. In fact, the most common response I had was ‘didn’t we already know that?’. I’ve recently realised that the admiration I felt as a child for certain woman was probably actually a crush – Jessie from Team Rocket, anyone? – but I didn’t identify it as such. She may also have been the reason I dyed my hair pink a few times.
One of the reasons it took me so long to confidently identify my attraction was compulsory heterosexuality – because I was also attracted to men (I apologise for my binary use of language in this post and I feel it necessary to clarify that gender is not binary and that to me and to most people who identify as bisexual, that does not exclude trans or non binary people). I assumed that I wanted to *be* other women, not be with them – I think this is a fairly common experience, though not a universal one, and most people are probably more savvy and less dense about it than me.
Essentially this is why I think visibility is important, although no one should feel pressured into being visible if they don’t want to or can’t. Some of us have very supportive friends, families and communities but others don’t. It’s very much an individual choice – but being visible can help someone else think ‘oh, that’s a thing!’. Of course, some people don’t have a choice in how visible they are but that’s the choice I have chosen to make and I don’t regret it at all.
The other reason I chose to be visible was for the feeling of authenticity – at the time I decided to officially be out, I was feeling quite fragmented. There were lots of different parts of my life that were important to me, but they didn’t seem to have much to do with each other. After coming out (which is a process, not an event) they seemed to be less disjointed and more cohesive than they had.
So, happy Bi Visibility Day, before we all become invisible again tomorrow!