It’s Not A Phase

in Real Talk/The-Nation

The term “bi+” refers to anyone who doesn’t relate to gay, lesbian, or asexual identifications: Whether you’re queer, pansexual, demisexual, or prefer not to label yourself, this post is for you.

This is an afterthought to by Bi+ week, which was created with help from a variety of sources, including queer activists like Gigi Raven Wilbur, Michael Page, and Wendy Curry, and organizations like GLAAD. Curry, the founder of bi support network BiNetUSA, has been an outspoken voice for issues like bi invisibility and bi erasure. Asked about the biggest challenges facing bi+ people today, Curry responded:

“Invisibility. Because most people will look at a couple and decide they are straight or gay based on the combination of apparent genders, we fly under most people’s radar. As a result, many people are isolated and the stereotypes remain unchallenged.”

Gigi Raven Wilbur is another bi+ hero who helped create this week of visibility. An organizer and radio show host from Texas, Wilbur has contributed to BDSM and pagan scenes as well as queer communities. As an intersex person who identifies beyond the gender spectrum, Wilbur’s ideas have made way for understandings of intersex conditions and trans identities as well.

As we remember the past in bi+ culture, we also look to the future: Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, Evan Rachel Wood, Jazz Jennings, Amandla Stenberg, and a long list of other young artists and activists are raising awareness of identities that aren’t easily categorized. What could be cooler than an orientation that doesn’t play by anyone’s rules?

This week, let’s remember that as isolated and confusing as it can be to love indiscriminate of gender, we’ve got a built-in community of millions to turn to for support. This week, when gay men try to claim Freddie Mercury as their own, let’s remind them that he was partnered with a woman for 7 years. And this week, if someone suggests that your bi+-ness equals promiscuity, disloyalty, or—god forbid—confusion, you have our permission to slap them across the face with a copy of Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions.

In closing, a few words from Shamir:

“…To those who keep asking, I have no gender, no sexuality, and no fucks to give ”

Author: Clare McKinley

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