Notice it is the LG’B’T community. Not the LGT community. It’s great that we add rainbow flags to our Facebook profile pictures and post cute memes about supporting the LGBT community, but it’s simply not enough. We need to come out, too. Those who are openly homosexual advocate for us. We need to be true advocates for them, too.
Bisexual people: our relationships do not define our sexual identity. A single gay person is not suddenly straight because he doesn’t have a partner.
I am a woman, my partner is male. I’ve also had multiple female sexual partners. I’ve invested much of my heart in women. They’ve broken me just like men have broken me. And this has happened almost completely silently because those women have been silent.
I cannot be silent.
The community deserves my voice. I deserve my voice. I’ve certainly earned it.
I have read countless articles about the shootings at Pulse, and one message was very clear to me: gay people are not safe in the outside world, so they come together at LGBT-friendly businesses to be themselves. It’s not that they are embarrassed or shy or feel ashamed. It’s that they simply feel unwelcome. And it’s no surprise; look at the events of the last year. Bisexual people in typical heterosexual relationships get to hide every single day while still possibly enjoying the benefits of same-sex relationships. I don’t want to hide.
I lived in Orlando from 2002 – 2004. During that time, I engaged in more debauchery than I have time to begin to tell any of you. Hell, more than I’d prefer to tell any of you. It was a crazy time in my life. But the huge event that happened in 2003 was my separation and divorce from my first husband. And when that happened, at the age of 23, this was my time to figure out who the eff I was. And one place to do that was Southern Nights, a gay club in Orlando. I was separated, single, and finally ready for some self-discovery. Once a week, they held a lesbian night. I remember the first time I went. I was wearing jeans and a long-sleeve black button-down that only had like 3 small buttons right across the chest. I had no idea what to expect. The first portion of the night, they performed a show (like a stripping down to just undergarments while dancing type show.) And then it was like any other night at a club. Listening to blasting music, drinking, smoking cigarettes. I remember eyeing what I assumed to be a couple sitting near me at the bar. Young, attractive, short dark hair. I’m not sure exactly how it started, but I remember getting up on the dance floor by myself, and one of the girls started dancing with me. All over me. All night long. And I loved every single second of it. We didn’t talk or exchange names or anything, and eventually I had to leave for the night, but it felt like such a wonderful experience just being myself and sharing this magical moment with another woman. I felt free.
There’s a stigma attached to being bisexual…and it’s an ugly one at that. But we simply cannot hide within our straight lives, our behind-the-scenes sexual encounters, our desires. Our sexual identity is so much more than that. And we can’t fear not being ‘gay enough’ for the LGBT community. I have many friends who are gay/lesbians, and they’ve never accused me of being ‘too straight’. And if they did, clearly they don’t understand that sexuality is a spectrum.
So if you’re bisexual – male or female – out yourself. Stand proud. Be more than just an ally, an on-looker; be part of the team. We need you.