We gotta look out for each other
The struggle of leaving the closet, coming out and living authentically is one of the biggest challenges anyone LGBTQ can face. Fears of rejection by family and friends, doubts about job security, and the threat of being judged a sinner can nail that door shut for years, even decades…
It’s to be expected that changes in our culture, our state laws, and a remarkable revolution in religious tolerance won’t be universally embraced. But who knew those advances might benefit certain members of our community more than others?
“An ex-girlfriend once exclaimed, ‘I just don’t understand how you can be attracted to men and women,’” says Vickey Allen of Middletown. “Luckily, my response – ‘I don’t understand how you’re only attracted to women’ – clarified it for her.” She was 12 when she first realized that she was bisexual, Allen says. Since then, she says, “I’ve encountered plenty of biphobia” [which] can occur both within and outside the LGBT community” …
“I’ve known I’m bisexual all my life,” says Jamie Fernandez of Greater Hartford. “I came out to friends as bisexual and was quickly called ‘greedy,’ told to ‘pick a side’ or asked if I flipped a coin to decide. For many years, I denied part of myself.” Fernandez, 43, is a bisexual transgender woman in a polyamorous relationship … “I didn’t have issues with me being bisexual; others did,” Fernandez says. “And I internalized that and did the same harmful behaviors others do in dismissing the validity of others’ lives.”
That word – “phase” – is perhaps the most common misconception about bisexuality; that either someone cannot choose between being gay or straight or is temporarily caught in between those orientations … “If it is,” says Caleigh Price, 47, “It’s a reeeaaallllyyyy long one…”
“Everything is a phase. Life is a phase,” says Jen Carpenter… “To invalidate anyone’s sexuality based on a time frame is to invalidate life. Nothing is finite, most importantly life. But is that to say that we are not alive just because one day we will not be?”
Bisexual+, Biromantic+ or otherwise MSpec? Same-gender Loving (SGL)? Queer-identified or Questioning? Live work or play in Connecticut USA? Make sure to join the Bisexual+ Connecticut FB Group & the NYC Tri-State Area Meetup to keep up with all the many things that are going on in your community.
I mean, who didn’t try monosexuality in college? But it’s obviously just a phase.
Q: What do you call a bisexual who’s in a relationship with someone their own gender?
A: Still a bisexual.
Q: What do you call a bisexual who’s in a relationship with someone who’s not their own gender?
A: Still, Still a bisexual.
Image: A four cell cartoon, there are three “Characters” consisting of vaguely Human-shaped Blob Creatures with eyes. To the left there is a slightly larger Blue Creature and a slightly smaller Pink Creature. Facing them to the right is an in-between size Violet Creature. The dialogue is in Italian. And the creator is identified as @Enbee.Arlo
Cell 1: [Blue & Pink Creatures looking at the Violet Creature. The Blue Creature asks] “Are you Blue or Pink?”
Cell 2 [The Violet Creature answers] “I am Violet"
Cell 3: [The Pink Creature asks skeptically] “No, but what are you really?”
Cell 4: [The Violet Creature stares silently at them with a bemused & aggravated expression]
“However, unlike heterosexual and gay or lesbian adults, our study shows that married bisexuals are not healthier than unmarried bisexuals.Interestingly, among bisexuals who are married or cohabiting, those with a same-sex partner are healthier than those with a different-sex partner. Their odds of reporting good health are 2.3 times higher and the rates of functional limitation are 61% lower.
Our findings suggest that bisexuals face unique challenges in their relationships that may reduce the health advantage linked to marriage. A growing number of studies have found that bisexual individuals experience poorer health than heterosexual, gay or lesbian individuals. This includes higher rates of mental disorders, cardiovascular conditions and disability.
Bisexual people are often perceived by both heterosexual and gay and lesbian people as indecisive about their sexual orientation, sexually permissive, and unfaithful or untrustworthy as romantic partners. For example, an experimental study showed that people more often project such negative stereotypes onto a bisexual man dating a woman than they do onto a heterosexual man dating a woman or a gay man dating a man.
Researchers like ourselves still don’t fully understand the ways in which stigma influences bisexuals’ relationships and health.”
[USA]: On September 23, 2019, the 20th anniversary of Bi Visibility Day, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) held its first-ever Bisexual Health Research Workshop. As an invited panelist at this event, sponsored by the NIH’s Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office, I joined 19 other researchers to discuss key findings, gaps in knowledge, and future directions.
You may be asking yourself: Is there really a need for this workshop? How is Bisexual Health different from the health of other groups? How many people even identify as Bisexuals?
Here are some key points covered —
(1) What is Bisexuality?
(2) Who is Bi+?
(3) How might being Bi+ affect Health?
(4) Why are Bi+ people more likely to experience Poor Health?
● Bi+ Invisibility can affect the quality of Medical Care.
● Double Discrimination can harm Mental Health.
(5) What steps can you take to counter these issues?
Leaving the bisexual flag out of Campus Pride Week, or any other event or discussion of queer pride — even down to the emoji keyboard — sends two messages that directly conflict with the purposes of celebrating pride in the first place.
First, it reinforces my sense — and, I imagine, many others’ senses — of existing outside the bounds of the queer community, that I am “not gay enough” to qualify.
Second, it erases the realities of my experience by treating it as simply part of the broader gay experience, forcing it under the rainbow umbrella … Of all places, we deserve to be represented, visibly, in our school’s string of pride flags one week out of the year.
“My Heroes” – A #Halloween PSA (2017)