By Jenny Crocker, Specrtum Co-Chair
Bi Visibility Month and, in particular Bi Visibility Day, is a time to recognise and celebrate bisexuality, bi history, community and culture.
Bisexual is an umbrella terms used to refer to sexual orientations which express sexual and/or emotional attraction to more than one gender, or regardless of gender. However, many people who do not identify as gay or straight also do not identify as bisexual. Some may choose to identify differently such as pansexual or biromantic.
When I volunteered to write this blog I forgot how difficult being bi can be to write about. Not for any emotional reason, it’s just being bi is just a fact about me.
It doesn’t require any effort or for me to do anything in particular. I can talk at great length about being a runner, and I do to the poor unsuspecting folk who make the fatal mistake of asking what my plans are for the weekend.
I have to put conscious effort and planning into running. Whereas being bi is just something I am, everyday. I don’t even have any good coming out stories.
When you’re bi and married to a man you can end up coming out on a regular basis due to people’s assumptions. It’s not so much coming out of the closet as installing a revolving door! There was no one big reveal, just as I have never intentionally concealed it from anyone.
Research shows that bisexuals are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than straight, lesbian or gay people. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 16 however I don’t feel this was particularly related to my bisexuality.
I was bullied from a fairly young age which had a much larger impact. The depression has gone, but the anxiety has stuck around. After years of procrastination, because I was too anxious to go to the GP to talk about the anxiety, I am now being referred to an ADHD specialist. It could be years before anything come of that, but it does explain a lot!
The Bisexuality Report (2012) found that attitudes toward bisexual people are more negative than those toward lesbian or gay people. In fact, 66% of respondents reported feeling only ‘a little’ or ‘not at all’ part of a LGBT community.
Bisexuality is also sometimes treated as ‘a phase’, a particular issue in the gay and lesbian community. This often leaves us feeling our identity isn’t valid and without support networks in either community.
Having been in a hetero-appearing relationship for…some time now…!’ve had plenty of support from friends, my partner and from work.
I’d like to think that things have come on from that report in 2012, because I know as a younger single bi, or when I was in same sex relationships in the early 00s it could feel very lonely.