Annie Callahan checks in with the bi community to find out what bisexuality means to them and what serves up #BiJoy for them
IMAGE BY KAMPUS PRODUCTION VIA PEXELS
It’s Bisexual Awareness Week, where bisexuality is celebrated in all its forms. The week, which takes place from 16 – 23rd September every year, was created to highlight biphobia and break down many harmful bisexual stereotypes within and outside of the LGBTQIA community.
To celebrate bisexuality in our community we asked some DIVAs to share their experiences of being bisexual and how they find queer joy.
What does being Bisexual mean to you?
Rachel (she/her): For me, being bisexual means feeling romantic and/or sexual attraction towards people of the same and different genders.
Cristina (she/her): It means that I like men, women and non-binary people in a romantic and sexual way. It also means that I’m part of a community that shares the joys and struggles of being bi.
Isabella (she/her): To me, being Bisexual is as much a part of my identity as my blue eyes or dyslexia are. It’s not really something I pay much thought to, it’s just part of who I am.
Alicia (she/her): To me being bisexual means being attracted both sexually and romantically to all genders. It’s a way to describe myself and how I relate to others.
What makes you happy about being bisexual, and what does “queer joy” mean to you?
Rachel: I’m happy that I have the possibility of forming connections with different people. My idea of queer joy is accepting myself and recognising that being bi is a beautiful thing.
Cristina: I feel free to be myself. Before I realised I was bisexual, I felt the pressure to fit into the “femininity” of being a woman. Queer joy is that feeling of freedom and understanding of your true self that is also shared with a community.
Isabella: I’m just happy to be bisexual during a time when it is largely accepted by our culture. For me, queer joy is the happiness we experience when we get to openly be ourselves and love who we love. A lot of people fought for a long time for us to be able to experience that joy, so it should be felt to the fullest!
Alicia: Being bisexual is the freedom to love people for who they are and not their gender. For me, queer joy is community, happiness and accepting yourself and others.
What do you love about being part of the LGBTQIA community?
Rachel: I love how accepting and supportive the community can be.
Cristina: I truly love the diversity, because people have all of these different ways of expressing themselves in their everyday lives. I spent most of my teens with conservative and heterosexual people and my world was too reduced for me to grow and expand my views. I like the openness and acceptance that most LGBTQIA people display.
Isabella: I just love being part of such a warm, open and welcoming community. It’s not perfect, but the LGBTQIA community has some of the most supportive people I have ever met. Being part of the community has opened my worldview and invited other people’s experienced, and challenged my own judgments.
Alicia: I love the community aspect of it, the joy and the acceptance of everyone. I love how far we’ve come as a community, fighting for our rights, and how we continue to fight for them, wherever it’s needed.
Have you celebrated being bisexual this year or in the past? Do you like to attend Pride events or queer meet-ups?
Rachel: I’ve been to a few pride events and queer meet-ups in the UK and abroad. Last year was particularly special because my family came with me to Pride in my hometown for the first time.
Cristina: I’ve been to a couple of alternative pride parades in the past and I try to engage in queer meet-ups too.
Isabella: I went to my first Pride ever this year! It was such a lovely experience to be surrounded by so much love and support. The vibes in my city were so queer, and it was wonderful. I can’t wait for the next one!
Alicia: Yeah, I went to pride this year both in Madrid and Valencia and it was actually the first year that I walked on the march in both places. I also went to several queer women meet-ups where I made a ton of friends and even got invited to my first pride event.
Do you think there’s enough bi representation in the media and the world around you?
Rachel: A few years ago, there definitely wasn’t, but nowadays I’m seeing more and more bi representation, especially in series. Netflix in particular has done a good job of normalising bi characters in its original series.
Cristina: There’s been more in the last five years, but the bi representation still falls into problematic cliches – bi women are still often sexualised and there’s scarce representation of bi men. I’d like to see more average bi couples with average problems and joys!
Isabella: I certainly think it’s got better. When I see shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine handle it with such grace, it makes me happy. I don’t think bisexuality needs to be addressed in every show and film, but it’s nice when it pops up and is handled well and not in a judgmental or fetishised way.
Alicia: I think there is definitely better bi representation in the media, but we still have a long way to go. I’d like to see more bisexual roles where sexuality and struggles aren’t at the centre of their character.
Thanks to Rachel, Cristina, Isabella and Alicia for sharing their bisexual joy. DIVA wishes our bisexual community a very happy Bi Week!
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind
LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.