TW: homophobia, sexual violence, rape culture, biphobia, violence against LGBT people.
Note: this piece primarily speaks from my point of view as a white cisgender bisexual woman, referring to the behavior of other cisgender people. I would love to hear trans people speak on how their experience of bisexuality differs, but as that’s an experience I can’t speak to, I’m not going to claim their experience is similar to mine. Same with bisexual people of color. That’s intersectionalism, the idea that everyone’s story is affected deeply by which “isms” their existence straddles. Bisexuality and Pansexuality, as I use them, are synonymous, meaning “attraction to people who are the same gender, OR who are a different one.” And monosexuality is the attraction to only ONE gender, for instance, gay, lesbian, and straight.
Normally, when the subject of my bisexuality comes up, my go-to answer is that it only means “that some of my exes, my current partner would also be crushing on.” My current partner is plumb-line straight. But I’ve had my bi-dom on my mind a fair amount lately, with the violence toward LGBT people getting worse, especially the demonization of trans people’s access to gender-affirming bathrooms, the Orlando massacre, and the person who was believed to be targeting LA’s gay pride event, as well as the everyday violence and discrimination leveled at genderqueer or trans people.
First up, though my bisexuality is a huge part of me, I’ve never found community in it. I don’t do Pride, because I’m antisocial and easily frightened in crowds, thanks to my PTSD. I’ve never found LGBT-specific communities to feel any safer to me than normal ones, in large part because bisexuality/pansexuality gets such a pervasively bad rep even among LGBT people.