Today celebrates a day I’m sure most people don’t recognize, and that’s why today I’m thankful for–
September 23 was National Bisexuality Awareness Day–and for people who are the B in GLBT, it can be a hard road to travel. There’s a lot of misconceptions about bisexuality, and I can’t say I’ve been immune to them myself. I can’t even say I don’t have some of them now… But that’s why we celebrate today. To remember diversity goes beyond “gay” and “straight,” that “bi” is alright, too.
A lot of people think bi people are really just gay. For a long time I thought this, too: When I was still coming out to myself, I tried to convince myself I was bi so there was still the hope of having a traditional one-man/one-woman relationship someday. But I soon realized that bisexuality, for me, was a delusion and I couldn’t truly accept myself till I accepted that I’m gay.
A lot of people think bi people are just promiscuous and take whatever they get. This isn’t true. Bi people, like gay people, are no more promiscuous than any straight person. It might be called “sexuality” but it’s not about sex: It’s about love.
And a lot people, I think, just don’t know what to think about bi people. There’s this overarching us-them mentality to a lot of things, and for straight people and gay people this comes easily, but when we add bi people to the mix, both sides are at a loss: They’re not us, so they must be them, but they’re not really them, so they must be us. Too often, this train of thought leads us to grouping them together as “something else” and treating them with less dignity and less respect than we would ever treat ourselves. It’s horrible: Those who advocate the most equality are sometimes those who know how to show it least.
Then comes National Bisexuality Awareness Day. It’s a day for us to remember that we are not all there is to the world, that an us-them mentality doesn’t mesh with reality, and if nothing else, it serves as a reminder that even when advocating for equality, even when bearing the signs of GLBT, we might not remember to include the L or the T or the G or, especially today, the B that makes GLBT one group, one community, one family.
For that openness, for that awareness, for that reminder, I am thankful.