On October 7th, I attended an event that celebrated Bisexual Awareness Day held by H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Promote Equality). For the event they got guest speakers who openly identify or have identified in the past as bisexual. They talked about their experiences being openly bi and the issues of how people see bisexuality. The biggest issue they talked about facing was how people would say that bisexual people People would tell them that one day they would figure which gender they are attracted to. This part reminded me of “La conciencia de la mestizo: Towards a New Consciousness” by Gloria Anzaldua where she was talking about when a biracial person is with someone that is the same as one of their races, they have to act like that race. It is the same with bisexuals, when they hang out with gay people they are generally expected to be gay or if they are with a straight crowd they are expected to be straight. Society has difficulty understanding that there is a middle ground and they think that you have to be one or the other.are just confused.
They also talked about the issue when it comes to current partners. If a male was previously dating a female but then after breaking up, started dating a male people would start asking, “Oh so you’re gay now”. Or if it were the other way around people would say, “So, are you straight now?” It is as if bisexual people jump between gay and straight depending on whom they are currently with but that is far from the truth. Then there was also the issue where people say that bisexuals are “just greedy” because they want both men and women. It’s not that they are greedy, no one can control whom they find attractive and just because straight people are only attracted to half the population doesn’t mean the bisexual people are greedy for liking more.
The female speakers also talked about how difficult it is to be a bisexual female in our society. Just like in “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” by Adrienne Rich, they talked about how society always automatically assumes that women should naturally be straight. So if it is so difficult for men to understand that a woman can be a lesbian, how can they understand her being bisexual? They also talked about how the only way many men can accept a bisexual woman is through fetishizing and porn.
It was a very interesting event and it was nice to hear the stories of how different people have dealt with being openly bisexual.
Here is a video that talks a bit more about bisexuality and the issues that bisexual people face in day to day life.