1. Can you tell me about a time when you started to come to terms with your sexuality being something other than heterosexual?
I think I knew subconsciously before I was okay with it myself, like I would tell my friends that I was bi when I was drunk and then deny it in the morning. One moment that stands out for me was this time I had like two drinks and I was like okay I’m coming out and I ran around and told all my friends and they were like yeah I know you’ve told me at least three other times. The next morning I was sober enough to be like oh it’s actually a thing now laughs.
2. Do you think your sexual orientation has affected your relationships with other people? If so, how?
Most of my relationships have been affected by it, it’s a huge thing. My longest relationship was four years and with a guy and he never saw it as valid. When we together I got into the headspace of wanting everyone to know about it and wanting it to become a part of my identity. And he couldn’t understand why and was scared that people would judge him. Also, I am generally more hesitant to be friends with people that I find a bit more homophobic. Even literally two days ago this girl I work with was really casually chatting about homophobic stuff and it made me so uncomfortable, and we have a totally different relationship now. I feel like because I have talked about dating guys in front of her, she assumed I was straight and felt safe to say homophobic things, which is a bisexual specific experience I would think.
3. Do you think there are any other factors that contribute to how you understand your own sexuality? Race, gender, family, culture, etc.
Everyone lives in their own culture, so of course. The fact that I went to university and like, first semester I did gender studies. That made me begin to accept that I was bisexual and that it was important to recognise why I had felt bad about it before. If I hadn’t had that very liberal and inclusive environment it would have been a different experience.
5. How do you feel the stereotypes surrounding bisexuals have affected your life? E.g. bisexual men are gay, bisexual girls are straight, bisexuals are greedy, bisexuals can’t choose, bisexuals have straight privilege, bisexuality isn’t ‘real.’
It made it harder to come out because I felt a bit detached from the gay community and I was tempted to try and hide in straightness which isn’t fun. Now being with gay women I feel a little scared to tell them that I am bisexual, like it’s easier to hide in gayness with them.
6. Do you think these stereotypes have originated from poor media and pop culture representation? Can you be specific?
Yeah, but also the media represents what our culture is actually like. The media likes things to be simple, where you have gay people or you have straight people. Because it’s easier to explain rather than the whole spectrum of sexualities that exist in actuality.
7. Can you comment on how the media and pop culture have defined bisexuality compared to how you might define it yourself?
The media hasn’t really talked about it; the only representation is very Katy Perry ‘I Kissed a Girl’ vibe. I get the impression that being attracted to women is less valid than being attracted to men when you are bisexual, so like being in a relationship with a man and kissing a girl isn’t ‘cheating.’ Small media like Tumblr communities are great though. For me bisexuality is the attraction to your own gender and other genders, not like a binary gender thing.
8. What do you want to do about biphobia or what do you want to say to people who are biphobic?
I would say people are highly complex, and it shouldn’t have to be an easy answer about how someone feels in order for you to feel okay. Also one bisexual person is completely different to another bisexual person. Lastly, I would say fluidity in sexuality doesn’t remove validity, like you can have a bisexual phase and then change later but that doesn’t remove the validity of your identity during that time.