Several months back I was scrolling through Facebook, minding my own business, when I suddenly received an unexpected and tiring question:
After looking at the question and proceeding to do my best Jensen Ackles/John Krasinski impressions —
— I decided that I had a few options for how to answer:
1. Take it seriously. Respond to this person and detail the specific challenges and/or quirks of bisexual life, but ultimately end by politely stating that in the grand scheme, “life for someone who is bisexual” isn’t really all that different from “life for someone who isn’t bisexual.” We have different challenges — not different lives.
2. Pull out my A+ sarcasm. “Well, when we first wake up every morning, we must perform the daily ritual in which we bind our life forces with the life force of our all-powerful leader, Angelina Jolie. We then must have sex with two people of different genders to prove our bisexuality beyond a shadow of a doubt. All this before breakfast, you see! We then consume a nutritious meal consisting of only pink, purple and blue foods as a pledge of allegiance to our pride flag. After that we go to work so we can contribute to a larger society that often erases or flat-out ignores us and our identities. Once we arrive home from work, it’s time for the daily threesome! (Again, I cannot stress the importance of proving our sexualities to the rest of the world) Just before bed we must brainstorm in our journals ideas for how to turn the world into a polyamorous, orgi-filled cloud, as we ourselves are incapable of being monogamous for more than an hour or two. And then we sleep. And dream about being with both Beyonce AND Clooney.
3. Ignore it and move on.
I chose #3.
But now, on this most joyous and queer of occasions — Bisexual Visibility Day — I am going to go a different route.
This time, I’m picking #1.
So, eight months later, here is the answer to your question, unnamed Facebook friend from high school:
Being bisexual is receiving quizzical looks from everyone who hears you talking about a cute guy moments after you mentioned a past relationship with a woman.
Being bisexual is having your manager at your actual real-life job pepper you with questions about your sexuality because he is “confused” by it.
Being bisexual is having loved ones pick a side for you, and start calling you a lesbian.
Being bisexual is having to consider multiple outcomes for your life based on which gender you fall in love with because, let’s face it, sadly, falling in love with someone of another gender is going to mean a much simpler life than falling for someone of your same gender.
Being bisexual is feeling left out from the group because sometimes LGBT feels more like LG
Being bisexual is wondering if it’s even all that necessary to come out to your family. After all, as long as you’re dating someone of a different gender, no one’s the wiser, right?
Being bisexual is being made to feel dirty. Historically, we are not a community that has been presented in the best of lights. We are believed to be cheaters, sluts, promiscuous and incapable of real love. We are often depicted as going through a faze, only to eventually “pick a side” and go full homo or full hetero.
Being bisexual is cherishing every single bi character you see in the media because, my god, are they rare.
Being bisexual is a game of hide-and-seek where everyone pretends to be playing, but nobody ends up even trying to find you.
Being bisexual is also exciting as hell. Who am I going to fall for today? Him? Her? They? The mystery and wonder of it all!
Being bisexual is defiant. Try to tell me I don’t exist. I dare you.
Being bisexual is freeing. I will love who I love, regardless of the plumbing they come with.
Being bisexual is pretty damn normal. It’s fucking awesome, but no more or less awesome than any other identity or sexuality.
It’s just a thing. Just like being straight, gay, pan, ace, demi, etc. It’s a thing.
For us bisexuals, it’s a pretty big thing, but it’s not everything. It doesn’t make life hugely different for us. It just means we think about some stuff a little differently.
And we get asked A LOT of questions.
So many questions, y’all. You don’t even know.