Ways I Honor My Bisexuality (without kissing women)

February 14, 2019

Bi+ erasure and invisibility often make me feel like my bisexuality doesn’t actually exist unless I’m walking around holding hands with my obviously cis male partner and kissing an obviously cis woman at the same time while wearing a shirt that says “I’M BISEXUAL!” in all caps.

graphic displaying the title of the article

This feeling becomes especially heavy when I am publicly visible with my cishet male partner — my bisexuality sort of fades into the background until it is nonexistent. Thanks to cisheteronormativity, people tend to assume that I am straight because of the relationship I am in.

Because of this, it is extremely important to me that I find ways to honor and express my bisexuality in daily life. While the idea of publicly kissing a woman while holding my partner’s hand does sometimes sound appealing, there are plenty of other ways I integrate my bisexuality into my life:

  • Intaking bi+ media and media created by bi+ folks (even if it isn’t explicitly queer in nature)

This is a broad category because there are so many forms of queer media! I spend a lot of time reading articles, listening to podcasts, and following topics on social media about bisexuality and other queer topics — learning more about our history and staying current on issues we are facing is important to me. However, I also try to prioritize the intake of media that is created by bi+ folks no matter what the subject matter is. Supporting bi+ creators increases visibility for all of us.

  • Listening to music with non-explicitly-male love interests

This includes songs with gender neutral pronouns as well as songs about women, and I award bonus points if the artist is also not a cis man. Music receives it’s own category because it is a pervasive aspect of my life — almost every store, restaurant, or car ride features background music. Intentionally curating the music I hear is a small way that I can positively impact my life.

  • Expressing to my partner when I find other people attractive

I was forced to repress my attractions to everyone except cis men for so long that it is an act of resistance and bravery to express aloud when I find someone attractive. My partner is extremely encouraging in this endeavor and we find ourselves bonding over the occasional shared attraction. In this way, an expression of my bisexuality is actually facilitating intimacy-building between me and partner.

  • Wearing or displaying bi pride colors and symbols

My partner gave me a lovely necklace that displays the bi flag colors, and another dear friend gave me a crescent moon necklace. While the bi colors are fairly self-explanatory, the moon is my personal symbol of bisexuality (see the screenshot below). I also display a bi pride flag in my bedroom, have many pride pins on my backpack, wear a bi pride colored ring stack, and own a multitude of pride-related pieces of clothing.

screenshot of a tweet that says "We acknowledge that the whole moon exists even when, from Earth, we can only see part of it. So it really shouldn't be that hard to respect the wholeness of bisexual/pansexual/sexually fluid people even when they're in a monogamous relationship. It's fine to have phases, and outside appearances don't define you. We're the motherfucking moon."

This tweet is from a friend who would rather not be named.

  • Mentioning my bisexuality in social media bios

This is important to me because it gives people a filter through which they will see all of my posts. By mentioning that I’m bisexual in a place that is fairly visible, I can help ensure that people don’t see pictures of me and my partner and assume I’m straight. When I put it in front of them, they will read what I post on social media through a different lens (which is great, because I interact with the world differently because I’m bi).

  • Recognizing when I have a “celebrity crush” on a non-cis-male individual

Almost everyone has a celebrity crush, even those in monogamous relationships. It’s culturally acceptable to have crushes on celebrities, so acknowledging when I have one — no matter their gender — is really important to me in normalizing bisexuality.

  • Joining online communities for LGBTQ+ or bi+ folks

As much as I wish I could surround myself with LGBTQ+ folks in real life who share my experiences, that isn’t always possible, so I intentionally seek out online communities of people who can relate to my daily reality. I’m part of several Facebook groups for varying demographics of LGBTQ+ folks and very active on Twitter. Some of my deepest friendships were formed in those spaces.

Creating intentional space to honor my bisexuality not only positively impacts my well-being, it fosters intimacy with my partner and allows me to connect with others in deeper, more authentic ways. Even though our identities are not always immediately obvious to outside observers, we are healthier and more embodied when we lean into them.