“We do not choose who we love. This should not be forgotten when it comes to bisexuality”

BY NIC CROSARA

Just before my second year of uni was about to start, I was adamant that I would never date a guy again. I’d been there, done that, got the T-shirt. This time, I was being proactive. I set my Tinder up to only match with women. I was going on as many dates as possible, I almost trekked up to the North for one match. I spent a lot of my time trying to gauge whether my female friends were holding my hand platonically or not… they were not.

I did not have a male love interest on my mind. But then, along came Jack, my now fiance. We both fell in love and were absolutely furious about it. We had not gone to Wetherspoons that night with the intention of settling down. Despite my bisexuality and genderfluidity, and Jack’s pansexuality, when we enter the world together people see a cishet-passing relationship. 

There are obvious privileges that come with being able to pass as straight. I am more comfortable with it than I am with being misgendered, but surely we all want to be seen as we truly are? Whilst my bisexuality is the least visible part of my identity, it’s here to stay. That doesn’t mean that I don’t often struggle with navigating both my sexuality and queer spaces. 

As lockdown eased and I began being able to meet up with some of my friends who came out as bi just before the pandemic. One of my friends was catching feelings for a guy but refusing to let it go further. Another was asking women on dates, but having no luck. I was reminded of an all too familiar fear of not being bi enough. I’ve had many conversations with bi friends who feel insecure about attending gay bars or Pride events with their boyfriends. We bond over dreading being asked “how many women have you dated/slept with?” as if our validity depends on our dating record. 

We cannot talk about the bi experience without discussing gatekeeping. It exists within every marginalised community and the queer one is no exception. Whilst it is a response to historic oppression and often comes from a desire to protect the community, it often damages the very thing it set out to shield. Community is something we all need and we shouldn’t have to sacrifice it in order to date who we want. We do not choose who we love. This should not be forgotten when it comes to bisexuality. 

So happy bisexual week to my fellow bi siblings. Whether you’re dating a woman, man or someone between the binary, or just focusing on yourself, I see you. This community belongs to you. So go to that gay bar and shake your booty, go to that march and fight for LGBTQI+ rights, join that queer bookclub, wear your rainbow with pride and if you see a gate, throw it wide open.

@niccrosara

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