Bonding over exclusively drinking iced coffee and cuffing every item of clothing in sight, #BiTikTok is allowing bisexual people to connect with one another through humour
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY PIXABAY.
Internet culture has long been a haven for LGBTQIA+ people. With emo culture at an all-time high in the mid-2000s, teenagers flocked to MySpace in their droves to declare their love for Gerard Way, whatever their gender. Androgyny was becoming cool, eyeliner was all the rage, and social perceptions of bisexuality were improving.
But when I first suspected I was queer as a tiny 17-year-old, Tumblr was my only hope of connecting with other LGBTQIA+ people. In many ways, it seemed like most using Tumblr weren’t straight, or at least the subsection I followed weren’t. I silently reposted gifs of girls holding hands, girls kissing, girls running their hands through their hair – anything that alluded to the female gaze. Like many, I acted under a cryptic username so that no one from my hometown would learn of my queerness, as though it was something to hide: the thought of being outed as queer at an all-girls’ school terrified me.
Though the internet has largely moved on from the Tumblr culture that cultivated my own queer experience, #BiTikTok is the latest platform following in the footsteps of its predecessors. Carving out a space for queer people through memes, thirst traps and educational content alike, it’s distinct from other areas of LGBTQIA+ TikTok.
Before I came out, I needed to hear that the world wouldn’t implode because I admitted my love for women. Importantly, this is a lesson that #BiTikTok is preaching, led by @summerkmorgan, who dispels some of the myths surrounding bisexuality.
Identifying some of the concerns that people might have when figuring out their sexuality, particularly regarding the dynamics between bisexuality and biromanticism, Summer acknowledges that bisexuality is a spectrum. It is possible to be romantically attracted to women, but say, only sexually attracted to men, which is certainly something I was never taught at school. Equally, it’s possible to be bisexual and have never dated someone of the opposite gender: bisexuality appears in many forms, and as Summer acknowledges, all are valid.
Life lessons aside, there’s also an element of thirst trapping to #BiTikTok. With her androgynous look and “steal your girlfriend” humour, Marthe Woertman (@marthwubbles) is at the forefront of this sultry form of online content. She describes herself as a “Dutch online boyfriend simulator”, playing with both masculine and feminine thirst trap-style looks that have accumulated her 1.1 million followers.
Likewise, many tap into the hilarious, community-binding tropes surrounding bisexuality, from exclusively drinking iced coffee, to being incapable of sitting on a chair properly, to cuffing any item of clothing that will physically cuff and reclaiming ugly dad shirts. And whilst girl in red’s i wanna be your girlfriend is the standard #WLW soundtrack, #BiTikTok claims The Neighbourhood’s Sweater Weather as its national anthem.
Charlie identifies as non-binary and bisexual, and they perceive #BiTikTok as distinct from other areas of queer content: “Bi TikTok is like any other part of TikTok – curated for the community, by the community. In the same way that there are in-jokes queer people only make around other queer people because straight people wouldn’t get it, that’s how Bi TikTok feels.”
They continue: “It’s full of silly jokes and quips that are often far too painfully true. It’s refreshing to see others understand your experience, and Bi TikTok to me is just the same as Bi Twitter or other Bi community groups – it’s somewhere else I feel safe and seen.”
Though these stereotypes are used on #BiTikTok to light-heartedly poke fun at one another, they wield a deeper meaning: these in-jokes are carving out a unique online community for bisexual people. Think of #BiTikTok as lesbian cottagecore’s chaotic sibling that, despite it all, has some interesting life advice to share.
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