Today is International Bisexuality Visibility Day! The day is celebrated annually on the 23rd of September. Bisexuality is usually misunderstood in the LGBTI community as well as the general populace. A minority within a minority from the perception that, by being bisexual, they tend to date both men and women at the same time. Women argue that bisexual women bring diseases within the lesbian and queer community. On the men’s side, bi/ cis-women fear that bisexual men might cheat on them with other men. Another societal misconception is that bisexuals have two reproductive organs.
GALZ recognises the need to raise awareness on bisexuality as well as create spaces for dialogue and understanding of bisexuality related issues. Bisexuality is the romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour towards both males and females, or to more than one sex or gender. It may also be defined as romantic or sexual attraction to people of any sex or gender identity, which is also known as pansexuality.
In light of this, our Communications Officer, Tash Dowell sat down with a community member and ally, Pocahontas, to talk about their journey of discovery and the challenges they’ve faced.
Tash: What messages about sexuality would you have liked to receive while growing up?
Pocahontas: I think if I had gotten information at an earlier age, I would have been able to understand myself better. This information was not there, especially in the elementary stage. I think as a child I was aware of my difference but I didn’t understand what it was.
Tash: Any other issues that could have helped?
Pocahontas and friend simultaneously: If I had never had Christianity in my life, it would have been very different because everything just becomes an abomination. I am a Christian but I don’t understand the messages they send. I thought Christianity was about love and respect.
Tash: Are you in a better position now concerning your sexuality?
Pocahontas: It took a while to get to this point where I know this about myself. I do not want to be in the closet with people that I am dating because it’s important to me. At the same time, I am trying to make someone whom I am dating understand, (who is unlearning what they have known for years) that my sexuality does not have to be a threat to our relationship. It’s hard sometimes, they don’t understand me.
Tash: With all that you have experienced, would you say you understand sexuality better?
Pocahontas: It hasn’t been a smooth road; it’s been a bumpy process of self-realisation. Society tends to want to keep you in a defined box. If you can date men, why don’t you just date men and be “normal.”
Tash: Is there a balance to living as a bisexual person?
Pocahontas: I don’t know if you ever find a balance or you just live with it. You’re not gay enough for the women or straight enough for men.
Tash: What made you decide to come out then?
Pocahontas: It took a while to find a community that was willing to receive me
Tash: What is your takeaway from this journey?
Pocahontas: When you’re in a place of being misunderstood, constantly and you’re trying to understand yourself, it is a lonely place.
Tash: Any last words?
Pocahontas: I wish people discussed sexuality in its entirety. We would be better people with each other.