Great news, y’all! The city of Berkeley has unanimously voted to make Monday Bisexual Pride Day. According to the Human Rights Council’s website, Bi Pride celebrations have been held on September 23 for over 10 years, but this is the nation’s first official holiday celebrating all us “bat for both teams” types.
Before everything else, let me say: I am genuinely psyched about this. I think it shows a willingness of the government, even at a small city level, to officially acknowledge the importance of celebrating sexualities that some people regard as “fake.” And I think that’s pretty fucking amazing.
And now it’s confession time: I don’t really identify as strictly bisexual. I always get a little wigged out by the implication that there are only two genders, and that I’m only attracted to people who conform neatly to them. Yes, I like dudes and yes, I like ladies, but I also like people who don’t really identify as either. Ideally, I’d like to just tell people “I’m ‘Starships’-sexual” (you know, “Fuck who you want, and fuck who you like”), but I tend to default to “queer” or “bi” for simplicity’s sake in day-to-day life.
Eventually, I’ll come up with a Post-It that I can stick on people’s lapels detailing exactly what I find attractive in my sex partners. Considering that I haven’t even managed to mock up business cards yet, my hopes are not high for the near future.
Sometimes, I’m afraid, too, that I have a tiny smidge of internalized biphobia. When I do tell people I’m bi, I occasionally wince a little bit, like I’m expecting them to automatically assume that I’m going through a phase or just trying to get dudes’ attention by making out with my female friends at parties. The correct response to those hypothetical reactions, of course, would be to tell the offending party to kindly fuck off forever. As a compulsive conflict-avoider, however, it’s hard to remember that when the chips are down and you’re trying to make friendly cocktail conversation.
I’m also totally guilty of occasionally forgetting that bisexuality exists in other people. I may preach all I want about bisexual invisibility and the unjust erasure of identity, but I was still totally caught by surprise a few weeks ago when a very attractive (and heretofore unavailable) friend of mine who had recently broken up with his boyfriend grumpily told me there were no cute girls in his neighborhood.
“Buh-wuuhhhhhh –-“ I stammered. Be cool, Conway. “Yeah, totally, hella bummer! Dudes, right? And ladies. Uh. I gotta go.”
Something about my brain subconsciously labels single people as “maybe makeouts” and monogamous people as “their partner-sexual.” Marianne has written about how frustrating this can be as a monogamous person, and I know it is blatantly incorrect, but it continues to sneak up on me. This also may be a case of typical Self-Involved Writer Syndrome, however: I am a super-special bisexual snowflake, and no one else could understand my pain!
I know. It’s obnoxious. I’m working on it.
In fact, maybe Bi Pride Day is the perfect time to do just that. We’ve made some great strides this year, folks. For example, if she’s elected, Kyrsten Sinema would become the first openly bisexual member of Congress. Google no longer thinks we’re a dirty word. Ezra Miller lives and breathes on this very planet. There is clearly cause for celebration.
In all honesty, I’ll probably be spending this Bi Pride Day doing what I do every Monday: chewing on my hoodie strings and trying not to drown in my own coffee, only with extra bisexually. I’ll do my best to get over to the festivities by evening, though.
If you’re away from the Bay (which I hope they rename the Bi just for the occasion), no need to feel left out! Here are some suggestions to get you started on your own Bi Pride celebration:
*Embrace stereotypes: Convince a guy and a girl to attach themselves to you like clothed, horny octopi for the whole day. Make come-on eyes at everyone you pass on the street. Use your bisexuality as a vehicle for summoning Satan. Make out with a lady on a street corner, then scream, “It was a phase! Where my dudes at?!” There are so many annoying bisexual tropes, this could occupy you all day!
*Reject stereotypes: Do none of the above. In fact, spend the whole day inside eating pretzels. Refuse to eat them bisexually, you fun-hating bastard.
*Surf Craigslist for an apartment in Portland for when we all up and move. Since we apparently outnumber the entire population of Oregon, it seems kind of inevitable. Plus, Portland is the bisexual capital of the world! Whatever that means.
*Make fan videos celebrating your favorite bi characters of past, present, and future. Shade me all you want, but if Stiles is actually bisexual in a way that is not just for laughs next season I will probably joy-cry myself to dehydration. In the meantime, there’s always Brittany, Thirteen, Paige, and our Great Lord and Savior Captain Jack Harkness. Bonus points if you set these videos to Top 40 music.
*Watch all the movies in the Gay & Lesbian section of Netflix. It's not a bi section, but sometimes you just have to watch a movie about Matt Smith kissing a bunch of skinny German boys. I will not fault you for this.
*Read a bunch of books starring bi characters. This will be easy, as there are few. For vampy bis, go for Dorian Gray or The Vampire Chronicles; otherwise, read "Boy Meets Boy" by David Levithan. Don't want to get too dark on a holiday, after all.
*Get lost forever in the “list of bisexual celebrities” page on Wikipedia. “Wait a minute, Nicki Minaj is actually bi? This changes everything!” Gloat. Gloat to everyone you know, for basically no reason except that you and Nicki share a sexual identity.
*Take “list of bisexual celebrities” page on Wikipedia with you into your bedroom and shut the door. You’ve earned it.
Tell me what else you come up with! Are there any other hot bi celebrities I should know about? What’s your favorite/least favorite bi trope? Are you, like me, totally guilty of forgetting bisexuality exists in others even though you should goddamned know better by now? Let me know.
Kate is reminding everyone she's bisexual over at @katchatters.