Because I suck at titles, I’m just going to go with that one.
I came out as bi at 14 in the middle of a family dinner. I shouldn’t have come out that way, but I did. We were eating dinner, and I was a freshman in high school, and I just had this secret I had been living with. I wore the pride rainbow wristband I got at Twin Cities Pride that summer. My gay uncle took me. He asked me if I was an ally. I said, everyone should be an ally. But I hadn’t been able to say that I liked girls, and I liked boys. This was before I knew anything about the trans* community. This was September of 2005, and we didn’t really talk about queer issues in my house. I didn’t see Boys Don’t Cry, my first glimpse of the transgender life, or know that it applied to me, that I was trans*, until a year later. And when I did know, I was terrified. But I think I’ve covered that enough, and today I don’t really want to talk about it.
Anyway, I didn’t know that there were more than two genders. I didn’t know things like being FAAB (female assigned at birth) or that you could really be a man. Or not. Or both. Or whatever your gender is. I just knew I was a boy but I thought I was the only person like that on the planet. Which, we know, I’m not.
But at 14 years old, I knew that bisexual meant that you were attracted to both genders, and I knew that was me. I had started going to the support group in high school for queers. They only had that support group my first year of high school. But I went, and some of my friends went. I had a crush on a girl. She had been my really good friend for years. She was also straight. I was living as a female. But anyway, I got to the point where I just felt like, I go to this support group. I wear a pride bracelet. So at dinner I just said, I like boys, but I like girls.
There, we’re done. I’m out.
Then I got older, and I learned more about the transgender community, and pansexuality, and how bisexuality only covered the two traditional genders. And I thought, no, I don’t care if someone is trans* or whatever, I like people and I don’t really care about their gender. But as I came out, I realised that wasn’t right, either. Also, the bisexuality community, I feel, has done a lot to erase that old definition. We don’t want to be transphobic. So now the bisexual community is being thrown under the bus. Which we know, is pretty common.
A while back I wrote an essay on transphobia. I could have also wrote one about the phobia I experience being attracted to more than one gender. I hinted at it, but I could have done more.
I’ve been told things like, pick a gender. Be gay. Or be straight. Don’t be both.
I can’t. Just like I can’t live my life as a woman.
Believe me, things would be easier if I could. But I’m not known for taking the easy road, and believe me, I tried being straight. I can’t. I also tried for twenty one years to be a woman, and we all know how well that worked out.
I think that the “fight” or argument, is probably a better term for this, between the identified bisexuals and the identified pansexuals is a fight that doesn’t really need to be happening? I mean, all of us are attracted to more than one gender, and I think instead of fighting over a label, we should be working together. I think that being pan is under the bisexual umbrella, just like being a trans* guy is under the trans* umbrella.
As for the I don’t care about gender argument, which I am guilty of, before I was educated on myself, and on gender, and believe me, I still have a lot of education to go through, because people always evolve, I think it is flawed.
Hear me out.
I need people to care about my gender. I need people to say Blake is a man. For people to say that they don’t care about my gender hurts me. Especially because I am in the early stages of my transition. I’ve only been on T for 4 months, and I have a long way to go. I have to still change my name and my gender and my birth certificate and a lot of things. So for a potential partner to say that they don’t care, that hurts me. And I don’t think people who say I don’t care about their gender are meaning to hurt people when they say that. I’ve said it. I wasn’t meaning to harm anyone by saying that, but I think it did. Or it could have.
I tend to stay away from dating, but I could have really hurt someone by saying things that I’ve said.
I think my main point is, we need to stop throwing people under the bus. Some bisexuals, I’m not going to speak for the entire community, that’s not appropriate, but some feel that the “standard” bisexual identity is transphobic, and they don’t want it to be. They just want it to say that they are attracted to people, regardless of their gender identity.
And I don’t want to speak for pansexuals, either. But some feel that the bisexual identity doesn’t fit them, and they like being pan. And that is one hundred percent okay. Because no one should tell you what you identify as, or don’t. I’m just saying that I think the two communities should unite and be under the same umbrella so we can combat all the people that throw us under the bus.
If we could stop focusing on the “argument” between the two communities, I think we could fight it better. Because both communities are definitely left out of the LG and sometimes T community. And both of us, I feel, have been told, hey, pick one. Pick a sexuality. But we have. We just happened to pick one you don’t think exists, or shouldn’t exist.
I’m sorry, I’ve drank a lot of coffee, and I seem to be rambling.
How about we stop throwing members of the LGBT*QIA community under the bus? How about we stop throwing people under the bus?