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Bi+ Awareness Week: 10 Things We Wish Everyone Understood

Today is Bisexual Pride Day and we are capping off our Bi+ Awareness Week series by spotlighting five different members of Out in Tech. They are honoring the bi+ community by telling their stories and the things they wish everyone understood about their identities.

I wish everyone understood that:

1. The “mspec” spectrum can be difficult to explore/navigate, and those of us who identify within that spectrum all experience varying degrees of questioning where we fall within it.
2. All mspec identities are VALID, and it’s ok to change how you identify, as many of us are still learning about the different ways to identify after decades of bisexual being the term for attraction to more than one gender.

When Janelle Monaé came out as pansexual in 2018, I immediately felt seen when I learned more about pansexuality. I previously identified as bi but then I realized that I’d had crushes on non-binary and trans-identifying folks both during college and after, and it became clear to me that I wasn’t only into men and women (which in itself is a common misconception about bisexuality) — I’m attracted to people across the entire gender identity spectrum. I came out again to friends and family as pan and have never felt more comfortable and confident in my sexuality than these last few years.”

– Abel (he/they)

I wish everyone understood that:

3. They should not be comfortable with their biphobia; it is not acceptable.
4. Everyone is not bisexual. Although it is completely possible for people to be attracted to more than one gender at least once in their lives, this does not mean everyone is bi+ or identifies as such.

For the longest time, I thought I was straight because, by the age of 19, I had dated (and been attracted to) only one girl. I thought to myself ‘if I’ve only been with one girl, am I even bi?’ Then, fairly recently, I realized that my sexual/romantic history does not dictate my identity or sexuality. I identify as pansexual because I can form attractions to people regardless of gender.”

– Eniola “OJ” (she/her)

I wish everyone understood that:

5. For some people, specific labels are an important part of their personal identity, but others (like me) are fairly ambivalent.
6. Oftentimes, it’s hard for people who are attracted to more than one gender (like me) to truly feel like they belong in the LGBTQ+ community and feel like intruders in queer spaces.

“I’m now just starting to accept that I’m allowed in queer spaces, and a huge part of that growing comfort is due to the #mspec-bi-pan-omni-multisexual Slack channel at OIT. These days, when I feel attraction to someone, I do often notice the way they express their gender—sometimes it’s a part of what attracts me to them, sometimes it’s not—but for the most part, it’s secondary to all the other amazing aspects of who they are.”

– Aly (she/her)

I wish everyone understood that:

7. As a bi/queer/fluid person, my attraction is not 50/50
Oftentimes, people (like me) worry about coming out as bi to other queer folks bc of the negative stereotypes that 8. the “bi” identity has carried over the years: that we don’t know what we want, that we’re not ‘queer enough’, that folks won’t date us, etc.

“The more time that I have been out, dated, and lived as a mspec human, however, I know that my fluidity is a superpower, just like the other fluid identities in my life – being Italian and Puerto Rican, being an athlete and a writer, being an introvert and part of a loud, social NY family. We all flow through so many different ways of being every day, and my being mspec is just one of those ways for me.

– Jackie (she/they)

I wish everyone understood that:

9. They shouldn’t assume people who “look straight” aren’t part of the community and should be careful of the language they use to describe them. Many bisexual people find the term “straight passing privilege” to be invalidating and insulting.
10. Bi people are not more likely to cheat or to “spread disease”, these are biphobic myths.

“I grew up in a conservative and rural area of the Midwest and didn’t know what being ‘queer’ meant, only that you didn’t want to be it. In my early teenage years, I had my first experience with attraction to people of varying genders and it was kind of terrifying, I felt like I was doing something incredibly wrong. Because of this, I hid as a straight cis person until I was in my 30s when I had the confidence and support in place to start understanding myself as bisexual and nonbinary. I’m still not completely out but I’m getting there.

– OIT Member (they/them)

Want to connect with more queer techies? Join our growing Out in Tech Slack community, where you’ll find thousands LGBTQ+ folx to hang out with. We have an awesome slack channel geared towards building a community for the Bi+/Mspec experience – Join the #mspec-bi-pan-omni-multisexual channel by messaging @Jay Bryson (He/Him) for an invitation.

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