Let’s face it - bisexuals are a bit overlooked in the LGBTQIA+ space. Not unlike a middle child in a multi-sibling family, bisexuals seem to assume the role of piggy in the middle, the ugly sister to our louder, prouder queer counterparts.

We are fighting the fight for recognition and validity not just in wider society but in the gay community, too. Bi-erasure and biphobia are very real. The tropes about bi women being LUGs (Lesbian Until Graduation) and bi ‘until they find a husband’, continue to plague us.

Some of us will recognise that strange sensation of feeling more vulnerable exposing our bisexuality than we might if we revealed we were gay.

Why do we have such an identity crisis?

Trans men and women are increasing their visibility thanks to a number of high profile celebrities and support from the entertainment industry and ardent campaigners. Gay marriage is becoming more common place and we’re even on the cusp of ‘non-binary’ being recognised in public spaces.

But we’re living in precarious times in terms of our rights and against the backdrop of an increasingly angry and volatile political climate, we’re all at risk of seeing our collective rights being rolled back. We can’t afford to continue down the same path as we have in the past, feeling too straight for queer spaces and not straight enough for others.

Many of us feel in a state of flux in terms of our same sex attraction - a curious turn on for male partners and an unfortunate affliction for female queer partners. Our bisexuality can be an inconvenience, a confusion, a morbid fascination for someone to ‘deal with.

“So...like...what are we talking in terms of percentages for your attraction to men v women?”

“Oh your girlfriend is bi? Does she do full on lesbian threesomes with you?”

“Can’t make up your mind, can you?”

We’ve all heard these comments...and felt our heart sink. People still equate bi folk as over-sexual, greedy, non-monogamous or even attention seeking. Which makes exploring this side of ourselves so much harder.

We can be quite skilled at hiding our interest in women, playing down our fantasies and curiosities for fear of our bisexuality being hi-jacked and fetishised by often very well-meaning partners, friends and significant others.

There’s some damning evidence to highlight the extent of our exclusion, too. The Journal of Bisexuality demonstrated that the level of discimination faced by bi people within the LGBTQIA+ space was as real as the discrimination they faced outside of it. Worse still, mental health outcomes for bisexuals are among the worst of any sexual orientation.

“Pervasive stereotypes and negative attitudes about bisexuality are present not only among the ‘dominant’ heterosexual population but among lesbian and gay populations as well, resulting in a ‘double stigma’ for bisexuals” - Corey Flanders, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto

This pervasive sense of monosexism assumes there are only a few ‘authentic’ categories of sexual orientation rather than seeing sexuality as a spectrum with many shades. Considering this context, celebrations like Pride can feel problematic.

In 2016, Broadly reported on a study showing that 43% of women felt uncomfortable attending Pride. Many women complain that Pride feels especially male-centric and that there’s a certain strata of gay male culture where misogynistic attitudes and behaviour are rampant.

So what does this mean for Skirt Club?

There are few spaces where women can be free to fully express themselves as bi and feel confident enough to explore all that this may entail. This is a blessing and a curse. Because while we recognise the importance of these spaces, the fact is there is still a stigma in wider society in terms of same-sex attraction.

At Skirt Club HQ, we’re fighting the fight for more recognition and increasing visibility for our bi brothers and sisters - and we’re proud to fly the bi flag online and across our channels.

This summer, Vienna and New York Skirt Club will be hosting Pride parties and we’ll be encouraging women to get on board and fly the bi flag, too. We don’t believe that our identities are something to be debated or justified.

As women who celebrate other women and lean in to lift up others, we’re saying ‘you are enough’ no matter where on the Kinsey scale you are.

Why not join the Vienna or New York Girls and celebrate our special ‘Pride’ themed events on Jun 15th and June 30th?

Because remember, it’s OUR PRIDE too.

Access tickets here


Image credits: Elissa @wavylinesem on Instagram

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