We need more spaces for the bisexual+ community

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Bisexual Pride Flag

Recently I have been searching the internet and observing our heteronormative society, and I have come to the obvious realization and conclusion that we seriously lack spaces, platforms and resources for the bisexual community. In fact, it is quite concerning and upsetting to see that we do not have enough access to information, people and discussions especially when it comes to dealing with our sexual orientation, who we are and the issues we face.

Although it is fantastic and commendable to be represented under the LGBTQ+ community and have individuals who speak out on behalf of all of us, it is also important to note that bisexual individuals and homosexual individuals also face different issues and struggles. For example, it would not be right for a homosexual person to represent bisexual people and explain how awful bi erasure is since they do not know understand on a person level how it emotionally affects bisexual people.

In addition to this, I have found that there are very few bisexual friendly websites, organisations and individuals, which is difficult for bisexual individuals who are battling with various challenges because finding resources and support can be quite limited. Do not get me wrong, I really respect the current websites, organisations and individuals who have played vital roles for the bisexual community and I am very grateful for their existence and services; however, I do feel that we need more of these in order to create a diverse bank of knowledge, resources and connections in the bisexual+ community.

Another concerning observation that I have made is that there is a serious lack of representation for bisexual men in the media and online today. I have found it quite difficult trying to identify notable individuals or resources that apply to bisexual men, who, according to research by Psychology Today, are one of the groups that suffers the most from depression. I am glad to see that more bisexual women are finding spaces to speak out and express themselves. However, I feel that all genders who identify as bisexual need more representation and space overall.

In March 2017, bisexual individuals took the initiative to create #BiTwitter, an online movement to create a space to talk about the issues they go through and encouraging ways to inspire and motivate one another. It made many of us realize that we need to have more discussions, events and opportunities where we can express ourselves and communicate with one another about the problems we face and also empower one another.

According to a study by YouGov, at least 30% of young people in America alone do not believe that they are “completely heterosexual.” By this statistic, we can already identify that there are a lot of individuals who could really benefit from more bisexual content and representation in society. This is needed especially for those who are too nervous to be who they are and seriously require support and assistance in this regard.

Clearly from the observations I have made, we seriously have a problem when it comes to bisexuals being represented and having resources. Thus, it is crucial that we critically analyze the problem and determine what we could potentially do to solve the challenges we face as bisexual bodies in order to establish and improve our presence in society.

On the issue of representation, we should also take an intersectional approach and encourage people of colour, women, transgender individuals and Muslims who are also bisexual and are being marginalized, to become leaders in their respective fields. In this way, we can empower more bisexuals from all different backgrounds and create an inclusive, diverse society where we have spaces for bisexuals to be themselves and express themselves.

In addition to this, it should be strongly encouraged to have more bisexual characters included in TV shows, movies, books and other creative content in order to create inclusive, open spaces in the entertainment industry. Moreover, the common stereotypes and narratives of bisexual people must be removed and changed in these spaces and industries such as depicting bisexual women as promiscuous, oversexualized individuals and bisexual men as confused.

On a personal level, I have been trying to create more spaces for our community to discuss problems that they face and support one another. I am doing this mainly on social media, but I do take the time to speak to other bisexual individuals in person. I believe that all of us should work towards creating more support structures within their communities or online so that we can boost the confidence of those in our community who seriously need it. Furthermore, it would be fantastic to be able to empower fellow members of the bisexual community and ensure that they feel comfortable and confident enough in their living, working and socializing spaces.

We definitely live in a time in our society where safe and brave spaces are needed for the LGBTQ+ community. The bisexual community needs to unite and provide spaces and resources to ensure that bisexual people continue to feel safe, secure, aware and comfortable with themselves and the events that are taking place around them. Together, we can achieve so much and make the members of our community feel more empowered, capable and proud of themselves than ever before.

Luke Waltham is a BA Law Graduate. He is a BA Honours student and has been an activist for transformation, social justice and human rights. #BTSARMY

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