There is little point in trying to deny that parts of the queer community are rife with biphobia. I dealt with it a lot with Ms Gay Limerick and even more with Ms Gay Ireland. For the year and a half I have been out, I am very careful what I say to certain people. Sometimes it feels like the more political and vocal I get about bisexual identity, the more backlash I seem to get.
Previous to dating the current boy, I was very hush hush about my romantic life to anyone outside my best friends and my mom. I didn’t want the LGBTQ circle to find out I was flirting with boys, I didn’t want my straight friends to know I was shifting girls. I became overly conscious of avoiding gender pronouns and did all I could to avert the inevitable slut shaming that tends to follow bisexuals around. I even censored myself when writing Gaelick articles so I could be sure there would be no flaming.
Finally, there came a point when I realised that I was acting like I was still in the closet. In the same way I used to hide that I loved the ladies, I was now ashamed of not being gay enough. I did, after all, have a title to live up to.
Having a boyfriend and staying active in the queer scene can lead to trouble. Straight people will call you straight and accuse you of being a cheating harlot if you correct them. Gay people will accuse you of not being proud of who you are, not being good enough to be part of the community, and in my case, start up Facebook hate pages and threaten to bottle you. (Like everything in life, the 1% are making the 99% look bad.)
Don’t bi into it
Let’s ignore the fact that my boyfriend was my biggest supporter for Ms Gay Ireland, is a member of Out in UL (even though he is straight), and went to all his lectures one day in drag to help raise money for us. Even if he was an absolute a-hole, excluding anyone from a community based not on their actions and attitudes, but on who they are dating, is an awful lot like people giving you the evils for kissing your girlfriend in public. Our community is about acceptance, not judging people on who they want to sleep with.
My pet peeve is being accused of not being gay enough. I will never be gay enough. I am not gay. I am bisexual. After years of struggling with whether I was gay or whether I was straight, I am an out and proud bisexual woman. I love the queer community more than almost anything in the world. It is my passion; it is who I am. I will not go back in the closet and I will not be ashamed.
I am dating a boy now. And that’s okay.