What I never understood was why bisexuality was fringe in queer spaces. Why do huge publications, pride organisations, and queer groups only talk about the bi spectrum during Bi Visibility Month.
I can picture a pissed off Editor in Chief, leaning back on their chair, rubbing the frustration into their eyes, exhaling everything from their lungs, “oh for fucks sake, it’s September again isn’t it”.
“Better give those angry bisexuals an Instagram Story or they’ll riot”.
I wanted to talk about a sort of envy. Our theme for Issue 5 is green, and what I’ve found in a lot of scenarios is a tiresome envy to queer spaces. From my volunteer work leading a Pride organisation’s Comms, and the cool shit we do at Unicorn Magazine – I’ve been invited to a number of queer spaces. Luckily, or frustratingly.
I’ve spoken at a number of events, visited a number of launch nights, awkwardly mingled a few networking drinks – all under the guise of an LGBTQ+ soiree.
Seldom do I feel like this is my space.
Walking around, grabbing a canape, gently but quickly seeing off my drink. Impostor Syndrome is rife and latches onto every one of these events. A bisexual surrounded by shoulders and shoulders of prediminantly cis gay men.
What irks me the most is the fact that between 52-59% of the queer population are bi. What doesn’t surprise me is that in the recent Stonewall Bi Report from this year, 43% of bi people have never attended an LGBT space or event.
Let me say that again, because I think your phone went off while you were reading that.
43% of bi people have never attended an LGBT space or event.
Your LGBTQ+ community event, I’m afraid to say, is fucking boring.
“Oh crap, we forgot to add bisexual speakers to our panels. Quick, get that intern to pull together a ‘Bi Representation in Media’ panel and put it as the last slot”.
Queer spaces shouldn’t be just mindful of bi individuals. They need to be run by them. I can’t begin to imagine how electrifyingly creative and colourful queer spaces would be with proper representation.
But it’s not just about patting yourself on the back by bringing more bi people into the conversation. It’s saving lives; if nearly half of bi people don’t feel welcome in your spaces, where do you think they can go to grow into their identities? To discover their real version of themselves.
I’m envious of the spaces there are. I’m disappointed they’re called ‘Queer’ or ‘LGBTQ+’.
It’s time for queer spaces to get a grip. I don’t know how. I’m just ranting into the magazine we started, ironically because queer publications needed to get a grip with bi stories.
But I swear down, if I have to sit through another ‘Bi Representations in Media’ panel, I’ll throw myself into The Thames.
Written by Lev Alexander