Family / Life

Getting Bi

Richha Swirly Bi Paint

So what do you do when you’re at Pride, and the people at the next organization’s table are also your neighbors* — the neighbors that abuse their dogs? What if they’re the sole souls at the “Republicans for Equality” table? What if your four-year-old won’t stop playing with their kids, no matter how you try to redirect him? These are the questions that plague the minds of nice and antisocial midwestern queers, let me tell you.

We went to Pride though! This is a Big Accomplishment. I’m bisexual, or pansexual, depending on a complicated rubric that takes into account the exact cycle of the moon, the date on the Jewish calendar, and what I had for dinner three nights ago. And this is me, working on visibility – though I’m a few days late for Bi Visibility Day. (Forgive me – I bought a house some three weeks ago, and it’s been nonstop through this weekend, when my brand new original 1970-era shower wall caved in. It’s a blessing I’m able to dress myself these days.) Either way — Pride has not felt like my place, as the Mister and I passed as a hetero couple for so long. Even recently, I’ve felt like too much of an impostor. Pride was never mine.

But things change. Recently I’ve been working on this organization, an advocacy non-profit for bisexual and pansexual people. We’re pretty cool, and if you’re in Wisconsin, and non-monosexual, you should come check it out. It’s got me on my toes, at board of directors meetings, social gatherings, and Wisconsin Capitol Pride – my first Pride event ever.

So, a bisexual’s first Pride, the short version. Pride attracted your usual group of protesters — in Madison, they’re few and tired, but present. (They’re the exact same small group of people who protest evolution at the farmer’s market and occasionally haunt the steps of Planned Parenthood). By the time we showed up, they had wandered off, perhaps to find an easier target to bother, kittens or perhaps discarded grocery bags. It was sunny and there were a lot of pleasant, middle-class white people milling about. There was a drag performance, a bunch of organizations, and a handful of people. I can’t say it was the most exciting time I’ve had, but it was really nice. And Jetpack had a great time with the kids I wish he didn’t play with.

Having made a community and then bringing them there really made it a worthwhile experience. Being at Pride as part of an organization of bi people was fabulous. It was something like VillageQ — making a community out of a community, bringing people in and making something comfortable and naturally encompassing. And like here at VillageQ, we’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m so excited to be doing it! Happy Belated Bi-Visibilty, all of you fabulous bi/pan and allied folks. In celebration, I suggest you get two kinds of cake, and eat both of them. Because no one should have to choose only one kind of cake if they don’t want to.

*ex neighbors, now, thank goodness.


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  1. Wow! I love the rest of the article, but I am still just trying to answer the questions in the first paragraph. Nope. Got nothing for you. See? Just another Wisconsinite bi-person totally feeling your pain.

    • I love it that you wrote that sentence (“just another Wisconsinite bi-person totally feeling your pain”) from Albania. Not that I love that there’s pain to feel, mind you. But that the internet, and the little eddies we create in it. can help convey that kind of compassion across those kinds of miles.

      And thank you, Levi, for all the complexity, all held in the same body at the same time. That’s a great many people, to one degree or another. Few see and name it so well, though.

  2. LOVE this. Thank you.

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