September 23 is Bisexual Visibility Day. This day is to recognize and even celebrate the identities of your bisexual friends and family members. Bisexual individuals actually make up more than half of the LGBTQIA+ community unlike what most people think. We must take today to remember the importance of bisexual visibility.
Bisexual Visibility Day is our chance to validate the identities of bisexual individuals because that’s what they need most. They need validation and support. If a bisexual woman marries a man, society considers her a liar because she chose to marry a man over a woman. It’s the same for bisexual men who marry women. But that’s just not how it works guys. You can be attracted to both genders even if you marry someone the opposite of your gender. It doesn’t mean you’re attracted to the other gender any less.
Bisexuality isn’t being a little “gay” or being a little “straight. It’s an identity of its own. That’s why it matters. They deserve the same uplifting encouragement that we offer to their community counterparts. I want you all to take today to appreciate, support and encourage your bisexual friends and family members. Make sure they know that they have your love and support.
How will you show your bisexual friends and family that they matter?
Supporting Your LGBTQIA+ Friends During Pride Month
While Pride Month might just seem like a month full of celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community, I promise you that it’s so much more than that. This is the first Pride Month that I’ll be celebrating for myself but prior to this, I’ve always just done my best to support my friends who are LGBTQIA+ during pride. Supporting your friends during Pride Month is critical! Over time, I’ve learned that there are several ways to support your friends during pride. So, I’d like to share a few of them with you.
You can start supporting your friends during Pride Month by educating yourself. If you’re unfamiliar with the LGBTQIA+ community, or maybe know very little about it, then educating yourself on what you don’t know is one of the best ways that you can support them. Take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the spectrum of sexualities revolving around Pride Month. This is also a chance for you to learn about the history of Pride Month and how it came to be!
Another way that you provide great support to them is by using their proper names and pronouns. I understand that you might have known someone prior to their transition but you’ve gotta respect who they’ve become. The person they used to be might be part of them but that’s not who they are anymore. It’s incredibly disheartening to be invalidated by the lack of respect that people have for your identity. Don’t be disrespectful. I know it will take time but make the effort to learn your friends’ new names and/or pronouns.
My final piece of advice on supporting your LGBTQIA+ friends during Pride Month is that if you’re a straight ally, don’t make pride about you. It’s not about you. It’s a month for your friends to take the opportunity to showcase their pride in who they are! Pride can be difficult sometimes for those who have not yet come out to the world, remind them that it’s okay to be themselves even if it’s in private.
Supporting your friends who are LGBTQIA+ during Pride Month and all year round is important. It’s the best way to remind them that they matter, that they are loved. Support is critical especially when it comes to being an ally.
How are you supporting your friends during Pride Month?
This year, celebrating Pride Month is going to be a little different for me. Before I get into that, I want to talk about the importance of pride month. We celebrate Pride Month in June in recognition of the Stonewall Riots that occurred in June of 1969. The Stonewall Riots were a result of several police raids that occurred at the Stonewall Inn — a well known gay bar. After the second raid, members of the LGBT community were fed up. The constant police harassment and discrimination was tiring, so they rioted.
These riots jumpstarted a movement that would change the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community today and for that, I’m thankful. June is for celebrating the voices and cultures of this community as well as the support of equal rights for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. Up until this year, I’ve never actually celebrated Pride Month. I never felt like I could. I was raised in a home where being gay was okay for everyone else but not me.
It would make me feel awful. I just want to be me. Who I love shouldn’t affect how people see me. I decided to write my coming out post last year because I was tired of just pretending I was someone I wasn’t. I wasn’t out to very many people and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. It took a really long time for me to figure out who I was but now that I have, I’m not letting anyone take that from me. I’m pansexual and I love hearts, not parts and I’m proud of who I am.
So, that’s why this year, Pride Month is going to be different for me. I want people to know that I’m proud of who I am. I don’t care what they have to say about who I love. This month is for people like me to showcase the pride we have in our sexuality as well as the community. I will be celebrating all month as much as I can. I hope to take my brother Dante and his boyfriend to their first pride parade, it would be my first too! I’m so excited to celebrate this month!
Things I Hate Hearing as Someone Who’s Transgender
As someone who’s transgender, I can tell you that there’s a lot of things I’m tired of hearing from people about being trans. There are a lot of things that people say to me that I just can’t stand but these are some of the ones that I hate the most. These are the things I hate hearing as someone who’s transgender:
I’ve always wanted a trans friend!
Glad I could fill that stereotype for you, buddy. No, but seriously. This just isn’t something that’s appropriate to say and can be quite hurtful at times. I don’t want to be your friend just because I’m transgender. I wanna be your friend because you have a friendly interest in me. I’m quite interesting, and I’m way more than just someone who’s Transgender.
What’s your old name?
This is a question you should never ask someones who’s Transgender. Unless it’s for safety reasons, there isn’t a real reason you should need to know a person’s deadname. This is an especially uncomfortable question for me because I don’t like talking about myself pre-transition.
You are so brave!
Some people like hearing this, but it’s something that is weird for me. I don’t like it when I tell someone that I’m Transgender and their immediate first response is “You’re so brave!”. It’s just the fact that it’s a really backhanded compliment.
Why did you choose/decide to be Transgender?
I didn’t choose or decide to be Transgender. I didn’t wake up one day and just decide that I’m gonna be a boy. It took years of therapy and realization for me to realize that I’m Transgender. And it also took a lot of time for me to actually come out and say to everyone that I’m Transgender.
Did you have any surgery yet / have you started hormones?
Some people might be okay with answering this, but it’s not something that I would personally want to talk about. You don’t need to know if I have had surgery, or if I have started hormones. If I decide to share it with you, then that is fine. But I only share personal things like that on my own accord, not when you wanna know.
Can I see a picture of you before?
I have likely deleted all photos of me pre-transition, but nobody owes it to you to show a picture of them before they transition. You should be happy with how your friend looks, no matter what. Not to mention the fact that asking for something as absurd as that is a breach of privacy. So refrain from asking this question.
Which bathroom do you use?
This is another case of a breach of privacy. This is an extremely private question for people, and I just don’t see why someone needs to know this.
Are you sure this is what you want?
Yes, I am 100% sure. I have had several months of thinking, and therapy. I am very much sure that this is what I want. In fact, I know that the only way to make me feel better is to transition, which I have, and I am feeling much much happier in my new skin.
Check out Planned Parenthood’s article about transphobia here!
You can also read my post The First Time I Got Misgendered right here on TurningPointCT!
Coming Out As Pansexual
I knew from a young age that I wasn’t straight. I liked boys and girls the same, I just wanted someone to love me for me. We never talked about homosexuality at home and when we did, it was never really anything good. They never directly stated that fact but a part of me knew that homosexuality was bothersome to my mom. Though, she used to say that my dad was the one bothered by homosexuality (this is not even remotely true). She eventually admitted that she wouldn’t want her children to be homosexuals because it’s a hard life to live but that doesn’t make it okay to say to your child. I knew coming out would not be easy.
Was it okay that I liked girls? This question raced through my head all the time. It never really felt like it was. I didn’t come out to anyone until I was in high school. I never really had to come out to my friends, they all just sort of knew. Obviously, I did eventually tell them that I was bisexual (at the time) and they were incredibly supportive. I felt accepted and free to be myself. Unfortunately, at home was a different story. I came out to my mom and she didn’t take me seriously, she pretty much told me it was a phase and that I’d be over it soon. At this point, coming out to my family just wasn’t something I planned to try ever again.
I wish I could be as open about my sexuality with my family as I am with my friends. I know that someday I’ll be able to be totally myself with them but right now is not the time and that’s okay. I’m happy with the people that do know and accept me just the way that I am.
I originally came out as bisexual but currently identify as pansexual. Now, I know that a lot of people confuse this with bisexuality but they’re not the same. This sexuality means that you have an attraction to one or more genders, often men and women. Bisexuality relies on gender (and that’s not a bad thing) while pansexuality does not. Pansexuality is an attraction to people regardless of gender, this includes those who are transgender, non-binary, and so much more.
Up until last year, I identified as bisexual but I felt constricted by this label. Eventually, I ended up admitting this to my brother Dante and that’s when he began to teach me about all of these sexualities that I’d never heard of before. I was glad to hear that there was more than gay, lesbian, or bisexual to identify as. I told him about how being bisexual didn’t feel right to me. This is when he explained to me that I was actually pansexual. Then it all began to click for me.
I’m going to be real with you, I’ve been head over heels for a handful of women, even been with two, but there’s one woman I’ll always love. And that’s Nicole. She was actually one of the first people that I came out to as pansexual. Instead of invalidating me, she just asked questions about what she didn’t understand. This is the first time I really felt free to be myself. We spent what felt like almost an hour just talking about what it meant to be pansexual. It was nice to explain to someone how I was feeling and have someone actually understand what I meant.
I knew when I first met Nicole that I was pretty much in love. She was kind, passionate, and just so different from anyone I’d ever met before. I knew that I needed her to be a part of my life. Though I didn’t actually tell her about my crush on her until about two years ago but I think it’s safe to say it certainly wasn’t an issue. We always joke that we’re married and part of me thinks that maybe someday we will be (never say never *wink*). I just know that she will always be someone that makes me feel safe and I couldn’t ask for anyone better than her.
For me, being pansexual means that it’s all about your soul. I know that in my heart that if you have a good soul, I know that you’ll be good for me. Honestly, I’ve never really cared about gender because that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that you’re beautiful on the inside. I want someone who has a kind heart, a spectacular personality, and everything in between.
Coming out as pansexual has brought me so much happiness. As much as I dislike labels, I’m glad that there’s one for me. I will always love people for who they are because it’s about hearts, not parts. As a pansexual woman, I am free to love whoever I want regardless of what they identify as. I am no less valid than someone who’s bisexual. Many people in today’s society have a problem with pansexuality because it has a slight overlap with bisexuality, which in their eyes means that they’re the same even though they’re not.
All sexualities are okay and valid. You are still so loved regardless of how you identify. Please never let anyone make you feel like you are anything less than great because of your sexuality.
Coming out isn’t an easy thing for most people to do but you know what, it’s so worth it to be able to live an authentic life as YOU!
I’ve included an article that details the difference between Bisexuality & Pansexuality here!
You can also read about National Coming Out Day here on TurningPointCT 🙂
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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