The New Year is finally here. Thank the gods. This horrible nightmare of a year is coming to a close. Goodbye 2017. Hello 2018.
In honor of the New Year, I would like to put forth some ideas for bisexual New Year's resolutions. Now when I say "bisexual New Year's resolutions", what I mean are ways to further embrace, love, cherish, and feel more comfortable with your (bi)sexual identity.
In other words, these resolutions are ways to help you (or rather, remind you) how to be your most badass bisexual self. (FYI, I realized when proofing this how corny some of the reasons sound, but I promise if you read the description there's a lot more depth.)
1. Don't let others take away your identity
When I first came out as bisexual, I was nervous to correct people when they mislabeled me as gay or straight. I didn't want to be "that guy", who's ruining every joke or calling out people who know I'm bisexual, but just accidentally referred to me as gay. But then, for my own well-being, I 100% became that guy. I corrected every person politely — I didn't clap back — if they called me gay or straight. At the time, that's what I needed for myself, as I was still new to embracing my sexual identity.
Now, however, I've embraced my bisexuality. I know who I am. Sure, sometimes I struggle with how to approach the world, seemingly existing in this limbo state between gay and straight spaces. Nevertheless, I'm unabashedly sure of my sexuality. That's why I now don't have to correct everyone who mislabels me. I know I'm bi. Even if you mislabel me, I still know I'm bi. I don't need your validation of my sexual identity. In fact, I don't need anything from you, because I know who I am and proud of who I am.
Sure, I want to be respected, and my identity to be acknowledged, but at the end of the day, I won't give anyone else the power to take my identity away from me.
2. Find more bi+ people to have in your life
I know, it's not easy. I can say "Google" and "find bi+ groups and events" (and I am saying that. You should do that!) But do you know what has been the best way for me to meet bi folks? Talking about how I'm bi with new folks I meet. I'm always, always surprised by how many people I talk to who say, "Yeah, I guess I'm kinda bi too."
These are men and women who do sexual things with multiple genders but haven't quite embraced the bi label. They're not going around broadcasting it the way I am. But the moment I tell them I'm bi first, they're more than happy to discuss their own attractions to multiple genders.
3. Confusion is a state of mind
I talk about this in great lengths in next week's Good Bi Love column, so I don't want to go into crazy detail here. Still, I will say that there's a fine line between feeling confused and not. I firmly believe that sexuality isn't stagnant. It's a journey, regardless of your own sexual orientation. At times you will have a sense of what you want from the queer community, your relationships, and yourself. At times, you might not be certain. That doesn't mean you're confused. It means you're exploring. You're figuring yourself out.
When we say we're confused, we often start to feel powerless. If we change the way we think about uncertainty, thinking things like, "I'm not sure what I want, but I'm excited to find out," that puts us in a place of power. In a place where we feel like we have control of our own identity as opposed to crippling confusion.
4. Say "bisexual" aloud more
How often do you actually say "I am bisexual" aloud? For some of us, it's every day, for others, not so often. I believe that when we say our identities aloud, it allows us to embrace them more fully. It allows us to feel pride in who we are. Additionally, as I somewhat mentioned, the more you discuss your own bisexuality, the more you'll meet people who are bi+ too.
5. Don't be afraid to try out new labels
Okay, so many you still have some hangups with the word bisexual. You prefer queer or pansexual. That's okay. You do you! I identify as bi, as well as queer and pansexual (because I'm attracted to all genders, too). However, my go-to words are either bisexual or queer. Those are the words I feel most comfortable with. Those are the words that have allowed me to embrace who I am to the fullest. Don't be afraid to try out new labels. While labels can be the worst — no one likes to be put in a box — they can also offer some clarity. They can empower us. So if you feel like labels failed you in 2017, maybe it's time to switch them up for 2018.
There ya go! Have a happy New Year's and let's not only hope but also do our very best to make this year the best and baddest bi year of our lives yet!