I’ve lived in Los Angeles for a good long time. Going on seventeen years next September. Back when I’d occasionally venture into stand-up comedy (Big mistake. Big. Huge!), I’d usually joke that I carbon-date my friends by what superfood was big when they first moved to town. I got onto the scene when açai berry was having its big moment — the first time, before it got into the bowl business.
There’s a lot that I adore about this town. But there are absolutely some stereotypes that it lives up to as well. Most of those have to do with more of the woo-woo side of stuff — charging crystals on the nightstand, refusing to date Libras, blood facials. While some of these things appeal to the witchy side of me, most of them don’t really rock my boat and I find them frivolous and self-serving.
However, there is one thing that has come through all the psychobabble chatter at every dinner party and hiking date I’ve been on that I love: gratitude lists.
Gratitude lists are when you list off — either mentally, or journaling first thing in the morning — at least three things you’re grateful for. There is actually a lot of good science on the power of gratitude helping us not only take stock but work as a psychological reset so that we end up having a better mental framework both for our bodies and our attitudes.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d list off a few things I’m grateful for as a bi person in the year 2022.
I am grateful for being at peace with who I am, who I love, and how I love. That wasn’t always clear to me, nor was it clear I’d be able to live out loud.
I am so grateful we as a populace are getting better bi and queer representation in stories, both on the page and on the screen. And that there is so much of it that I have literally written thousands of words about it.
Much like being happy to live out loud, I am also grateful I have the creative freedom to create more queer stories — ones that have banged around my head for decades, and just the space and the air to let others see them and feel seen.
I know this part may seem self-serving, but yes — I am grateful for my work here at Bi.org. Five years ago I never would have thought asking a simple question to my editor (now-friend) at Pride would turn into a second profession.
I am beyond grateful I get to grow a queer community around me, fostering a space that understands me, where I’ve been, and where I’m going — because they’re on the same path.
While I will, always, always be angry at the bi elders we needlessly lost in the AIDS epidemic due to ignorance and government fear and neglect, I’m grateful down to my toes for the ones who made it through, who can tell us our own history and share their hard-won wisdom.
I am so grateful for, and hold it as a sacred position, to be a resource for other bi folks — to be a safe space for others to come out or question that I did not always have when I was growing up.
To whit, I am so grateful to have a supportive blood family who love and accept my bisexuality and don’t just tolerate or dismiss it. I fully recognize this is a privilege that not everyone has.
On a federal and state level, I am so grateful to have laws and court orders protecting marriage equality. I can distinctly remember the heartbreak of Prop 8 passing and feeling my rights slip away under some hateful legalese. I don’t take having this right lightly.
And ho boy, am I grateful to have mental health resources like talk therapy with LGBT-supportive therapists. I’ve been down that other road and I assure you — nothing makes you feel more alone than explaining like a teacher to a student your sexuality to a mental health professional. I do not recommend.
I know that that last resource is not something everyone has access to, so I’m grateful that I can be an instrument for change in that department. This past year I worked with Los Angeles County on how they can make mental health resources more affordable and accessible to all members of our LGBT community through some extensive interviews and research, and I feel confident that the County came and listened and took my and others’ concerns seriously and left the conferences with actionable goals.
And you know what? I’m grateful for the struggles. Yes, I’m grateful for my years of questioning and discerning. (Not for the dismissal and erasure, of course!) I’m grateful for that because I know that it isn’t easy for everyone to come to terms with who they are — even such a joyous thing as being bi — and I can call on that struggle when I can help others who are questioning. What a gift that is.
Oh, and I’m grateful for Tom Hiddleston.
And Michael B. Jordan.
And especially Charlize Theron.
I know that’s quite a list. I have to say, I surprised myself with how extensive it is. Maybe it’s the days getting shorter that make me grateful for any bit of sunshine or spark. Maybe it’s the very real joy in my veins of having had perfectly cooked turkey. But with each passing day, I become more and more grateful for this bi experience I call my life. I truly am blessed.
Oh, one last thing to add to the list...
I’m grateful for you, dear readers. Thank you.