One of the greatest joys in my life is writing, and there is perhaps no topic I am more enthusiastic about covering than my life as a bi man. When I started writing pieces that included my insights and experiences as a bi individual almost four years ago, I was riddled with insecurities and felt stabs of anxiety every time I sent a new piece to my editor for review and publication. However, as the years continue to roll by, I have grown more confident as a bi man, writer, and advocate in part due to the many incredible bi individuals I have been able to connect with through my writing efforts.
It is through this network that I finally grasped how truly mind-bogglingly vibrant and unique the bi experience can be for each individual. By connecting with this community, I learned there are countless ways to be bi, which in turn gave me the confidence to be braver when it came to sharing my own unique experiences as a bi man. Simply put, by expanding my bi circle, I grew more secure in myself while simultaneously gaining a deeper understanding of my community. I think there is a lesson there that can help many when it comes to understanding bisexuality: the more exposure you have, the more you will comprehend and accept.
This is a message I try to convey as often as possible. While I am always thrilled to learn that something, I have written has helped someone out, there is an important caveat to consider when reading my work: while there may be universal themes that are relevant to the bi community at large sprinkled throughout these pieces, the details of my bi experience are not universal, nor are they representative of what the bi experience is like for everyone. I am a white, middle-class man from the Midwest, and that is the lens through which I see the world regarding bisexuality or any other aspect of my life. If you are truly looking to understand the bi community, you must diversify your sources well beyond one or two individuals.
To be clear, I am not on some ego trip, thinking the entire world is out there reading my pieces and accepting them as the bi gospel. I’m saying this because I come from a small community, a community in which I am one of the only LGBTI voices — and possibly the only bisexual one. Though it fills me with so much joy to hear a piece I wrote helped further someone’s understanding of the bi community, I want to make sure they are aware these pieces cover the realities of bisexuality for my life specifically, and that there is so much more to the bi community than my experiences alone.
Don’t get me wrong; I feel incredibly blessed that so many people from my hometown and elsewhere have taken an interest in learning more about the bi community and are comfortable reaching out to me as a bi resource. It makes a lot of sense as to why this happens, given that they are familiar with me and are probably more comfortable asking questions of someone they have already established a relationship with. However, I cannot be their sole resource because my bi experience is unique to me; that is why I now try to direct these inquisitive people to additional resources, individuals, and organizations where bi information can be readily found, and simply share my insights as supplemental material.
I am not trying to diminish my own experiences or avoid discussing bisexuality in these instances; I am simply trying to be the bi resource they want and need me to be. If I claimed my experience was the sole bi experience it would be much easier, sure, but I would be doing a disservice to both those trying to learn more and my bi community. I am always willing to be a bi resource for those looking for helpful information, but if you want to build a true picture of what the bi community is, then you need to connect with members of the bi community.
It’s something I highly recommend. In my experience, it’s a group of full of incredible, interesting, and one-of-a-kind people, and their bi experiences are as equally unique and valid as my own. It is my hope that those interested in learning more will not restrict themselves to one bi perspective, but instead will expand their bi circles to connect with the many beautiful, captivating bi individuals out there who are willing to share their own insights and experiences as long as you have the compassion and patience to listen.
For additional perspectives from bi writers, check out the full list of bi.org articles here.