Article by Adrian House
On September 23rd I stood at the corner of Water St. and McBride’s Hill with a sign that said “I am Bisexual.” Why on earth would I do such a thing, you may ask? And well you may.
September 23rd is in fact Bi Visibility Day. The awesome folks from Equality Network in Scotland had put out a call to get people to openly express their bisexuality on this day in whatever form they chose, and I chose this.
There’s something uniquely empowering about standing on a busy street with a sign proclaiming your truth, whether it’s “I am bisexual” or “The end is nigh!” (maybe you could combine the two somehow). It’s better than a comment on Facebook, let me tell you. I had actually wanted to do exactly this for quite a while, and Bi Visibility Day gave me the perfect motivation to do it.
I must admit, though, that I felt a bit of trepidation as I pulled my sign out of the car and started walking to my spot. “Am I insane?” I asked myself. “Possibly,” myself replied, “but at least I’m having fun.” I held up my sign and got to work, so to speak.
I was prepared for insults and the pelting of rotten fruit, but I got none of that. Not one negative reaction, and the experience really made me feel warmly towards my fellow Townies. Most people ignored me, but the ones who did engage with me were overwhelmingly positive.
I got smiles, encouraging honks of horns, and someone who came up and said, “Me too!” Two hairdressers on break came and chatted with me, both bi and very encouraging. An older guy drinking beer out of a water bottle approached and said, “How’s it going? I’m bisexual.”
We had a chat and he confided that he liked women, “but if I saw a good looking guy coming out of a bar I’d try to sleep with him, for sure.”
It’s hard to pick a favourite interaction that I had. There was the man who walked by, saw my sign and then looked me in the eye and said, “Congratulations,” sincerely. Also there was the older woman who asked, “What’s the point?” and when I told her what it was about said, “Oh, it’s Bi Visibility Day!” Her husband said, “Thumbs up, man!” as they drove away.
Perhaps, though, my favourite was the gal who, driving by in a beat-up car next to her sideways-ball-cap-wearing boyfriend, leaned out of the window and yelled, “You go! You go!”
As I don’t have a cellphone, I didn’t get any pictures other than the one below that my friend took when he came over later that night. However, if you’re one of the gals who came and put your arm around me while your friend took our picture and told me, “You’re awesome!” making me feel warm and fuzzy inside, please get in touch.
As long as it means something to say, “I am bisexual,” then I think we should say it, and challenge the narrow gay/straight view of sexuality that most people have. If you’re bi, curious, or just supportive, I hope you’ll join me in doing so next Sept.23!