As bisexual people, we can internalise the biphobia or bi-erasure that we experience in the world around us. But it doesn’t mean we can’t overcome them.
My experiences as an anxious bisexual led me to create Kalda, an LGBTQIA+ mental well-being app. Creating resources for the app has helped me understand the power of gender and sexuality-affirming therapy.
But it took me a long time to talk to my partner, mum, friends and colleagues about being bisexual. I’ve come a long way since then. The affirmations that I’ve been using (see below!) are helping me to feel more confident as a bi woman.
They’re also helping me with my internalised biphobia - but what is that, and how do we overcome it?
First, let’s look at external biphobia. It can take the form of erasure or othering of bisexual people. This is what happened to Kit Connor, the star of Heartstopper.
Kit was bullied on Twitter for not being ‘out’, despite being 18 years old. When incidents like this happen, they can affect other bi people who see them, as well as the celebrity who is being targeted.
This external biphobia can cause us to question or feel less of our identities and experiences. That’s where internalised biphobia comes into play. It’sthe experience of judging and doubting your bisexuality as either not real or something to feel shame about.
For me, internalised biphobia has all sorts of knock-on effects on my confidence and my ability to seek loving relationships. Compared with our gay and lesbian peers, bi people are more likely to have mental health challenges.
Here are some affirmations that make me feel more confident as a bi person and counter the biphobia I’ve experienced.
Three affirmations for bisexual joy
My bisexuality is valid; whatever sexual experience I’ve had
In the past, I’d be less confident to seek out sexual experiences with other women for fear of not being seen as a ‘real’ queer person. In reality, my sexual experiences aren’t the only thing that defines my sexuality.
No one wonders how they know that they are heterosexual. The same applies to bisexuality. No matter our sexual experiences, if you are attracted to more than one gender, you are bisexual.
As a bisexual, I still belong in the queer community
There’s no need to deny or minimise my queerness. I respect everyone’s gender and sexual orientation, and I belong in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Our community is not a single entity. There’s no bouncer at the door of this club. It’s home to people of a variety of experiences.
Bisexual people are faithful, loving partners
As bisexual people, we are not more likely to be unfaithful when in a relationship. We do not stray because of our sexuality.
Bisexual people can choose monogamous or polyamorous relationships and be as trustworthy as monosexual people (people who are attracted to only one gender). We want to love and be loved.
Sexuality can shift, but my bisexuality is real and valid
I am not ‘on the way’ to a monosexual identity. Sexuality can shift and change over time, but it doesn’t mean I’m confused. It doesn’t make my sexuality now any less real or valid.
I’m sharing these affirmations because they resonate with me. If you’ve ever felt like you couldn’t shout about being bisexual or feel comfortable pursuing the relationships you want, they might resonate with you too.
We’re on this beautiful, multisexual journey together.
I want to give props to Kit Connor for representing the queer community in Heartstopper and inspiring all of us.
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