On Bi Visibility Day, we shine the spotlight on bisexuality. Louise*, a Bachelor student from Avans, is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and believes this day is very important. “It’s good to introduce others to what it means to be bisexual. There are a lot of misconceptions about this orientation.”
Louise came out when she was in a hetero relationship. She was faced with a lot of prejudice. “People said I did it to get attention or that every woman is at least a little bit interested in women.” The stigma surrounding bisexuality hurts her to this very day.
Marit, another Bachelor student, has also observed this ignorance. But the day does not mean much to her. “It’s a part of my life, and I don’t need a special day for that”, she explains. She still thinks there should be more attention to bisexuality within the LGBTQIA+ community as well. “The ‘b’ is a forgotten letter in our alphabet.”
Because, as Marit says, bisexuality is generally the Cinderella of the LGBTQIA+ community, it was difficult for her even to find out she was bi. “For the longest time, I doubted whether I was a lesbian or heterosexual. When I had a girlfriend, everyone called me gay. Ultimately I realised that I can fall for men in exactly the same way as I can fall for women.”
Not knowing and the prejudices that she faced meant Louise had doubts about coming out of the closet for a very long time. “Because of my heterosexual relationship, I believed for a long time that it was unnecessary to share that I was bi. After all, I was with a man. I’m glad I decided to do it anyway. I am now able to be myself again.”
It has been a year since Louise came out as bi. She believes bisexual women are often sexualized. “Bisexuality makes a woman sexy, and people think she enjoys experimenting”, according to the student. “I came out to a friend once, and they immediately started talking about threesomes.”
Louise believes the ideas about bisexual men are also wrong. They are often seen as gay. She thinks that’s ridiculous: “Your feelings are valid, and only you know how you feel.”
Marit always gets the same questions that are often quite personal. “People always ask me which gender I like just a little bit more or who is better at sex.” Marit still answers those questions, hoping to create more understanding.
Louise feels supported by the LGBTQIA+ community at Avans University of Applied Sciences. “Because of my relationship, I was embarrassed when I approached a teacher to ask if I could join the community. Looking back, there was no need. She said that I am who I am, and she immediately added me to the group chat.” So far, Louise has found the group to be very accessible and understanding.
“We don’t talk about what someone is”, shares Marit. Those labels are for the outside world only. “The community is just a place to meet and come together and be yourself.”
*Her surname is known by the editors.