hello! this carrd exists mainly to support bisexuals and those who are questioning if they might be bisexual.
length: 4k+ words, 9 sections including this one.
by @winterysoldier on twitter
before anything else;
“will this carrd tell me if i’m bi?”
no. knowing whether you experience attraction or don’t, or whether what you feel counts as sexual/romantic attraction or doesn’t, is hard and it depends entirely on you.
questioning your attraction or the lack of it isn’t fun, but it’s common. you’re not alone.
it’s normal not to be able to immediately tell whether your lack of interest in dating members of a specific gender means you’re not attracted to them or if it’s just a preference based on your personal issues (internalised biphobia or homophobia, traumatic experiences with members of this gender, being more comfortable dating people of another gender, being closeted and afraid of people finding out you’re bi, inconvenience, being trans and feeling more comfortable with dating members of a specific gender only / fellow trans people only, etc.)
some questions you can ask yourself and reflect on are:
1. would you, in a hypothetical world where none of these problems or issues exist, still be attracted to that gender?
2. everything asides, do you have the capability to fall in love with people regardless of their genders?
you’ll figure it out eventually, on your own.
i can’t tell you whether what you feel is attraction or not, and no one can. don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
don’t let anyone reduce what you experience into “just a meaningless phase” or a “product of internalised homophobia and society’s expectations.”
don’t let docs or carrds or threads define your experiences for you. they can give you insight, and a reminder that you aren’t alone, but your experiences are solely yours. your feelings are yours. they are unique and special to you, even if they’re somewhat relatable. you are an individual and something as personal and as complicated as your sexuality can’t be explained by generalisations or others’ experiences.
it’s up for you to figure it out. it can take months or years. it’s sometimes a slow progress and it can take a lot of reflecting and experimenting for you to completely figure it out. there’s no rush, you have all the time in the world. you don’t owe anyone anything. don’t let anyone rush you into it, and don’t let anyone make you feel obligated to settle down on a label, and don’t get mad at yourself for struggling because you feel like many people make it seem so easy and have always known.
if you believe you experience attraction towards specific gender(s), and later on it turns out to actually be a phase or not real, that’s valid. you are valid. you just need to work it out on your own, fully aware of all the options and possibilities, without letting anyone or anything define your attraction and your experiences for you.
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what is bisexuality?
“J: Are we ever going to be able to define what bisexuality is?
S: Never completely. That’s just it – the variety of lifestyles that we see between us defies definition.” — Boston Bisexual Women’s Network Newsletter, January 1984.
“do not expect a clear-cut definition of bisexuality to jump out from the pages. we bisexuals tend to define bisexuality in ways that are unique to our own individuality. there are as many definitions of bisexuality as there are bisexuals.” — bisexual manifesto, 1990.
what bisexuality is depends on how you define it as a bisexual person. however, there are things that bisexuality is not.
bi erasure, misinformation, and biphobic stereotypes have led people into thinking many wrong things about bisexuality, so i’m here to call them out: bisexuality doesn’t exclude nonbinary people. bisexuality doesn’t exclude trans people. bisexuality isn’t sexual. bisexuality has never been defined as attraction to men and women solely. bisexuality isn’t a fetish. bisexuality isn’t a stepping stone. bisexuality isn’t a trend. bisexuality isn’t fluid.
the term “bisexual” wasn’t coined by bisexuals, it originally meant intersex, and the prefix “bi” referred to being of two sexes. it was later on reclaimed by bisexuals to describe their experiences as those who fall outside the established gay/straight binary. bi doesn’t mean two, and any statements that include the word ‘two’ to define bisexuality are ahistorical, biphobic, and were made up recently.
tl;dr: bisexuality isn’t attraction to two genders — binary or not. bisexuality isn’t attraction to “two or more” genders.
bisexuality can be defined as:
• attraction to all genders.
• multi-gender attraction.
• attraction regardless of gender.
• attraction for those who don’t identify as “100% straight or 100% gay”.
• attraction to one’s gender and other genders.
• attraction to same/similar genders and other genders.
• gender-blind attraction.
• and many more.
if any of these definitions resonate with you, you are or might be bisexual.
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some sourced older definitions of bisexuality:
“Kate Millett concluded her December, 1974 talk by lauding ‘the very wealth and humanity of bisexuality itself: for to exclude from one’s love any entire group of human beings because of class, age, or race or religion, or sex, is surely to be poorer - deeply and systematically poorer.’” — quote from “The Bisexual Movement’s Beginnings in the 70s”, Bisexual Politics, referring to 1974.
“I believe most of us will end up acknowledging that we love certain people or, perhaps, certain kinds of people, and that gender need not be a significant category, though for some of us it may be.” — From an issue of Bi Women: the Newsletter of the Boston Bisexual Women’s Network, 1986.
“I am bisexual because I am drawn to particular people regardless of gender. It doesn’t make me wishy-washy, confused, untrustworthy or more sexually liberated. It makes me bisexual.” — Lani Ka’ahumanu, “The Bisexual Community: Are We Visible Yet?”, 1987.
“Bisexuals fall in love with a person, not a gender.” — A bisexual’s survey response in Closer to Home: Bisexuality and Feminism, Weise, 1992.
“The probability is that your relationship is based on, or has nestled itself into something based more on the relationship between two identities than on the relationship between two people. That’s what we’re taught: man/man, woman/woman, woman/man, top/bottom, butch/femme, man/woman/man, etc. We’re never taught person/person. That’s what the bisexual movement has been trying to teach us.” — My Gender Workbook, Kate Bornstein, 1998.
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am i still bi if..?
yes, you are still bi if:
you have identified as a lesbian, gay man, or straight person for years, before you realised you’re bi.
you are in a long term relationship, regardless of your partner’s gender.
you don’t commit to long-term relationships.
you have preferences.
your preferences change.
your preferences never change.
you don’t have preferences.
you don’t have preferences in general, but you have preferences when it comes to dating.
you have never dated anyone.
you have dated members of one gender only.
you don’t want to date anyone.
you don’t feel comfortable dating members of a certain gender despite being attracted to them for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to: trauma, preferences, being closeted, being trans, etc.
you are strictly monogamous.
you are strictly polyamorous.
you are nonbinary.
you are trans.
you are asexual.
you are aromantic.
you are “too young.”
you are “too old.”
you are religious.
bisexuality is defined by attraction, not by whether you act on it or not, and not by any other labels you use or identities you have.
no, you are not bi if your attraction excludes either binary gender (men or women) or individuals aligned with them, because bisexuality includes all genders, and the definition of bisexuality being “attraction to two (or more genders)” is ahistorical and false.
if you exclude trans people and/or nonbinary people from your bisexuality, and you’re attracted to cis men and cis women only, you need to reflect on that. it’s transphobic.
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what is internalised biphobia?
when bisexuals are socialized to believing biphobic beliefs, this is internalized biphobia. internalized biphobia generally manifests in two ways: as biphobia towards other bisexuals, and as biphobia towards ourselves. both are a result of negative feelings that we hold about our sexuality. it is something that pretty much all bisexuals have to deal with, and it may not be possible to totally overcome it. however, there are definitely some things you can do to help deal with your internalized biphobia. some examples of internalized biphobia include:
feeling more legitimate than other bisexuals because you have been involved with people of multiple genders. feeling less legitimate than other bisexuals because you have not been involved with people of multiple genders, or have mostly been involved with people of one gender. feeling less legitimate than other bisexuals because you are more attracted to one gender than others. believing things such as “most bi girls are faking bisexuality for male attention” or “most bi guys are just gay guys who are afraid to come out.”the idea that bisexuals need to prove their sexuality before their identity can be valid. basically anything which discredits the identity of other bisexuals.basically anything that makes you feel as if your own identity as a bisexual is invalid, or less valid than the identity of other people.and probably a lot more!
(copy-pasted directly from here.)
What people think internalised biphobia is:
inability to be proud of your bisexuality.
What internalised biphobia is in addition to that:
being convinced you’re not bisexual enough. constantly questioning what if you’re actually gay or straight.feeling like you don’t count as bisexual/LGBT anymore because of your current partner’s gender.feeling like you need to prove you’re “really bisexual” by sleeping with/dating people of different genders. feeling like you’re not a full and equal member of the LGBT community unless you’re in a same sex relationship. feeling like any issues you might face because of your sexual orientation aren’t real or don’t count because bisexuals only have it “half as bad”.prioritising every other issue over bisexual activism because you don’t believe bisexuals deserve support, resources, respect or care as much as other minorities.feeling guilty for being monogamous because you think it takes away from your “bisexual credentials”.feeling guilty for being non-monogamous or promiscuous because you think you’re reinforcing the stereotypes.being ashamed of liking a particular gender because you feel it makes you less feminist/less queer/less pure. trying to minimise or apologise for attraction to a certain gender.being uncomfortable with the word bisexual, thinking it’s shameful, dirty or “just doesn’t sound right”.being scared of, ashamed of or uncomfortable with saying “i’m bisexual” out loud. using euphemism or avoiding the word “bisexual”. wondering if you just convinced yourself you’re bi for attention and questioning the validity of your attraction and experiences.feeling like you’re deceiving your partners and you need to apologise for/minimise your bisexuality.thinking bisexuality is not as valid, important, political or radical as some other sexual orientations.
(copy-pasted directly from here.)
other forms of internalised biphobia:
you feel like your attraction makes you predatory.you feel like the reason you are “queer” is exclusively your similar gender attraction or, if you are trans, your trans identity, but your bisexuality/multi-gender attraction is never the main reason.you tend to dismiss generalisations and stereotypes because you feel like they can’t apply to you, because you are or want to be different than most bisexuals.you tend to avoid supporting the bi community, separate yourself from it, and often express your shame and disappointment in it.you feel like bisexuality is less serious and more shallow in comparison to lesbianism and gayness, as both a sexuality and a political identity with a history.you feel like bi issues and biphobia are secondary or less serious, and shouldn’t be in the spotlight when there’s bigger issues going on.you dislike seeing openly bi people express bi pride and call out biphobia.you dislike bi people who fit stereotypes or are visibly bi.
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how do i overcome my internalised biphobia?
first off, let’s talk about dealing with internalized biphobia towards other people.
step one: if you find yourself about to say something that invalidates another person’s identity, don’t.step two: no really, don’t, just don’t.step three: take a minute to think about why you feel that way. it’s probably something you’ve been taught to think. make a concentrated effort to rewrite your thought process to something bi positive.step four: remember that invalidating the identity of other bisexuals does not make your identity more valid, nor will it make non-bisexuals take your identity more seriously.step five: don’t feel horribly overwhelmed by guilt for thinking stuff like this. honestly, it’s something most of us have probably thought at some point. the important thing is that you’re recognizing that it’s wrong, and you’re working to change it.step six: that being said, if you do or say something that is harmful to other bisexuals, expect to be called out on it. internalized biphobia sucks, but it doesn’t make invalidating other people okay. sometimes, we all need a little help remembering. recognize that you’ve done or said something biphobic, and apologize.
next, let’s talk about dealing with internalized biphobia towards yourself. some suggestions:
try and construct a support network. if you can, find or make a bi group irl; if not, follow lots of bi positive blogs. this gives you the chance to internalize some bi positivity, as well as giving you a support network when you’re feeling insecure in your identity.take time to appreciate yourself and your identity. paint your nails bi pride colors. knit bi pride scarves. go over to bisexual-books to find some books to read about kickass bi people, read some character profiles over at bi-characters, or check out my representation tag for some ideas for movies/television shows/etc. with bi characters.read some fun bi facts.remember that you are valid, your identity is valid, and that you are awesome. it’s okay to be a “bad bisexual”. it’s okay to have a gender preference, it’s okay to have been mostly or totally involved with people of only one gender, it’s okay to have not been involved with anyone at all. it’s okay to be polyamorous. it’s okay to be promiscuous. it’s okay if you fall into a bisexual stereotype. it’s okay to not be totally 100% certain about your identity. there is no one right way to be bisexual!!! you do you!!
(copy-pasted directly from here.)
Getting rid of internalized biphobia:
engulf yourself in bi positivity• follow specific tumblr blogs or tags like #bi positivity
• or facebook pages
• watch bi youtube channels [1, 2, 3, 4]
normalise the idea of being bisexual and saying the word out loud• practice in front of the mirror (say to yourself “I’m bisexual”)
• come out to all your stuffed animals or to photographs
find role models• is there a bi person in your family to look up to?
• or is there a celebrity you like who’s bisexual?
• or a character from a book, movie, show?
meet like-minded people• maybe there’s a bi meet up group in your area where you can meet other bisexual people and talk about your fears and be understood
• if you can’t find anyone in real life then try to make bisexual friends online
and last but not least: listen to this song on repeat. in fact…. you should do it now!!!
(copy-pasted directly from here.)
getting rid of internalised biphobia — especially for trans people & people of colour.
in my experience, one of the things holding me back from being proud of my bisexuality despite having known i’m bi for years, is the fact that i never viewed my bi identity the way i viewed my identity as a trans person and as a poc.
i couldn’t do that, because i was unaware of the impact biphobia had on my life and just how serious it is, so i tended to dismiss it and dismiss the political nature of my bisexuality as an identity alongside of it.
when i figured all that out, things started changing and i learnt to be proud of my bisexuality by:
surrounding myself with like-minded bisexuals (especially bisexuals of colour and trans/nonbinary bisexuals) i can listen to, learn from, vent to, and share my experiences with.surrounding myself with bi positivity by following bi positive accounts on twitter.engaging myself in discussions that revolve around bisexuality by calling out biphobia and supporting fellow bisexuals.educating myself more on the shared history between trans and bi people, this tumblr blog has a pretty good tag you can check out.making simple bi edits, positivity posts, and bringing up the fact that i’m bi a lot.finding bisexual role models and icons who are poc and/or trans.reading up on bi history in poc communities.disassociating bisexuality from whiteness and cisness; a false association that was born purely out of biphobia, lack of representation, erasure, and the need to find an excuse to brush over biphobia within the lgbt community.writing bi characters in my works, and making headcanons about bi characters. if you’re an artist, you can try drawing bi characters too!not giving anybody’s biphobia a free pass. soft-blocking any mutuals who seem biphobic and breaking up friendships. my bisexual identity deserves to be respected and supported the way my being trans and being poc is by those who claim to be “progressive.”surrounding myself by people who aren’t bisexual but are willing to stand up for bisexuals, support us, call out biphobia and misinformation, and be proud to call themselves allies to the bi community too.
(by me; dm for suggestions/questions)
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i really hope this carrd was helpful! the purpose of this carrd wasn’t to highlight biphobia or discuss it, but to focus on internalised biphobia and on bi pride, and maybe help out bisexuals who are struggling with accepting their identity.
if you’re questioning your sexuality, i hope you figure it out soon. Again, remember that there’s no rush and that you have all the time in the world.
here’s a twitter thread on bi history.
and here’s an educational bi carrd aimed at people who aren’t bisexual; it’s the same carrd i’ve linked earlier in the biphobia section and it’s very useful.
also, copy-pasted from here:
just a reminder of some positivity for some maybe new/struggling bisexuals out there:
don’t let biphobia dictate how you act or perceive yourself. it is incredibly pervasive, but don’t let people take your sexuality from you. people will try to erase you, rewrite your history for you, stereotype you, isolate you, and anything and everything in between. but you still have your bisexuality. don’t kiss up to biphobes to make yourself look better in their eyes if this compromises your true self or beliefs. no one, by virtue of their identity, deserves to be told that they are inherently more promiscuous, are prone to cheating, leading people on, or what have you. you don’t have to give in and accept this as a truth of your attraction. every single person you love, and all the genders you love, should be validated. you are whole as you are and don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise.
good luck with everything!
you can find me here.
i am not bi;
AM I A BIPHOBe?
this is a very well-made carrd that discusses biphobia and the impact it has on the bi community in detail. feel free to check it out.
biphobia is the discrimination, and prejudice bisexuals are forced to deal with. it can come from cishets, or from gays and lesbians within the lgbt community, or from fellow bisexuals in the form of internalised biphobia.
biphobia manifests itself in stereotypes and misconceptions about the bi community. these misconceptions and stereotypes, enforced by biphobic behaviours like excluding bisexuals, constantly speaking over them, and continuously erasing bisexual’s struggles snd bi history, result with bi people being forced to deal with the serious impact of biphobia; higher rates of getting abused and assaulted, struggling with mental illnesses, ending up in poverty or homeless, and many others.
am i biphobic?
you might be, if you:
avoid calling out biphobia, or dismiss bisexuals who call out biphobia, because you think it’s not a serious issue.you tend to generalise bi people whenever someone who happens to be bi says something you dislike.you feel like bisexuals just “want to be oppressed.”you exclude bi people from sapphic spaces, mlm spaces, and lgbt spaces in general.you blame biphobia on bisexuals; “how do bi people speak up about bi erasure when most of them use the term ‘gay’ as an umbrella term to describe themselves?”you don’t believe being lgbt is a choice, but you believe that, somehow, bi people always have a choice.seeing as you believe bisexuals have a choice, you tend to blame bi women who end up getting hurt or abused by their male partners on choosing to be with them instead of women. victim-blaming is only acceptable when it’s bisexuals who chose to be victims.you are a feminist but many of your values don’t apply to bi women specifically: like being against victim-blaming, empowering women’s choices, accepting women’s sexualities, understanding that being into men doesn’t make a woman any less of a feminist, etc.you know bi people aren’t cheaters, and that it’s a harmful stereotype, but you don’t criticise any media in which a bi person is portrayed as a cheater before recommending it; whether it’s a music video by your favourite gay artist or a show that features “worse” things.you tend to speak over bi people concerning bi issues, and going as far as arguing with bi people about them. you tend to prioritise the voices and opinions of people who aren’t bisexual in discussions that revolve around bi people: why are you asking someone who’s gay/lesbian about bi history and bi struggles?you headcanon bi characters as anything but bi, using “they never said that they were bisexual!” as an excuse. if they were involved with people of various genders, they are bi. it is biphobic to dismiss legitimate bi attraction as just a phase or a product of heteronormativity or compulsory heterosexuality, and it is bi erasure to do so. you will rarely find any bi characters who straight up say that they are bi, due to the stigma surrounding the label bi itself.you prefer not to date bi people. this preference is built on biphobic misconceptions, and if you’re straight, it burns down to homophobia, too, due to not wanting your partner to be associated with gayness at any costs.you believe bi people have privilege over lesbians and gays, or that we have the power to oppress them, or that we have the “privilege” of “straight-passing.” xyou rant about hating bi people but you make sure to specify that you’re talking about cis or white bi people despite being cis or white, yourself.you only bring up bi people when you have something negative to say. you constantly dismiss bisexuality — especially in people who have just come out, and in women — as a trend or a phase. you dismiss bisexuality in men as a steppingstone towards “full” gayness.you find bisexuals discussing bisexuality and biphobia potentially offensive to others who aren’t bi, or something that plays a role in their erasure. it isn’t. bi erasure is the topic of this discussion, don’t derail it for the sake of validating everyone and anyone else. saying that biphobia is just “misdirected homophobia” denies the fact that there are a lot of bi-specific issues.implying that bi people are lgbt because we experience same/similar-gender attraction and not because we are bi is biphobic, and it allows lgbt spaces to constantly keep bisexuals in relationships with someone of a different gender on thin ice.being judgemental of bi people in relationships with homophobes and focusing on how “oh no! they will bring homophobes into our safe lgbt spaces” instead of worrying about the bi person, as if these relationships aren’t straight-up abusive and that bi people aren’t affected by homophobia.and more.
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