Taking place throughout the month of March, bisexual health awareness month is an annual awareness period surrounding bisexual people.
The month raises awareness about the community’s social, economic, and health disparities. The celebration also allows the opportunity to advocate for more resources and inspire others to improve bi people’s wellbeing.
Many bi people lcan be ostracised by both heterosexual and queer people alike. From being called ‘greedy’ to ‘not straight enough’ and being sexualised because of their sexuality, some have a hard time being authentically themselves.
Reaching out to the bi community here in Wales, we spoke to handful of people of all ages around the country to find out about their personal experiences being bisexual. The final two people’s names have been changed to protect their identity.
Eryn Fflur, Anglesey
Eryn struggled with anxiety after coming out to friends and family
“I first came out to a friend when I was 19 and later on to close friends and family when I was 20,” she said.
“I’ve found coming out bisexual difficult, in terms of them understanding what I mean. I’m not out to extended family more due to the fact that I’m not sure they will ‘get’ what I mean by bisexuality. That can have mental health implications as I do feel like I have to hide/repress my genuine self around some people.
“I have had a few odd responses to my sexuality such as being told by an ex jokingly that ‘it was hot’ and being told by someone else I was ‘half gay, half straight’. I pretty much feel like I’m not enough for either side and I get quite a lot of anxiety”.
Kyle McGovern, Blackwood
Kyle was called greedy once he came out as bisexual
“I struggled massively with my mental health throughout uni and the majority of that came from denying who I was and my sexuality,” Kyle explained.
“I was so conflicted about knowing deep down about my sexuality and had a lot of anxiety about people finding out. When I first came out I was called greedy a lot. I don’t think people realise how offensive that actually is.
“I do think bisexual people are forgotten about when it comes to media representation. The push always seems to be for gay or lesbian characters or storylines and less about bisexual individuals. I do think bi visibility is increasing a lot. I see a lot more open and honest conversations about bisexuality on social media which is always a positive thing to see.
“However the bisexual community does have a long way to go in terms of matching bi visibility to other sexualities within the LGBT+ community.”
Timm Brown, Port Talbot
Timm encountered some people who couldn’t understand bisexuality
“I’ve never come out in the sense like to friends and family I’ve just always been attracted to loads of different types of people,” Timm said.
“Thinking about it now I kind of had the golden ticket in that sense – I never had the internal or mental struggle or had to worry about telling people. I think now there are so many types of sexualities. I think straight, bi, and gay are giving way to the foreground of other new sexualities like pan, queer and ace.
“Only twice I’ve met people who couldn’t understand what being bi was. Their mentality is you either like one or the other or: ‘How can (you) like both?'”.
“I had bi experiences prior to getting with my wife. I’d only accepted I was bi just before starting a relationship with her. I told her a month or so into our relationship. She cried and told her family,” Julie explained.
“This has had a negative impact on my mental health and I’ve had to stay in the closet at her request.
“Bi people are thought about less. There are less bi people in media and when they are they’re greedy or untrustworthy. Makes you wonder if it’s the right thing to come out at all. I’ve heard the term greedy aimed at me and other bisexuals.”
“I first tried to come out when I was 14 or 15 and the response from my friends was: ‘Oh no, you’re just straight and confused’,” said Megan.
“I didn’t properly come out until last year. I wasn’t out and comfortable with it for a long time. When I came to university the people here were really encouraging and nice about it and I realised: ‘This is something I can be’.
“I wasn’t feeling included in LGBT spaces or LGBT communities – I felt kind of unwelcome. When I experience homophobia I feel like it’s not taken as seriously because I’m bisexual. It’s kind of having your differences invalidated and then also not being able to relate to straight people.
“It was isolating for a long time. I think it made me take a long time to come to terms with my sexuality even though I’ve known it for such a long time because I felt like I wasn’t allowed to do that. I thought it was just easier to pretend I was straight, because then you’re not isolated in the same way as being bi can be.”
If you are bisexual and want to find support here in Wales make sure to check out ‘Bi Cymru’, a support group dedicated to supporting bisexual people and connecting them with others in the community.