As part of GLAAD's ongoing series of posts dedicated to Celebrate Bisexuality Day, we invited bisexual people to share their stories and talk about what today means to them.
By Julie Cohen
Often when the discussion of sexuality comes up, close friends will say “You’re the only real bisexual I’ve ever known.” For a while I fell for the same delusion, telling people that bisexuality doesn’t exist except for me. It took me many years to realize that the reality is that bisexuality exists all around us, but we don’t often define it that way, and we don’t often enough define ourselves that way.
Last year a friend of mine, Jimmy, made a movie about struggling with sexual identity. The movie was based on a true story about Jimmy having a relationship with his male boss and how it made him question his straight identity. When the real life events were happening I told Jimmy that I thought he was afraid of calling himself gay. I jokingly suggested he go around for a week telling people he was gay. I figured that if he got over the fear of being labeled gay, he might better understand whether or not he really was.
When I saw the film screened for the first time, Jimmy was there for a Q & A and he was asked whether or not he’s gay. He said, “I don’t know. It depends on the day.” At that moment I really wished I had told him to claim he was bisexual for a week, because I understood that what he was really afraid of was calling himself bisexual.
Many people say that they don’t consider themselves to be a bisexual. These people will define themselves as gay or straight depending on the sex of the person they are currently involved with. I understand the psychology behind that kind of thinking. It’s the same reason I told people that I was the only real bisexual. You want to be taken seriously. If you’re in love, you don’t want to be questioned about whether or not you’re really attracted to the person you’re with. But while those who deny their bisexuality may be taken more seriously in their own life, they are doing a disservice to the bisexual community.
This September 23rd for Celebrate Bisexuality Day, if you’re bisexual, please tell someone. Prove to at least one person that bisexuals are real people. Otherwise, I’ll have to celebrate alone with a bottle of champagne and a marathon of Tila Tequila. And I know there are a lot more interesting, more real, more remarkable bisexuals out there than Tila Tequila.
Julie Cohen has been performing stand-up comedy around Los Angeles for the last three years. On Sunday nights she runs "Palms Sunday" Los Angeles's only queer open mic at The Palms Bar in West Hollywood. By day she is a reality television video editor.