#BiWeek 2016: What Bi Visibility Means to Lambda Legal

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September 22, 2016
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Happy #BiWeek from Lambda Legal!

Bi visibility is important, both in order to combat biphobia and discrimination and to ensure the health and safety of bisexual people nationwide. Meet some of the bi-identified Lambda Legal staff members helping to fight for the rights of all LGBT people and people living with HIV around the country.

Alexis Paige

Legal Assistant and Help Desk Specialist

She/Her/Hers/They/Them/Theirs

Bi visibility is important because there are so many misconceptions about what it means to be bisexual. I started dating when I was 13, and I’ve never been with a cis, straight person in my life. Yet so many people seem to think that one day I’m just going to abandon the LGBTQ communities for a stereotypical white, picket fence. For me, all my sexuality means is that I’m not thrown into an existential crisis every time I’m attracted to someone who is a different gender than other people I’ve been attracted to.

 

Amy Shapiro

Legal Administrative Manager

She/Her/Hers

I’ve been out as a queer/bi woman for 21 years. As the daughter of a gay man and a straight woman, I’ve found it critically empowering to own my identity. Sexual orientation is more complex than most people realize, and many queer/bi people are forgotten about; we aren’t part of the discussion. People understand the words “lesbian” and “gay,” but very often cling to stereotypes about bisexual people. And as someone in a heteronormative relationship, I find it crucial that people like me are counted and heard from. We shouldn’t have to hide behind identities that aren’t ours.

 

Geneva Musgrave

Diversity & Inclusion Program Educator

She/Her/Hers

I'm bi and proud. When I tell folks I'm bi, some ask why. They say, “Why would you share such a thing, especially knowing how the world oftentimes views people who are bisexual?” People think that bi people are confused or greedy. And from the time I understood who I am and accepted that for myself, moving through the world became challenging. For a long time, I had to pick, choose, hide or defend my sexuality, but now I refuse to be hidden about who I am, how I love and who I am loving when I love. I am head over heels about the fact that I have been gifted with the best of both worlds and am able to experience what it means to be open to loving and being loved by wonderful people. I am not the things that that people incorrectly associate bisexuality with. I am an out, proud, bi, cisgender, black woman who is in love with me and the gift I present to the world. That’s bi visibility: Living “bi” my standards!

 

Heriberto Puebla

Help Desk Specialist

He/Him/His

Ever since I can remember, I have been attracted to men and women, and have found profound connections with both gender identities throughout my life. Being bisexual is not a choice, being bisexual is who you are. In the second part of my adult life, I have preferred to couple with men to establish relationships with, because it makes me feel comfortable. I call myself a gay man every now and then just to make things easier for everybody, because when the word "bisexual" comes out of my mouth, there are always follow up questions (and sometimes I am just not in the mood to answer them, so I keep quiet about it). It is 2016, and being bisexual can still be taboo. Let’s celebrate Bi Awareness Week and embrace our sexual orientation. Have fun and play it safe; always safe.

 

Kevin Davidson

National Events Coordinator

He/Him/His

Acknowledging my sexual orientation is about celebrating my authentic self. It can be disheartening when people want to exploit your sexuality or shame you for your attractions. But I think it's important to break down barriers by speaking up and acknowledging that your capacity to love shouldn’t be up for debate. Unfortunately, labels seek to divide us rather than unite us and I can’t wait for a world where who I am and who I choose to love is as accepted wholeheartedly.

 

Nancy Marcus

Law & Policy Project Senior Staff Attorney

She/Her/Hers

I have been out as bisexual for 24 years, and have been an active advocate for bisexual visibility throughout my career. As an attorney and law professor before joining Lambda Legal’s staff, my advocacy extended to being a co-founder of BiLaw — a national organization for bisexual lawyers, law professors, law students and our allies — and to authoring “Bridging Bisexual Erasure in LGBT-Rights Discourse and Litigation,” published in the Michigan Journal of Gender & Law last year. I am excited about continuing my work for bisexuals and all members of the LGBT community as Lambda Legal’s new Law & Policy Project Senior Staff Attorney.