Many people know that the “B” in LGBTQ refers to bisexual, but there’s still confusion around what it means to be bi.For many people who are still figuring their sexuality, bi erasure and stigma can make it hard to realize you're bisexual. But identifying a label that feels like home to you — whether that's bisexual or another term — can make it so much easier to feel confident, happy, and comfortable in your own skin.
Though bisexual folks make up a large portion of the LGB people, they are often face stigma from inside and outside the community. Bi people are often labeled straight or gay if they make a relationship official, or they’re seen as “greedy” if they choose to date casually since they are attracted to multiple genders. The list of misconceptions surrounding bisexuality — including that it’s a phase, that bi people cheat more often, and that men can’t be bisexual — goes on. These myths can make it even more difficult for people to realize that bisexual is the identity that fits them best — and that can lead to years of frustratingly searching for other labels that never seem to feel or fit quite right.
That’s why Amy Quichiz, a writer, community organizer, and the founder of Veggie Mijas, says that openly celebrating her bisexuality is empowering. Quichiz tells Bustle via email, “Being bisexual to me means being powerful. In such a heteronormative world, being bisexual is fearless — a society that keeps putting me into their toxic boxes cannot touch me.”
In spite of bi erasure, bisexuality is a valid orientation, and one that makes many of us in the LGBTQ community feel seen, and, dare I say it, proud. Here’s how seven women and nonbinary people came to the realization they were bisexual throughout their lives, because not everyone knows they're bi right away — and that's OK.