My bisexual identity is valid, and should be celebrated as part of the LGBT community

Emma Campbell
Photograph of Emma 

Emma (19) blogs for LGBT Youth Scotland to mark Bi Visibility Day.

My name is Emma Campbell, I am bisexual, and I have been harassed, ridiculed, and erased because of my sexual orientation. I will not let my voice be silenced in fellow LGBT spaces any longer. We are all part of the same community, and there is certainly enough space for all of us.

The LGBT community is meant to be a community that brings people of different gender identities and sexual orientations together, to create a warm and supportive environment where people aren't afraid of expressing who they are. Yet despite this, I fear there is a worrying trend of bi-erasure within the community. I have seen many posts on social media declaring that we should not be welcome in LGBT spaces, but why?

There is this common misconception that bisexual people are the least oppressed of the LGBT community. After all, if a female passing person is dating a male passing person, then aren't they just like any other heterosexual person? Well, no, would be the answer.

Despite the fact I'm dating a member of the opposite gender I am still romantically and sexually attracted to people of the same gender as me. Dating doesn't change that, I also don't magically become a lesbian just because I am dating a girl. It is important to highlight that erasure of my sexual orientation is not the same as being privileged. I am not privileged for having people say that my sexual orientation is just a phase, that I am just confused, or that I am just being an attention seeker.

Yes, there are people who come out as bisexual, who then later go on to come out as gay or even heterosexual. That's perfectly valid, sexuality is a spectrum and I am all for people exploring where it is that they lie on that spectrum. We should be welcoming people to explore their sexual orientation and gender identity, not scaring them off by demanding that they come out and stay 'out' as that particular sexual orientation or gender identity.

As people grow older, change and develop, their view of themselves can change and as such so can their preferences of how they would like their sexual orientation or gender identity to be labelled. This doesn't mean that they were previously faking it; it just means that they have found a more comfortable label for them.

We as members of the LGBT community face discrimination from those outside of our community each and every day. An attack on one is an attack on all of us after all. So why should we add to our oppression by infighting, and demanding we score oppression points for our sexual orientation to be validated? Why can't we come together and work on creating a loving and safe atmosphere, where nobody is scared they will be discriminated against due to their sexual orientation?

It is time more people on the LGBT spectrum (and outside of it!) understood that my romantic and sexual attraction to males and females, my bisexuality, is perfectly valid. I am not less of a person because of it. Instead of comparing statistics, and forcing people out of what should be safe spaces, we should be loving and supportive to one another. Just think of those who are scared to come out because they fear not only ridicule from their peers, and family members, but others in the LGBT community. This needs to stop.

As I said at the beginning of this piece, we are all part of the same community, and there is certainly enough space for all of us. 

Emma (19) is a freelance writer; Creative and Digital Media apprentice; and blogger for LGBT Youth Scotland. Find Emma at  www.Campbellxemma.com and follow her on Twitter @Campbellxemma

Download LGBT Youth Scotland's Bisexual Briefing HERE
Check out LGBT Youth Scotland's Bi Visbility Day resources for teachers HERE