What Does Just Like Us Ambassador Katherine Botterill Say on Bisexual Visibility Day?

I had a revelation at the age of 14 that changed my life. I suddenly had a far greater understanding of the perplexing term “bisexual,” which I previously ignored. My quiet rural village in the middle of nowhere, which cherished keeping conversations like this to itself, led me to believe that I was the only person on Earth who identified as “straight.” The words “gay” and “lesbian” were used derogatorily to describe people who liked guys, and because I was attracted to guys, it gave me no other options to consider.
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When I realized that my attractions weren’t just limited to one gender, it felt revolutionary. If had been more aware of the fluidity of attraction sooner, I believe that would have paid closer attention to it a long time ago. Knowing that there isn’t just straight and “gay” allows for

I am pleased to declare myself bisexual because of the term, which made me aware of the fact that our feelings of attraction can vary at any time and in any context, which I strongly identify with. It supplied me with the words to express my ideas, and I was happy to describe myself as bisexual as a result of this. However, as the years went on, I noticed negative preconceptions and recurring patterns in how bisexuality was depicted especially in popular culture. Bisexuality is typically not represented at all in popular culture or is given less significance as a sexual identity than other identities like “gay” or “straight.”

What Does Just Like Us Ambassador Katherine Botterill Say On Bisexual Visibility Day?What Does Just Like Us Ambassador Katherine Botterill Say On Bisexual Visibility Day?

As a result, I believe it took me significantly longer to realize that there are other types of experiences out there. Because bisexuality is visible, it’s sometimes compared to being perplexed, greedy, or a transitional stage between “gay” and “straight.”

I was a young person just discovering my bisexuality, and I received little encouragement from my peers. This meant that these misconceptions might easily settle into the recesses of my mind and knock my freshly minted self-assurance right out of the socket. I began to subconsciously acquire animosity for the title that had previously provided me with such freedom and relief.

My mind wandered to other options; I questioned whether or if there were other means of self-expression that didn’t include constant defensiveness and the burden of coping with criticism. After learning that the word “pansexual” refers to “an attraction to persons regardless of gender,” I understood that it described me perfectly. However, this label never really stuck; perhaps a little part of me felt threatened by the casual use of the term “bisexual” when referring to myself. Moreover, the act of categorizing things began to bore and exhaust me. It was beyond my capability to stress about whether “bisexual” or “pansexual” should be used. There seemed to be so much overlap between these two labels alone, not to mention differences in experience even among people who used the same label, that I began to question the use of using labels at all.

I planned to give up labels altogether as a means of combating my propensity for overthinking. However, I saw right away that this wasn’t the most realistic choice. My desire to be open about my sexuality and discuss it with others was hampered by the fact that, after rejecting labels, I had no simple way to explain myself to others, especially those with a limited information base. The freedom to openly discuss my sexuality with others was important to me. Even after learning about all the numerous ways people might characterize bisexuality and the common misunderstandings that go along with it, I still felt that “bisexual” was a fair descriptor, but it didn’t quite capture all about my identity. This only led me back down the same path of despair I had been on before.

After giving it some thought, I realized that the term “queer” is actually a really great way to describe how I feel about my attractions. It captures the fluidity and variety of those feelings perfectly for me, and isn’t negative or derogatory like it has been in the past.

Now that I am more experienced, labels are not as scary to me. In fact, I see now that without first argue with someone about another language and some perspective, I wouldn’t be where I am today. With something as ever-changing attraction, the alternatives might look a lot. This is especially when taking into how the two concepts work together.
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But now I view labels not as compartments into which we need to force ourselves to fit, but rather as something that is intended to be of service to us. Labels are there to provide us with words when we don’t have any, and to assist others in understanding who we are as well.

Once upon a time, a buddy of mine who was also a Just Like Us ambassador provided me with some excellent guidance. Labels are a lot like post-it notes in that we can stick them on and then rip them off whenever we want.

Bisexuality is still heavily stigmatized even though it’s 2022, so on Bisexual Visibility Day, we encourage you to be proud of who you are and flaunt your bi label with confidence. However, ultimately the most important thing is that YOU feel comfortable in YOUR skin and don’t let anyone else force a label upon you that doesn’t fit; remember, at the end of the day labels are nothing more than post-it notes.

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