While many people associate worldwide LGBTQ celebration with a few weeks in the summer – that seemingly endless seasons whose sizzling heat fuels the natural frenzy of glitz, glamour and glitter of pride parades from San Francisco to Paris – in truth the latter half of the year is especially queer. The days between September and November host the vast majority of LGBTQ holidays, both domestically and internationally. Fall is the time for celebrating the spectrum of queer identities – from asexuality to intersex.
So what identity is the first to begin the holiday season for all things queer and questioning? Funnily enough, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you about a week ago – in fact, not one of my queer friends and allies probably would have guessed it either, despite our collective activism and observant natures. It’s just that this holiday in particular, inconspicuously marked on a breezy day in late September, celebrates one of the most elusive of queer identities currently known to our limited Western imaginations and vocabulary.
Yes, gentle reader, September 23rd was the day of the bisexual.
Please hold your mild surprise and embarrassed preening; it is a perfectly understandable response to such a revelation. Like I said even I, a currently “practicing” bisexual by Larry King’s standards, forgot about this day until about a month or two after the fact. It is an unusual phenomenon to behold: as current generations become increasingly more tolerant of queerness and queer people become more visible in our daily lives, bisexuality is still seen as an enigma in the popular imagination. Bisexual people are a rare breed. Like unicorns, a genuinely enjoyable Michael Bay movie not featuring an unnecessarily sexualized Megan Fox, or an uncorrupt Western government, the existence of this sexuality has been much questioned over the decades.
Luckily, this bisexual thinks that our invisibility in society should cease. As an offering towards this noble pursuit for determined sexual explorers, as well as in solidarity with my fellow bisexuals fighting the good fight against social invisibility, I have compiled what I feel to be a nearly foolproof list of steps one can take in finding a bisexual person in their daily lives. Hopefully, the discovery will begin the process of furthering your understanding of all the intricate possibilities of queer identities.
8 Ways to Find a Bisexual Person
1. First, ask every single person you’ve ever come in contact with if they are, in fact, a bisexual person. Despite the plethora of negative responses or blank stares you may receive, this isn’t actually a bad strategy to begin with. Guesstimations show that bisexuals have straight passing privilege at least 50% of the time in their lives, and for that matter they can also pass as 100% gay the other 50% of the time. Everyone knows that individual sexualities and gender identities held by both parties in a relationship do not matter if the relationship seems outwardly heterosexual or homosexual. Seeming straight is pretty easy, in that society will totally let you know if your relationship is actually heterosexual, and the only queer identities worth their salt are perpetually surrounded by rainbows and the music of Tegan and Sara in the background. Clearly, you never really know who is a secret spy of Organization Bi.
2. In continuation of the Halloween spirit, try adorning your body in the classic symbols of bisexuality: you could be the personification of the “biangles,” make a very stylish dress out of the bisexual flag, or temporarily tattoo your body with pretty purple crescent moons (careful with this latter costume though, as people might confuse you with a Sailor Scout).
The vibrant allure of your costume will almost immediately attract bisexual people within a 20 mile radius of your location, just as surely and effectively as the mating dance of the exotic bird of paradise. Be sure to take photographic evidence of their existence before they scatter into the night!
3. Try taking your interpersonal sexual inquiries outside of your immediate circle of peers and acquaintances – try talking to the population at large, like Fedex drivers and people you sit next to on the subway. Bisexuals do not seem to exist in the same social realms as people with more well-known sexualities, so it’s useless trying stereotypical queer and straight hangouts like coffee shops, spoken word performances, bookstores, sports bars, schools, the supermarket, etc.
In fact, the only time the bisexual person seems to appear in ancient mythology is when, wild and lustful, they descend on popular nightclubs every Friday and Saturday night and revel in performance debauchery to attract the attentions of their monosexual peers. So, in that tradition, try going to this public setting with some close friends, preferably those who share the same gender identity as yourself. Make sure that your group becomes the center of attention: be loud, silly, and a little touchy-feeling within the confines of established boundaries of consent with your best pals. Seeing all this excitement around you and misconstruing friendly affection as sexual tension, it is almost assured that a gaggle of bisexuals will show up to steal away your shine. At some point, probably?
4. Maybe it’s time to get a little more creative here. At midnight on a particularly scary and stormy night – like when the planets align every 500 years, or during the inauguration of a Republican president – turn off all the lights in your house, and stand by your bedroom mirror with your face illuminated by a single beam of light like a candle or a phone app. Without blinking, chant the name “Shiri Eisner” five times into the mirror. If you believe hard enough, Eisner will appear before you in a burst of purple light and confetti with her tumblr.com address printed on them – so be prepared with your questions about bisexuality!
Alternative names to try include:
- Robyn Ochs
- Loraine Hutchins
- Nicole Kristal
- Mike Szymanski
5. If real life interactions are bringing you down, try the refuge of the internet to satisfy your burning curiosity. The internet is one of the easiest and most accessible outlets for intellectual pursuits, and due to its expansive clientele there are sure to be a plethora of bisexual people whose stimulating discussions about their sexualities offer the world a richer understanding of their unique experiences. The first place to look for these people, you may wonder? Try OK Cupid! Surprisingly like everyone else, when not theorizing about their complex sexual expressions bisexual folks are trying to put them into practice! Dating sites are the perfect place to engage with the wayward bisexual person looking for love, and nothing is sure to lure them out of hiding than the ever so intricately crafted message requesting a threesome.
“Hey there, bi-guuurl76! You probably get this a lot, but you’re really gorgeous! I’d love to get to know you 😉
Do you want to have sex with me and my boyfriend? Just thought I’d be straightforward lol! We’re really trying to spice up our love life, and what better way than to bring someone into the bedroom who can show us all their cool freaky sex tricks? But only if it’s at the same time, I don’t really feel comfortable any other way. You’re totally into threesomes, right? It’s like having your cake and eating it too I imagine! It’s so cool that you’re comfortable and confident in choosing this lifestyle.
Hit me up you sexy bisexual you, xoxo me”
6. There is another group of self-identified bisexuals you can find with a simple Google search, and unlike the semi-anonymous people on dating sites these individuals are totally used to having their sexualities and personal lives ruthlessly scrutinized by our society, so they won’t be too weirded out by your burning questions. That’s right, I’m talking about celebrities! The very fact that there are famous people within the bi bubble is an affirming example of bisexuality’s existence and prevalence in the world. And thankfully so many people have created lists that neatly show today’s most popular bisexual celebrities, so most of the work has been done for you already!
- There are a no non-conventionally attractive bisexual people – the bisexual celebrities are “sexy” “bombshells” and the articles offer a plethora of photos to emphasize how “hot” bisexuals are (that sure is a confidence booster I suppose!)
- There are no bisexual people of color (and when there are, there’s only one; two if the website is particularly dedicated to diversity)
- There are no cis male bisexual people
- There are no non-skinny bisexual people
- There are no trans bisexual people
- There are no genderqueer or gender non-conforming bisexual people
- There are no asexual/demisexual/aromantic/etc. people who are biromantic/bisexual
- There are no other sexualities that exist under the multiple attractions’ umbrella either, like pansexuality or omnisexuality people
This lists goes on. And I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but as a curvy bisexual black woman deeply entrenched in the queer community it’s kind of weird that I don’t see myself or my friends represented in these definitive lists of the typical bisexual celebrity. Though again, I did forget about the annual Bi Day of Celebration this year, so who am I to talk? It’s obviously hard enough for me to remember that I exist sometimes. I can only imagine the plight of others to remember we’re here and hella queer when we don’t shout our sexualities from the rooftops.
7. Besides these preliminary internet adventures, you could try finding some scholarly material as well. There are some theoretical books written on bisexuality – those written by the aforementioned bisexual activists from #3 are a great place to start if they don’t actually materialize in your room – but these can be hard to find and/or purchase, and this author acknowledges the sometimes insurmountable extent of the capitalist struggle. Once more the internet is your best bet here!
Of course, your research skills must be of the highest caliber since you might run into a few problems. Every once in a blue moon, popular search engines like Google refuse to let you search for the risqué information hidden under the term bisexual or bisexuality (“hawt bisexual babes” seems to be alright in their books, though). When you do stumble across an article or two, more than likely the reading options will consist of:
- Articles conflating bisexuality with homosexuality
- Articles making bisexuality synonymous with untrustworthiness, cheating, and HIV/AIDS
- Articles lamenting the poor confusion plaguing the current population in their sexual lives – “Gay, Straight, Or Lying?” being a popular title and theme
Oh, and don’t forget all the porn you’ll have to wade through! Not, of course, the beautifully filmed ethical porn that offers viewers more realistic demonstrations of sexuality focusing on continuously expressed consent, respect for all genders and gender expressions, sexualities, races, and body types, and the genuine pleasure and intimacy felt by all partners involved. Unfortunately, it’s going to be more along the lines of “pizza delivery man pleasantly surprised with girl-on-girl sex orgy at his last stop, asked to join in – SURPRISE HOT BI GIRLS!” It’s so strange how bisexual people are so prevalent in horny, exploitative fantasies but apparently don’t really exist in real life! Just one of the mysteries of life we’ll hopefully be able to solve together.
8. Thankfully porn is not the only visual media form you have at your disposal, gentle reader. In our modern age we have millions of movies, television shows, and fiction literature at our disposal to analyze. And unlike the wild unfiltered domain of the internet that has way too much unnecessary information on bisexual people, current media representation of bisexual people is incredibly scarce – so the fictional handful that do appear must speak some sort of truth about the bisexual experience, giving you some clues as to where to find them!
Here are a few characters that you should look out for, as their bisexual probability meters are usually off the charts by Season Three of their shows:
- The sexy cheerleader (especially if the show’s ratings start to diminish)
- The crazy, annoying, and pathetic secondary character
- Random party girl number 5
- The sexy/ugly main female villain
- The sexy/ugly main male villain
- The evil mythological creature – in particular vampires, werewolves, and fairies
- The morally ambiguous femme fatale, prior to her falling in love with the male protagonist and her subsequent transformation into one of the good guys
- The morally ambiguous femme fatale, prior to her revelation as an evil threat to the heterosexual protagonists’ relationship and her subsequent death
- The long suffering and often tortured main/secondary character the writers don’t seem to like, who you’re sure is about to be killed off
- Two main characters of the same gender who have an antagonistic work relationship, even if the show itself emphasizes that these characters have friendships and relationships with other people that are more important to them. (And even if, god willing, there is a certain sexual tension between these two characters, it will never be explicitly defined as queer attraction thanks to the clever and wonderfully crafted writing phenomenon known as “queerbaiting”).
Looking back on this list, gentle reader, I feel that I have only complicated our search for the elusive bisexual person even more. Unfortunately, it seems that the bisexual has no real anthropological profile whose universal characteristics we can check off on a simple list. The people in this sexual category are just too numerous and too diverse in our population, and I fear we bisexual people will never be properly found in society by categorizing us in a series of generalizations. I suppose we’ll just have to be treated like ordinary human beings until a proper method of investigation is found.
Featured image credit to Andrew Beers.