Believe me…

by Molly Holborn

Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. In our generation, we’ve been accepted more than ever. With severe change progressing over a full 20 years, we all know that there is room for improvement, especially in our universities. From same-sex marriages to the ‘First Guide to Gay-friendly Universities’ published in 2010 by Stonewall, we’ve been guided into open society. Yet, why do people attempt to mute and mock us?

Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. In our generation, we’ve been accepted more than ever. With severe change progressing over a full 20 years, we all know that there is room for improvement, especially in our universities. From same-sex marriages to the ‘First Guide to Gay-friendly Universities’ published in 2010 by Stonewall, we’ve been guided into open society. Yet, why do people attempt to mute and mock us?

Due to its variety, let’s focus on the B in the acronym LGBT. Bisexuality is described as a ‘romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour toward both males and females, or romantic or sexual attraction to people of any sex or gender identity’. Most of you know its definition already but do you really know where it stands in our society? Distinct from the other three lifestyles, perception is that bisexuality has evolved into some kind of trend, an accessory…so it seems. On one hand, some see it as the younger generation being open and confident about their sexuality but on the other, people question if they really are what they appear. In our society, 45% of people have come out as bisexual in the last three years and the label itself contains quite a few variations and sub-categories.

From the encounters of not only myself but fellow students, there has been a pattern of confusion between a sexual reaction and a romantic one towards both genders. One student expressed how she felt disappointed in the fact she ‘did not feel a sexual attraction as such but more of a romantic and a mental intimacy with women’ but, she still classed herself as a bisexual. However, the majority of us seem to go with ‘an equal sexual and emotional attraction to both genders’.

Unfortunately, we are not taken seriously. Amongst the many patterns I have seen in bisexuality, a type of façade has shown itself. It has become a ploy for attention, an abuse of a very real lifestyle for us and I can only describe this as unfair. For us Bi’s it has been a hard journey and a fairly confusing one; forced by society to pick only one gender to focus on with our attraction, otherwise society just doesn’t get it. ‘How can you like both?’ and ‘Which one do you prefer?’ are both common questions when it comes to my sexuality. Lately, my only response has been – ‘It’s just the way I am made, believe me’. What’s important to remember is that regardless of who we date, we are still bisexual – not gay or straight. If a bisexual girl is dating a girl or a bisexual boy is dating a boy, they are not gay, they still remain equally involved in both genders.

Being bisexual is not a trend, a choice or a phase; it is a very real and honest way of life for myself and many other people. Our aim at Swansea University is to create a place where the LGBT community can thrive and we are helping people to understand that we may be different but we are stronger together.

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