Bisexual Visibility in LGBTer World

Roni Tal, a new bisexual volunteer at the IGY-Beit Dror group which opens with the new Jewish year, explains the variety of bisexuals in a special post for the International Bisexual Visibility day and Rosh Hashana.

RoniTal180x200Test yourself and try to be honest: If you saw a man and woman kissing on the street, what sexual orientation would you assume they have? And if these were a man and a man or a woman and a woman? Would you assume that they are bisexual?

Being bisexual is present-absent. This is the reason why some bisexuals prefer not to insist on their bisexuality, but just to let people assume they are straight or gay. This is not a simple experience. Being bisexual sometimes feels like being alienated and estranged. For straight people bisexuals are gay people in the closet; to the LGT community we are seen confused and treacherous; and sometimes even the very community that we belong to see us as straight people.

But despite the difficulty, being bisexual means to be free. This is a declaration of love that sees beyond the gender of a person. It can enable the exploration and sexual experience that does not restrict to one gender. It can allow a person to live a full and honest life that blends with all types of attractions: romance, intimacy and sexuality. I believe that the more we allow acceptance and greater visibility of bisexuality, the more we will discover that the world is much more LGBT than we had thought.

The current world forces us to enter into one of two boxes: straight or gay. But the truth is that the reality is much more complex and fluid than this dichotomous choice. To me, bisexuality is an umbrella concept which includes a wide spectrum of tendencies which all share a potential for romantic and/or sexual attraction to more than one gender. Such attraction doesn’t necessarily have to be at the same intensity and does not have to occur at the same time.

This year, Bisexual Visibility Day occurs during the same week as the new Jewish year. This period makes all of us look at things from a different perspective, and raises questions about how you see the next year and where we’ve been in recent years. One of the things missing in my LGBT community in Israel is bisexual community with presence and voice. Such a community can be a safe space for bisexual internal dialogue, as well as the activity and visibility at gay pride parades and during the rest of the year.

I hope we’ll see such a community in this coming year.