25 September 2018

Bi Visibility Day

It was Bi Visibility Day on 23rd September so I've made a blog to help answer any questions you may have.

What is bisexuality?

Bi or bisexuality is an umbrella term used to describe an emotional, romantic and/or sexual orientation towards more than one gender. Some people might be equally attracted to both men and women, or they may have a preference towards one gender (and this preference may vary over time).

Pansexuality refers to a person whose emotional, romantic and/or sexual orientation towards others is not limited by their sex or gender.  Some people consider this to be a more inclusive term, as it goes beyond the gender binary.

Why do we need bi visibility?

Bisexuality is typically invisible as it may be mistaken for a gay, lesbian or straight relationship. Bisexuals struggle to feel accepted as some people try to categorise them into gay or straight, and deny that bisexuality exists. Studies show bisexual people are more likely to remain closeted, consider suicide more, and are more likely to be homeless than their lesbian and gay counterparts (Science Daily, Taylor & Francis, MAP, Stonewall).

What issues do bi people face?

Bi-erasure is the downplaying of people or characters who are bi so that they are not given the same treatment as straight or gay people. For example there are very few bisexual public figures and role models, and there is a trend of characters in fiction (including LGBT+ films) where bisexual characters may be mentioned in books or by filmmakers off-screen, but when it comes to the actual film, they are sidelined or their bisexuality not mentioned at all (e.g. Love, Simon and Thor: Ragnarok).

Biphobia is the assortment of prejudices faced by bisexual people, such as the belief that bisexuality is synonymous with promiscuity, or that bisexual people are confused, in denial of homosexuality, or just greedy.

Some people consider that a bi partner cheating on them with someone of the opposite sex would be less problematic than if they did the same thing with a same-sex partner – suggesting that bisexuality is not equal to other sexualities. Bi people are being forced to believe that they’re technically gay with gay people, and technically straight with straight people – which is not the case.

What are the reactions to people coming out as bi?

Some negative reactions to bisexuality are actually negative responses to homosexuality, and a catch-all form of same-sex discrimination. Parents may wrongly perceive bisexuality to be a phase/experimentation, and that the end game will be a conventional heterosexual relationship. Many bi people will feel pressured to pursue this, with their relatives treating bisexuality as a lucky close-call with the horror of homosexuality. Meanwhile bi people who are in relationships that appear outwardly heterosexual will be made to feel excluded by close-minded gay people, who wrongly accuse them of retreating into ‘straight privilege’, and may be judged for being part of the lesbian and gay community.

How do we help people to be more accepting of bi people?

If someone states their sexuality, the best thing to do is to accept it at face value. Regardless of your personal understanding of that identity, the person insisting upon it has decided that it’s the identifier that best fits them, and that should be good enough for anyone. Acceptance is the kindest and most decent response, lifting potentially years of anxieties from people who have had to find the courage to make a statement of their sexuality.

Acceptance also happens to be the best path towards more dialogue. Ask questions, engage with that person, get involved and take an interest. Just by doing that you not only stand to make that person feel more comfortable and respected, but you’re even helping to tackle wider bisexual issues within society. Whether it be a conversation with a friend, or a fleeting supporting character in a movie, acknowledgement and appreciation of bisexuality can mean a whole lot to them.

What are some good resources?

Final thoughts

For someone who is curious and unsure about their identity, I would always encourage reaching out, and being proud of realising your sexual identity. Coming out means not having to hide your feelings, having a personal sense of achievement, and the fact that coming out helps to resolve long-term issues as well, such as visibility, representation, and acknowledgement.

This blog was written with generous help from Josh Scully.

1 September 2018


In particular response to addiction of video games:

Games are an escape from reality. But games are also a form of play. Both are important to be a functional human being. Technology has evolved a lot in the last few years and I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface. Addiction in general has become a problem with technology, not just games. Social media, movies, series, games, dating: many vices and sins are now easier to accomplish than ever before.
This Kurzgesagt video explains addiction well among other videos they've done on drugs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg and this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS6LoRYUdhw

Modern Day Sins (source)

Mental Health

But I think the real problem here is actually mental health and the generalised problem of addiction itself. I'm not sure if it's best to blame video games. I'm more inclined to blame technology. But I feel most that any addictive behaviour is detrimental. What we really need is to reduce addiction on a much bigger scale. If we properly recognise and incorporate mental health awareness into society, and get everyone to feel completely unburdened to talk about their mental thoughts - even to a stranger standing next to you in a queue - then, and only then we will actually be on top of the wider issue of mental health.


To do that we need to break down some stereotypes of masculinity (not showing vulnerability). To other species it's normal to hide vulnerability, but in this modern world, vulnerability can mean life or death when it comes to mental health issues. The world simply does not suit this innate compulsion to display self-confidence, charisma, and high self-esteem at all times regardless of how you actually think or feel. And this isn't just a throwaway first world problem. This problem actually kills people and that means it really is a serious issue. Sometimes these issues go unlooked as well. PTSD can haunt people their entire lives and never recover (just look at the Hillsborough disaster). Unfortunately, we can't yet erase memories, so we must have after-care.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (source)


I don't blame video games. I blame the education system for not adequately preparing kids for how to live in a modern day world with modern day problems. There is a huge range of subjects that kids need but just don't get (common sense, finance, communication, presenting, respect, owning problems, mindfulness, proactiveness, etc.) This link has some great ideas for example https://successfulstudent.org/20-life-skills-not-taught-in-school/ (except guns of course).
And if we look after our children, all of the gaps that society has to fill will become far less problematic, and then they will know better how to look after themselves. We should arm our children with all of the best weapons to deal with whatever life will throw at them, based on the current modern day issues.


We also have to 'preserve' that creativity that kids have - modern day parents are scared of letting their children play outside alone, meaning they spend more time indoors. But it's so important that kids do have time to play and have fun - not just for exercise or energy release, but for mental well-being: it builds up skills in team-working, and doesn't have to be as serious as sports. Play is crucial to development. See this most popular TED video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY


Video games, in principle, and on their own, are good. Addiction is not good in any form. Society must be reshaped to deal with all addictive outlets and properly prepare children for modern day issues. Fear of showing vulnerability must end. Communication is key.