My mother always said that sexuality was a spectrum, with gay at one end and straight at the other and that most people fell somewhere along the line. I know I definitely fell "somewhere along the line." I didn't want to think about it or admit it, but ever since I can remember I was attracted to female and male people. This feeling of being both and neither has meant that I haven't always felt like I fit in anywhere, but I also had the ability to hide. I could stay under the radar.
Out is a terrifying place to be, particularly since Trump was elected. Out is scarier to me since I had kids. And Out is easier on the internet than in person, even though the internet lives longer than most people's memories. Out is a continual process--it is something you consider every time you meet a new person. Basically, Out can be rather exhausting.
But Bi Visibility Day is about being visible, so here goes.
Hello, my name is Lara. I'm pansexual. I used to think pansexual was a silly new-fangled word people came up with just to be cooler than people who used the word bisexual. I didn't understand it at all until I learned that pansexual recognizes nonbinary gender people in a way that bisexual does not. Bisexual by definition means "both" and since my primary attraction is to people who also resist the binary, I think pan fits me better. But since I've used the word "bisexual" forever it's often easier to say than to explain it to people.
A note on the evolution of language: our lexicon is exploding with new words and that can be scary. I resisted new words until I saw this TED Talk by Anne Curzan about the evolution of language. We are at a time of precision and nuance, and as a writer, I'm here for it, even if new words or new uses of old words sometimes feel awkward in my mouth. A lot of things seem awkward the first few times you use them--like bicycles and upgraded cell phones. We all got used to them.
What is exciting to me as a writer is how many non-mono-sexual characters there are in literature these days.
Since I'm all about the books, here are three recommendations for #BiVisibilityDay:
Copyright © 2022 Lara Lillibridge
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