Post submitted by former Editorial Producer, Print and Digital Media Rokia Hassanein
As a community, we must uplift the voices of bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid and transgender people as these voices are too often unheard.
With studies showing that bi+ people comprise nearly half of all people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, the bi+ population is the single largest group within the LGBTQ community.
Moreover, transgender people and people of color comprise large portions of the bisexual community –– with more than 40% of LGBTQ people of color identifying as bisexual, and about half of transgender people describing their sexual orientation as bi+ –– making these groups vulnerable to further disparities that occur at the intersections of biphobia, racism and transphobia.
In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility and Bisexual Health Awareness Month, members of HRC’s staff share what it means to live at the intersection of these identities, what visibility and resilience means to them and what it means to live at the intersection of these identities.
“Being bi and trans means I have to assert my identity or it will get assumed away. It means knowing who I am even if others don't see me. You can be bi/pan/fluid/queer and a non-binary, binary trans or gender non-conforming person. You can be anything that feels right to you. Don't sacrifice who you are because others want to put you in a box.” –– Colin Kutney | He/Him/His | Senior Manager, State & Municipal Programs.
“Resilience as a trans woman means thriving in spite of all the systems that challenge my very existence. Systems, including access to gender affirming legal documents, culturally appropriate health care, patriarchy, financial inequity and transphobia are stifling and difficult barriers for trans folks to overcome. TDOV is important because greater visibility helps to normalize trans lives in a way that brings positive changes through representation. I encourage trans youth to continually seek positive people and resources that affirm the entirety of who you are. Transition is a lifelong process, so pace yourself and make healthy decisions for you now and in the future.” –– Tori Cooper | She/Her/Hers | Director of Community Engagement.
“To me, resilience as a pansexual and non-binary person means working through years of folks invalidating my sexuality and gender, navigating years of self-doubt and confusion not because of myself, but others, and coming out stronger. Resilience means finding others who are like you and basking in your shared community and understanding of the world. Resilience means looking back at my 15-year-old self and thanking them for their courage, bravery and strength in pushing through all the hardships so that I could flourish today. I love that TDOV intersects with Bi Health Month, especially since such a huge percentage of the trans and gender-expansive community is bi+. It feels like a time to celebrate so many intersections of my identity, which I'm not always allowed due to policing of my gender expression or sexuality from folks within and outside of the LGBTQ community as a non-binary pansexual person. It's also a time to make sure I'm getting check ups and taking care of my health. There are so many obstacles bi+ folks can face in terms of receiving proper health care, especially their sexual health, from fear of discrimination to income-related barriers.” –– Pallavi Rudraraju | They/Them/Theirs | Youth Well-Being Program Coordinator.