October 11th is known as “National Coming Out Day,” a day that encourages LGBT folks to come out or simply celebrate who they are. For some of us, this is relatively simple; for others, it simply isn’t an option. For most of us, it’s a process. It doesn’t happen all at once, it isn’t a single action, it isn’t simple, it isn’t painless, and it can be very scary for a lot of different reasons. For bi folks, it can be doubly complicated. We are asked to come out over and over again, as people often make assumptions based on who we are currently dating.
For this coming out day, our friends at amBi (the world’s largest bi social club) hosted an #iamBi contest to highlight the bi community on social media. They asked participants to talk about how/why they are out and proud. Out of tons of inspiring, wonderful posts, 10 (actually 11) winners were slected. Each winner will received a sharp amBi T-shirt, featuring the Bi Flag. For your reading pleasure, here are the 11 entries that were selected:
Winner #1: The first winner, Nicole, made a collage sharing her recent coming out story and the enormous relief she felt at finally being out. It’s great to hear that people are getting the love and support that they need as they come out.
Winner #2: We were also reminded that it’s never too late to come out. Everyone has different reasoning behind when they chose to come out, congrats to Brent Beckwith for coming out after 10 years.
Winner #3: Then there was an incredible video posted by Vicki Malesza. There’s nothing better than being out, proud, and covered in virtual glitter!
Winner #4: We all come out in our own way and in our own time. Rawiri Nicholls decided to do so in his high school yearbook.
Winner #5: Ardent shared about the unfortunate reality that people often forget about the “B” in LGBT. Rather than mope about it, she laughs at it with this awesome shirt. Who doesn’t want to be a part of the bisexual illuminati?
Winner #6: Steve reminded us that even when you’re in a relationship, you are still bisexual. Whom you are dating doesn’t change the fact that you are bi!
Winner #7: Why does coming out matter? It’s one way of letting folks know that they are not alone. Maybe your coming out is the thing that gives someone else the courage to do so. Bria made an awesome drawing to celebrate her bisexuality.
Winner #8: And Marcus made a couple signs with his friend emily! The more of us who can live out in the open, the better it is for all of us. Sometimes you just have to spell it out to remind folks that you exist, that you are wonderful, and that you are bi.
Winner #9: Vicki Myers shared her awesome Captain America cosplay with us. She definitely upped the costume game for me.
Winners #10 & #11: The last two winners emphasized that even when you’re married, no matter how long you’ve been in a relationship, you’re still bi. Maybe it’s easy to let people assume that you are gay or straight, but it’s so powerful for others to know that they are not alone.
What all of these folks ultimately showed us is that we all express our bisexuality differently, we all come out differently, and we all live different lives. It might not always be possible for someone to be out to everyone or anyone, but for those of us who can, our example can be incredibly powerful. It’s so wonderful to see how there is no right or wrong way to be bi. You do what’s right for you when it’s right for you, and we’ll all be here to support you. Thanks to all the folks who shared their stories. It is wonderful to know that our community is so large, so diverse, and so proud.