Has pride become a meaningless side-show attracting political parties and marketing ploys? Is Pride now a family show for the amusement of the straights in the community? Are we ignoring the issues for which many have fought and died? In a recent article in the local newspaper, the writer stated just that, but I think he missed the main point. It has truly become a community celebration, and that is a good thing. Pride celebrates the uniqueness and freedoms of all of us. We have fought and won the main event. For the most part, our right to exist has indeed been won; the community has recognized and accepted us into its heart, and our unique contribution to society is being recognized. It is indeed a time to celebrate and to welcome the political parties (I marched with the Greens) that want to be a part of our community, and the local and national companies that want to show their appreciation for our business. It is time to welcome families and children to our events to paint their faces and listen to the music.
Are there still issues that we need to address? Sure, but they are not on the same scale as imprisonment and forced lobotomies, or being targets for abuse by the thugs on the street or even the justice system itself. I sit on the Saanich LGBTQ subcommittee for the Health and Wellness Committee and we are addressing issues still faced by the Transsexual Community. All our concerns are listened to and approached in a rational and compassionate manner. We have workers on the police force and the parks and rec department that have taken on the role of addressing our needs. It is no longer a fight to exist; it is just a matter of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. It is indeed a time to celebrate.
In our bisexual community there are many horrific needs to be met, but they are not political in nature. Bisexuality in not just about sex and it is not really about gender. We are not like the rest of the LGBTQ community seeking our place in the sun. We do not protest or organize for common goals, and we seldom join organizations for a sense of community. We have the freedom to float in and out of the homosexual and heterosexual communities without notice. But we are complex human beings with an unquenchable thirst for intimacy with both men and women. That places us on the front lines of the sexual revolution that is still being fought. We have sexual needs that go beyond the rest of the community and we are fighting to have complete sexual freedom so that we can explore our sexuality and conquer our demons.
Like many in the community we have a huge hole in our soul that cannot be filled, but our hole seems to be centered on our sexuality. Perhaps it is related to unfulfilled needs for love during childhood; perhaps it is some genetic drive that leaves us with a huge hole that needs to be filled; perhaps it is some psychological/biological intense drive that urges us on to taking risks to fill our hunger for connection. Perhaps it is all of these or none of these. But when this hole is not filled, it results in an epidemic of depression and suicide attempts that I have documented in previous blogs. These are our issues; they are personal issues not political, but we still do not have the support we need in our community, and we are still afraid to ask for it.
Our challenge is to make the community aware of our plight and to make sure the community mental health services are open to us. We need to have our identities protected if we wish to remain anonymous, but we must be open to counselling that will bring the major players to the table in an open and honest way. This includes, spouses, parents, and brothers and sisters. It is our responsibility to make sure these services are available and then to take the initiative to use them. This requires a support network to assist bisexual men and women to come out and accept their position in the sun. Bisexuals need to feel proud of their orientation and be willing to take their place and dance in the Pride Parade.