The hashtag ‘bi culture’ (#BiCulture) was something I followed here and there. I loved the relatable posts (often one-liners) about being bisexual. I even made a couple contributions myself:
Is #biculture never knowing you engage in bi culture because you conditionally think all that is bi culture actually just means you aren’t ~really~ bi? 🤔
— Rafaella Gunz (@DiscoxBloodbath) April 5, 2019
— Rafaella Gunz (@DiscoxBloodbath) July 5, 2019
‘Bi culture is being made on Twitter right now’
One day, I came across the following Tweet:
Bi culture is pretty much being made rn on twitter, and i love it because if i were to tweet “bi ppl eat french fries for breakfast” and it gets like 10k retweets, 50 years from now breakfast french fries will be an essential part of bi culture
— Andrea (@andrea_lakota) July 5, 2019
‘Bi culture is pretty much being made [right now] on twitter,’ wrote a Twitter user named Andrea. ‘I love it because if I were to tweet “bi [people] eat french fries for breakfast” and it gets like 10k retweets, 50 years from now breakfast french fries will be an essential part of bi culture.’
Considering the lack of accurate representation of bisexuals in the media, as well as the biphobia still present in the wider LGBTI community, this idea that bisexuals can create our own unique culture online matters.
I spoke to some bisexuals of Twitter about how they view this idea of #BiCulture being made on the often controversial platform.
Connecting with the Bi+ community
‘Twitter has helped me connect to other bi and queer people around the world, including queer celebrities, and see that bisexuals matter,’ said Twitter user Brian Appel.
‘Twitter makes me feel like I am not alone. I have connected with bi people in my specific areas of interest in technology and art and always feel like I have a friend here who understands me,’ echoed user J. Rosenbaum.
‘It’s connected me with others who, while it’s a big deal, haven’t been able to come out as others freely do. Because of our background culture. It’s a privileged thing to be openly bi. Because even when we do, it’s just ignored,’ said Jacqueline Valencia.
Some Twitter accounts responded with a discussion of using Twitter for a better understanding of bisexuals at large.
‘Twitter has been fundamental to connect with other bisexual parents. And awake awareness about bisexual parenting (same sex or different sex). It’s also been very important to connect all kind of families with bisexual people in them,’ the Twitter account BiFamilies stated.
‘[Twitter] convinced me to start a Twitter account as a Bi+ researcher,’ Aurelio Castro shared.
‘I love the #BisexualFacts tag, to which I have contributed on Bisexual Visibility Day,’ another user added.
Twitter has even helped bisexuals find some real life groups to participate in.
‘It’s helped me to stay abreast of events, trends, media, and politics regarding bi folk around the world,’ said Seymore Love. ‘The upcoming 2nd Bisexual Pride Parade in LA organized by @amBiSocial to take place Sept 2019, for example. I [wouldn’t have] known [otherwise].’
‘It lets me access information and studies, even memes, etc. that I then share to educate folks who may not know much about bisexuality and biphobia, and to support others. It’s connected me with people all along the LGBTQ2I+ spectrums and from other minority groups and helped me build friendships,’ said Anita Dolman.
‘Although it makes me aware of awful news and biphobic viewpoints, I’ve also learned so much and been inspired here by other bi/pan+ advocates. By words and acts of inclusivity. And by the existence of bi festivals, orgs, writing, art, etc. around the world I may never have otherwise known of.’
The dark side of Bi+ Twitter
As Anita touched on, there is a dark side to Twitter’s bi culture. It often manifests as biphobia -either casually or abusively.
‘I actually find twitter, particularly gay twitter to be very demeaning of bisexuals,’ bisexual writer Ariel Sobel shared with me. ‘We’re constantly depicted as crazy or unhinged. Twitter often makes me feel like I am not queer enough.’
‘[I’ve] found and made friends with other bi activists around the world. [I] realized that fighting against biphobia is a global task,’ added a Twitter user named Rebecca. ‘Also, sadly, [I’ve] watched too many bi activists, particularly of color and/or gender diverse, leave the platform.’
While this particular issue has since been resolved, the biphobia some Twitter users face is still a problem. Sometimes it manifests as abuse or harassment, like how this bisexual Twitter user was called a Nazi for discussing biphobia:
Me: Biphobia hurts all questioning individuals, because it teaches young LGBTQ+ individuals that acceptance from the community is contingent on being the Right kind of gay.
Rando: How dare you, you n*zi pic.twitter.com/DBWVDRzSWF
— Digital Bi (tch) Studies (@blue_mels) July 15, 2019
Other times, it’s casual. For instance, when a verified account called Women and Equalities recently Tweeted out explanations of different LGBTI identities. They used a very narrow definition of bisexual which some bisexuals disagreed with.
Hi @WomenEqualities. Many bi people are attracted regardless of gender. Many ID as bi & pan. Please delete the 2nd sentence of this glossary definition in the National LGBT Survey reports & put a correction on the download page otherwise you’re compounding the biphobia you study. pic.twitter.com/QIF0ztmsAD
— Sali Owen 🌈 (@SaliWho) July 19, 2019
The internet, especially sites like Twitter, can be cesspools of anti-LGBTI abuse and harassment. Still, the bisexual community of Twitter is attempting to turn lemons into lemonade. By connecting with one another, sharing relatable content, and so much more, Twitter may very well become the home of #BiCulture.