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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

Bisexual Celebrities Who Are Making A Difference

Here are a few bi celebs that are doing everything they can for the bisexual community as a whole…
Bisexual erasure, also known as bisexual invisibility is defined as the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, and new media. An example is when someone outright says that bisexuality isn’t a real thing and anyone who claims to be bi is actually just in denial they they’re gay, or they’re “going through a phase”.
There’s also the common assumption that a bisexual person who is in a straight relationship (or a gay relationship) isn’t bisexual anymore. This trope is common in TV and movies. For example, Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer spends three seasons in a relationship with a man then when she starts dating a girl later on; she describes herself as “kinda gay”. She never identifies as bisexual. While how a person choose to identify is their choice, it’s common for bisexual people to feel pressure to just “choose a side”, and if they don’t do that, they don’t really belong to either.
Bisexuality Awareness Week, which is in September, is aiming to stop biphobia by giving the B’s in LGBTQ+ sometime in the spotlight. There are also a number celebrities who have come out publicly as bisexual who are using their platform to help spread awareness about bisexuality and make sure it becomes accepted and recognized as a legitimate sexual orientation. Here are a few bi celebs that are doing everything they can for the bisexual community as a whole.
Sara Ramirez
Not only has Sara Ramirez publicly come out as a proud bisexual woman, but her character on Grey’s Anatomy, Callie Torres, also identified as bisexual. Seeing as there aren’t many fictional bisexual (rather than gay or “experimenting”) characters out there, her portrayal of the character on such a popular show makes an impact. Ramirez, who has been married to Ryan Debolt since 2012, came out at the 40 to None Summit in 2016 in a speech for homeless LGBT youth. “So many of our youth experiencing homelessness are youth whose lives touch on many intersections,” she said in her speech. She acknowledges that no one is defined only by their sexual orientation and it’s important for everyone, no matter how they identify, to be heard.
Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean has never said that he is bisexual, but when he published a letter on his Tumblr account about the summer he fell in love with another man, he was coming out as someone who cares about love, not gender. In a GQ interview, when asked if he considers himself bisexual, he said, “I’m not trying to sell you sex. People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn’t need to label it for it to have impact. Because people realize everything that I say is so relatable, because when you’re talking about romantic love, both sides in all scenarios feel the same shit.” The need for labels are one of the things that contributes to bisexual erasure and Ocean’s refusal to label himself shows other people experiencing something similar that they don’t have to either.
Alan Cumming
Since coming out as bisexual in 1998, Alan Cumming has had to defend his sexuality. He was married to a woman for eight years and is now married to a man, but he still has to explain that he wasn’t straight and now gay; he’s always been attracted to both men and women. In an interview with Advocate, he said, “I see a worrying trend among LGBT people, that if you identify yourself in just one way, you close yourself off to other experiences. My sexuality has never been black and white; it’s always been gray. I’m with a man, but I haven’t closed myself off to the fact that I’m still sexually attracted to women.” Despite being open about his sexuality, he gets (understandably) tired of talking about it all the time. That’s because no one should have to “prove” their sexuality.
Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood was 25 when she came out on Twitter as bisexual. Since then, she hasn’t shied away from talking about her sexuality, defending other people who identify as bisexual and providing a little insight into what it was like to grow up feeling like a bit of an outsider. Connecting with her fans and being someone they can look up to is important to her and in a YouTube video she made for Pride Month in 2016, she willingly walked “people through [her] journey of self-realization—abusive relationships, suicide attempts and finally coming out of the closet and ultimately, survival.” Earlier this year, she was honoured with the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award and she continues to be an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
Halsey has only been a household name for a couple years now, but she’s always been open about her bisexuality. In fact, she’s one of the only mainstream popstars out there to have released a bisexual love song (Strangers, a duet with Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui, who is also openly bisexual). When her record label asked if she wanted to do the duet with Katy Perry, she refused, reportedly saying, “I’m not putting an artist on this song unless they’re f***ing gay”. Most of her music is inclusive of her experiences with being in love with both men and women and she’s been vocal about her thoughts on bi-erasure saying “there’s a lot of bisexual rejection in the LGBT community”, bringing attention to the fact that’s it’s not only straight people who can be biphobic.
Cara Delevingne
As one of the most famous models-turned-actresses in the world right now, the fact that Cara Delevingne is so open and comfortable with her relationships with women—and always has been—is a big deal for the bisexual and lesbian community. When Vogue published a story that suggested her sexuality might just be a phase, she immediately called them out, saying “My sexuality is not a phase. I am who I am.” She’s described having to explain her attraction to both men and women to even her closest friends and is sick of being pigeonholed as gay when she feels like her identity is a lot more fluid than that. She also supported and participated in the Self Evident Truths Project which included photographs of 10,000 people in the USA that identify as anything other than 100% straight.
Amandla Stenberg
Known for her role in the first Hunger Games film, Amandla Stenberg has used her growing fame and platform to focus more on social justice activism. She came out in a Snapchat video for Teen Vogue saying, “It’s a really, really hard thing to be silenced, and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in. As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman, I’ve been through it and it hurts and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable.” Although she’s only 19 years old, she isn’t afraid to make her voice heard as an intersectional feminist and part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Mike White
As an actor, writer and director, Mike White has a unique opportunity to bring his experience with relationships to fictional characters. It also so happens that his father, Mel White, a former Evangelical who wrote speeches for televangelists in the 60s, 70s and 80s came out as gay after being married to a woman (Mike’s mother). He’s now an activist and minister to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with Mike, who strives to write LGBTQ+ characters and relationships with the same complexity as straight ones.

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