#CelebrateBiWomen | Libby Baxter-Williams
Being a bisexual+ woman means being subjected to a whole lot of stereotyping. We only exist, in the public imagination, as thin, pretty and white. As young and gregarious good-time girls whose sexuality is a performance for the benefit - the titillation - of men. We’re dichotomous: simultaneously exotic and untouchable creatures and sexually voracious sluts, to be both worshiped and abused, deified and defiled.
That’s not hyperbole either. Bi+ women are one and a half times as likely as lesbians to be sexually assaulted or raped, and twice as likely as straight women.
Biphobia means we have it rough. To the queer community, our value is directly proportional to our perceived gayness: we are accepted in our relationships with women and non-binary people, called inauthentic if we pursue relationships with men. Many of us choose not to come out; only a quarter of bi+ people do.
We are rarely allowed to be our whole selves.
#CelebrateBiWomen was created to give us a moment to be our whole selves. It is not a hashtag for chasers or fetishists, it’s not even a hashtag for allies. It is a hashtag for bisexual+ women to be their entire and uncompromising selves. Thin, pretty and white, yes, but also everything that's not those things. It is our opportunity, dug out for ourselves, to celebrate our faces and our bodies, our intellects and our compassion, our empathy and our rage.
#CelebrateBiWomen exists to revel in our messy, glorious variety. Especially if we're not thin, pretty and white.
Libby is a bisexual advocate and director of bisexual+ womens organisation Biscuit. She has been involved in bi+ advocacy for fifteen years, providing resources to local and national prides, running workshops and writing on bi+ issues. In 2020, she created the #CelebrateBiWomen hashtag campaign to celebrate the diversity of women in the bi+ community.
Libby lives in South London and has a day job in the NHS.