By JamieAnn Meyers
During a conversation with a new cisgender heterosexual friend and person of faith, coming out as trans* proved to be a relatively positive and affirming experience.
They acknowledged their transphobia, but were very eager to learn about my identity as a transsexual woman. They were supportive and could also understand how my gender dysphoria led me to transition from my male birth-assigned sex to my female gender identity.
And then I came out to them as bi*. Suddenly my new friend grew quiet; then considerable confusion dominated their remarks and they immediately asked how I could be bi* and married to my wife? They erased my bi* identity and replaced it with a lesbian identity. Further discussion revealed that assumptions around infidelity, promiscuity and hypersexuality were also part of their biphobia, and their eagerness to accept me as a new friend was suddenly in question.
I explained to them that bi* people can experience emotional and physical attraction to all genders. Furthermore, there is a huge difference between experiencing emotional and/or physical attraction to a diversity of genders and acting on those attractions.
The conversation soon ended with my affirming my strong belief that the trans* and bi* sexual communities are a beautiful rainbow of diversity and complexity, including people of many different gender identities who express their sexuality in many different ways. As a trans* and bi* sexual-identified person of faith, I want to help focus our movement on building increased awareness and acceptance based on this wonderfully complex and inclusive array of sexual and gender diversity.
I am proud to identify as a queer bisexual radical-femme transsexual woman. I am a child of God, and I live at the intersection of multiple oppressions.
(Note: the use of the asterisk in trans* and bi* stands for inclusion of multiple gender and sexual identities respectively. Trans* includes all transgender and gender non-conforming people. Bi* includes identities such as pansexual/omnisexual, fluid, queer, homoflexible, heteroflexible, etc.)