I’m a bi/pan woman in a relationship with a straight, cis man. Since I came out a few years ago, I’ve worked really hard to surround myself with members of the queer community. My issue is that I’ve encountered a lot of biphobia. A few instances this summer stick out to me in particular, compounding my feelings of exclusion and impostor syndrome. A lesbian woman at a queer event (that I didn’t bring my partner to) told me I must be either gay or straight because “no one’s really bi, are they?” A gay couple told me at a queer event (that I did bring my partner to) told me that they didn’t want me to join them for the rest of the evening because we don’t “look like a queer couple.” One of my friend’s boyfriends told me that bi people can’t say they’re bi unless they’ve been in a long-term relationship with someone of the same sex. The list goes on. I’m in therapy (with a queer therapist) and examining my feelings of internalized biphobia, but these experiences are hurtful and confusing, particularly when I’m so excited to feel like included and accepted. Is there anything you can offer me in the way of how to navigate these experiences?
—Do I Just Shrug It Off?