This poem is about how I feel in response to bi-erasure, both in the cis-het community and the LGBT one.
Content Warnings: Biphobia
By Emily Metcalfe
I hate the term "straight passing". I am not straight. I'm bi and demisexual, when I'm in a relationship, regardless of that person's gender, I'm still bi. When I'm single, I'm still bi.
When you say "straight passing", all that does is erase who I am. When you look at me and tell me I look straight, you're just saying that you think I'm something different to who I know I am.
When coming out to a friend, one of the first times I'd said the word 'bi', meaning me, I was told I "don't look bi". I look straight. That's not who I am.
I hate it when people say "gay" as a term to include me too. I'm part of that wider community but there are more letters in the acronym than G.
Yes, I feel something inside me relax in the spaces you call "gay", something I didn't even realise was tense until I walked in. Yes, I can be myself here - hold my partner's hand and kiss them more freely than I sometimes can in other venues. But I am still bi.
With a different partner I suddenly no longer belong. I'm not quite like you anymore, and you think it's fine to tell me this space isn't for me. But I was bi all along, you just wouldn't see it.
I'm no more gay than I am straight or straight than I am gay. I'm part of a spectrum, a planet full of diversity, not defined by the polar opposites, pulling and pushing.
Emily Metcalfe is the founder of Leeds LGBT+ Literature Festival and Book Club and has been an LGBT+ activist in Leeds since 2014. They can often be found in queer book stores and cafes, and will need to move house soon to make room for their TBR pile!