It’s Bi Visibility/ Celebration Day.

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not.

A selfie of a smiling white-skinned woman with brown hair and glasses. She is wearing silver headphones, purple earrings, a grey jumper and purple scarf. A pink, purple and blue rainbow is painted on her face, from the middle of her forehead down to her left cheek. She is wearing a badge in the shape of a piece of cake with the bi flag colours (pink, purple, blue) on it.
At the “Big Bi Bonanza” event last year

I’ve mentioned it off-hand a few times since last year, but I wanted to take the chance today to properly come out and explore it a little.

I’m bi. Usually this is short for bisexual, or bi-romantic. I like to use the shorthand rather than either of the longer terms. I feel that describes me best, given the way I understand and experience the different types of attraction.

The definition of bi(sexuality) that I like to use comes from the Melbourne Bisexual Network: “Bisexuality is romantic or sexual attraction to the gender the same as your own, and to other genders. Some people use it to mean attraction to two or more genders. It is not attraction to only men and women.┬áThe understanding of ‘bisexual’ as being supportive of gender binary is one that is from outside the bisexual community.”

I’ve highlighted the part of the definition that I usually like to use, as it sounds less clunky to me than the first sentence. Both of these definitions are true. In a plural form, “bisexualities” or “bi plus” it can also be used as an umbrella term for various types of multi-gender attraction (e.g. pansexual, polysexual), though each of those exist in their own right too.

Let’s bust some myths, shall we?

  • Bisexuality does not equal promiscuous.
  • Bisexuality does not mean “more likely to cheat”.
  • Bisexuality does not mean “confused”.
  • Bisexuality is not “a phase”.
  • A person does not need to have had relationships with more than one gender to call themselves bisexual.
  • A person does not stop being bisexual if they’re in a so-called “opposite sex” relationship.
  • A person coming out as bisexual is not jumping on a trend.

All being bi means is the definition above – being attracted to two or more/ your own and other genders. I am bi. I have only had relationships with (cis) men, though I have kissed a couple of women and gender diverse people outside of that. Even if I hadn’t, I would still be bi. I’ve also been in the same relationship, with a cis man, for the past four years, and we are very happy together. I hope it continues for good. This (again) does not negate my bisexuality, and the very idea that some would think my sexuality means I’m more likely to cheat on him is offensive to me.

But, how do I know I’m bi? Well, firstly, that’s a very intrusive question – please don’t ask it. Only exception being is if you’re extremely close with the person and they’re inviting questions. It should never be used as a “gotcha” or an “I know better than you” moment.

In the spirit of the day, I’ll answer. I know I’m bi because I find particular women, men and gender diverse people attractive, and I’ve enjoyed kissing people of all genders. It’s that simple.

I did not decide to identify as bi on a whim, but after a lot of questioning. Being bi is the best descriptor that fits me. I know my own identity.

Happy bi visibility/ celebration day!

A photo of a white woman standing under a marquee. Her brown hair is pulled into pigtails, she's wearing blue earrings and blue brooch on a white jumper and purple skirt. She is smiling and holding a bi flag - of pink, purple and blue horizontal stripes.
At my first Bi Pride event a few years ago.

What I’ve been up to… (plus cats)

I’ve thought about blogging, a lot, over the last few months. As things have happened, I’ve thought of blog titles or why I “really must post something about that”. However, blogging takes a specific type of thought, and these days, when work and life take up specific energy, I must prioritise what I do with my free time. Writing fanfic isn’t easier than blogging – but it’s more fun. Especially when WordPress has had issues whenever I try – I’m writing this on the desktop app instead of the web browser and that seems to have helped.

So, it’s been almost four months since I last posted. In that time:

  • We came out of lockdown, went back to work for a few weeks, then returned to a stricter lockdown – it’s been exactly six months today since that first Tuesday of lockdown in March.
  • I’ve had a number of professional successes;
  • I’ve continued to be disappointed, enraged and disgusted at the behaviour of JKR;
  • I’ve learnt a lot about my own resilience, privilege because of that, and how to use it, with my professional knowledge and access to supports, to manage my own mental health (a work in progress);
  • Watched countless hours of livestream videos of cats (thanks to Tinykittens) and, now, falcons (thanks to the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons nesting).

I’ll talk about all of these in future blog posts – right now it’s school holidays, and I’m hoping to type and schedule a few posts while I have the time.

The topic I want to highlight today is the cats of Tinykittens. Tinykittens is a not-for-profit cat rescue organisation based out of Fort Langley, BC, Canada. They’ve been broadcasting their rescue stories live for seven years now, and I’ve been following them, on and off, for three. They specialise in Trap-Neuter-Return/Adopt programs for feral cats in their community, and in educating others about how to help similar efforts in our own communities.

I’ve learnt a lot from them, like, how to care for and socialise feral cats. Tinykittens believe all cats, no matter how feral, sick or injured, deserve a chance to be treated with compassion. We can do more than just euthanising ferals. Read more on their website: http://www.tinykittens.com/projects

I first encountered Tinykittens in 2018, with Chloe’s litter, which included the remarkable Auracuda. Aura had a very large cleft palate, which was life-threatening. If she’d been born in the feral colony, she would have died. It was touch-and-go for a long time, with around-the-clock care with tube feedings. At 179 days old, she was big enough for groundbreaking surgery which gave her a donor cleft palate (from a dog!). She’s a medical foster at Shelly’s home still, and loving life – though it’s not without challenges.

This year, the first lockdowns coincided with “kitten season”, the time when the bulk of Tinykittens’ fosters and TNR efforts are focused on pregnant feral cats. They trap the pregnant feral and hope to socialise the mama and babies for adoption. If the mama proves unwilling to “hand in her feral card” as the TK volunteers and chatters call it, she’s spayed when the kittens are old enough and returned to the colony she came from, where volunteers provide food and socialisation every day. (The hope is that eventually, the mama cat will show signs of being happy with humans – she can then be re-trapped, and fostered to adoption.)

The kittens are socialised from birth, and when old enough are adopted in pairs. I’ve seen four litters go through this process so far this year with their mothers. Twenty cats in loving homes instead of running feral and contributing to the cat overpopulation problem.

There are currently another four litters of kittens at Tinykittens HQ. They share time on the two livestreams. Two sets in particular are ready to go home, and I thought I’d profile one of those today: a mother cat, Caramel, and her boy kitten Salty. They are a very social, playful pair. All they need is an adopter. I don’t know if I have any followers in Canada, especially any who are in BC. But if I do – or if you know someone who is – maybe you or they have a cat-shaped hole in their life?

Screenshot from YouTube of a grey and white kitten stands next to his mother, a tabby. They are in a room full of toys, including a red tent next to them. In the top left corner is red writing saying, Adopt Caramel + Salty: TinyKittens.com/adopt
Look at their faces! Aren’t they the cutest?