[This poem addresses an ongoing issue within queer inter-communities. Straight people: Please read if you are interested, but also realize you won’t have cultural context.]
After my coming out, all the responses from my bisexual friends were incredibly powerful. I felt so much love towards them — but then…guilt? I was confused, why was I feeling guilty? All the memories I had with these bisexual friends were happy ones, not trauma! I meditated about it and immediate free-wrote the below poem.
As a lesbian, I want to make this clear: Historically, our community has not been welcoming to bisexual women. This needs to stop. This needs to stop now.
I cannot ask that you, bisexual women, forgive me for my past. But you deserve an apology.
I love bisexual women. But there was a time when I didn’t.
I was jealous of them.
So I wrote a poem about it. . .
Dear Beautiful Bisexual Women,
Let’s get this out of the way:
I should not have pretended to be you,
I know how specifically hurtful that is,
People questioning your queerness.
I’m sorry I was jealous of you.
Worsening the situation,
I’m sorry I tried to be you.
Poetry therapy has helped me.
“Helped” is too loose of a term —
Poetry therapy saved my live.
So I write to you,
In this therapeutic format,
Not to ask for forgiveness,
Or even for understanding.
This is how I work through trauma,
And by the end,
I will feel nothing but love towards you.
The way it truly should be,
No divide between lesbian and bi.
I was jealous of you,
You beautiful bisexual women.
I saw you as completely free —
Free of the bonds I had been cursed with,
Free to explore loving relationships with women,
Free from damnation since you could marry man.
But you weren’t free —
You’ve never been free.
Straights & gays alike can be quite cruel to you.
By writing this apology,
And an explanation,
It can help biphobic people realize their mistakes,
Examine why they feel unfairly towards bisexuals,
AND STOP YOUR BIPHOBIC BELIEFS & BEHAVIOR.
When I was pretending to be you,
I was shown what biphobia was,
From straights & gays alike.
The sick part was:
I benefited from the biphobia.
Directly benefited from it!
People thought I was straight,
Exactly what I wanted!
I didn’t fight against biphobia,
When frat boys made fun of it.
I loved that they thought —
And many openly said —
That bi girls were just having fun,
That bi girls were just straight,
Trying being gay for a while.
Since the opposite was true,
I clung to this ridiculous lie,
Simply, it was easier to hide.
The idea that bisexual was:
The Sapphic Lite,
Sapphic for the summer time,
But that isn’t true.
No matter who says it —
Any one else.
It’s never been true,
And it never will be.
That wasn’t fair to you,
Because you are a full identity —
Not just a half to be made whole.
You are an entire Sapphic woman.
You are not lesser than me,
Or any other lesbian.
Not in any way,
I love the word:
It’s a beautiful word:
Named after Sappho!
Sounds sexy as hell!
Unites lesbos & bi women!
As I write this,
From one Sapphic to another,
I understand our struggles are different.
I understand our tribulations aren’t identical.
But the fact remains,
Lesbophobia and biphobia,
It’s all rooted in the same thing.
We are so similar,
Much more similar than different.
Lesbians have a nasty habit —
I’ve seen if for myself —
Hell, I’ve done it myself!
But there is a reason for it.
Lesbians never experienced romantic,
Or sexual attraction to men.
We were told our whole lives we needed to.
We never did.
You were able to enjoy dating men,
The thing we always failed at.
Why do we feel this way?
At least, in my case,
So how do we move forward?
“Traumatized lesbians” get a free pass?
Bisexual women just have to put up with it?
With our constant scrutiny on your sexuality?
Our resentment towards your husbands?
We should pretend it doesn’t exist?
I think we should talk about it.
If you don’t talk about something —
At least in my instance —
It becomes something worse.
Something buried inside.
More difficult to loosen,
More difficult to understand,
More difficult to move on.
I accept that I was very biphobic.
Really — I was the telltale,
“Biphobic Lesbian,” stereotype!
So how do we break from that?
Not just by saying we will,
But truly kill off the biphobia?
The thing is:
It’s full of a lot of pain.
Many of us deal with homophobic traumas,
Some similar to mine — some far worse.
Pretending like we don’t have that pain,
Like we can only dance at nightclubs,
Post our Pride celebration captions —
And while these are all wonderful,
Beautiful parts of our community —
There are also parts like this:
Sometimes lesbians have
Deep rooted issues
Against bisexual women.
My advice to overcome is simple:
Instead of letting it fester inside,
Work through therapeutic steps.
Try expressive arts therapy:
Free-write a poem about it.
Figure out why you feel that way.
Accept the trauma,
Accept the reasoning.
You’ll be surprised!
Once you truly move on,
The biphobia disappears.
I’m sorry, bisexual women,
I made this a bit too much about me.
I want to hear more about your stories,
Your perspectives with lesbians.
Have they been pleasant?
How did you react to it?
Was there a resolution?
I hope so.
I hope so because I want Sapphic women to be united.
I know that sounds cheesy…
(That’s why I told the straights not to read this,
I’m getting mushy about the queer community.)
We are so powerful when we stand together,
When we don’t let past traumas dictate behavior.
We, Sapphic women, are even more powerful.
We know how it feels:
To both be a woman,
And to love one.
On such a deep level,
That even years of hate,
Shoved down your throat,
Couldn’t stop it.
It just kept growing.
We both felt that.
All Sapphic women do,
At least in this time period.
And hopefully not soon.
But we feel that way,
And it’s okay to talk about it.
Dear bisexual women,
I love you.
I didn’t for a while,
But now I do.
I hope that’s okay.
From one traumatized Sapphic,
To possibly another.
To all lesbians:
We have to do better.
We have to do better.
We need to help bi women.
Help them feel included,
Help them feel valued,
Help them feel queer.
I hope a biphobic lesbian finds this poem,
And looks inward at possible causes.
It would’ve at least made me realize why —
Why I had these strange negative feelings.
You will be happier,
Truly, much happier,
When you remove your biphobic beliefs.
Because there isn’t a real reason for them.
It’s time we accept bi women,
For who they truly are:
Our Sapphic sisters.
Author’s Note: We’ve done it blog! We have written our first free-write on a queer community issue. This poem is specifically written for lesbians and bisexual women discussing an ongoing problem that has been present in the lesbian community and queer community as a whole (family).