"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group

Let's talk about #bisexualmenexist, stereotypes, tropes and what it means to be a bisexual man of colour & with Vaneet Mehta

July 28, 2021 Diversifying.io Season 1 Episode 11
"You Can't Say Anything Anymore!" by Diversifying Group
Let's talk about #bisexualmenexist, stereotypes, tropes and what it means to be a bisexual man of colour & with Vaneet Mehta
Show Notes Transcript

You'll probably have heard of the term bisexual,  however did you that the bisexual community is extremely diverse and the challenges that they face differ from their fellow  LGBTQ+ peers? Or that bisexual people make less than £30,000 annually, compared to 28% of the general population? Podcast host Naomi sits down with Vaneet Mehta, an Indian bisexual man who is an advocate for bisexual representation and visibility. 

About our guest speaker: My name is Vaneet Mehta, pronouns He/Him, and I am an Indian bisexual man born and raised in Southall, West London. I work as a Software Engineer, but in my spare time I work within the LGBTQ+ community. I volunteer for Rainbow Films and Middlesex Pride and co-founded The AmBIssadors, a bisexual YouTube channel. I am also an avid writer, having been featured in Stonewall, Metro UK, Unicorn Magazine and The Bi-ble Volume 2, a bisexual anthology. I created the #BisexualMenExist hashtag and am currently writing a book on bisexual men as well as editing a bisexual anthology.

This episode contains TW for: Racism, Homophobia, Biphobia, Racial Slurs, Islamophobia,

This podcast is produced by Diversifying.io - Keep up to date on how we're changing hearts and minds on Instagram: @diversifyingio or via our website: www.diversifying.io 


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Diversifying.io presents, 'You can't say anything anymore'. The podcast where we bring you the latest diversity news, and in-depth meaningful conversations about how we can make a future better for all.

Naomi:

Hi, everyone, welcome to the podcast, 'You can't say anything anymore'. I'm here with a very, very special guest today. And we've got a really exciting episode ahead of us. So if you'd like to introduce yourself.

Vaneet:

So Hi, everyone. My name is Vaneet Mehta. My pronouns are he him. I was born and raised in south and west London. And I do a lot of work within the bisexual community and in the LGBTQ+ space. On the side of my day job, which is a software engineer, that's a little bit about me.

Naomi:

That's absolutely fantastic. Oh, yeah we're really lucky to have you on here. So let's just jump straight into it. I'm gonna go straight into the questions right now. So let's talk a little bit. So you spend your background and where you're from a little about your story. Let's take it back to the early days. So growing up, did you ever feel a sense of otherness or sense of difference? Because of aspects of your identities such as race or sexuality?

Vaneet:

Yeah, so it's a really interesting question. When I was growing up, so I was, like I said, I was born and raised in Southall in West London. And that's like, a really big South Asian area. So, you know, in terms of my waist, I kind of felt like, I was surrounded by people who sort of looked like me. But I felt like I didn't often fit in mainly because you know there's certain things that people expect when you are South Asian, and other things that people expect when you're South Asian and a man. And there's a lot of very traditional gender roles very much rooted in sort of being very masculine and very toxic masculinity. And growing up, I didn't really fit into that I was seen as quite feminine. I was very emotional as a person, still am. I liked a lot of like, you know, soft toys, and playing with that kind of stuff. I loved, you know, playing like Nintendo, which is seen as very childish and whatever, what have you. So I didn't really fit into what it meant to be a sort of South Asian man. And, you know, when I started getting older, my music tastes were very alternative, which again, didn't really fall in line with what it meant to be South Asian. I wasn't massively into sort of Bhangra or hip hop, which was the kind of expected idea in our community. So when it came to that, I was often called a coconut, which is brown on the outside and white on the inside. And so that meant that I didn't really feel like I fit in with my community, but also the femininity. And when I was growing up, I did when I started to get older, when I was, you know, 10 11, 12, I started having attraction towards men, as well as women, and you know, other genders as well. But, you know, back then I didn't really know about any of that. So, my, the attraction to men didn't really fall in line with what was the expectation because it was, you fall in love with a woman, you get married, you have kids, you do all of that very traditional, masculine stuff of providing. And I was like, Oh, well, what's this, this doesn't fall in line or any of that. So I didn't feel like I fit in. I mean, when I, again, when I started to get older, I started to realise that well, you know, whilst, in where I'm going up, there's a lot of South Asian people, when you start getting exposed to what is happening around you in the world, you start to realise that people like you aren't really wanted, you know, I didn't see myself represented in media, I didn't see myself as part of the wider society. And then especially when it came to the sort of 911 bombings and a lot of the stuff that happened there, you know, I'm not, I'm not Muslim. I'm not Pakistani, I'm not from the kind of background that was getting a lot of the hate, like the Islamophobia that kind of came in to play there. But, you know, a lot of South Asian people in general were really just sort of seen as evil during that as well. So Indian people was seen as Muslim and Muslims are seen as bad. So we were all just kind of put on the one and Yeah, there was a lot of other stuff where you would see a lot of hatred towards just Indian people, you know, pre and post, sort of 911, and all of this sort of bombings. And, yeah, it wasn't nice sort of sign to get exposed to that as I was growing up and being like, well, in my community, when I'm going up, I may feel like, like, I'm surrounded by people who look like me. But then when I look at society, I didn't feel like I was part of it. So yeah, a lot of very complex feelings around feeling 'otherised' in society, and in my community.

Naomi:

Yeah, that's, that's so interesting, something I can relate to as well. It's just a very complex, nuanced identity, like, you know, as you've mentioned, you know, fitting into maybe looking quite similar to people around you, but then there's sort of a lot of different cultures that you're not feeling that you're resonating with, and that sense of isolation, because in a way, there is expectation that okay, well, I'm part of this group, shouldn't I be feeling a certain way? Shouldn't I be, you know, feeling this about this? And then I don't? And yeah, I hear a lot from that. If we just talk a little bit moment about, you know, you've mentioned about the impact of 911 on you, and how, unfortunately, it effected a lot of people, a lot of South Asian people, you know, we got, you know, people that have a sign and them saying, I am Muslim, not that it's even okay to start discriminating. But people, you know, it affects everybody who vaguely fits the super racist profile. What did these moments teach you about how race and sort of sexuality and lots of other identities intersect?

Vaneet:

Yeah, so I mean, I think when when a lot of that happened, I was still quite young. So I don't think I fully grasped what all of this meant, and you know these all sort of happened and sort of slightly different stages in my life. But, you know, seeing that sort of thing, it was, it was really obvious to me that people like us won the template, I guess, we weren't the what we were supposed to be, you know, the people that I would see in the media were the people that, you know, it was white people, it was sis normative heteronormative, it was, it was that kind of idea of, you know, you want to be muscular, and you want to be blonde, and you want to be white, and you want to have blue eyes, and that was, that was kind of shown me as the correct way of being, I would say, and I think as as more and more stuff happened in my life, and as things started to unravel itself, I really realised that I'm not accepted, or I'm not correct in some sense. And a lot of that is just who I am, you know, I didn't really think that me being Brown was such an obvious flaw, but when you look at society, that's how they see it. And, you know, there's, there's something to be said of, like, you know, with, with the bombings, obviously, that affected Muslim people more than anyone that affected people who practice that faith. Because it was very potent Islamophobia. But a lot of South Asian people also were impacted by that in some level, because it was the racial profiling, which doesn't really discriminate in that kind of granular level, it's very broad, it's brown equals bad. But then, you know, the places that people would target, you know, would be, you know, there would be like mosques. And so, it's the hate claims, and that being worst was Muslim people. B t yeah, I would say, I would, I would see these sort of thing . And I definitely felt like I didn't fit in, in some sense. I wasn't what the size socie y wanted me to be. I didn't f t with the template, I gues

Naomi:

Yeah, absolutely. Hear that. And it's, I guess it all harks back to what you said about the template, it's white cis straight is the norm. Anything that deviates beyond that is not the norm. And when your everyday experience, you know, it's like say you wake up brown every day, you know, and that's that is your norm, but that's not the societal norm that has been projected onto you from all subliminal messages. And when you kind of come into understanding what your own identity and come into studying about what the dominant identity or specific culture is. You understand that somehow your experience even though it's completely personal to you, and completely normal to you is somehow weird or alternative or a different experience. And it's like you said, it's not being represented anyway, it can be very alienating. You don't think of yourself as a minority, you know, to you, you're normal. But then when you think about, Oh, wait, in the wider picture, I'm seen as this, I'm viewed as this, my experiences aren't relatable to a lot of people in Yeah, it can be very, very big drawback, I don't know, if you are reflected at all about you know, how you feel your experiences, you know, as a bisexual man, have different from those of say, like, other bisexuals of different identities at all?

Vaneet:

Yeah, I would say, you know, I think bisexual, in and of itself, doesn't have a lot of visibility definitely didn't when I was growing up, I think it's gotten a lot better now. But when I was growing up, it was mainly you have gay and you have straight. And that's it. And I think that was one of my main struggles growing up is I definitely felt myself sort of flitting between the two and didn't really get what that meant, because I didn't really have that language available to me. I only saw gay and straight and either in media, you will often see people who were straight when they would join the show that you know, when they were introduced, and then they would suddenly just be completely gay. And I was like, well, that maybe that's how it works. I'm having these feelings now. So clearly, you know, I was straight, and now I'm gay. And that's how that works. And I didn't understand that there wasn't a fluidity and this, you know, I don't want to say middle ground, because it's not in between the two. But you know, this other thing that you could be. But I think, you know, now that I have gotten older, and now that I know what bisexual is, and seeing that kind of representation. I think what often happens is, you know, people think that bisexual is attraction to men and women. And that's it, which completely erases all of the non binary people who identify as bisexual and all of the people who are bisexual who are attracted to genders outside of the binary, because you're bisexual doesn't actually mean that it means attraction to more than one gender. And so it was very open in that way. But what often happens is bisexual women, are fetishised and bisexual men are erased, and it's very that that people tend to use is Phallocentric. It's very Phallocentric in the sense that our attraction towards men trumps everything else. And it's this idea that once you have had sex with a man, and you have specifically been penetrated by a man, you are now marked in a way that like alters you and changes who you are. And therefore, you're always going to go back to that, that is kind of where you are always going to come back to. So when it comes to bisexual men, we're seen as actually gay, but just closeted. So it's just us being in denial and being confused and not really wanting to admit who we are, because of the way society is. And therefore, we are erased, because we're saying, Well, no, no, you're not bisexual, you'll get there, it's just a stepping stone, you'll figure it out. While bisexual women on the other hand are fetishised because they are seen as an object of desire for cis straight men who can give them that like, fantasy of having sex with 2 women at once and have that threesome. But we, they often they are often seen as people who just have sex with women to gain the attention of men as well. So like lesbians will say, oh, you're just you're just playing with us. So men find you attractive, but we're going to go back to them. So they're seen as actually straight. So it's really interesting to see that contrast. And it often comes from the idea that you're always gonna go back to a man Surely you're gonna go back to a man. And then a whole load of like I said, non binary people, agender, people, anyone else who identifies as bisexual is just completely erased because our society just worked in this binary sense. It's always working in a binary structure that we can't seem to break out of.

Naomi:

Yeah, I absolutely agree with you on all those points. It just the idea of fluidity, or the idea of anything that can be different is so it's so not pursued in the wider sort of Zeitgeist, you know, anything that's slightly in between, we've got to be one or the other. And it's got to be a straight line of history. It's got to be a straight line of like, this is my attraction. It goes one way. It is just one line. And that's it, but there's so much in between, and there's so much difference, separate identity in life. He said, it's all those all those male,

Vaneet:

it's black, black and white without the shades of grey in the middle or like an on off switch, thinking about the fact that it could be like a dimmer, you know,

Naomi:

it's literally that, it's just a very kind of one motion one way, you know, you're gay, you're straight, or you're confused. That's it. And anyone in between is just secretly gay or secretly straight. And, you know, you make such a good point about how it's all very male orientated. And it's all around male gaze, a lot of what you're describing, to me, it just sounds as if people pure view it as very performative. It's not authentic, there's not an authentic emotion, there's not genuine feelings and attraction, it's, oh, I'm just doing this to get the attention of men, or I'm just doing this because I'm secretly gay. It's almost like a sort of fun play, not not even or no real connections. And, like you said, it's even the idea about fluidity that, I mean, if we, you know, we're going to difficulty, you know, it's a shock to some people that some bisexuals can have preferences. So we can, you know, change their sort of, you know, they've had certain experiences with one gender, and then they think, actually, I'm gonna, you know, I now date this gender, I prefer this gender or, you know, lots of different preferences that people have that fluctuate all the time. And that is totally normal. And, you know, is a perfectly valid part of bisexual identity. But still people trying to pin it down to Oh, you must like both equally, you must have power relationship with both both. I say both as if there's two, you must have a relationship with a man and a woman. And they must have been equal length one year each. And you must have performed the same in both of those relationships.

Vaneet:

Yeah. And that's the thing. I mean, like we say both, but that's because how people see us, right? They see us as we have both. They don't see us as having other stuff. Because they just don't, they can't crack that binary. They're just, it's on or off. It's men or women. It's like, No, no, no, but there's so much. There's so much else out there.

Naomi:

Literally, and I don't know, if you want to share it all about your experiences about how black representation for bisexual people of colour, I mean, yeah.

Vaneet:

I don't know. Like, there's been a few, there's been a few. But it's, it's so rare to see someone actually use the word bi or pan or queer or any of that, it's, they will now suddenly be dating something else. And we're just supposed to accept whatever it is, but we don't know what it is. And the problem is, is that people will go, you know, when it was gay, I was very clearly variable, when it's bi they won't. And they'll be like, oh, because yeah, we don't need to do all of that. No but we do, right. Because we don't live in this perfect society where people can just take things on face value, and just agree what it is. The issue is, like, I discussed this in a little bit in my book, which we'll go into later, I'm sure, is, when you don't state the identity of this person, you then play into the old school narrative of, well, what if they're just gay? Like, they were just straight and now they're just gay, right? And if you don't say the word bisexual, people are gonna erase it into that narrative. And all you've done is left bisexual people out in the cold, right? Like, there's a show Dead to Me. And one of the characters in there was in a very long term relationship with a man and then kissed and have has now having a romantic relationship with a woman. And they didn't need to state like the producer was like, Oh, yeah, we don't feel like we need to. And it's like right, But now the people in line saying that she's a lesbian. So what now? What now? Because you didn't say it. And that's the point you're missing. And that's the point where when you don't have bisexual people working in that in that group, you're gonna miss that. And so yeah, when you talk about bisexual men of colour, this is about basics of men, first of all, where are they right? Like, the only instance I can think of where it was a bisexual man who actually said I am bisexual. So that I've watched anyway, there are other shows, is Jane The Virgin and that was like a bit charachter. And so it's like, well, great, that was fun while it lasted. But bisexual men of colour are so much harder to find like, I would think maybe Sabrina was a good representation. I think that was more pansexual, but a pansexual man of colour, cannot remember the character's name for the life of me right now. But that was definitely an instance of that. I mean, a lot of the characters in *inaudable* but they never say it. And I think, I guess in that context where like, I think, you know, witchcraft has that sort of it has the idea of being very fluid and very open in experiences, but it's our world and we don't so really just say that, say what it is. And it will go a long way to help people.

Naomi:

I totally agree with you. A lot of the time producers just fall back on the Oh, you know, my ex, blah, inserting a line like that. And even you know, in the recent Loki coming out as bisexual even though the cartoons even the cartoons, the comics, he has confirmed, you know, bisexual, they didn't actually say the word bisexual, he just said, I dated a bit of both. Yeah. Which you know, a step, but at the same time, it's not as if he was claiming that identity and like you said, it's sort of a part of that is is affirming, you know, a community and is affirming a sort of meaning behind that. And when producers shy away from that, they are taking it and are leaving it open for interpretation, and are almost leaving people to be like, Oh, well, maybe they're just straight. Or maybe it's just a phase and by declaring it, yeah, absolutely, you put a stake on that, that identity and you know, put some representation out there. But yeah, I can't think of anything you like think of any bisexual characters of colour?

Vaneet:

Yeah, I mean, like, this is a thing. I discussed that sort of nuance as well with like stuff like Loki. And there's a one where it's, I forget his name, but it's in Schitt's Creek, where he says I like the wine and not the label, which was him being pansexual. And, you know, that's definitely a step. But at least at least, it's making it clear that it's like, I haven't now switched from one to the other, which, again, is a valid thing that happens, and we can discuss that, but I think they never really go into the nuance of that anyway, when people move from straight to gay, it's like, okay, well why were you doing all of this? Like, it was so authentic. It's like, at least if you put the character in, they were straight, and you showed them like struggling with the relationship during that time, there would be more believable that they are now gay. But it's a no, no, they're fully in love fully obsessed with this person. And now he's like No, no, that was nothing. Really?? And I guess, again, you can discuss that. And like, you know, some people don't realise what they actually like. And they were playing into all of that. But again, like, let's put that nuance into it. But yeah, I mean, when you talk about a bisexual person of colour, I would say Rosa Diaz was definitely one example in Brooklyn Nine Nine, because she is Latina. And they talk about how she's Latina. Yeah, she's quite a fair skinned Latina. And we can go into colorism and all of that, but, you know, she is Latina, she is bisexual, and she says bisexual, and they go into all of that. And I think that was a really, really great example. And she is bisexual herself. So having behind the scenes representation goes a lot farther because one, you make the representation on screen better, but two then the representation lives, when the show ends, that 20 minutes is over, but then afterwards, you get interviews and you've got publicity and you get someone who was there, championing this thing and talking about it and being an activist and you're like, that's what you need, like you have a great LGBTQ+ phone, but if they're all played by says that people, when the show ends, it's over. When the movie ends, it's over. You're never going to talk about it. They're never gonna talk about it again. That's just a really great acting role. Oh, I was really inspirational, blah, blah, blah. We're not your Insta story you know.

Naomi:

It's such a good point about the longevity of the show and when you have queer actors queer writers they bring so much more authenticity to the role and so much story so much heart and then they said their interviews, they talk about their personal experiences, and they outside of the show can be inspirations or can be role models, or can be reflections and mirrors for young queer LGBT children out there, or even just older people discovering their, you know, identity for the first time. Yeah, that's such a good point. And it's just, never never fails to amaze me how, how, how simple the bar is, how low it is sometimes, and just the one that really annoys me is that "chaotic bisexual" trope. You know, anybody that, I love the spicy story Oh, they're just chaotic, but they must be bisexual because chaos equals bisexual, I don't know where the association came from. And you know, as well about you, you mentioned a lot about like colorism as well. And I think as well, there's a lot of element of looks as well, I think a lot of that from, from my past experience of watching TV shows a lot of the bisexual female characters have been very feminine looking. And there's no nuance of like, that couldn't be a more masc looking person who identifies as a woman but would be seen as bisexual, you know, it's only the really girly. And the same with men, they have to be super ripped, and really, like, you know, all really cool and alternative looking. It's like they've created a model of how they should look. And obviously, you know, that it's very rare to find a person of colour within those very fixed stereotypes.

Vaneet:

Yeah, yeah, I mean, like, I would say, we'd like Stephanie Beatriz and Rosa Diaz. She's very feminine looking, but at least very masculine acting, so it's a bit more of a spin. But yeah, like, a lot of time, they are very feminine people. And I think that's definitely a thing to talk about the chaotic bisexual. So like, this is the thing, I've discussed a lot of this in my book and the tropes and stuff and how they can be harmful. You know, you have like the bisexual villain trope and the bisexual, you know, anything like *****s anything that moves kind of trope, and the chaotic bisexual is like another one. And this is really great thing that my friend Lowe made, they put it up on a medium called the Meres test. And it discusses three points of like good bisexual representation. So it was kind of similar to the sort of the Bechdel test for for women representation. And I can't remember what the first point is. But the second point is like do they portray it negatively? So do they do they have biphobia and by like, all of that kind of stuff? And then the third one is like do they state that bisexuality? actually might just quickly search it up yes just search it up?

Naomi:

Yeah, this is super I haven't heard of this is this because I actually was having a little discussion with my friend at work and I was trying to come up with what would be like my Bechdel Test for Asians on screen and what would it be for like queer characters? Interesting.

Vaneet:

So the the Meres test is is the character that recognisable within the media itself. So that means that like, you know, sometimes I'll do something and then after that, oh, by the way their bi, you know, like like a JK Rowling move with with Dumbledore you know, that kind of deal. The second one would be is the characters bisexual makes bisexuality presented as a joke or a flaw. So you know, bisexual as villains bisexual as chaotic, you know, they make them like, a bad friend, the bad person, whatever it is. And then the last one is, do they state that bisexual pansexual whatever their identity is. And this is the thing, right, I would be very happy when, I've discussed this at length, I would be very happy to have like, chaotic bisexuals and bisexuals as villains. I would be like yeah, live for it, love a good queer villain, right? But the issue is, is when you do only have that as the only representation, that's where the problem comes, right? Because then that is what is the only thing people see will be like, Oh, yeah, but you know, gay is the bad thing. bisexual is the bad thing. Oh, bisexual are **** people and then that is what people believe. And so I think it's the idea of, we don't have the luxury of having messy bisexual people, though every bisexual representation needs to be good. Because unfortunately, if it isn't, it causes direct harm to the people. You know, you have like white people who are bad, who are good who are this who are that. Well, that's great because they can. But if you have people of colour, who are always the evil person, then we're seen as evil. That's the problem. We don't have that range. There's not enough bi representation for us to have the messy representation.

Naomi:

Literally, it's just so we're all trying to share the same space. Even though we're all different. And the space is so small, that there is no room for any different nuance for any, like vulnerable story, strong stories, villain stories. And we're all just trying to shove in everything into one thing. And every time a role comes out there's so much hope and expectations because it has to be good like you said. It has to be right. And if it's not, it is detrimental. And it just there just isn't enough space. And that's you know, that's why queer content creators, queer writers need to come into the space and there needs to be room for them to take off that space and create that space so that those stories can get out there, so that we don't always see you know, strong black women who are you know, and we don't always see, like, you know, chaotic, bisexual, white female, you know, we see all these different stories because, you know, bisexual stuff is a label, but it's not as if there is one blueprint for that. And that is always seeing and that's that's the problem. On that note, I think this is a pretty good place to have a little break now. So thank you, listeners, we'll speak to you again after the break.

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Naomi:

If you want to just talk a little bit at the moment about obviously recently, it's been Pride Month, and talking about how bisexuality fits into the wider LGBT community and what events such as pride mean for bisexual community and how they all intersect. Yeah, if you just want to share your thoughts on that at all.

Vaneet:

Yeah, I mean, this is the thing that's very complicated because bisexual people have been there since the beginning, right? We've always been there. You know, Brenda Howard was seen as like the mother applied. She was the one who helped organise the first pride March after the Stonewall riots. She was the one who, with other bi activists who basically marched on on Washington, if I'm correct in that, history is the anecdote. But there's been so many difficulties since then, with bisexual people working with pride. You know, I, back then bisexual people did operate under gay and gay was so often used as an umbrella term. But then things started to morph and change. You know, there was the lesbian separatist movement, which pushed bisexual people out of, specifically bisexual women, out of their communities that they had so long operated under there were, you know, stuff like lesbian and gay centres and lesbian and gay prides, which, you know, historically operated under, but we were shoved out of we were excluded. We were yeah, there's a very famous signs from the London lesbian and gay centre that said, like, no bisexuals allowed. There's very famous signs, there's very famous like pamphlets and stuff, which said bisexual people cannot be involved in this group, they cannot come into this space. And it was a lot of hinged on this idea that if bisexual people are here, presents that idea that actually maybe it is a choice. Maybe being gay is a choice. And that was the whole thing right? Back then it was gay is not a choice. Gay is not a choice. And wait, we were seen as a risk factor than that, that if they were Why couldn't you just be like these people look their dating blah.. And it's like, no, but they're still attracted to other people. That doesn't change. But we were seen as that risk. And so we were we were shoved out. We will ostracised you know, people, they literally separated themselves from us. And then we're told that we weren't part of it. And we would all that we weren't part of that community. And actually, you know, there's so much discourse around, like, who can use what slurs which is just like completely wasting our time, but a lot of it, like, centres around Well, you know, this slur was used specifically for like, women who are exclusively attracted to women. And it's like, actually, was it though? No, it really it really wasn't. A lot of this is actually Well, you know, it can go further than that, because a lot of time it's around gender presentation, not even, like sexuality. But I digress like, bi communities often don't feel like they are allowed to be involved. And so often, even in modern day where we are LGBTQ+, so often, it's LG. Just mumbles mumbles after the L and the G. London Pride for example, there was one year when no bisexual organisations were involved. No bi community groups involved, it prompted bisexual activists to like, make a concerted effort to be like, Well, you know, we're gonna apply you're gonna accept us we're gonna put in all of this work, to to make ourselves seen and heard. But it shouldn't have to be like that. It shouldn't be like here's a deadline. You have to apply by that like know your pride. You should be making sure that you reach out to these community groups and making sure that they're involved. And also maybe not having such a huge cost to entry, because like bisexual organisations don't have a lot of funding to go around. So making them, like put up all of these application fees and float fees. It's just not cost effective or community that's barely being able to make ends meet in order to help their community. So you should be trying to do something around that. But yeah, I mean, like, in terms of Pride in London, at least where I am, all the bisexual organisations have pulled out. That kind of came off the back of a lot of the people who organised around pride pulling out because of issues of racism and transphobia, especially anti blackness. You know, the first person who really publicised it was Vamal who is a bisexual, black man. And he was like, I don't want to be part of this anymore, put an article online about the issues within Pride in London and how they haven't listened, they haven't fixed up, they haven't changed. And all the bisexual activists were like, read concerted effort, because the bi the bi community is very white, I'm just putting it out there, the bi community is very white. And they went out there and they were like we said, especially after Black Lives Matter, we are going to make a concerted effort to support bi people of colour, and especially bi black people. Our bi black community member has just stepped down in this organisation and we cannot support this organisation. And so the whole bi community is pulled out now having an alternative picnic instead. So yeah, it's a very messy history because on one hand, it's it's all of our history. We were there from the beginning, we were the people who helped organise it, Pride wouldn't have happened, if it wasn't for us. At the same time, they don't want us. And it's, it's a waste of time, energy, money resources, to force ourselves into this, when we could be spending that to actually help ourselves instead. So very complicated.

Naomi:

Yeah, I absolutely hear you. You know, bisexual, there's literally accounts as early back as writing that bisexual people have existed since the dawn of time, since as long as people have existed in all different species as well. And yet again, it seems like a lot of incidents throughout history, as you mentioned, bisexual not been asked the table, or they've been asked to sort of cover it part of their identity in favour of another aspect of their identity or pushed into one or the other. And it's still an ongoing problem today, and especially with bisexual people of colour, bisexual people of differing abilities, different classes, it's all it's all a giant mess. Yeah. It's not a lot of cohesion and not a lot of support. And when there's so many different sides, either side as well that and not necessarily always aligned with the goals and with the, the ideas. Yeah, I hear you a lot on that. Are there any things at all that you're particularly hopeful in the changes regards like bisexual community in the future at all?

Vaneet:

I mean, I think there's a lot of stuff that is happening with the bi communities at the moment, which Yeah, definitely gives you a bit of hope, like Bi Pride UK, just got a massive amounts of funding. And it's one of the biggest lumps of funding that like any organisation has got, ever. So it's a really big deal. But it's especially a big deal for the bi community, which has historically been so underfunded, like all of the community, the groups that I know in the bisexual community. Shoe string, grass roots, like not even a charity status don't have regular funding. A lot of it is self funding through like making merchandise or donations you know, whatever cofee or whatever else there is Patreon that exists out there. So, that's a really big deal. And I think it's a really big deal to really help that. Help us to be able to do the work that we need to do to support us. I think, you know, we've, we've been successful as sort of, in some ways, elevating some of these bigger organisations make sure that there is a distinction made between different groups. So it's not just homophobia or homphobia and transphobia, homophobia biphobia transphobia. And talking about the specific issues that we are facing, you know, stonewall statistics now actually report separate instances with homophobia bi phobia and transphobia. So you can see You know, separate rates for depression and suicidal ideation and self harm and anxiet. And it actually shows the disparities and shows that we actually have higher rates of all of this stuff. So it's like, well, let's adjust that let's talk about that. But yeah, I mean, I think the bi community itself is working really hard to make sure that other people in the community are supported. There's a lot of solidarity between bisexual people and trans people, there's so much work being done there to make sure that trans people are supported, especially because a lot of trans people are bi and pan and queer. Like, it's a really big thing. So making sure that they're supported. You know, I think the the stuff that they did about making sure that they are actively anti racist, because like I said, the bisexual community is very white. And they acknowledge that and they know that, and they know that they need to do better. And so they're really taking those steps to make sure that they are actively anti racist. Because, you know, like, like, I've already discussed my story, like being a bisexual person of colour is so different to being a white bisexual person, you know, it's trying to find the place to fit. And when you are a person of colour, regardless of whether you buy or not, like LGBT, you don't feel like you can be be that person within people of colour spaces. You know, we're not accepted, we're not allowed to be that. But to when it comes to being bi, so often they're like, well, then you can just be straight, then it's fine. Like, you know, and I had that when I came out to my family to my parents. My mum was like, Oh, yeah, just just get with a woman. And it's okay. And it's like, that's not how this works, it's that understanding that lack of understanding with how this works. And so you don't feel like you can really be yourself in that space. But especially when you're bi it's like, Why couldn't you just pick one or the other? It only would have been easy if you just picked one, and just said, I'm gay. And they'll be like, Well, okay, then you're gay, you know? But it's like, oh, you're bi and why can't you just be straight? I Why can't you just get with a woman? Why can't you just do that? What's the issue, and so it's harder. And that's not understood. And but then when you go into LGBTQ spaces, in general, they're all very white. And then you experience both racism and, and homophobia and biphobia, so you're experiencing everything at once. And then you go to bi spaces, and it's like, okay, cool, I can be bi in this space, I can finally feel safe, but then it's still, it's still white. And there's still racism, and it still exists, and it still feels like you don't have a platform, and you don't have a space, and you can't really be in that place. But the bi community, you know, since I've been part of it, I felt, you know, definitely there is a lot of whiteness there, but they are trying to do better. You know, Bi Pride UK, for all of their panels, they made sure that they had people of colour on it. I think that was part of their like, rules, they were like, We want to make sure that we have people of colour represented all of our panels, and all of their acts as well, they were like, let's make sure that we have people of colour in our acts, they do specific panels on bi person of colour, so we can have that conversation within that space within the bisexual space. And so I think it's, it's really important, and they're doing a lot of stuff, which makes me hopeful that, you know, maybe we can start cracking the mainstream. And even if we don't crack the mainstream, it's like, well, at least we have the support network ourselves. We have that money that can help us create these resources, and help pay people to do stuff and to have that time and energy put in rather than us like working multiple, essentially working multiple jobs. You know, I work as a software engineer, and then I do writing on the side. And then I do panels. And, yeah, and so many people are like, yeah, so you know, I work in my day job, and then I'm running a whole community group at the same time. And it's like, that's a lot. It's a lot of work. And being burnt, like getting burnt out is a big thing. So like, it makes me hopeful that we're getting this kind of funding that hopefully, it can really help Bi Pride have already said that we're looking to make sure that with this money, we are supporting the grassroots organisations as well. And so I think that that is really great to see them working with what is already there and helping to bolster all of the work that is being done.

Naomi:

Yeah, absolutely hear you on that. It's, it's, there's bi people of all different backgrounds, all different things and by only having one particular group represented. And only one story told, you know, it's it's not really helping the larger community and all the variety of different people's experiences, like you said by having more people on panels, more people sharing their stories and giving people the space and time to be able to do those things financially is such a big point, like you said, You know, I mean, props to you, you're doing all of these things, but at the same time, you said it can lead to burnout. And the message you're saying is so important. And these things do need to be out there, they do need to progress at represented, you know, imagine if one other person saw your article saw your book, and it resonated with them so well, and, you know, I'm, I'm sure you know, that when, when you were growing up, you never saw people like you and even just seeing one can be so affirming that it's okay. And that it is normal. Unless we have that time, space, financial aid, support, those things can't happen, so they don't just magically happen on their own. They don't have to be this, you know, disipate into the reality into the thing they have to be push and do it to do that. It needs the support of everybody. And that's, you know, where that whole community comes into it. But yeah,

Vaneet:

I mean, that was one of the reasons why I created so I created a hashtag called #bisexualmenexist and the reasons why I did so was was multi level. One of it was because I was seeing a lot of bi phobia on my timeline during that time. The first one was I was seeing it towards when I made it in 2019. It was because I was seeing biphobia targeted to someone bi mutuals on Twitter. When I bought it back in 2020, it was after the love is blind episode and the biphobia, and that triggered a torrent of biphobia online about people discussing like, what bisexual in men looks like and what that means. And like, oh, but he sucked a d**k. So that's disgusting. I don't want to say but you sucked it. whatever. But men can't. whatever. And I created the hashtag one to sort of it was it was that was depressing me. So I was like, I just want something positive, but it was also on a higher level than that. It's like, well, we're getting a lot of negativity, let's drown it out with the positivity. And so it wasn't necessarily like let's educate the people who are biphobic. That could be part of it is like, Oh, yeah, the biphobia. You know, let's show that we there's actually loads of us. But the main reason was one, just have a wave of positivity of like, we're here were bisexual, like, you know, get used to it eventually. But it was also to help other people other people who maybe were like me a few years ago who are online and seeing some of the stuff who maybe weren't like fully out or maybe following a few bi things and bi mutuals whatever, but weren't really comfortable with it. Like me, back in 2017. And would see this stuff and go Oh, maybe I'm not valid. Maybe this isn't right. maybe, maybe bisexual in men is, or maybe I shouldn't tell anyone. Oh I'll keep it to myself, bla, bla. And I go, no no no no. We're all here - look at us. Look at us. And actually, like, like you said, like the imagine doing that one little thing can help people like there are multiple people, both publicly using the hashtag and all privately dming me going, I came out after your hashtag. I don't even use my hashtag, because I guess I haven't said this publicly. But I'm coming out now. But hashtag #bisexualmenexist. I was like, What? Like, what? But then people also, I mean, going, I saw all of that. And I felt a lot more comfortable that coming out. And I just told my parents, I was like, yeah, you told your parents! Congrats! How did it go? Frankly, I was just like, obviously, I was like, firstly, like, are you? Are you okay? Did it go? Okay, now? Yes, it was like, Yes, we did it. Well done, I'm so happy for you. But it's like you said, it's so important to trigger these conversations. And especially like you said, We're like, bisexual people of colour, or trans bi people, or bisexual ace people like having that, that nuanced conversation about, like, the intersectional issues, about the new struggles that we face. And also just being that visibility of like, yeah, okay, it's great to see all of these white bi women. But sometimes you need to see the whole of yourself to go, Oh, look, it's like, it's great seeing gay men on my screen, but seeing a gay person of colour, a bi person of colour, seeing that tries to erase that narrative of like, it's a white thing that you often have when it comes to queer identities. Or it's like, you know, with a with bisexuality, that it's for women, it's a bi women, you know, like women are bi because it's an exercise but but men can't be bi and It's a white thing, you know, if they use those narratives, and it helps people who, like me would have been like, oh, maybe maybe it's, it's not a thing that I can be and it's like no, no, it is look, you can be it. It can really help people.

Naomi:

absolutely. And I literally hear those voices and there's echoes in within communities themselves of people of colour, you know, oh, that's a white people thing, you know, Indian people aren't bi you know, Chinese people aren't gay, you know, black people aren't. It's something that even is echoed and almost rehearsed within the community itself. And, you know, all of these like you said just existing and being visible. And, you know, being proud or even just being out to yourself, helps to erase that helps to get rid of that narrative.

Vaneet:

And it's crazy, because so much of this stuff was a part of our culture. It was, yeah, colonialism. colonialism changed the narrative. And it's like, okay, yeah, maybe we didn't use LGBTQ+, that was a Western construct. But we have like, you know, the Indian Indian culture, you have Hijra community. And you know, that that isn't the thing that fits into it. But you know, if it did, it would be maybe it would be trans, like, but we have a history of it before white people were using it, but then they came and were like, no none of that deviant, deviant people. Absolutely,

Naomi:

there was so much variety in so much amazing, kind of, like, different cultures and different you know, even in like, really old Judaism, there were literal words, for, like trans people, there were literal words for non binary people, you know, from what we understand today as non binary, not, you know, someone who is trans, there were literal words for people that like decided that identity later on in life, and all of that kind of history has been erased and forgotten. And yet, you know, a lot of people of colour today really struggled to come out because of the current model of how to be and what is expected. And, as you mentioned, you know, ideas about masculinity, and all of all of that good stuff. So now we're just going to come on to this section about some misconceptions, common misconceptions. I've just found these, I think, I'm sure we've all heard this before. Maybe it's even set them in past past times. So here's this, this is one of my personal favourites. Which I have heard quite a lot. Bisexuals are halfway between gay and straight. What are your thoughts on those?

Vaneet:

Again, this idea of how we've constructed sexuality, we've said that, you know, it's like, if we are one side, which is gay, and one side, which is straight, and then everything else is an in between any of that, that goes dates back to like the Kinsey scale, even where they put it in the middle. It was like, but it's not in the middle. And even I fall prey to like saying, you know, the shades of grey, it's like, yeah, okay, it's a shade of grey, you can say it like that black, white Shades of Grey, but actually no how about black, white, and purple is different. It's just a different colour all together. It's not in between, it's not this thing, but it's because we're so used to saying that it's like, um, it's like, it's an in between thing. It's not. And I think that's built up this structure, like, Oh, I can understand bisexuality, but I can only understand it as an idea of an in between. It's, it's the fluidity, it's a it's a two ends of the binary, and maybe I can see the colours in between it. It's like one of those like, vision tests online, it's like how many colours can you see? It's like, maybe I can see four maybe I can see five. It's like, no no no, but how about it's just three different colours, five different colours, 10 different colours. And I think, I think that's where that issue comes in. But I think it's also that idea where we, it's called, we call it monosexism. And it's an idea where we structure like, identities, which only attracted to one gender as above everything else. And therefore when we see, bisexuality, we see as well it has to be something of one of these it has to be something that arcs off it. Then leads to all of these other like questions and misconceptions, like, which one do you actually prefer? You could have a preference, but so often it's on again, this idea of like, which one are you? Which one are you really if you had to choose if you had to choose, no no no you're not going to choose? It's not that's not how this works. I haven't, I deliberately haven't chosen that's the point. That's the point.

Naomi:

I'm laughing so much about the "If you had to choose" Which hand you'd like to keep? Pick one of your hands? What kind of question is that it just seems ridiculous. And just seeing it as one or the other, or seeing as a scale is ignoring all the nuances in between, and is ignoring all the different struggles that are individual to the bisexual experience that are separate from the gay experience, because even even saying the gay experience or the bisexual is, you know, it's not a monolith. Yeah. You know, operate under that. If we just move on a second to we've kind of touched on this a little bit actually is, bisexuals are more gay, or more straight, depending on who they are in a relationship with and I think this is probably I would in my experince I'd argue this is one of the top misconceptions, I'd say.

Vaneet:

Yeah, I would say that it just comes straight back to the previous part. It's the idea that because we are half waving, were seen as like undecided, as confused as we get to make up our mind, essentially. So we're a temporary state we're a phase, we are a middle ground, a stepping stone, so many different analogies. There's so I've heard all of them. And so when we get into a relationship, we're seen to have picked, we've made up our mind, we've decided, finally the confused bisexual has made up their mind! But then it's like, okay, but then what if I break up with them and get into a relationship with.."no, what, I thought you were gay now?" No, you thought I was gay now. But I'm not gay now. It s like an idea of how we const uct a lot of our language as we l. We say homosexual he erosexual relationship is t e same in different sex relation hips. We, we boil it down t to those binaries, it's alwa s back to the binary syst m that we operate under. And unless we move away from th t binary, we're gonna constantly fall into this trap. And it's ju t It's so confusing to me, be ause it's like, well, if I'm bis xual, and me getting into relat on with a man makes me gay. Wh t happens if I break up with the man? Am I now gay? Have I made u my mind? Or do I revert bac to being bisexual? And I'm no confused again. Or, do I just ot have a sexuality now? B cause I'm broken up like, what d es that mean for like, sin le gay people? I'm like, are t ey not gay? Because they will ake up their mind. I'm gonna j st say that like every person s just who single like, no but ou're just clearly still make u your mind, You're undecided. Wait until you get into re ationship and then that's, tha 's your relationship. It's jus when you put it like that. It s just how ridiculous it is. f my relationship status is deci ed by sexuality, What am I when I'm

Naomi:

is such a good question. And when you put it like that, it just it highlights how ridiculous is you know, why is relationship status an affirming thing about okay, chosen? And then what about people, Let's say when you're 16 you've never dated anybody. So you're now asexual. That's how it works. You never dated anybody so.. That's not how it works. And you know, I remember a couple months ago, I was I saw on this like forum. Nobody Find me on there, please. I'm anonymous. But it's for like Sapphic women. Sapphic is a word to describe women who like women, bla bla bla. And it was a thread about woman talking about her experiences. And she was saying like, I never realised I was bisexual until years after I married my husband. Anybody else here? and loads of people commented saying, Yeah, never dated a woman my life only realised after I met my husband, I'm 50 blah, blah, or I'm 30 blah, blah, or even younger people. So yeah, I'm engaged now. Um, you know, I never you know, the funny part was, if my husband ever dies, then you know, watch out ladies, which I thought was very funny. But um, yeah, and it's totally ridiculous to say that those people because they've settled down with a man then are straight and any of those feelings any of those attractions towards women they may have had in their lives. You know, what if you, what if you never get a girlfriend? What if you never get a boyfriend or never get an you know, a partner, not just boyfriends or girlfriends? Does that mean you're not sexual? Or you're not, you know, attracted to people. It's just It's ridiculous. And this is this is where it comes into the the next misconception which is to know that you're bisexual, you must have dated one or more genders.

Vaneet:

Yeah, I mean, so I, I have actually experienced this from a gay man as well which is which is the most frustrating thing. I this is the thing, I don't have a massive dating history. I have literally I actually haven't dated anyone before, like my current partner, like, essentially. We dated and that was my first relationship, so that was it. So it's, it's weird, but like back then I remember I was talking to a fellow bisexual person, and we were having a conversation. And I was he was saying sometimes I feel like a bad bi, because like in sexual relationships with people is like a 90/10 split to men. And I was like, okay, but get this I've only ever kissed a woman. So there you go. And then a gay man jumped into the conversation was like, so how do you know? How do you know? And I'm like, because I do my feelings like exists regardless of whoever had sex with who I've interacted with who've I've dated who I've kissed like, it's just, what don't you get? Like, like you said, like, if someone is, is young, if they're 16 they've never had sex or never kissed anyone or whatever. Like, does that mean that they can't know their sexuality? I know, like you said, there are people who are older who've got engaged, and then they, they suddenly realise that they're bisexual because like, you, you don't feel like you are because you're attracted to one gender had relationship with one gender, and therefore you can't be as you end up, invalidating yourself, because you aren't attracted with that. And when you don't do a certain thing, we haven't done a certain thing. And yeah, I mean, like, it's not, sexuality doesn't work like that. If you talk to gay equally, actually, no, it doesn't work like that. Because they will say, I knew when I was 10. I knew when I was this, you know, when we talk about inclusive education at schools, like oh, that would have helped me to think, but how did you know? Right? They know that that doesn't make sense. They know that they shouldn't have balance when it comes to them. I'm always like, completely shocked. But yeah, with straight people, it's like, you just know you have you have feelings, you have attraction, you see that person You like them a little bit more, you know, you have that desire, you have that urge, you know, when you see a celebrity, for example, you might be like, Oh, I'm really attracted to them. I want to have sex with them I want to date them, I'm so in love with them. What is that? Explain that part. Because that is what sexuality is. That's what defines it right? So why is it when it comes to a bisexual person suddenly it's you have to have dated had sex had kissed had the all of these like loopholes, all of these like hurdles, these hoops you have to jump through. That's not sexuality. Sexuality is innate, it's your desires, your urges, or lack of, if you are aromantic or asexual or whatever, it's what you feel inside you that determines it. And if you don't get that, then I don't know what to tell you. Because you do get it. you're just not examining yourself properly.

Naomi:

It's so ridiculous when people become the thought police, you know, suddenly, you know, again, a clear relationship must consist of this must be three months must be you know, this many loopholes. This many, he must have had this many experiences. And you know, but there's not those policing for that, say another type of relationships or any other, you know, it must pass these tests and it must go beyond these levels to be valid. Even feelings, they're they're not valid enough, because you might be confused, or they might be fake, or you know, even if it is we encounter each other, you know, liking men, oh that counts out my feelings, liking women, or you'd like, you know, non binary people.

Vaneet:

It's because because we're built in that construct, it even becomes internalised like you mentioned, it comes becomes internalised because you start thinking, well, oh, I'm attracted to this one. So I can't be I can't be that. I know that I experienced that. I was like, Well, I'm attracted to women, so I can't be gay because that's what I can operate in straight or gay. Is it? Well, I'm attracted to women, so can't be gay. So yeah, but you, you kind of keep eyeing up that guy yeah, but I have that woman too So I'm straight. And you deny yourself

Naomi:

I think that's definitely the most confusing part about realising any kind of like, non monosexual identity is that oh but this, wait but this, Oh no, this! Argh! realising that both can coexist at the same time, is part of the normality and is part of accepting that but yeah, in the midst of a lot of quick growing pains. So got one more just before we end and that is a classic one for all time, which is - bisexuals are more likely to cheat.

Vaneet:

Again, I think that comes to the idea of like, you know, to know you're bisexual, you must have had dated more than one, whatever. And it's that idea that it's like, well, surely you can only be bisexual if you are doing something with more than one gender. And it's that confusion between what bisexual means and how you act bisexual, I guess. And it's like, bisexual doesn't mean, I need to be in a relationship, have sex with, date, kiss, whatever have you, someone from each of the genders that I am attracted to, that is not what it means. It means that I can date or have sex with or kiss, or whatever, someone from any of the genders I'm attracted to, and be satisfied in that. I can date a man or date a woman or a non binary person, or an agender person, or whatever any of those genders that I'm attracted to, and be happy in that relationship or be happy having that sexual contact. And it's that fundamental, like, like misunderstanding between the all and the any. And therefore when it comes to bisexuality, we're more likely to cheat because we're going to be unsatisfiable with just one because we need all and therefore, we're going to have sex with everyone. And then we're going into a relationship, and we can't be happy in just that one relationship. So we're gonna have to go have sex with everyone outside of that relationship, or we're gonna have to be polyamorous. And that's also seen as a bad thing. That's the other part isn't. It's like, what what why is that bad? It's, it's so cis heteronormative. And so, like normalising monogamy. And it's like, well, actually, like I might not be more likely to just date multiple genders. What's wrong with that? But also, I can be monogamous, and that's cool. Like, there's no one way to be and it's also like, losing the fact that like, you could also be straight and be polyamorous and be gay and be polyamorous. Like, you can do that. You can also fall in love with multiple people all from the same gender. That's also a thing. And you can also be straight and gay and cheat, is that not also like the big thing that happens? It's weird, we obsessed with bisexual people likely to cheat and it's like, okay, but what about every straight man ever that exists? That part? Let's answer that part.

Naomi:

is such a zoning in on that. it's something inheritently biphobic as well that Oh, bi people find everybody. So therefore everyone's available to them and they will just run and go for it to every single..None of them fancies them. Let's start off with that.

Vaneet:

does being bisexual does not mean I want to **** you! I'm not attracted to everyone.

Naomi:

Exactly that it comes down to the Oh, well, Lucky you. You'll get to date everybody. I don't fancy everybody.

Vaneet:

I still have like some people I will like and not like and personalities and looks or whatever. And they just miss that person. Do you want to **** everything that moves and it comes down to that that's whywe have that trope as well. That's that understanding that we want to **** everything. That's the representation we get, we get representation of people who want to **** everything.

Naomi:

is something very inherently sexualized about it as well. It can't just be a sweet, loving, tender, vulnerable thing. It has to be like, go go go, I must devour every single gender that there is I must get an even what I find that I kind of ironic about this trope about bisexual cheat is that even if bisexuals cheat, which, you know, obviously, not a good thing, You know, it depends obviously how old the relationship is, but when it's outside of the agreed terms. People see it as you know, when when, say a woman cheats with another woman people say oh, that's just I'm having fun. You know, that's just what girls do. Yeah, it's like Hang on a second. Like you know, if a society if a man is another man that will be seen as very like obscene and very just bizarre. But when women do do cheat with other women that's seen as like, oh girls just having fun. And it's not even seen as a valid kind of attraction or identity.

Vaneet:

Again it comes back to that idea of of bisexual women being fetishised and women who love women in general being fetishised and the idea of Phallocentrism and like your only mark your only altered if you have sex with a penis, which again, is really cis normative as well, because like, not all men have penises not all women have vaginas. Like it's a whole thing. But it's like you're altered if you have sex with a penis, or if you're not having sex with a penis then you're not changed. It's not a thing. Doesn't matter.

Naomi:

Yeah, it's such a crazy kind of belief that

Vaneet:

there's also so much sex negativity in there, because bisexuals are more likely to cheat. But the other part of that is bisexuals have sex with everything, which is why they cheat. And it's like, right, but also what wrong with having sex with everything. you have sex with everyone I have sex with everyone, who cares?

Naomi:

exactly there's so there's so much just sort of inherent misogyny with it. And I didn't accept it. It's even. It's even condeming as well, for people in open relationships, or polyamory as well, that the idea that oh, you know, it must be mono partners, you know, and that's the right way for everybody. And bisexual people would be more open to that, because they love more than one gender. That's not how it works. You know, it's not as if there's a little switch and then bi open to everything, then you still have individual preferences. You have individual culture, individual ideas about how relationships work. Anyway, yeah. So anyway, thank you so much for answering all of those. It's been it's been absolutely lovely talking to you. I really enjoyed it. And yeah, if you Where can people find you? You know, what news can they hear about you?

Vaneet:

Yeah, so. So if you want to find me online, you can pretty much Google my name because I have a very unique name, so just Vaneet Mehta, but you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, so LinkedIn, you have use my name, but otherwise, if you use an internet, Google Nintendo man 888 which is my handle, you will find me on Twitter and on Instagram, you'll find my medium blog, you'll find me on like a few articles, etc, etc. I have made a website which is just VaneetMehta.wixsite.com/home it's a bit wordy because it's free. But if you find my Twitter, you will then find everything on there i'm i'm most active on there. Yeah, book is currently near the end of writing at time of talking, which is early July. I'm hoping to finish it by my deadline in August, but that might be get extended. But it will definitely be finished by the end of the year. And I'm setting that in stone. So by the end of the year, and then hopefully will be published sometime next year. I don't know what the lead process is on that. I think it's at least six months. So probably sometime next year that will be available and will be a book all about bisexual men. I'm also currently volunteering for Middlesex pride. And so we have our first Pride around September and it'll be digital. So tune in for that. So Middlesex is sort of area in West London has a lot of people of colour. So we're hoping I'm hoping one that and yeah, that's kind of my big projects in the pipeline. I'm also working on an onthology, but that's very early stages around bisexual voices and bisexual activism. So that's kind of what I do. And that's that's where you can find me. I also really recommend looking up the #bisexualmenexist hash tag, which is a big thing on Twitter and had a few articles made and we made t shirts for it, which actually helped raise money for charity for bisexual organisations, specifically. five pounds on each shirt goes to a bisexual organisation. And it's made in collaboration with an LGBTQ+ small business based in Manchester and was made by a bisexual illustrator as well. So they were involved. So yes, buy those are available at rainbow and co there's also one for bisexual women and bisexual non binary people where the hash tags are celebrated bi women and celebrate bi non binary, which came on the back of my hashtag, so. Yeah, that's just a whole bunch of stuff that you can get involved if you want to know what I'm up to.

Naomi:

Yeah, that's absolutely amazing. I love how it's bi all the way down to the roots.

Vaneet:

Yes, always. I do a lot of stuff in like people of colour stuff as well, but it's mainly just like, writing and sometimes about intersectionality and I give talks on bisexual visibility and intersectionality and my sexuality. And I'm always involved in like panels if you ever want me on a panel or a talk just get in touch

Naomi:

Brilliant and hopefully you'll be getting offers rolling in after this. So yeah, thank you so much Once again for being on today's episode. And thank you to all our listeners for hearing your story. And we'll see you on the next episode. Thank you.

Bame Recruitment:

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