Being a member or an ally of the LGBTQ+ community includes having an open mind and constantly learning from others and their experiences. Sometimes we may think we know everything about a certain topic, but there is always room for learning and growth. Understanding what the bi umbrella is and what it constitutes is a great start, and Pride Palace has got you covered.
As you may know, the B acronym in LGBTQ+ stands for bisexuality, which is a very important part of the community. Bisexual people are attracted to people of their own gender that they identify with as well as other genders. It’s important to remember that bisexuality is not an either-or option. If a bisexual person enters into a romantic relationship with someone of a different gender, that does not make them straight. Similarly, if they enter into a romantic relationship with someone who is the same gender, that doesn’t make them gay or lesbian.
So, what is the “bi umbrella?”
The term “umbrella” refers to a wide range of related or similar things that may be different from each other but all belong in the same category. Bisexuality is an umbrella term that covers a broad range of terms, identities, attractions, and more. Just how there are thousands of ways to be straight, gay, lesbian, or asexual, there are many ways to be bisexual. This does not necessarily mean that bisexual people are attracted to everyone, only that the attractions of bi people are not limited by gender or sex.
The recognition of the “bi umbrella,” if someone chooses to recognize it, encompasses any non-monosexual identity or attraction. This means that orientations and identities such as pansexual, demisexual, polysexual, omnisexual, and more, can also be considered under the bi umbrella. This does not mean that all people need to be constrained by the “bi umbrella.” For example, some bisexual people have updated the definition of bisexual to be inclusive of all genders, whereas others have favored abandoning it, for a new word, that frankly is less confusing. An example of this is using the word pan because it does indeed mean “all,” and abandoning the use of the word “bi.” That’s one of the many reasons why you should never assume - let people tell you who they are and how they identify.
Whether you fall under the bi umbrella - or if you don’t at all - your identity is yours and yours only, and no one can take that away from you. Remember to always keep an open mind and never stop learning about other people’s identities, even if you have already discovered yours. Now that you know what the bi umbrella is, you have taken a very important step in becoming a greater LGBTQ+ advocate, ally, and/or member.