“you don’t get to call yourself gay, you’re bi” but it’s the gay community, gay rights, gay pride parade. when they hit me, it was for being gay. when i look at myself i try to measure the parts of me that fit into the slot; i’m 80% gay even on a straight day. when i kneeled to pray it was begging away the gay part. when i do something wrong, it’s gay.
when she was dating me, she was terrified of me leaving. “you’ll marry a man,” she said, “you’re bi, none of you are really gay.” when i left her for a man i felt those words like red nails inside me. when another of us commits suicide, a gay boy and i stand outside the funeral and he spits before going inside. “this is because y’all can’t make up your goddamn mind. he couldn’t even decide if he wanted to stay alive”. when i stand and hold hands with a trans boy at a pride rally, someone throws dirt at me. “go home, hetero,” and i feel like it’s better just to leave. “i just feel like shelters shouldn’t let bi people in. they can go to the straight ones. leave the shelter space for a real gay person.” my friend is out on the street at sixteen because she’s bi. in four years, she is dead. “bi people are untrustworthy” “bi people are slutty” “bi people don’t exist” “being bi is a sign of mental illness.”
too gay, i guess, for straight people. but not gay enough to call myself one. not gay enough, even when any other word i use to define myself comes with “slur connotations.” even when they beat me for it. even when i know people who died for it. even when.
“i don’t know why bi people get upset we don’t make gay rights about them” a sigh, long-suffering, “you guys have no idea what kind of trouble we’re in.”