Bi & Married Dilemma Of A Woman At Mardis Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! I love this time of year, everyone is gearing up in their rainbow kit and is ready to take to the streets loud and proud like it should be. Mardi Gras is one of the many things that makes me so proud to be Australian. I am so thankful for the work of the 78’ers and the groups and activists that came before and after them, because of these people our LGBTQIA+ sisters, brothers and non-binary family enjoy a level of equality that seemed unattainable 20 years ago (that isn’t to say the work is done *cough* Trans rights *cough*). We are celebrating the achievements of this marginalised community, showing up in support of them and finally at long last celebrating that we now have marriage equality!

LGBTQIA+ marriage equality passed
Image: Marriage Equality

Is this for me? A married bi girl’s interesting relationship with Mardi Gras!

However for a bi girl who is in a relationship with a man (whom I also married) Mardi Gras can be a conflicting time for me. While I love Mardi Gras soooo much (seriously we need to start decorating our houses for Mardi Gras the way we do for Christmas) it is hard to see it as a celebration that I can be completely involved in. I feel this way because I have been told repeatedly to my face that I am, “not really queer” and while that pisses me right off, I also totally get where that perception comes from. As a white, straight seeming woman, I have not experienced the same level of discrimination and hard ship that some members of my LGBTQIA+ family have. I have never received an odd look or worse for holding my husband’s hand down the street; no one has ever threatened violence towards me because of my outwardly perceived sexuality or any of the other awful bullshit that is thrown unfairly towards the community.  I have had a charmed queer experience by comparison, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a queer experience. My queer experience may have been quieter than some others but it was profound and extremely important to me and the person I am still becoming.

So here is my problem, I am queer; I know this in my heart and my pants. But I also see people’s points to the contrary as well, I haven’t experienced the hardships that other members of the LGBTQIA+ community has; and because of this I understand how this may to some jade my “queer status.”

But this year, with Mardi Gras around the corner it got me thinking does a queer person have to go through a degree of torment to be considered properly queer or are we now getting to a point in our society (White Anglo-Saxon society, I acknowledge that this isn’t the case for many people both in and outside of Australia) where a queer person doesn’t have to have battle scars to be accepted. Isn’t that what the 78’ers were marching for in the first place?  Wide spread societal acceptance? I think so. I love hearing about young people now who didn’t have to “come out” to their parents, they just brought home the person they liked and were accepted for it, I love hearing about how queerness is now becoming part of normalness.

That doesn’t mean for a damn second I want us to lose our identity as a community, I want us to expand the idea of what the queer experience is. So that means for out, loud and wonderful queens, acceptance.  The button down corporate girl who isn’t all about her sexuality, acceptance. A non-binary person just existing, acceptance.

This is in no way a critique of the LGBTQIA+ community (in fact, the only people to tell me I wasn’t queer were straight people) it is rather a catch cry for wider society to expand its idea and definition of queerness so queer people can be whoever the hell they want. At last.

Happy Mardi Gras 😊  If you are looking for help or support, check out the LGBTQIA+ services available in your local community.

Author: Jamie is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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Jennifer works marketing at Adultsmart an online sex toy shop. She has a non-judgemental approach to sex, sex toys and sexuality. Her favorite saying is if it feels good and right and is not illegal then why not!

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