Bisexual Erasure and Vivek Shraya Featured on PBS Series

The PBS Digital YouTube series First Person with host Kristin Russo explores bisexual erasure. Russo said that many viewers wanted her to do a piece on bisexuality and how people identifying as bisexual are being erased from both queer and non-queer communities alike, due to a disbelief in bisexuality as a whole.

“People who are not in queer communities are saying, ‘You can’t be bisexual, you have to be either or. You’re either gay or you’re straight,’” Russo says on the clip. “And we’re also hearing a lot from within the queer community this same thing.”

Russo also interviews bisexual writer Vivek Shraya who was just nominated in the Lambda Literary Awards in the Bisexual Fiction category for his new book She of the Mountains, a bisexual love story.

Shraya is bisexual and was in a relationship with a woman for a decade and he wanted to make some kind of art that would challenge biphobia. He said he has always faced stigma over his sexuality, and has interestingly found more support from straight men than gay men when it came to sharing who he really is.

“A big part of this chapter of my life has been about trying to understand why ‘bisexual’ has made me uncomfortable as an identity,” Shraya said. “And then really trying to step into it and own it because I am bisexual.”

Mike Szymanski
Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]