United Kingdom

Hi, I‘m Jen. I am Bisexual.

I live in Manchester, England where I edit Bi Community News, a long-running bimonthly bisexual magazine with readers across the UK and Ireland - and a few further afield. Weirdly, I'm the only person ever to receive a medal from the Queen of England for Services To The Bisexual Community. There's a day I doubt I'll ever forget. I've volunteered for a variety of other bi projects over the last twentyfive-or-so years. You get to meet a lot of people and make friends, plus being involved in those things lets you casually come out as bi to people without it being all about your sex life - that can make for an easier conversation! Otherwise I like slouching on the sofa with sci fi on the telly, and a gin or the fruity ciders that are honestly not just alcopops remarketed for an older audience. Ahem. I'm particularly excited about the prospect of this new Passion Fruit flavour that Koppaberg have just brought out...

What being bisexual means to me

That the reason I don't want to date you is not about what someone in the hospital yelped right after you were born ("It's a ...!")

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

That sometimes it is a phase, and sometimes it isn't, and either way it's real for the person living it.

Pregnancy is a phase: after nine months or so it's over, but that doesn't mean you weren't having a baby. Being a teenager is a phase, it doesn't stop your parents having to put up with all that that brings.

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

The first step was simple enough - my older sister, who had clearly clocked me as some flavour of queer but perhaps not sure which, left a copy of the book "Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit" where she knew I'd find it. A few days later I'd finally put a word to my habit of crushing on people regardless of gender :)

Then I came to the big city with its large lesbian and gay scene, where I ran in to more biphobia than you'd like to think such a place would have - and went on a bit of a tour of labels and identities before coming on home to bi.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

We have to do it ourselves - there's not a big commercial scene or what have you so if we want bi space, it's up to us to make it happen.

What is the best thing about being bisexual?

We have to do it ourselves - there's not a big commercial scene or what have you so if we want bi space, it's going to be the shape that we make it.

How have other people in your life reacted to your bisexuality?

I lost my best friend from school, and my other best friend because of the tension it created between us. But I made a whole lot of other friends who were less demanding that I be the person they wanted rather than who I was.

What advice do you have for someone who thinks they may be bi or who is in the process of coming out as bi?

Grab a copy of Getting Bi In A Gay/Straight World from the BiPhoria website and get some advice. Then get out there to BiPhoria or whatever your local bi meetup is and find real people, cos nothing makes bi normal quite like meeting a load of other bisexual people!