pride '23

this page is a submission for the 32-bit cafe's pride 2023 zine. thanks for visiting this corner of the museum!

for pride this year, i wanted to explore the discussion around bisexual erasure—a topic near to my heart. i interchangably use "queer" and "bisexual" depending on my mood, which is one of my favorite parts of being queer. labels do not define us, actions do.

when thinking about bisexual erasure, i wanted to talk more about what comes to mind when people try to discount my sexuality because i'm in a straight-passing relationship. i acknowledge the privilege it gives me in certain circles, but i can also acknowledge the feelings i get from experiencing erasure.

"how are you queer when you have a boyfriend?"

and other things that made me feel not queer enough

i was eight years old when i got my first girlfriend, and we had all the same classes.


i didn't know as much as she knew, but it was an unspoken bond between the two of us that led to repeatedly meeting up in dark corners during recess.

it felt like someone else finally knew the dark secret that nobody else really talked about.


the glances. the lingering touch. the shyness i felt when changing around other girls. the feeling i felt when i looked at other girls.

i was first called a ██████ in middle school. it scared me because i had only heard bad people say that word.


it was just another girl in class, whom i offered a hug and, apparently, lingered for too long when she came into my arms.

she was a girl i'd had a crush on for a really long time; raised by the wrong people. but i wouldn't know anything about that back then.


i wondered if she'd heard any of the stories i'd read online from people much older than i.

what that word meant, the violence that usually followed.


i was seventeen when i was first called a daywalker.

i was eighteen when i was called a breeder by a friend's husband.


i had no idea why people who were part of the same struggles as i was calling me something further to divide me from them.

i remembered hiding who i was from my parents, despite being fully out to my friends and online.


i typed "bi" in my about me's—the explanation in response to my interrogation later that it meant before internet.

a smooth save to keep a shy kid safe.


i kept my girlfriends hidden from them under the guise of being friends,

finding solace in my lesbian friends' stories of similarity.


i knew it wasn't forever, but the pain of keeping myself hidden was still awfully familiar until i left the south.

i'd go to pride, and it never felt like enough.


i was too feminine, not queer enough.

i was dating a guy, and we went to pride together one year.


"how are you queer," someone asked, "if you have a boyfriend?"

"proudly," i said.


i was done not feeling like enough.