It is hard for bi people to come out. One cannot casually reference a current or past girlfriend or boyfriend, or current interest, and expect people to reach the correct conclusion. I find I must say bisexual if people are to actually understand my sexual orientation (and Queer if they are to understand my political positioning within the LGBT community). And even then there are no guarantees; it can still be heard as lesbian in some weird Bermuda Triangle of Bi Invisibility.
I have long cultivated the practice of using gender neutral language to talk about my partner. I think of it as a way of being subtly out as a bi person as well as articulating a kind of genderqueer politics; it comes from my determination that gender should not bound my relationships. And because I am in an opposite-gender (there’s that troubling binary again) relationship, omitting pronouns is an important way for me to resist heterosexual privilege. Assumptions follow from gender revelations, and only once has someone followed a pronoun revelation by asking whether my partner is cis or trans. Among people who pick up on my gender neutral language, some wrongly assume I am a lesbian trying to cover a same-sex relationship. Again I find am in need of the bi label to convey the truth of who I am.
It’s not that gender doesn’t matter – it matters immensely – but for bi people, it does not limit. I mean to resist others placing limitations on what my relationship can or must be based on gender. I like to think that is the real meaning of Galatians 3:28 (“there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female…”) – not that we become oblivious to gender, abandon our identities, or ignore and forget relationships of oppression, but that being one in Christ would mean we act to end injustice, and free ourselves from the limitations of the binary. To do this work, we must take the risks of clearly claiming who we are, in word as well as deed.