I’m a bi woman dating a man which means… I’m still bi

Brooke Blurton’s season of the Bachelorette raises important questions about biphobia, bi-erasure and queerness in Australia.

I usually roll my eyes when I see the glossy promo’s of a new reality TV dating show. But seeing Noongar-Yamatji woman, Brooke Blurton take the reins as Australia’s first Indigenous and bi/pan sexual Bachelorette… my little bi eyes were wide open!

We’ve been demanding a more diverse, inclusive and authentic representation of young Australian’s on Australian TV and damn did Channel 10 finally deliver. While yes, there’s no denying I’m a little tired of the overproduced formula of a show like the Bachelor, showcasing the strong, confident and gorgeous voice of Brooke Blurton was a viewing experience like no other.

The consultation with First Nation’s people and queer advocates was evident. From the beautiful Welcome to Country that opened the season that left tears dotted in eyes across the country, to the respect and acceptance of queerness among contestants, to conversations about the majority of Australia’s ignorance when it comes to Indigenous issues, this season covered a lot of important issues.

As a bisexual woman, I was equally excited and scared for Brooke. I couldn’t help but think, she’s damned if she chooses a man at the end, and damned if she doesn’t, and many bi women will empathise with.

Many bisexual and pansexual people have experienced biphobia and bi erasure in their lives, and seeing it play out in the media and in the comments section of social media, was a sad reminder and reflection on the long way to go before genuine respect and understanding are built in Australia.

Biphobia is generally born out of harmful stereotypes including ‘being a halfway house’ or ‘being greedy.’ Bi erasure often stems from the insecurities of people, including those within the LGBTQIA+ community. Again, based on harmful stereotypes that ‘it’s a phase,’ or ‘they’re not really queer,’ these messages degrade and undermine the experience of what it means to be bisexual.

It can also mean that people are mislabelled, further erasing their identity as a bi person. I am currently dating a man and people assume that I am straight and in a heterosexual relationship. This heteronormative narrative permeates society, which means I’ve had to come out as bisexual more times than I would have ever thought.

The same thing applied when I dated a woman. It doesn’t inherently mean I’m gay or a lesbian. I’m just Adelaide navigating the tricky world of dating, love, and relationships.

I am deeply passionate about this topic because biphobia and bi erasure can lead to severe outcomes. Bisexual people often experience higher rates of depression and anxiety, along with health disparities.

Bi people often describe not feeling safe or accepted in LGBTQIA+ spaces as they don’t appear ‘queer enough.’ People may talk it down as ‘not as hard, or not as important as “real” LGBTQIA+ issues,’ but this is real issue that affects all bisexual and pansexual people around the world.

It’s about being seen, heard, respected and valued.

Being bisexual doesn’t change who I am because it’s just part of who I am.

Of course, watching this season, I found myself wanting Brooke to end up with Holly, because um hello Holly was an absolute gem! But also because we hadn’t seen it before, it was new, fresh and real which just shows how lacking we have been in getting adequate representation (give us more please!). And as we now know, Darvid won Brooke’s heart and their connection was so beautiful (and damn are they not just the most gorgeous couple?!). Upon reflection, it’s unrealistic to expect that Brooke has to show the world and represent the full complexities of what it means to be bi. Just let the woman love who she wants.

Ultimately, coming out and being your true authentic self means that you feel safe and free to be YOU. You shouldn’t have to be you for anyone else, to prove a point, or make a mark. When we allow and respect bi people to be their true, authentic self, maybe then we will see more inclusivity and diversity on our screens.

Before I wrap up, I wanted to touch on labels. While bisexual is often criticised for being discriminatory against those who are non-binary, gender fluid or transgender, the name emerged during a period of time that gave people a name and label to identify with.

There’s a fabulous episode of The Cut called ‘Why do I feel weird calling myself bisexual?’ which illuminates some of the issues people have with this label.

Pansexual is another label that is used to describe people that are attracted to people not because of their gender, but for who they are. Commentators of Brooke’s season of the Bachelor often used the label bisexual, however was sometimes labeled as pansexual. Some people may feel comfortable switching between the two labels as Brooke told the ABC here.

To wrap up, I’ll leave you with this quote,

“Sexuality is so fluid, like why do we have to define ourselves by the people that we’re attracted to? Or why do we have to label ourselves by people that we’re sleeping with?”

Labels can be freeing and liberating to some, and isolating and restrictive to others. Ultimately, as many things in life, we should let people take the lead and set the tone of how they would like to be referred to.

Thank you Brooke for being such an incredible role model for many young queer people across Australia. I’m in absolute awe.

8 Things I Love About Myself

Yep, you read the title right, this blog post is publicly owning up to the things I love about myself. And before you think, OMG here she goes, just think about the last time you had an open and honest conversation with yourself and thought ‘damn, I really love that about me!’ It’s probably been a while. In fact, some of you may never have actually verbalised the things that you love about yourself.

With Valentine’s Day come and gone, and it seems love is in the air. So I thought I would try this little exercise to show myself some self-love and challenge you to list 3 things you love about yourself!

I love being a redhead

I seriously believe that being a redhead is now a part of my identity. It’s funny because growing up I was teased and ridiculed for being a ranga. But now I freakin love it! I couldn’t imagine having any other hair colour. I love that I’m unique and stand out in a crowd (I don’t exactly love that it means I’m sensitive af to the sun but I guess that’s part of the package). I love that some of my best friends are redheads and seriously we are a force to be reckoned with.

I love that I have a healthy relationship with food

If you know me, then you know that I LOVE food. Food is a freakin way of life and I’m always looking forward to my next meal or snack. It makes me so sad when I see people who are self-conscious, picky or have a troubling relationship with food. Food is literally fuel for your body. We need it. So we might as well enjoy it! Of course, eating a balanced diet is crucial but I don’t see the point in beating yourself up about having that extra row of chocolate (or eating the whole block). Or cutting yourself off from some delicious French cheese. Or saying no to that fourth slice of pizza. Seriously, life is too short not to enjoy the goodness of food.

I love my passion

I am an incredibly passionate person. I get excited about the littlest of things. If you’re going to do a job then you might as well do it the best you can. And for me, that means being passionate about my work, my commitments and activities. When I get behind a cause, there’s no stopping me!

I love that I am supportive

I’ve always said that I’m the best secondary someone could have. I think it’s because I don’t always like leading the way and being out in front, but I can absolutely get behind someone, push them, believe in them and enjoy their success. Whether it be my friends business selling coasters, cards and cheese boards, my friends earring business, my friends band, my friends music performance, their race, their new job, their upcoming travel, their engagement… I am 110% there! I love the people that surround me and I genuinely believe in people and I want to see them succeed.

I love my curves

Oh baby this has taken a long time but I feel that I’m finally in a place where I love my body and I really couldn’t imagine myself not having curves. I feel like I’ve ‘grown in’ to my body and I feel like a woman. It’s pretty damn awesome and it’s something I’m sharing because I think we all need to have better relationships with our bodies. This isn’t to say that ‘I’m hot’ or that I think I have a perfect body – of course I have insecurities. Everyone does. But when I love my body I feel so much better in every other aspect of my life than when I hate it. We have to believe that we’re given our body for a reason and we simply have to own it.

I love that I’m ‘Worldly’

Some of you may not know that A Worldly Addiction, started as a travel blog to share my experiences galavanting around Europe. But it was also created with the idea of exploring new ways of thinking and new experiences. I love that I’ve had the opportunity to travel and study overseas. I love my curious and inquisitive nature. I love that I’ve been to many beautiful countries and I love that I have many more on my bucket list.

I love that I can have long-distant friendships

OK so I generally hate having to say goodbye to friends and it sucks not being able to see them regularly, but one thing I’m proud of is my ability to maintain friendships across the seven seas and for years. I’m really secure in my friendships and I know the value of my relationships. I feel so lucky to have incredible friends no matter the time or distance.

I love my empathy and vulnerability

I think I’ve got a really great sense of empathy – in fact – sometimes a little too much. I’m highly emotional, and yes I cry from time to time, but like to believe it’s because I’m able to put myself in other people’s shoes. No matter the situation, I can stay calm and respectful of people’s feelings and experiences. And I love the fact that I’m vulnerable and open about my own feelings and experiences – heck, I’m dedicating this whole post to it!

Over to you…

I challenge you to share at least 3 things you love about yourself!

2018: The year of challenges and change (+ chics)

This year has been a tough one. And it’s not just me, every other person I talk to seems to have had a pretty challenging year. Maybe there was something in my horoscope in January that could have mentally prepared me for what was to come, but in all honesty, I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what 2018 threw at me. And in all fairness, if you had told me what was coming in 2018, I quite frankly wouldn’t have believed you.

It’s crazy how much your life can change in the space of a year. Rewind to December 2017 I had finished my first degree, things were getting serious with my boyfriend, I was working in client service and living with two mates. Not only has so much happened this year, but the Adelaide that sits here writing this post, is not the same Adelaide who walked into 2018, and is now striding into 2019.

2018 has shaped me in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. Despite every challenge encountered, I seriously wouldn’t change it for the world. I have learnt so much about myself and the world. I have grown stronger, more independent, more fearless and more ME! So I thought I would share with you some moments that shaped my year.

Thank u, next

Breakups suck. There’s really not too much more to that story to add that I haven’t already written. But what I can add is that whilst at the time it was a horrible experience of deceit, pain and betrayal, I have laid those feelings to rest. Holding onto negativity just poisons me, like a toxic chemical leaking into a pristine ocean (me being the pristine ocean of course). Yes, it takes time for the heart to heal and for forgiveness to flourish but it happens, even if it happens slowly.

And as much as I wish I wasn’t quoting Ariana Grande right now, I’m so fucking grateful for my ex, because if it didn’t end the way it did, I may have never met the completely undiscovered part of myself and my beautiful girlfriend Sophie.

I wanna girl

Surprised may be an understatement for how to describe my friend’s reaction to my enlightened sexuality. Some may call it coming out, other’s just call it finally being true to yourself. I wrote an article about my sexuality and my experience coming to terms with who I am, and I am still amazed by how well received that post was.

I’ve always been an open and honest person who enjoys sharing my life online. And Soph is absolutely no exception. If I’m allowed to give myself a pat on the back, I’m really proud of myself for accepting myself and being kind to myself throughout a process that can take months if not years to accept. It just goes to show that incredible things can happen when you give yourself a little love, and open yourself up to love as well. Soph, you are without a doubt the biggest highlight of 2018. You are my partner in crime and I seriously don’t want anyone else but you. I wanna girl and her name is Sophie.

Stupid little houses

Who knew that moving out of a house was the hardest part? This year I was involved in a 9 month battle to keep our bond. And like all traumatic things in my life, I wrote all about the ordeal. In all seriousness, this is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever experienced in my life. Everytime I thought about the situation my body would flood with stress, nerves and anxiety, concocting a toxic bubble in my gut. I hated that I had to go through this and I often found myself asking, ‘why me?’

But like many things in life, you can’t always control the situation, and you have to give in to the fact that shit things happen. Despite the pain of this experience, I learnt soooo much! I learnt that there are bad, greedy and selfish people in the world who will stop at nothing to bring you down. I learnt that organisation is key! I learnt what my values really are, realizing I value my time and wellbeing way more than money. And I learnt that friends and family are your most important support system.

Work work work…

This year I completed my Honours thesis in International Studies. I graduated with Class 2, Division 1 Honours and received an 85 for my thesis. I am so proud of myself. And considering that I worked 4 days a week in a new job in my field of study (communications and media), I can do it all.

Completing Honours was something I was always a bit unsure about. I thought it was reserved to those crazy high achievers and honestly just thought I couldn’t accomplish such a mammoth task. I am so grateful that my supervisor believed in me and pushed me to achieve completing my Honours degree. I was also very fortunate to go through the works of Honours with my friend Jack.

By completing Honours, I not only learnt so much about the actual topic I was researching (‘Illegal’ immigrants in the US), but I learnt about my work ethic, my determination to not only make my supervisor proud, but make myself proud, and to believe in myself and my ability without comparing myself to others. Far out I learnt a lot through degree number 3!

Comparisonitis

I know that everyone goes through phases of comparing themselves to others, but this year I’ve found myself comparing myself to who I think I should be. Is it just me, or do other people experience this too? I guess when I was a little girl I used to think about my life and what I would do, besides the whole stereotypical, ‘get married, have kids, become an expert baker.’ I think it’s important to have high standards and high expectations of yourself, but not to the point that it’s making you upset or unsatisfied with what you have!

That’s where gratitude and mindfulness come in. If you couldn’t already tell, this year has been a little insane and one of the ways I’ve managed to get through it all is to be bloody thankful and take a deep breath. We are so lucky to live this life. Everything else is a bonus. If someone makes you happy, spend more time with them. If someone makes you feel worthless or stressed, take a step away from them. If your job gives you satisfaction, stop scrolling for jobs on SEEK. If your house feels safe, secure and like home, stop looking over your neighbours fence. And of course, never believe anything you see on Instagram.

I’ve learnt this year that life is what it is and your life is no one else’s responsibility but yours. You are in control of your happiness, your fate, your income, your wellbeing and your passion. Don’t you dare ever take that for granted.

2019… the year of…

Hindsight is a blessing. It is only now that I can say, ‘Wow, 2018 was the year of challenges and change (and chics).’ Moving in to 2019 I am incredibly optimistic. With my studies over and more time to focus on my savings, my blog, my creativity, my relationships and my sense of adventure, I promise to seize each opportunity with excitement and enthusiasm.

Who knows where I will end up in a years time. But I can promise you that I will be happy, I will be brave and I will be stronger than ever.