LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

‘I know the best what my identity is about’. What bi people from Kyrgyzstan say about themselves?

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bisexuality
bivisibility
visibility
community
Central Asia

Hi everyone! My name is Temir, I work at LGBTIQ organization Kyrgyz Indigo, based in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek. Here I share the opinions of five bisexual people on their identity and experience.

This blog post is made up of diverse and sometimes even contradictory points. However, every opinion has a right to be heard. The following interviews include the personal thoughts, reflections, and ideas of bisexual people from Kyrgyzstan.

Do I feel proud of my sexuality? Yes, I do.

I always knew that I am bisexual. My school friends and others from my childhood accepted me. I think bisexuality is perceived more normally than homosexuality in our society. On the other hand, the LGTIQ communities might consider that bi-people just haven’t made a decision on their sexuality. People say that I am gay and have internal homophobia.

Another popular stereotype is – ‘bisexuality is a stage’. My sexuality is perceived as something not serious. Recently I told about it to my new friends and got an ambiguous reaction from gays and lesbians.

Do I feel proud of my sexuality? Yes, I do. Because I like it. I am not into categories; I can choose.

Is there any Bi-movement? Haven’t really noticed it before. I know that there are some initiatives. I see there are a lot of activities are being made on gay and trans identities, whereas there are very few resources about bisexuality. We are told that bi people cannot love someone for sure. I see Bi people face double unacceptance because some people think we are gay, then some others just demonstrate their biphobia – Ulan, 22, Data Analysis Officer

Bisexuality is perceived as something ‘convenient and beneficial’

There is no Bi movement in Kyrgyzstan at all. I also see that bisexuals face negative emotions from gay people which think they are ‘genuine’. (It is very similar to the pride of heterosexuals about their ‘realness and straightness’.) Bisexuality is perceived as something ‘convenient and beneficial’ and it’s not only about our country.

Bisexuality as an identity might be subject to jokes and suspicions. It is always expected, that bi partner can leave the partnership and move towards the binary and heterosexual alliance.

In a nutshell, there are no bi people in the community. They don’t feel proud of themselves, do not uphold their right to be bisexual or to stop being, do not oppose the mockery and mistrust. Partly this is because it is easier for them to mimic in a cis-heterocentric society. – Daniyar, 36 , Activist

I wanted to be ‘normal’

I knew about my sexuality from the very beginning but was not sure. It is very hard when you cannot decide who you like. I know one couple, they really like each other and want to be together. But, they both date also with girls and I guess it’s because of their relatives. They are both around 25-26 and with standards of our society, it’s time for marriage. They love each other, but actively demonstrate their ‘straight love’ in a social life. Sometimes I compare them with heroes from ‘Brokeback Mountain’.

Only two friends of mine know about my sexuality. I am happy that I am bi because I want to marry a girl. I would prefer not to be associated with LGBTIQ communities because I wanted to be ‘normal’. As a doctor, I understand that it doesn’t depend on me. Most people say it is a choice, I know that it’s wrong.

The topic of sexuality and sex practices is easier for not-bi people. When you are bisexual, it seems that you have two persons inside of you. – Alan, 25, Surgeon

She told me it is a ‘certain form of perversion’

It was difficult to understand the fact, that I am attracted to two genders. I was convinced that it is not normal. Now, I accepted myself and my colleagues and university friends as well. Even my sister accepted me after some problems with my identity. I remember that after my coming out she told me it is a ‘certain form of perversion.’ She changed her mind only after a certain period of reading different resources about sexuality.

Many people think we are polygamists. They state if I love a girl, I definitely will switch to a guy after some period. Actually, I am worried about sex with guys. I am not experienced in that and have read there are a lot of risks of anal sex. Infections, discomfort, and a painful sensation. I talked to my friends and some gay people to know more about the gay sex.

As a bisexual, I would like to discuss issues of sex and contraception both with girls and boys on Visibility Day.

People think I should make a decision on the certain gender. I think that it is very normal and there should be no place for judgments – Islam, 18, student.

I know the best what my identity is about

In accordance with the theory of Sigmund Freud, I believe that everyone is bisexual, even though people think that bisexuality is just a stage. They think I am just having fun now but I will marry a girl in the end. I don’t even think about these stereotypes – they are patterns of misinformed people. I know the best what my identity is about.

Of course, I am proud of my sexuality. Bisexual people are more confident, ambivalent and talented. They are out of restrictions and this raises their self-esteem and motivates to reach more.

Bi movement is weak here. I think there should be ideas and initiatives in order to establish the movement. For example, I conduct meetings and master classes on different art topics. I would help activists with their initiatives because I am a creative person – I write music, take photographs, sing and write short poems. My poems are about the pain, happiness, and self-acceptance – Ed, 18, Photographer