Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Bisexual and over 50 1: Harrie

This is the first in a series of "email interviews" from bi people over 50. Yes, we are out there!

Each of these "interviews" is written by the individual concerned; the questions in bold come from me.

Happy reading!

I’m Harrie Farrow, a 54-year-old, androgynous woman. I am a novelist (“Love, Sex, and Understanding the Universe”), a bisexual blogger, a bisexual activist, and am a Life Coach for Bisexuals at Navigating the Biways. I live in the US, in a small LGBT-friendly town, and have a grown son and a grandson. I’m currently single.

How did you come to think of yourself as bisexual (or whatever label/non-label you use)?
I read an article at age 14 in a “girly” magazine, that someone had left laying around, written by someone who was of the opinion that everyone is bisexual, and I just thought, yes, of course, and therefore knew that I was bisexual.

What does being bisexual (or as above) mean to you?
Being bisexual to me means being attracted to same and different gender(s).

Has this changed over the years, and if so how?
No, my identification, and understanding of bisexuality has not changed.

What do other people in your life know about your bisexuality and how do they react?
Being a bisexual blogger, activist and an author of a bisexual themed novel means that I’m about as out as a person can be. Reactions are of course varied. Often, I am not directly present when a person becomes aware of my bisexuality and so I do not see their reactions. I find that being very confident and comfortable in my sexual identity, and presenting my sexuality in a way that conveys that the only possible response from others is respect and acceptance, results in usually not having negative things said to me. Occasionally, people will make misinformed comments based on their lack of information.

When fighting biphobia, for example as @BisexualBatman on Twitter, I actually seek out biphobia, and the person receiving my response usually knows nothing about me except for my tweet. In this role, I have had many hateful and harassing responses. Happily, I do also get people apologizing for their biphobia, or asking for more information to educate themselves. 

Looking back over your life so far, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
From a young age, I’ve always quite consciously tried to live in a way that would result me being able to say I have no regrets. I can say that, though things did not always turn out as I would have liked, I did make the best decisions based on the realities of my life at the time.

What about your hopes or fears for the future (regarding bisexuality)?
I would like to see bisexuality become recognized and accepted as just another sexual orientation, and that we reach a time when all bisexuals are comfortable and confident with their sexual identity.

Any words of wisdom for younger bi people – or older ones?

Recognize that your sexuality is integral to who you are, and that accepting, embracing and being true to yourself is a necessary component of mental health and happiness. Do what you can to remove yourself from situations and people who cannot honor this, and find, and reach out to, the community that does. 

Would you like to help combat bi erasure and increase visibility of bisexuals over 50? There are plenty of us out there but far too many people don't know that. 

I am looking for more people to contribute their "email interviews" to this blog, as Harrie has done here. For more information about what to do, take a look at this post


1 comment:

Jan Steckel said...

Really enjoyed this interview, Harrie and Sue. Looking forward to others in the series. I'm enjoying getting used to the idea that at 51 I'm considered an "elder" in the bi community! Keep up the good work, both of you.