Today is Celebrate Bisexuality+ Day, a day that focuses on the experiences and resiliency of the bi+ (pansexual, fluid, no label, queer, etc.) community, one which is often forgotten or ignored even among LGBTQ advocates. It is the culmination of Bisexual+ Awareness Week, promoted by groups such as GLAAD, the Bisexual Resource Center, and Still Bisexual. One Catholic activist used the occasion to come out as bisexual, prompted by the words of St. Hildegard of Bingen whose feast day fell during #BiWeek on September 17th.
Monica Lundberg shared her experiences of being, and of coming out as, bi on Call to Action’s Re/Generation blog. which features voices from the group’s young adult leadership formation program. She quoted several holy figures, including Hildegard who said, “Dare to declare who you are!” Lundberg then shared how engaging LGBTQ Catholics in church reform spaces helped her own self-knowledge and coming out:
“For the first several years, I kept these thoughts to myself, telling myself that, since I didn’t start questioning my sexuality until I was already in a hetero marriage, I had no business claiming a queer identity and it didn’t matter anyway. Then a friend shared this article during the 2018 Bisexual Awareness Week, and I began to wonder: maybe it does matter. Maybe knowing myself isn’t enough; maybe I need to be a witness, too, as so many friends have been for me. Maybe staying silent is just another way to skirt around my Church-given discomfort with talking about sexuality.
“This morning, I opened Twitter to see a trending hashtag: it’s #BiWeek 2019. As I write this, I’m only out to two people besides my husband. What better time to take St. Hildegard’s advice and change that? And what better place than here, in the community of faith that has empowered me?”
Lundberg’s reflection is a reminder that it is not only important for people declare who they are, but that faith communities can play a key role in facilitating the process of developing self-knowledge and of coming out as one’s authentic self.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 23, 2019