Our incredible founder Aoife O'Riordan spoke on the Dublin LGBTQ Pride stage this June, check out the speech video and text below.
Text of Aoife's Speech
Hi, Dublin Pride!
My name is Aoife O’Riordan. I’m bisexual, and I am not confused.
I am not confused about my sexuality. Love and desire are things which demand to be felt. They are compasses that drive us not only to others, but to the very essence of who truly we are.
I’m not confused about my bisexuality, but some things do confuse me.
I am confused as to why bi people make up half of our beautiful community, and yet when I founded Bi+ Ireland, there was no organisation dedicated to serving our needs.
I’m confused as to why so many people come to our organisation having never knowingly met, seen, or even heard of another bi+ person.
I’m confused as to why every year bi people tell me they're afraid Pride is not for them, when the very first Pride marches were organised by a bi woman, Brenda Howard. Google her.
And I am so confused when I hear gay and lesbian people talk about being disappointed when a bi person falls in love with someone of a different gender. Oh my.
And I am confused at being told that my community, my bi community lives with privilege, when young bi people suffer twice as much as our gay and lesbian peers with severe stress and depression, and half again as much with severe anxiety.
But I am not confused about why.
Because every one of us here today knows what it is to struggle with discovering who we are and to feel afraid of being rejected. But for gay and lesbian people, there is a beacon in that darkness: our community. A beautiful community. A community where you can walk into a room and be accepted and love for exactly who you are.
And in those rooms, we can learn to love ourselves and we find the people who bring us through.
So I’m confused as to why, when a bi person walks into those rooms needing that very same acceptance, they’re are met with: disbelief. Questions. Dismissal. Laughter. And sometimes outright rejection.
Because sometimes when you are bi, it feels like there is no room in the world where you can walk into and be loved as who you are.
I challenge you all to change this. I demand that we change this.
So the next time someone tells you they’re bi? You believe them.
The next time you hear that a bi person has fallen in love, then no matter what the gender of the person they love, you be happy for them.
And when you hear people mocking bisexuality, spreading lies about who we are, or treating us like an afterthought or a joke? You call them out.
And for those of you amazing people who work so hard to build and grow our community: Include us. Reach out to us. Ask us what we need, if you don’t know. Ask me and Sharon here. That’s what Bi+ Ireland is here for.
And if the compass of your heart drives you towards people of more than one gender: we are here for you. And we will stand for you.
And let’s all work together to build a community where every single one of us can walk into a room and be accepted- no, Every single one of us can be loved- for exactly who we are.
Happy Pride, Dublin. I love you!