BETHANY - LG"B"TQ
Occupation: Actor & Occupational Therapist
How do you identify? What does your identity (label) mean to you? What, if anything, do you want people to know about it? Bisexual/Pansexual - I love the pan definition as I have had the pleasure of dating someone who was trans ftm.
I identify as human who has the capacity to fall in love with another consenting human. There is a lot of fluidity, growth, acceptance, and freedom in how I feel about my identity day to day/year to year.
I don’t find labels as comforting to me, although I will take them on to make my partner feel comfortable and people in general feel ‘comfortable’. To me, a label is like taking something fluid, like water and freezing it in time, so it’s fixed and no longer as easily transmutable. So if I identify one way because I am dating someone and together, we present a certain way publicly, and then later I’m dating someone else (different gender, sex, sexual orientation, etc.), people sometimes assume that I’ve been lying about my ‘true’ identity. When my truth is fluid and changing as I meet wonderful people and continue to grow.
What are typical stereotypes/assumptions made about your identity and what is inaccurate about them? I find that people tend to assume I’m straight, which comes with its privileges. When they find out who I am dating and their assumption is challenged, I have not experienced much push back at all - which I am very thankful for. I have really amazing people/colleagues in my life who are very supportive and understanding💛 which I am absolutely thankful for as it has allowed me to be the best me that I can be.
What is your ethnicity/heritage, and how has that cultural backgroud affected your queerness? I am half Nigerian and half Scandinavian/Ukrainian/European. I was adopted and raised by a German couple. They allowed me to be my own human, understanding that not only would I have my own genetic/epigenetic information coded in, but that they would have to get to know ‘me’ as I grew and learned. They knew that I would become my own person and could never be them - and they didn’t want that for me. They are amazing 😍💕
Generally speaking, POC (People of colour), are under-represented in media, particularly queer POC. What are your thoughts about representation and visibility? I remember looking up to Halle Barrie as one of the only women/POC in media that looked like me. I am so thankful that she opened doors for me and I can only hope to continue opening doors for the next generation by being visible 😊
What does PRIDE (the celebration) mean to you personally? It is celebrating diversity, celebrating inclusivity, celebrating love, celebrating acceptance, celebrating family. Connection is what increases the tensile strength of our community - a community that will catch you if you fall and hug you when you need it. I am proud of our community who is ready to embrace you, just as you are, in your truth.