Discussion on bisexuality connects community

Attendees said that it is important to have discussions regarding sexuality.

Milenne Quinonez

Attendees said that it is important to have discussions regarding sexuality.

Milenne Quinonez, Staff Reporter

The Diversity and Equity Center (DEC) hosted “Find Your People: Bi Bi Bi” for students who shared the same sexual orientation, in Black Hall 103. Students connected with one another and had a conversation about their shared experiences. 

Three students led the conversation about bisexuality, biphobia and representation in the media and in college. 

“We should have this conversation,” Victoria Capell, the leader of the event and a graduate student in the cultural environmental resource management program, said. “Now is a good time to have it and ultimately, I thought we should have it because what if this helps someone be comfortable with their identity and they don’t spend years of repressing who they are and all that pain.”  

The discussion began with students introducing themselves and describing what bisexuality meant to them as well as what they enjoyed about being bisexual, while getting to know one another in a room of people that understood and accepted them. 

“This is where I first came out as bisexual,” third year film major Mason Saulsbury said. She was one of the leaders of the event.

“I don’t think CWU has provided a lot of resources that have been, like come out, come to this gathering. Which is why it’s important for me because stuff like this is needed,” Saulsbury said.

Students brought up heavy topics of how they cope with biphobia and their own experiences with friends and family that did not accept them, as well as the misconceptions from their own friends about who they are and who they date.

“I wish that people understood that I know who I am,” Capell said. “I don’t need you to tell me who I am and once I made that realization it was able to allow me to stop from infringing on other identities. Unless you are in that identity you are never going to understand.”

Tiernan VanSuetendael, a first-year graduate student in the cultural environmental resource management program, and a speaker at the event, said he feels that there needs to be more events like “Find Your People” for LGBTQ+ groups to gather. He said even though the DEC hosts discussions and has clubs, there can be conflicts with the meeting times so it’s not available for everyone. 

“In my experience it’s been very difficult to find a place to go and just hang out with other LGBTQ+ people,” VanSuetendael said. 

VanSuetendael added that this is why it was important to be a part of an event like this. 

“I hope people feel that there is a place for them here,” VanSuetendael said. “I hope that it feels like they can make connections with other bi people and that they don’t feel alone.” 

For students who are looking for or in need of resources, they can contact the DEC either by phone or email for either identity-based support, student counseling or overall student support. 

“If you’re in the place where you’re like, I know who I am, I know I have this pain, but I know it’s important that I talk to someone about it and it’s not a counselor, definitely coming to the Diversity and Equity Center,” Capell said. “You are really more likely to find someone who understands … the pain and the struggle you might be having.”