Ask A Queer: Kristian House
Today’s queer is Kristian [pronounced like “Kristen”] House, a 24-year-old woman living in Fresno, California. She is currently working as a Communication Coordinator for a local non-profit that is focused on improving the health of her community. When she’s not working, she loves to read, write, and take photos. Kristian runs a small photography business on the side and frequently photographs events or portraits. Her ultimate goal is to be a published author and to have the opportunity to interview people she admire.
If there is a word you don’t understand in this blog post, you can consult the main page of “Ask A Queer” for definitions. Now let’s get into it! The following responses from Kristian were only edited for clarity. These words and this experience are all hers.
How do you identify? What are your pronouns?
I am a bisexual woman. My pronouns are she/her.
What do you wish people understood about your identity?
The thing that I most often run into with being bisexual is the idea that my bisexuality is invalid if I'm with a man. Or the idea that bisexuality is a phase. There's this unfair assumption that bisexuality is this experimentation sexuality and not something solid or grounded. People approach bisexuality as a stopping point between being straight and coming out as gay-- which isn't fair. I feel like I'm not allowed to firmly assert who I am, because even within the LGBTQ+ community, I get invalidated. On this same note, it is also harmful that bisexuality is given a blanket treatment, meaning, if you are bisexual you are 50% attracted to men and 50% attracted to women. This simply isn't true. For each individual the attraction ratios can be different. It can be 70/30 or 90/10. But regardless of what the ratio is for the individual bisexual person, their identity as bisexual is 100% valid.
Ultimately, I wish bisexuality was approached with arms wide open acceptance and not treated as a space for debate about legitimacy.
What can allocishet people do to support your community?
Don't argue with us about how "real" our identity as bisexual is. Offer up a listening ear and unconditional support. Be a champion for us in the political sphere and vote for policies that protect us and the LGBTQ+ community at large. Teach your children and your friends that heterosexuality is not the only acceptable lifestyle and normalize LGBTQ+ relationships. And just be kind. Be compassionate. Kindness goes a long way.
What do you love about being queer?
This question is not entirely easy for me to answer. I live in the Central Valley of California, which is incredibly conservative and not exactly a space for queer acceptance. So, for many hours of my life it feels like my queerness is in the background and being put on hold until I venture out into spaces where I can be embraced. But when I am finally in those safe spaces, I love being queer because of the vivacious love and liveliness of being proud to be yourself. A Pride parade, for example, is an event full of energy, acceptance, and life. It is a beautiful experience to see the queer community unite together and truly celebrate their identities.
Something I especially love about being queer is the resilience of this community. While it is heartbreaking that we get knocked down so often, it is empowering and exciting to see how strong we are and how quickly we can get back up.
How do you stay connected to the LGBTQ+ community?
As I have mentioned before, I do not exactly have easy access to the queer community locally. In the Central Valley, the queer community isn't explicitly prevalent. There are some spaces locally that I need to get more involved in, but that takes a certain amount of courage I have not fully worked up. So, my current strategy is to stay connected by engaging with the LGBTQ+ community online. I stay connected with global conversations relevant to this community and try to share resources that are helpful. I hope that in the future I can move forward by engaging with local queer spaces.
What does the LGBTQ+ community need to work on? How can they better support your identity?
Validate our identity. We [bisexuals] are not "secretly gay" or a "straight person wanting to fit in."
Describe your coming out experience in 5 words or less.
Slow. Incomplete. Twitter.
What are your favorite pieces of LGBTQ+ media?
Sherlock Holmes novels (because he and Watson are gay and I will fight to the death on this), the musical Fun Home, and Cheryl/Toni in Riverdale.
Who are your LGBTQ+ role models?
Hannah Hart, Tyler Oakley, and so many more, honestly. We are lucky to have a lot of amazing queer role models out there.
Who are your favorite LGBTQ+ celebrities?
Tyler Oakley, Lady Gaga, Ellen DeGeneres, Hannah Hart, and Tessa Thompson.
And finally, are you alright with me referring to you as “queer,” or does the term make you uncomfortable?
I love the term queer because I believe it allows us, such a massively diverse group, to unify under one thing. Labels aren't everything, and I understand that, but it can be nice to rally behind something simple and specific.