In an effort to understand bisexuality as a whole spectrum and break down some common misconceptions that people tend to believe about it, FSOG spoke with Dipalie Mehta; back in 2019. Dipalie, a former bisexual, helped us understand the many HOWS of bisexuality. How to perceive bisexuality in India? How does it play out in daily life and the impact sexuality really has on one’s life.
Now, Diplaie has come out as a pansexual and FSOG had a chat with her once again to understand the new things she discovered about sexuality in these past few years. How her way of looking at things changed and how they helped her grow as a person.
Read on to find out how her life has changed since the last time we collaborated with her!
FSOG: Last when we spoke, you were working as a Marketing & Promotions Manager at The Delta App. Prior to this you were a Kitchen Executive at Masala Library; also worked as a Creative Strategist at The NorthStar Consultancy and as an Assistant Manager for TechMagnate. You even freelanced as a Theatre Instructor, and as a content writer for Snapdeal.
A woman of many talents, what is the career path you are in now?
Dipalie: So sweet of you to ask. I’ve taken a break from full-time work; I’m teaching Digital Marketing as a visiting faculty with Pearl Academy. I’m also acting as a consulting brand custodian for various small businesses and helping them find their voice, audience, and identity in the digital space.
What are the misconceptions about bisexuality people still come across even today?
That bisexuality is a binary identity where bisexuals are equally attracted to both men and women. In reality, bisexuality is an Ombre spectrum where people are attracted to 2 or more but not all genders. And the ratio of affinity is also fluid or varies from person to person. As long as a person believes they’re bisexual, they should be treated as such.
Please don’t assume you know someone else’s identity better than they do.
Oh, and not all bisexuals are polyamorous.
A bisexual person in a straight/gay relationship still is bisexual; they haven’t “picked a side.”
Also, no, being attracted to trans people doesn’t make you bisexual; trans men are men, trans women are women.
What is the stigma that is attached to bisexuality within our community?
So many people accuse us of being in a place where we’re “just having fun” before we “settle for a person of the opposite gender.” That we’re promiscuous and averse to commitment, the dating pool for bisexual people is so small, and it’s not even funny.
I’m not saying that all bisexual people want to be in a monogamous relationship or that bisexual people don’t cheat by lying about the number of people they’re dating. I’m saying that this doesn’t depend on a person’s sexuality.
Anybody can do this, and by believing bisexual people do it more just because they’re attracted to two or more genders, you’re perpetuating the very stereotypes that we are trying to eradicate. Get with the program. We’re on your side; it’s time you came to ours too. (of course, this message is only for people in the community who choose to believe the above.)
A piece of advice for bisexuals when they’re dipping their in the dating territory?
1. Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna.
2. Finger guns are fantastic no matter what people say.
3. You don’t owe any explanations to anyone.
4. You matter, you’re valid & you’re fire, baby.
5. Drink water and take care of your mental health.
Do you think the work culture has evolved for the LGBTQIA+ since 2019?
These past few years haven’t been easy for many queer people who have had to move back home, to their homophobic and intolerant families.
Work now has longer hours, people have lost jobs and have faced severe struggles trying to to survive the pandemic. Queer mental health in general has taken a bigger hit, but people are trying to help, and I thank them for that.
What would you like to say to people who are struggling to accept themselves and come out of the closet?
Take your time, love yourself; coming out once doesn’t set your identity in stone; you can identify as one thing and then realize you’re more of another later.
Also, koi race nahi hai, you don’t HAVE TO come out. Take a breath, and do what gives you any amount of joy. Put yourself and your mental health first. Chin up; you’re changing the world by just being exactly who you are. And you’ve got a friend in me.