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Photographer shares jaw-dropping portraits of bisexual people living their truths

Josh Milton September 23, 2019
Ayla Carli's photography project platforms the many faces of the bisexual community to celebrate International Bi Visibility Day. (Ayla Carli)

Ayla Carli's photography project platforms the many faces of the bisexual community to celebrate International Bi Visibility Day. (Ayla Carli)

For the 20th International Bi Visibility Day, a photographer has shared amazing portraits of bi+ people who each shared an astonishing story about their experiences of simply living their truths.

Behind the vibrant hues of pink, purple and blue, an array of beautiful bi folk modelled behind Ayla Carli’s camera.

The freelance photographer based in Brighton, a seafront town in England, was inspired by her brother coming out as bisexual who then encountered exacerbating comments from people doubting his identity.

Motivated to help amplify the voices of the bi+ community, she snapped the faces of eight individuals who each shared their story.

Many commented on the misconceptions many outside the community have of bisexual people, such as bisexuality being a “phase” or them being “greedy,” while others flagged that some people didn’t believe they were bi simply because they hadn’t dated more than two genders before.

“The visibility of bisexuality is extremely important to me,” says model. 

As Carli highlighted in an Instagram post: “I wanted to give those who identify as bisexual a platform to speak about their experience on being bi, and to be given the chance to dispel any preconceived thoughts others may have surrounding choosing to identify with this sexuality.”

One model was 23-year-old Tanya. She told the photographer that she came out when she was 17 to her accepting family and queer pals.

But  years on, she “started to notice certain prejudices from both gay and straight people in the dating world that led me to go through phases of questioning and doubting my sexuality.

Tanya. (Ayla Carli)
Dixie Dread. (Ayla Carli)
Meera. (Ayla Carli)

She added: “I’ve often been made to feel like I should just identify as a lesbian if I’ve had a girlfriend or that I should no longer be in queer spaces if I’m dating men.”

This was an experience similarly echoed by Stevie.

The 24-year-old said her mother called her “greedy” and called her bisexuality a “phase” when she came out to her.

Curtis. (Ayla Carli)

She added: “I think the most prejudice thing I have come across is being judged because of the amount I haven’t actually experimented, because I haven’t gone all the way with the same sex I don’t get to call myself bisexual.

“This reason is why nowadays I refer to myself as pansexual, because it’s somehow easier to say that I can fall in love or be attracted to anyone.”

Stevie. (Ayla Carli)
Meg. (Ayla Carli)
Jojo. (Ayla Carli)

“The visibility of bisexuality is extremely important to me, as it is usually largely misunderstood, and quite often erased as an identity,” said Jojo.

The 25-year-old explained the pliability of bisexuality, and that a bi+ folk’s preferences aren’t always “50/50.

“People also often make the assumption that I’m a lesbian because they’ve seen me in a relationship with a woman have just made an assumption based on that, which is not true. I’ve also been told a few times by men that they could ‘turn me straight’.

Maria. (Ayla Carli)

You can view the photo collection and reach each model’s story here.

More: bi, bi pride, bisexual, Bisexual Visibility Day

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