The Avenue Community Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity in Saskatoon started a new support group for bisexuals and pansexuals in November after two women inquired if there was one.
Bi-Group facilitators Ryan Dielschneider and Cateryna Matieshin.
Cateryna Matieshin, a co-facilitator of Bi-Group, says bisexuals and pansexuals face specific issues.
“People are less understanding of us,” she says, “and it’s harder to come to terms with being bisexual or pansexual, because you want to be able to call yourself straight or gay.”
Matieshin, 18, called the Centre in September looking for a support group, and was put in touch with Selene, the other co-facilitator. Selene realized she was attracted to women three years ago and is now coming to terms with being bisexual while married to a man.
“When I was starting to have these feelings, I didn’t tell anybody,” she says. “I spent many nights trying to read about it.”
Selene called the Avenue Community Centre and was invited to join the women’s group.
“I wanted to talk to someone who felt the same way I did,” she says. “But the worker said, ‘we don’t have any groups [exclusively for bisexuals].’”
Together, with help from the Centre, Matieshin and Selene organized Bi-Group. About eight people, ranging in age from 18 to 62, showed up to the first two meetings. Conversation topics included polyamory and gender dysphoria.
Aside from telling her husband, Selene hasn’t come out to family and friends yet. She says she’s finding the support she needs at Bi-Group.
“They’re people I can talk to, and they’re not going to give me shit or ask me all these dumb questions,” she says. “They get it, and that’s all I wanted was someone who got it.”