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Bi in the Life: Chris Pierce
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2013-01-09

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Chris Pierce coordinates the monthly events at the Center on Halsted for the bisexual community, relying on his diverse personal relationships, past and present, and an open-book look at his life.

He came out at age 15 as bisexual while in a heterosexual relationship. They continued to date and eventually were married, living a mostly monogamous life for nine years, separating in September, 2011, for reasons unrelated to his orientation.

Pierce is now in an open, same-sex relationship and tags himself polyamorous.

"I like to think I can be helpful and relate to people on most issues," he said. "I know I was very lucky figuring out I was bisexual while in a relationship with someone who was so understanding. Most people don't have that luxury.

"My past lets me relate to most people and many feel very comfortable asking me any question, mainly because I'm so open about my life."

Pierce leads the Center's monthly bisexual social discussion, which recently has included politics and other current events, and a once-a-month bi movie night.

"The biggest issue facing the bisexual community is, visibility. That's simply identifying [each other], and also [identifying] within the LGBT community as a whole," Pierce said. "Often, we feel we aren't understood by both the homosexual and the heterosexual community, so often we are, or feel we are, left out.

"A lot of statistics will combine gay men and bisexual men into one group, which isn't always helpful for bisexual men.

"The big thing we discuss at the Center is, awareness and support."

Through Pierce's leadership, events and participation at the Center for bisexuals has slowly, steadily, grown—now with a mix of men and women, and a variety of ages.

"I specifically try to help bisexuals learn how to have a useful conversation, so they are not continually dismissed and make themselves angry for no reason," he said.

THE STATS

Age: 29

Neighborhood: Edgewater

Hometown: Grew up in Lake County (Ill.) and Kenosha County (Wis.); has lived in Chicago since November 2011

Job title: Massage therapist at Revive Massage Therapy and Spa

Hobbies: Reading or watching Netflix with a bottle of port, card games, and kink

Relationship status: In an open, same-sex relationship

Identifies as: Bisexual

Favorite local bar: Taverna 750, Marty's Martini Bar, or Jackhammer

Little-known fact: Admitted cocktail snob


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