Through what makes us
Providing a sense of community, promoting the success of those struggling emotionally, financially, and personally, and meeting the varied needs of individuals who identify as having a fluid sexuality within queer and straight demographics of the United States.
Founded in 2013 (originally called Bisexuals In Metro Phoenix and then Fluid Arizona in 2015), Fluid Array Foundation began with the goal to create a community for fluid people in the Greater Phoenix area. After struggling to find others who identified with and understood the unique struggles associated with the fluid array, the decision was made to create a community. Our aim was to create a place where fluid people could find others who understand them and have a safe place where they didn’t have to hide their identities. Our mission is to ensure that no one has to feel alone or like they don’t belong.
Founder Gregory Ward (center) speaks on a panel concerning work-place discrimination towards bi people at the Bisexual Community Briefing at the White House in September of 2016. Facilitating the panel was attorney Nancy Marcus (left) who co-founded BiLaw, and YouTube content creator R.J. Aguiar (right) spoke about discrimination at an LGBT Pride event.
We are a state-level nonprofit corporation since 2017, currently preparing to get our 501(c)(3) status in 2022. From there, we intend to expand our services to combat some of the unique challenges faced by many in our community.
Our Future Goals
Financial help (rent/food for those in need and shelter for abuse survivors and abandoned youth)
Health funds for medical, dental, and eyecare visits
A database of LGBT-friendly physicians
Vouchers for HIV and other STD testing
Access to counseling with trained specialists to meet our communities unique needs
A permanent location for discussion/therapy sessions and administrative responsibilities
Scholarships for college students
Education/training for bi/pan/fluid+ community advocates and social activism.
(NOTE: Although we have assisted fluid people monetarily in the past we currently do not have the funding to continue this at the moment.)
About Our Logo
Our initial goal in creating Fluid Array Foundation was to unite everyone in the fluid community who uses different labels for themselves, along with people who do not prefer to be labeled. Our logo is meant to reflect that.
We have five fluid elements within our logo. Each a different color. These are: lava, juice, freshwater, saltwater, & a smoothie. Each move at their own distinct pace and have their own strengths, as do fluid people.
The colors in order from left to right are: vermilion (or dark orange), yellow, (light) green, (sky) blue, and violet. Yellow, green, and violet are the center colors in the pansexual, polysexual, and bisexual pride flags respectively, and represent those communities.
As for vermilion and blue, they represent the two greatest fluid elements on the planet: magma and the ocean.
Magma moves slowly down volcanoes as lava, and sometimes not at all (as it sits inside the earth), so it represents people who have a difficult time making the move to come out. We encourage people in the closet to wear a vermilion t-shirt, or dark orange-colored clothing and accessories on pride days to discretely show they are a part of our community.
Then there's the ocean, massive and powerful. It represents the great amount of fluid people who are out in the LGBT+ community and the power that comes with living openly as a fluid person.
I hope this better helps you understand the meaning behind our logo.
About Our Lingo
The word fluid has been used for decades and perhaps centuries to refer to someone's sexuality as being non-stationary or not static. In an effort to create a term that could be used to align bi, pan, omni, and polysexual people in unity instead of separation and irritation due to the constant in-fighting seen online surrounding definitions of those labels, "fluid" was created. In the same way that "gay" meant a homosexual man or woman, "fluid" meant a bisexual person, or a pansexual person, or a person with a fluid sexuality. It is a separate word from sexually fluid which means changeable. "Fluid", in the sense that Fluid Array Foundation uses it, means not static in your sexuality or a person whose sexual orientation is one that is non-stationary, but moves and flows towards many and any gender.
It didn't really catch on and we didn't want to be the gender police or gatekeep, so it's included in the name of the org but now for a different reason.
At Fluid Array Foundation we encourage our members to create new lingo just for our community. Vibrant new words enrich the community and empower the individual.
When referring to the community of people who use labels such as pansexual, polysexual, fluid, omnisexual, plurasexual, bisexual, ambisexual, multi gender attracted, multi gender loving, multisexual, open, sexually fluid, non-monosexual queer, and flexi, and even people who are more attracted to gender characteristics of every sex and gender such as androsexuals and gynosexuals, we refer to that community as the fluid array and when talking to someone in the fluid array about their sexual orientation, we say "your sexual orientation".
However, when we feel it necessary to use less-inclusive language or language that is more familiar to the average reader (the world at large) we will refer to the community as the bi community, the bi+ community or bi plus community, and our favorite: the bi/pan/MGA/fluid/mspec community.
NOTE: We recognize the importance of the words bi and bisexual, the historical significance of it, and important position it has earned within the greater LGBT community. We recognize the countless hours and hard work bi people have put in, to find a voice at the table, to be included in society, and to establish our own community within the broader LGBTQ+ community, helping others like us. Having said that, we will be using the words bi and bisexual to describe our community in the following paragraphs.
We've discovered and created new words over the years for bi men, bi women, & bi non-binary people. The reasoning behind this is so we don't have to write out the phrases "bisexual men, bisexual women, and bisexual non-binary people" and because we feel there needs to be specific language to describe us in one word, as bisexual men, as bisexual women, and as bisexual people with non-binary genders, just as our gay and lesbian siblings have done. We feel that by having unique words for us, we will also be taken more seriously within both LGBTQ+ and heteronormative spaces.
Here's a bit of history: Within the homosexual community, the phrase homosexual man became gay; the phrase homosexual woman became lesbian. Less clinical phrases were passed over for better words to describe these two groups and are now recognized the world over. Bisexual men, bisexual women, and bisexual people with non-binary genders as individual groups each have unique issues they face within those gender groupings. Were it not so, there would not be so many online and in-person discussion groups for these three individual bi groups. Therefore, it makes sense for these three groups within the bi community to have their own unique names. And as stated before, the world also seems to take people more seriously when there's a sole and distinct name for something.
Currently, we use bent as the word for a bi man, and to reference his bisexuality. Bent is short for for "bisexual gentleman" or even shorter for "bi gent". (NOTE: the "bi" in "bi gent" really should be read as "bi/pan/MGA/fluid/mspec+ gent", as this word is used to describe men who are not only bi, but also other men who may identify as the following: pansexual, multi gender attracted, polysexual, omnisexual, mspec, open, curious, fluid, flexi, non-monosexual queer, or unlabeled.)
You can use it in phrases like: "My boyfriend is gay, but I'm a bent." or "He's bent, but he's shy so he doesn't really date." and "Bents and gays will soon be able to donate blood, the news said."
Bent is used as both a noun and an adjective, but there are some caveats. Bent is mainly used as a noun to describe the person by their gender, by them being bi themselves, but not solely their sexual orientation. So, you would say someone is a bent, but you wouldn't say that their sexual orientation is bent. But, you can say someone is bent, if they are both a man and bisexual. Their sexual orientation would be bi or pan or multi gender attracted or unlabeled, etc. and not bent. Bent is not meant to replace the sexual orientation terms and labels we all use (or don't use, for the unlabeled folks).
Example: "Chuck is a bent. That means he's pansexual." or "Rashad told me today that he's a bent. I didn't even know that he was bisexual."
In using this word, we also wanted to reclaim a slur directed towards bi and gay (and even straight and ace) men and boys. Bent had been hurled at boys and men, in general, for decades. It is rarely heard today and it doesn't share quite the same sting as other slurs, but we do recognize its problematic history. Gay men also use this word in a reclamation capacity. And it still can be used by gay men, of course, but for bi men, it's empowering to use this word directly and exclusively. For bi men, it's its own unique word, separate from the one gay men use, and separate in meaning. It is also separate from any other usage of the word bent.
UPDATE: Because we've recently learned that other bi people who are not men also use this word to describe themselves, we include this word for everyone within the bi community. Example: "I'm bent AF", she said or "Get the party started because the bents have arrived at Pride". We could even get classy by saying that, in this instance, bent would stand for "the bi gentry" and even the "bi gente" ("gente" being Spanish for "folk" or "people").
We use three separate words for a bi woman: bisapphine, posy, and sapphine. We use these words as well as to reference her bisexuality, but we do not use them to replace the words she'd use for her sexual orientation.
A bit of recent history: bisapphine was created to honor French dancer and actor Josephine Baker and Sappho, the Greek poet who lived on the isle of Lesbos. Both women were bisexual. The word was created by two closeted members of Fluid Array Foundation's greater online community.
They reached out to us and asked if we would consider these terms and we agreed. If they catch on, that's great. If they don't, that's also fine. But these two women are proud of their creation, and they created more.
They had read that Posy is a nickname for Josephine and they wanted to incorporate that somehow into the sphere of bi women. Interestingly enough, posy is also a small bundle of flowers. Therefore, they had suggested that a symbol for bisapphines would be a small bundle of pink, purple, and blue flowers. We say that posy is a byname of bisapphine. (We say that because bi people like puns)
It should be noted that there's a controversial aspect of posy as an identifier for a bi woman in that it's a small bundle of flowers, which similarly parallels a small bundle of sticks or faggot, a derogatory word often spewed towards gay and bi (and also straight and ace) men for the last century. Posy, however, has no negative connotation, it being literally months old.
But, bi women have indeed experienced hatred from lesbians at times. Lesbians sometimes consider some women who have short relationships with other women to be posers. Whether it be at college or after a late night at the bar, some women have same-sex experiences and then move on to relationships with men. These women may be straight and trying to find their sexual orientation and doing some healthy experimenting or they may be bi and genuinely had a great time, but because their relationships are inconsistent with being a lesbian, some lesbians will mistakenly erase those women's bisexuality. They consider them to be fake, or "posing" as a lesbian, when in fact those bi women are factually queer women.
Posy, as a word to describe a bi woman, therefore can be an empowering use of a stereotype; taking back a word historically used to diminish them; both an owning and a sort of reclamation of decades of negativity towards bi women turned into a positive thing.
One final note on posy. It's been noted that it directly relates to the theme of being bent. Posy can also be short for posable, which is another way of saying "able to bend or be positioned in several ways or directions".
The final word used by bi women at Fluid Array Foundation (and the one we as an organization use, to be the most inclusive) is sapphine. Some members take issue with the bi prefix of bisapphine, so to satisfy the needs of all our members, we've shortened bisapphine to sapphine.
We must note that the similar word "sapphic" is used among lesbians and bi women already to mean "lesbians & bi/pan/fluid+ women collectively" and "sapphist" is an older, out-of-use noun that actually means lesbian, with "sapphistry" being the adjective. Some bi and pan women also use the hyphenated bi-sapphic to refer to their gender and sexual orientation combined. But, sapphic already means bi, if you think about it.
Sappho was a well-known poet in ancient Greece. She had relationships with men and women. She wasn't exclusively lesbian, but we also weren't there, so we don't really know. But lesbians honor Sappho by referring to themselves by the island Sappho lived on. Some bisexual women now honor Sappho by referring to themselves by the very name of the bisexual poetess. The word "sapphine" not only honors the bi woman who inspired all bi women and lesbians, but it also unites all pan women, ply women, etc. together with bi women.
Sentence examples for sapphine are: "Lesbians and sapphines have been around since the dawn of time." or "I'm a sapphine, but my girlfriend is lesbian." and "Sapphines can also go to lesbian bars, just as bents can go to gay bars."
Lastly, for bi non-binary people we use biagonal, which also describes their bisexuality, but again, does not replace their sexual orientation label.
Biagonal is a portmanteau of bisexual and diagonal. It was created by a local nonbinary member of Fluid Array Foundation. By coincidental synchronicity, diagonal is in direct reference to the bent theme, as mention twice above. Imagine a straight horizontal line that suddenly juts off diagonally. As a whole, it will look like the line has a bend to it.
Fluid Array Foundation also uses another word for non-binary people who are bi. Again, to be respectful of all of the fluid array and to include those who prefer to be under another umbrella such as the pansexual and panromantic community, the polysexual community, or the multisexual spectrum community, the word oblique was created.
Oblique is in reference to oblique angles; angles that aren't quite right. Not quite "right angles", that is. The very essence of a queer angle is an oblique angle. In fact, the word queer, it is assumed, comes from an Old German word meaning oblique. There isn't a more perfect word to compliment queer. And as so many nonbinary people over the past few decades gravitated towards the label queer and away from the labels gay and lesbian, it's the hope that non-binary bisexual people with also find a good rhythm with oblique.
Example sentences for oblique are: "They're an oblique, so there's a chance they might be into you." or "Queer people and obliques are sometimes trans, too." and "I'm oblique but my enbyfriend, they are queer."
In the past we've used other words and they are still in use today by members of our community. We have bifella, bi-guy, bi achillean/bichillean for men who are bi; bifemme/bi-femme, bisapphic/bi-sapphic, and boudette for women who are bi; bifexxy and bifacto for intersex people who are bi and consider themselves non-binary; and bifydde, bx, and bisarram for endosex non-binary people who are bi (bisarram was created by a user to honor nonbinary bisexual actor and activist Sara Ramirez). People have resonated with these terms, but some of them have become problematic, less useful, and/or confusing over the years, hence the update. Language is always evolving.
These are labels people within and without Fluid Array Foundation have created and we've excitedly collected over several years. When speaking with the bi community members around the nation and in Arizona, we never cease to be amazed at the creativity within our space.
Again, we use these words in our local community but you do not have to, nor do you have to like them, nor are they meant to take over any existing labels/sexual orientations. Do what feels best for you. And let people do what's best for themselves.
Still, we wonder. Do you also have words you use to describe your bisexuality and gender together? What are those words? Please reach out and we'll add them to this section.
Some other fun bi lingo we've collected (and not exclusively created within our org):
bee: a bi person; the symbol representing bisexuals & bisexuality
vamp: a bi person
AC/DC: a bi person
Switch-hitter: a bi person
50/50: a bi person (some find offense to this term)
bioness: an athletic bi woman (tomboy-type)
viper: a masculine bi woman
B rex or Byron: a macho bi man (B rex short for Byronnosaurus rex)
gryphon or gryph: a macho bi man
platypus: a polysexual person
jellyfish: a fluid person
doe: a feminine bi woman
crow: a masculine bi non-binary person
wyvern: a masculine bi non-binary person
pigeon: an androgynous or neutral-presenting bi non-binary person
dove: a feminine bi non-binary person
dragonfly: a feminine bi non-binary person
sylph: an effeminate bi man
bluejay: an effeminate bi man
Queen B: any bossy or annoyingly assertive bi person
bison: a bi elder/senior citizen
bumblebee: a heavy-set and hirsute bi man (akin to the gay community's "bear")
panda: a heavy-set and hirsute pansexual man
brood: the youth of our community
new-bee: newly out bi person
Bi-Fi or bi-noculars/bi-focals: the bi version of gaydar; being able to recognize that someone is bi through sensing it
And we don't come out of the closet, as bi people, we come out of the armoire or wardrobe.
So, this is our lingo. Or rather, the lingo we use. It's for everyone amongst the fluid array. Thank you so much for reading. Feel free to join in and use these terms, reclaim these words, and share them! And right click on the graphic to save them to your phone or computer.
And to all the bents, sapphines, & obliques reading this: Have a great day! You matter! And you rock!
Additions from the bi/pan/MGA/fluid/mspec+ community
On September 3rd, 2022, Twitter user lavvy (@genderlaven), who uses fae/fem pronouns, created a biagonal pride flag, as seen below. Fae created a softened version of the flag, as well. We find these flags exceptional and we received permission from fem to post them to our website. Here is lavvy's blog on the matter. Go check it out!
Then, on September 5th, 2022, lavvy created a pride flag for the oblique community. Fae also added a non-binary gender symbol to this oblique pride flag, creating an alternate to the original. You can read about the meanings behind this flag at faers blog here. Check out lavvy's blog and the gorgeous pride flags below!