This month, I wanted to interview somebody who identifies as one of the forgotten letters under the LGBTQ umbrella — the B. Often, bisexual people really get the short end because of their identity; people often discredit bisexual people for their attractions. We need to be supportive of everyone, which is why I decided to interview Forest Bell. Forest loves animals, gaming, body art, manga, and so much more. I adore her and her approach to life! Like everyone else, she is much more than her sexual identity. And as with everyone else, that identity should be accepted and respected.
1. You are an animal lover and work at the Lawrence Humane Society. How long have you been there, and what do you like most about your job?
I’ve been at the Lawrence Humane Society for almost eight months. I was previously employed there for 14 months, and before that I volunteered. What I like most about my job is providing care for the animals before they find their forever homes. Trust me, though, it isn’t all about playing with the kittens and puppies all day.
2. What is the biggest issue that the Lawrence Humane Society is facing right now?
The biggest issue the Lawrence Humane Society is facing right now is funding. The shelter is a nonprofit organization (just won Best of Lawrence for it!). This means that the shelter relies heavily on donations, both in goods and monetary. Things break down and need to be repaired or replaced. Housing of the animals adds up. We go through so much detergent, bleach, Dawn dish soap, and litter in a week. It’s insane. Although — too many cats is also a big issue right now since we’re full swing into kitten season.
3. You have a house full of cats! OK, not quite so. You have three beautiful cats. Your latest addition, Urd, is only a few months old. What led you to adopt a third cat?
I’ve grown up having animals. All my current cats were adopted from the shelter. I wasn’t even thinking about adopting another cat, but Urd (who is now proudly 10 months old) kind of snuck up on me. She was so affectionate in her cage when I was taking care of her and would love to perch on my shoulders while I was cleaning up. I wrote out a list of pros and cons of getting another cat and presented it to my spouse. He wasn’t too keen on the whole idea, but I kind of twisted his arm. She’s quite a handful!
4. I know that you identify as bisexual. What is the biggest issue that you have faced in identifying as a bisexual woman?
Mostly it’s been acceptance. I’ve been told by both heterosexuals and homosexuals that I should get off the fence, that I’m being selfish, that I’m simply confused, and that there is more than a binary number of genders. I’ve been asked all sorts of embarrassing and annoying questions, like “so, do you have a lot of threesomes?” or “how can you be sure you’re into girls, too?” The answers to that are no, and I just know I am.
5. Do you feel that people discredit your sexuality because your partner identifies as male?
Yes, though not as much as it used to be. Most of my friends know that I identify as bisexual and have no qualms about it. But as stated earlier, I have had people tell me that I’m obviously just confused because I’m in a relationship with a male. I didn’t get that much grief when I was dating a female. I’m just a bisexual woman who finds the female form attractive, and I happen to be married to someone who identifies as male.
6. You have quite a bit of body art, which I just love! How many tattoos do you have, and do you currently have a favorite?
I actually had to pause and count. I currently have 13 tattoos, and 20 piercings. It’s hard to say that I have a favorite tattoo, since they all have significance to me. The one that I’ve been getting the most compliments on lately has been my Doctor Who TARDIS tattoo. Heh, I’m a geek.
7. Have you considered your next tattoo?
I’m always considering more inkwork. I just got my stars tattoo touched up in June. I haven’t decided on a piece, although I’m seriously thinking of getting a Totoro (from the film My Neighbor Totoro) tattoo sometime in the future.
8. I know that you love gaming. What is currently your favorite game and why?
I’m a gamer, both with video games and role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. I have clocked in quite a few hours on Final Fantasy XIV on my PlayStation. I’ve always liked Square Enix games. I spend way too much time playing on my Nintendo 3DS. I think my favorite game right now would actually be Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It’s rather simplistic, but I’m easily amused by making my neighbors say stuff like “Hell’s bells!” and “Bugger all this.” Still, my favorite video game would have to be Katamari Damacy. Nothing says stress relief like rolling up an entire city.
9. If you could design and build a digital game, what would it be like?
It would definitely be a role-playing game of some sort. I just like the games where you can be someone or something else. Definitely something with a good soundtrack. I just like the idea of fighting against monsters and saving kingdoms, I suppose. I literally get queasy with first-person shooters though, which is kind of embarrassing.
10. What character would you be from a game and why?
Definitely the rogue/thief. Just something about saying, “Sneak attack!” that makes me giggle maniacally. Plus, black is such a flattering color. I apologize. My geekiness is leaking out again.