Note: This survey is set for 1,000 responses (max). In the first 24 hours, we’ve had 703 of you share your insight. It looks like we will cap out this evening. If you’d like to participate, we recommend sooner than later. Also, if you run an LGBTQ* website and feel you have friends, family, and followers who may provide their own time, it’s not to late to share this and get credited in the graphics at the end of the month.
Keep On, Keeping On! - Rebecca
After a gathering with friends last month, we started to discuss what “labels” we use when describing ourselves to our peers and other members of the LGBTQ* family. There was also discussion about terms that are slowly disappearing from our lexicon (or evolving into a more inclusive term).
The survey is anonymous but we ask that you answer it sincerely. We also ask that if you are comfortable sharing the link with your peers, please do so. We would like to break 1000 individuals and create a Tumblr KNOWhomo series of graphs/infographs. We can only do this with your help.
If you are a prominent Tumblr page (representing the LGBTQ* community, not a personal page), PM us your page so we can credit those who get the information out.
Keep On, Keeping On!
Divisions in the community, imposed from the outside — imposed by heterosexism and heteronormativity, imposed by heterosexual people in a heterocentric society, enabled by monosexual gay people and non-monosexual people who reject the community label because of what the heteronormative and monosexual people falsely claim it means — is a problem on an institutional and a personal level, as it disrupts the community and people who find themselves without a strong and stable community to come out into.
The word is not the problem.
The word is not the problem.
The word is not the problem.
The people who have invested their time, energy, and money into a schema that discredits and erases bisexuality in order to make themselves seem more acceptable to a culture that would shrug them off in an instant are the part of the problem that lets the haters keep on hating.
The Overculture that assimilates by trivializing differences and celebrating conformity is the problem.
The phrase opposite gender gets more ridiculous the longer you think about it. Go on - try.
so what IS the opposite of gender? *looks confused*
Q:What's your opinion on the idea that, if we take the definition of bisexual to mean having the capacity to be sexually attracted to people of the same gender as you and also people not of the same gender, the label 'pansexual' is rendered pointless?
Here is the thing. The historic definition of Bisexuality as defined by the Bisexual Community (as opposed to our enemies or those who are merely indifferent to us) since the beginning of the modern civil rights movement (late 1960’s/early 1970’s) has basically Always Been those with the ability to be attracted to those of the SAME gender/sex as you and those who are of a DIFFERENT sex/gender then you.
Or as the well know bisexual activist & speaker Robyn Och’s puts is, "I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted - romantically and/or sexually - to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree."
▼ Community Identity Labels such as Bisexual (or Lesbian or Gay or Straight, or Queer, etc.) describe our commonalities and give us a space to be together.
▼ Personal Identity Labels serve a vital function for individuals: they describe my difference and give me a space in which to be unique.
Looking at the data, Bisexual is the Umbrella or Community Identity Label used by the preponderance of people (more than 90%) for the entire non-monosexual community.
Pansexual as well as a very large number of other terms, that vary by things such as geographical location, (i.e Fluid in Southern California spreading up the cost and inland from there, Omnisexual in western NY State/parts of Pennsylvanian, etc., etc.) as well as age, gender and socioeconomic background and other demographic differences are non-monosexual Personal Identity Labels that may reflect a particular attitude towards ideas such as Gender Theory.
So basically we don’t think that any words people feel comfortable using to further clarify who they are to themselves and to others are irrelevant. We further wish to point out that many people in the entire Queer Nation use a variety of compound identifiers. For example: gay men might be drag-queens, twinks, bears, etc.; lesbians may be butch, femme, AG, lipstick-lesbians, etc. So as far as we are concerned it is wonderful, and helpful, and liberating, and creative, that we have BiDykes, Bisexual Queers, Transgender Bisexual Political Nerds, etc.
What we don’t find wonderful is the deliberate misstatement of and rewriting the history of bisexuality and bisexual people.
And frankly we find that upon careful investigation not to mention discussions with the (equally confused, worried & upset)Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Communities that Most if not All of THAT is coming from forces outside Both of our Communities, who have always been strong historic allies. Forces that have not always been kind to the “B” and the “T” in LGBT and that on many occasions have shown a tendency to value money, power and prestige over the common good.
May we most strongly suggest that all people of good will who have been led to believe that Bisexual refers only to cisheteronormative/cishomonormative people and that the term is implicitly binariest, possibly transphobic and that it somehow reinforces false western gender norms please take a moment to read these important documents:
- Big list of bisexual definitions from many reputable groups & experts from several countries on more than one continent. All saying the exact same thing (same/different) in various ways.
- Bisexual Manifesto from no later than 1990 that clearly shows the historically inclusive nature of the Bisexual Community.
- Speech at 1993 March On Washington by Lani Ka‘ahumanu that calls out monosexuals for their privileges especially against trans people who they did not "allow" to participate as full partners.
- Declaration in 2007 by then BiNet USA President Wendy Curry denouncing all the big Gay/Lesbian Groups who removed Trans Protections from ENDA. Saying that as long as there was No “T” in LGBT the Bisexual Community which is over 1/3 Trans and more if you consider all those partnered with Trans would Never accept it.
- From 2011 classic text on the roots of biphobia and transphobia in the academic world, “Words, binary and biphobia, or: why “bi” is binary but “FTM” is not”
- Article from Bisexual Resource Center about historical roots of the bisexual and trans movements and the political reasons some are trying to undo history and set two allies against each other. Also watch the impressive video too.
We hope all of this both answers your particular question as well as helps clarify a number of points of confusion we have lately been seeing on tumblr.
an all-black speakeasy indicated that “the women were dancing with one another and going through the motions of copulation, and the men were dancing with one another.” Patrons probably danced the “Black Bottom” or the “Turkey Trot”-dances brought by African Americans from the south that circulated in a variety of northern urban venues-but the underground homosexual speakeasy versions were sexualized.
These reports support the thesis that African American cultural practices, especially dance, shaped homosexuality not in some abstract, indistinct way, but directly through the communal molding of dance forms that were often indistinguishable from sexual intercourse.It does not require a huge leap of faith to believe that this public, interactive construction of sexualized dance extended its influence off the dance floor, choreographing the supposedly “private” performance of sexual intercourse.
“Homosex Changes: Race, Cultural Geography, and the Emergence of the Gay” by Kevin J. Mumford. 1996. American Quarterly.
SO it turns out, BLACK GAYS AND LESBIANS [Ed Note: and Bisexual + Trans], heavily influenced the “modern” GAY AND LESBIAN [Ed Note: and Bisexual + Trans] movements in such a way that previously PRIVATE (miscegenation balls) that were not just code for interracial sex but gender “inversion” (gay and lesbian behavior) PRIVATE IS POLITICAL…meaning the crafted narrative that I was made to believe my whole life about how “black men cant be gay” IS FALSE! The whole narrative of white men teaching black people homosexuality IS FALSE!
WOW…so many questions remain about how black gay, lesbian [Ed Note: and Bisexual] and Trans-folk get pushed, silenced and altogether left out of histories and narratives WE seem to be at the forefront of …
some of it our own doing and then others the doings of white people who think of our bodies and forget our minds…….hmmmmmm (via howtobeterrell)
Interesting Side Note: In her book “Freedom to love all: Homosexuality is not Un-African”, Nigerian bisexual activist Yemisi Ilesanmi makes a case for LGBT Rights as Human Rights while also debunk the myths surrounding homosexuality in Africa.
Posted this graphic on another blog about a year ago-people still don’t know about this, so I’m reposting again here. Whatever your sexuality (or lack of sexuality) is, you are not alone. :)
It does merit to point out that bisexuals are a far more closeted population, so this is entirely consistent with people “never having met” a bisexual.
When people tell me “I’ve never met a bisexual” I’m like, "yes, yes you have. Just because they didn’t tell you doesn’t mean they aren’t there.”
Bisexuals are everywhere-but I think a lot of bisexuals don’t know we are everywhere. That’s who I was mostly thinking about posting this graphic-while I love to rub it in the faces of biphobes that, “haha, we do exist!” I mostly post things like this for bisexuals.
When I was 13 years old, I happened across a book that explained what bisexuality was and that 1 in 10 people had experienced same-gender attraction (I actually think it’s higher than that, but). That was how I found out that I was bi. I actually thought I was the only not-gay, not-straight person in the world. That book, that one small section on bisexuality, is why I am where I am today. (It was a similar experience with my gender identity and the book Luna by Julie Anne Peters.)
While it is so so painful to have to reassert ourselves and our identities over and over to monosexists who don’t believe we exist, what I really hope is that some bisexual person, who may not even know they are bisexual yet, hears from us that they are real, their identity is valid, and that they are not alone. :)
note: emphasis added
Oppression is cooking being “women’s work,” while the overwhelming majority of top restaurant chefs are male.
Oppression is fashion being a “silly girl thing,” while the top earning designers and CEOs in fashion are male.
Oppression is reducing women to consumers profiting a male system, even in fields that we supposedly dominate.
this is so fucking important.
comparing underlying data in current studies shows the majority of negative statistics about the welfare of lesbian, gay + bisexual people is primarily attributable to distressing conditions experienced by bisexual people
After doing extensive research on studies comparing the welfare of bisexual people to those of monosexual people, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of negative statistics about LGB people (higher rates of abuse, rape, suicide, depression, poverty, etc.) are overwhelmingly skewed by the inclusion of bisexual people.
When you actually separate them out from gay and lesbian people, gay and lesbian people’s percentages for negative experiences are much closer to that of straight people’s than they are to bisexual people’s. So those high bullying and suicide rates and many other things you hear about - that’s mostly bisexual people.
Worse, in many cases, there are no statistics for bisexual men because their existence is largely questioned or ignored. In fact, Northwestern University conducted a study in 2009 on whether or not bisexual men even exist.
use "that’s a single story" instead of "that’s a stereotype" less of attack, more effective for dialogue
Major magazines call us “slacktivists”, a generation of social media savvy youth whose sole contribution to social justice causes consist of clicking “like” on facebook statuses posted by various Big Gay Inc … it is most certainly not true for all of us. In fact the internet and social media are revolutionizing bisexual activism in a positive way that is anything but “slacktivist” …
Tumblr has one of the most active and vibrant bisexual communities anywhere online. There discussions are constantly going on about what it means to be a bisexual, how can we phrase and express our desires in a way that is both true and affirming and inclusive of transgender people.
New ideas are constantly created, discussed and honed, in between posts of pictures of Easter Eggs, Sneakers and much cool bisexual swag to acquire. Among the may voices are such notables as Author Jan Steckel; Academic & Author Shiri Eisner; Vlogger & Artist Ritch Ludlow; Editrix Jen Yockney; Bi Blogger Patrick RichardsFink; Writer Jacqueline Applebee; Salt Lake City’s 1 to 5 Club; 20+ years of bi political action on Bialogue; the discerning reader’s delight Bisexual Books; USA’s Transcending Boundaries Conference & Midwest Bi Activist; Bisexual London and many, many more.
Along with well known writers and academics are thousands of everyday bisexual people. There were people living in rural regions like me … There are big city bisexuals … Everyone brings a different and unique perspective to the bi tumblr community from intersecting issues of race, class, education and age, we all have a different and important perspective on what being a bisexual in the 21st century means.
It is on the internet where the original inclusive definitions of bisexual is being promoted and discussed.
Thanks to the internet’s ability to connect bisexual people, everyone has a voice. What had slowly been being morphed into a dumbed down description of bisexuality as “attraction to men and women” or “attraction to both genders” that were being promoted by the Big Gay/Lesbian Groups and their Straight Allies were deemed unsatisfactory.
And it is on facebook, twitter and tumblr that the old inclusive definitions of bisexual such as “same gender and other genders” or "more then one gender” are being reasserted, not only to other bisexuals but also to larger LGBT blogs and organizations.
Conversations about creating safe and inclusive spaces in the real world abound … When I run into a problem with my real world activism I know I can always pull out my smart phone or go to my laptop and post about it and a large supportive activist community will be there to help me out in solving it …
Far from being “slacktivists” online bisexual activists are often leading the way, writing, theorizing and discussing things among themselves and saving lives with their displays of pride. Resisting blocks on our identity by major corporations and fighting both online and off for a better world for bisexuals is an amazing thing and far from being “slacktivist”.
Click HERE to read the full article
Aud Traher is a Bisexual-Trans Activist, local LGBT organizer, blogger, local craftperson, a member of the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) and anthropology major living in working in a rural community in Eastern Central Pennsylvania. Having been an organizer in the college’s LGBT Group and noticing the need for similar services that included people in the town and countryside, Aud decided to found a local LGBT Group open to all.
Bisexual people have a thriving international Community; a long and illustrious History of queer activism; and a thriving, joyful and distinct queer Culture.
And while we welcome everyone to join us as friends, family and allies, we don’t actually need or want any monosexuals - gay straight or lesbian — to find us, fix us, validate our existence; rename us or define us.