[Image: Dark purple background with messy white ‘scratches’. Text below.]
My favorite definition for bisexuality so far is the one popularized by (the wonderful) bisexual activist Robyn Ochs. Ochs says, “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.”
This is by far the broadest and most enabling definition of bisexuality that I’ve found to date. Its strength is in the way it enables anyone who wants to identify as bisexual to do so. (In other words, it reassures people.) In a world in which bisexuality is usually very narrowly defined, many people who experience bisexual desire, and want to identify as bi, often feel afraid to start (or keep) identifying as such, as they feel as though they “don’t qualify.” The role that an enabling definition for bisexuality can fulfill to counter these feelings of internalized biphobia is invaluable—and I feel that Ochs’s definition does just that. It reassures people that they are “allowed” to identify as bisexual if they wish to do so.
It’s amazing to me that there are actually comments being made complaining about false stereotypes and trumpeting biphobic/transphobic myths in the comments of a quote from a top-selling queer-theory book by a non-binary genderqueer person, that has no mention whatsoever of anything even approaching anything to do with cisgender heteronormative/homonormative male/female.
I wonder, did these people who put these knee-jerk anti-bisexual comments even read and consider the quote? Or did they just see it was posted by bisexual tumblrs and mentioned the B in LGBT and this caused them to automatically stop reading/looking/thinking and instead go into a reflexive phobic response mode?
How can we stop what practically seems to be an almost perfunctory reaction of unthinking bigotry towards almost half of all queer-identified people?
Dan Savage please shut up!
Seattle Advice-columnist Dan Savage has done a lot of good for Gay Men (and parenthetically been of assistance to many in the lesbian community too). And many gay youth feel that his well-meaning It Gets Better Project has been a great help for them and their families. But it’s no great secret that he has no use for either bisexual or trans* people.
In this weeks webisode of EqualityTV’sThe Bi Weekly Show bisexual activist and filmmaker Kyle Schickner wonders out-loud about the actual cause of the biphobia and Savage’s constant need to taunt and tease bisexual people. And talks about how hard it is when the rest of the queer nation such as GLAAD doesn’t stand up for us in the face of all of this.
But in the end he decides that whatever the cause that don’t we all wish that Savage would just shut up and instead target actual enemies of the ENTIRE Queer Nation.
Myth 2: Biphobia is a heterosexual problem — It’s not just Emma’s heterosexual colleagues who have raised an eyebrow about her sexuality. Bringing her opposite-sex partner to office LGBT events was frowned upon and she sometimes felt more acceptance with gay-friendly heterosexual colleagues.
Milena Popova is trying to change all that in her company, Proctor and Gamble. Despite the consumer goods company being named one of Stonewall’s top 100 gay-friendly employers this year, Popova claims bisexuality is still new territory and their LGBT network only began focusing on it in the past year. She says historically the company has had a one-size-fits-all approach to LGBT employees, attracting mostly gay men to its network Gable, which Milena leads for the UK and western Europe.
Milena says one of the basics that is very easy for employers to get wrong is to only talk about lesbian and gay employees. "I have been to industry events and LGBT conferences where people persistently talk about lesbian and gay, but never mention bisexuals," Milena says. "So we’re making a concerted effort to make sure we’re not doing that, that we are specifically calling out bisexual and transgender and are supportive of the full spectrum of LGBT employees."
[USA]: Well know gay agony auntie and perennial foe of bisexualsDan Savage tweeted about a new book he’s writing saying: "Working on chapter about bisexuality for new book. Honestly can’t tell if it’s going to make everything all better or get my gay ass killed."
So what do you think? Good idea? Chance for reconciliation? Will he, as one responder requested, "stop playing the Bisexual Community 4 cheap laughs"?
If you’re on twitter perhaps you might stop by and give him so good (respectful) suggestion to get some dialogue going and some realistic info for bisexual people into print. Perhaps point him to some good stuff you or other actual real-live bisexual people have written?
CAN YOU ALL STOP FUCKING TELLING ME WHAT MY FUCKING ORIENTATION MEANS
BI MEANS TWO
THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT REFERS TO GENDERS
STOP FUCKING SPREADING THIS BULLSHIT JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
reblogging for commentary,
But I might as well ask again, Can a pansexual define their orientation without referencing bisexuality?
Well known biphobic mess. Allegedly (though since I do not personally know the creator I acknowledge this may be an Urban Myth) thought up and persistently spread by some hater who had had some sort of "issue" with a bisexual ex and decided to "get even".
For everyone not in the know, Please Be Aware this is NOT actually the definition of Bisexual. It is as if someone made up some story about how they couldn’t possibly be a gay man because they weren’t an Interior Decorator and didn’t like Broadway Musicals … you know long discredited myths and stereotypes.
I think this is a very well written, incredibly well-thought out article regarding the bi in bisexuality being inherently transphobic, assimilating to the gender binary, the LG community vs the BT community… so many things really. It’s very long but totally worth it.
Just in case you haven’t read this yet. All about how Biphobia and Transphobia are close cousins. And how they are perpetuated in the greater LGBTQ Community by being built into some of the roots of Queer Theory/Queer Studies becasue some otherwise smart people (Eve Kosofski-Sedgwick a straight woman and Lee Edelman a gay man) just happened to be Biphobic and Transphobic. And how that, especially Biphobia, is literally being taught in Uni.
From Bi Radical(you’re not following her yet? Why? You’re really missing out if you’re not.)