On Twitter recently, there was a blow up of “bi discourse” because a bi writer who’d written a sapphic book was rejected by a gay agent for the expressed reason that she is married to a man. Since this happened, I’ve been seeing so much bi pride and bi phobia that it’s giving me whiplash, and I feel the need to write about my experience as a bi woman, since it seems to happen every so often and every time the same topics come up. If you’d like to listen instead of read, you can catch my YouTube video of this blog post here.
First of all, stop with the #@%$ing oppression Olympics. Hopping online to complain that bi people being denied professional opportunities and excluded from the queer community shouldn’t complain because “hey, how cool, people think you’re straight, roll with that privilege” is not the hot take you think it is. Yes, it is true, most bi people in relationships that present as straight do not have to worry about being randomly attacked by bigots in the streets. That is true. We’re not trying to say that we’re being assaulted for existing the way that others in the queer community are. Honestly, yeah, being able to be more subtly queer has its perks, and I’ve never experienced discrimination or oppression for being visibly queer (though part of that has to do with living in a slightly more progressive area of south Florida, surrounding myself with like-minded people, and being an introvert who never leaves the house – I have been on queer dates publicly, just never encountered any issues). It’s nice not to worry about, not gonna lie.
But does that mean there’s no problems? That bisexual people don’t experience discrimination at all? Queers, I hate to tell you but, THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.
This is not about transphobia, homophobia, racism, or violence or all those horrible issues. Those issues need to be talked about, absolutely, and I will shout about those causes just as loudly, but seeing someone literally being discriminated against for being bisexual and saying, “Yeah, but what about [insert different group that gets discriminated against in other ways]-” is a way to try to make someone shut up about an actual problem without doing the work to address it.
It kinda reminds me of when you’re a little kid and you trip and get hurt. You’ve got a cut on your knee, it hurts a lot, it’s bleeding, and some teacher or parent says, “Oh, it’s not that bad, it’s not like your leg is broken.” Just because someone else has a broken leg and needs a cast doesn’t mean you don’t still need a Band-Aid and disinfectant on your knee. Festering infection is not good for your body.
Just because visibly queer people deal with a different level of hardship doesn’t mean that bisexuals are fine. Imagine you went to get medicine for a flu from the doctor and they told you to shut up and go home because someone else has cancer? Like, okay, yes, treat the cancer, but also give out medicine for the flu?
Getting straight passing privilege when you’re not straight doesn’t feel good. It makes you feel hollow and invisible. Like you’re not allowed to exist, you have to ‘pick a side’ and graduate into an identity that isn’t yours because it’s more convenient for those around you. It’s not that we want to be oppressed or have some claim to discrimination for clout. That’s not it. We just want to be accepted for who we actually are. We want to not experience any hardship while also being accepted. I think that’s a pretty relatable desire.
I’m too gay for the straights and I’m too straight for the gays. I’m somehow in both worlds but not really in either and it leaves me fumbling for the middle ground, trying to prove my identity all the time. Being openly polyamorous is helpful here because, hey, just because I am married to a man doesn’t mean I’m not still able to date women, so I can prance around town with a girl on my arm if I want, assuming I can get a date and am willing to prance. But not all bisexuals are promiscuous polyamorous people like me and you can’t expect them to constantly be proving over and over that they are who they say they are.
And when someone is upset that they’ve been denied access to queer spaces and opportunities, despite being a member of the queer community, because a fellow queer has decided they’re too straight… that’s not good. That shouldn’t happen. And until it stops happening, we’re not going to stop saying that it’s wrong.
Bisexuals are here. We’re queer. Get the f*ck used to it already cause we’re getting really tired of biphobic bullsh*t.
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