The Island Alien

On Pride and Bisexual Erasure

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It is June and that means… PRIDE MONTH! Happy Pride everyone! I Am ONE TnT is hosting its second annual Pride Arts Festival this month, and let me tell you, boy, am I excited. These events so far, are the only LGBTQ+ Pride Month festivities we have in this country. I am very proud and pleased to see the turn outs we’ve been having. So far, I’ve been to 4 of the events, and they have been amazing and inclusive. It’s great to see all this attention and support!

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Here is the full list of events, if anyone is interested!

And now, as we’re on the topic of queerness, and celebrating queerness, I want to talk about something else. Bisexual Erasure.
A definition:

“Bisexual erasure or bisexual invisibility is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, news media and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists.”

Yesterday, I made a post on Facebook about something that irks me about being bisexual.

bi erasure

One of my comments on the status:

“I go to gay bars, and because I’m femme, I generally do not get approached by women.
It’s also my space, but I am made to feel like an outsider. A lot of lesbians I speak to as well, don’t “believe” in bisexuality, or flat out don’t date bi women. (seriously)”

Now, personally, I experience this a lot, and, apparently, so do many other people, since my post gathered quite the attention. And it really sucks feeling like you don’t belong in a space that was supposed made for you to feel connected. There’s this argument that I hear from both straight and gay people, that “bisexuality isn’t real”, or that “you’re either gay or straight”. Honestly, in this day and age, are we really perpetuating these ideas? I am bisexual. I experience attraction to both men and women. I am not “greedy” or “indecisive” or “experimenting”. I have been in relationships with both men and women (and no, not at the same time. That would be polyamory.)

Here are some links where you can read more on bisexual erasure and learn about how to help eliminate it:

https://www.glaad.org/bisexual/bierasure

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/12/bi-erasure-hurts/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/09/help-fight-bi-erasure/

Now of course there would be some who say that the “bi” in bisexuality is conforming to the gender binary, and therefore, we should erase that label, but let me share something with you from one of the articles posted above:

“I’m going to make something very plain to you, dear reader: Bisexual people don’t just love (cis) men or (cis) women. That’s not how the ballpark definition goes. The “bi” in “bisexual” does not indicate a binary. Well, okay, it does indicate a binary, but probably not the one you think.
Instead of “bi” meaning a love for only cis men or cis women or otherwise putting men and women at two opposite ends of a spectrum, “bi” means a love for identities bisexual people identify with themselves and identities that they don’t.
Or, as the popular Robyn Ochs definition goes: “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.”

Look at that very closely. That’s still a binary. That’s still “bi.” And there isn’t a thing wrong with it, no exclusion to be seen.

When compared with the general concepts of pansexuals and queers, our orientations suddenly sound pretty darn similar: We love everyone.”

I think, especially now, in this wonderful month of Pride, we should all take the time to be more mindful and open and help stop bisexual erasure. Let’s celebrate Bisexual people! Let’s celebrate LGBTQ+ folk!

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