Let’s stop claiming that certain genders and sexualities ‘reinforce the gender binary’. In the past, that tactic has been used to dismiss butches and femmes, bisexuals, trans folk and our partners, and feminine people of every persuasion. Gender isn’t simply some faucet that we can turn of and off in order to appease other people, whether they be heterosexist bigots or queerer-than-thou hipsters. How about this: Let’s stop pretending that we have all the answers because when it comes to gender, none of us is fucking omniscient.
Q:Why would straight passing be offensive to PoC?
What? I dont understand.
Part two of a collection of best tweets found in the #bisexualfacts twitter tag.
(Part one here.)
Transgender Violence Tracking Portal
Tiny Dinosaur wanted to help out with awareness so he made a tiny presentation.
Suggestions for improvements are very welcome, he has never made a presentation about asexuality before and he wants to make sure he gets it right.
"LGBTI Aborignal activists respond to Anthony Mundine
"We write this letter to remind everyone that diverse sexualities do exist in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, have always existed, and will continue to flourish. We are united, we stand strong and we reclaim our rightful places in our cultures.”
Black Rainbow, a national coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay, lesbian, bisexual, sistergirl, transgender and intersex peoples has published an open letter the Koori Mail, a fortnightly national newspaper reporting on the issues that matter to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people giving Indigenous Australians a voice missing in the mainstream media.”
The use of the term privilege absolutely does not work in this case. While the person above may not *personally* use the term in a way that conflates straight and gay people as equally privileged over bi/pan/etc identities, it is pretty disingenuous to unilaterally declare that that isn’t what the term means when so many people do use it that way. I haven’t read the study referenced in the link provided (though let’s be clear that linking to a buzzfeed article as an academic source is not exactly boosting the credibility of your argument here), but I’m wondering what exactly “institutionalized and systematic oppression” of bi people actually looks like to you? Because I fail to see (and if I am wrong here, I’d really like to know) how bi people are institutionally oppressed in ways that significantly differ from gay and lesbian people? I am not denying that bi people may have different experiences than gay/lesbian folk, and that bi erasure/biphobia is certainly a thing. It’s a major problem within lesbian communities, for example, but given the marginalized position of lesbians w/r/t mainstream society, that would not actually be an example of institutionalized oppression. Problems like access to healthcare that fully encompasses the needs of a bi/pan/etc person don’t *not* exist for gay or lesbian individuals.
Also, let’s be clear that the monosexual privilege checklist is a joke. It operates on a fundamental misunderstanding of the term ‘privilege’ as that term exists in social justice discourse, and it absolutely places gay men and women as being equally privileged with heterosexuals (and ignores other, incredibly important axes of identity like race, class, etc). I don’t have read further than the first item in that list (though I have read the full list) before I start laughing. “Society assures me that my sexual identity is real and that people like me exist.” Um, seriously? Have you listened to public discourse about lesbianism? Ever?
That’s like saying the term ‘white privilege’ conflates white men, women, and non-binary people. We both know it doesn’t, and that intersectionality affects all privileges. The same is true here, and where homosexuality intersects with monosexuality there is a different experience than when it intersects with heterosexuality. That doesn’t make monosexism less real.
"I fail to see how bi people are institutionally oppressed in ways that significantly differ from gay and lesbian people"
It seems you didn’t read the checklist at all then, or the studies I linked. Cool. Let’s go through them and identify some of the disparities you missed, but I encourage you to read them again. Especially the Bi Invisibility Report.
- “35% of straight women had experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by a partner at some point in their lives. But 43.8% of lesbian women had experienced one of the three, as had a full 61.1% of bisexual women.”
- “Bisexual women were also the most likely to have been raped by anyone, partner or not — 46.1% of them had experienced rape at some point, compared with 13.1% of lesbian women and 14.7% of straight women. And they were more likely to report that domestic violence had negatively impacted their lives — 57.4% of bisexual women who’d experienced violence said they also suffered aftereffects like missing work or having symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Only 33.5% of lesbian women and 28.2% of straight women said the same.”
- “A 2011 study found that bisexual women were at greater risk of depression and anxiety than women who were straight or gay, a result the study author attributed to stigma against bisexuality”
- “Another research, this time in California found that “while gay men earned 2-3% less than straight men and lesbians 2.7% less, bisexual men earned 10-15% less and bisexual women nearly 11% less.””
- “A 2009 study about poverty analyzed data from three surveys, and found that “bisexual women are more than twice as likely as lesbians to live in poverty (17.7% compared to 7.8%), and bisexual men are over 50% more likely to live in poverty than gay men (9.7% compared to 6.2%)””
- “One Canadian research found that whereas 9.6% of straight women and 29.5% of lesbian women reported feeling suicidal, suicidality among bisexual women was found to be as high as 45.4%. As for men, whereas 7.4% of straights and 25.2% of gays reported suicidality, bisexuals who reported suicidality made up 34.8% of the respondents.”
- “[i]n nonurban areas, lesbians and bisexual women experience similar levels of frequent mental distress, the odds of frequent mental distress decrease significantly for lesbians in urban areas, while [becoming] nearly double for bisexual women”
“Also, let’s be clear that the monosexual privilege checklist is a joke”
Actually it’s quite serious, whether you want to take the information on board or not. And yes, I have, and almost always I am told that gay and lesbian people exist, along with heterosexuals. I am told their identities are valid and unchangeable (usually). I am told they understand their sexuality, and those who say they don’t go on to say that they’re really heterosexual. Bisexual people, however, are constantly told they’re mythical. Famous historical figures who were bisexual (Including Sapphos, who resided on the island of Lesbos, from whom lesbians get their name!) have their identities erased and replaced with gay or hetero. We’re told we’re ‘half gay and half straight’, or that we’re not properly out of the closet, experimenting, confused, or attention-seeking. Hell, it’s only recently that science ‘proved’ bisexual men existed. We’re assumed to be promiscuous. Our sexualities are taken as consent. We are often excluded from queer and heterosexual spaces alike. We have a handful of characters that are accurate representations of us in media, and even fewer pieces of non-fiction written for/about us.
Don’t know why you decided I was claiming buzzfeed is an academic source (though it clearly gives a link to that whilst summarising its content), but yes, my apologies, because your sources are so much more prestigious. Oh wait.
You missed her points, okay. Okay?
That’s funny. I thought I addressed them all in turn. What, exactly, did I miss?
Questioning the credibility of the evidence because it is summerized on Buzzfeed shows OP hasn’t even tried to read it, if they did they would have seen the link to the PDF which is the full study in the second goddamn paragraph, feel free to read the copy I uploaded.
To me, the fact Buzzfeed is the one of the only big websites that has taken a real interest in publicising this study outside of bi groups is testament to how much nobody gives a single flying fuck about bisexuals, in particular bi women, and yeah monosexuals of all creeds sticking their heads in the sand to ignore it and trying to shut down any naming of it being a bisexual issue rather than a gay issue are part of the problem. Bi erasure is more than being mean-spirited, it’s the extermination of the evidence of bisexual oppression such as the above by shouting it down or framing it as a gay/lgbt issue, that’s a cover-up framed as inclusivity and I don’t buy it for one second.
Also while we’re on the topic of dismissing intersectionality with intersectionality (ie OP claiming that the monosexual privilege list is bunk because you need to consider race, gender, class etc) where is that argument with other privilege checklists? Think about it, the straight privilege checklist doesn’t really take into account race, gender or trans* people, the cis privilege checklist doesn’t take into account class or sexuality, and there is a lot of overlap between the different oppressions. The funny thing is the Monosexual Privilege checklist and most of the other checklists recognise this and have disclaimers saying as much, many oppressed groups don’t see them as the end of oppression analysis yet still find them helpful in outlining general trends and effects of particular oppressions.
It just seems that the only time people want to bring up intersectionality into these analyses is so they can smother any discussion of a particular oppression and their part in it, I see this a lot from checklist critics but especially from monosexual privilege checklist critics, I think that was the point we apparently missed.
Q:I dont really know if im bisexual or is curiosity. How i can know if im bisexual?
You know you’re bisexual when you look in the mirror, call yourself “bisexual,” and feel like that’s a good fit for you.
Labels are just that — labels. They’re self-imposed identities. That means 1) that they describe how you feel about yourself (and not necessarily your orientation or behavior) and 2) no one else gets to bestow them upon you.
You decide what to call yourself.
My go-to advice for “Am I [insert sexual orientation here? How do I know?” questions is always this: Name your feelings, and worry about what to call those feelings later.
It’s far more important to have an understanding of your desires and boundaries than it is to find a box to fit in.
For more, check out this article at Scarleteen. It’s perf.