Taking Back the Bi – reflections on a post

Aoife O’Riordan has written one of the best things I’ve ever read about being bisexual and the political importance of the word. Go read it – it’s a must.

My own reactions to the post are:

1/ That I don’t associate myself with the words queer and pan, and haven’t encountered much of those communities at all and thus haven’t seen the hatred against the term bisexual from that angle.

2/ That I’ve not exclusively attributed the meaning “falling for both men and women exclusively”, where men and women are assumed to be cis, to the term bisexual. My knowledge of trans* issues, while far from perfect and complete, ’cause yes, I’ve fucked up around this before, has grown alongside my feminism and my bisexual identity. So I see no reason why the label bisexual would exclude falling for a trans* or genderqueer person, assuming the person concerned has recognised and begun to deal with their transphobia.

3/ Regarding the phrase “I don’t see gender” – yes it’s highly obnoxious. Aoife compares it to saying “I don’t see race”. That’s a phrase I’ve only ever seen used online but from the context I assume it’s really common state-side from people that think they’re being progressive. I’ve read it instinctively as “I *refuse* to acknowledge that I certainly carry racist ideas and stereotypes in my head and act accordingly”. You don’t get to exist in our (UK/USA/White European-derived) societies without carrying racist stereotypes and ideas. It makes me uncomfortable every time I realise I’ve just run into another racist stereotype in my mind, but there it is. You don’t make it go away by pretending it’s not happening. Instead, you note it and challenge it and do your best to act as if you thought otherwise. I also strongly encourage reading about subconscious stereotypes and stereotype threat – learning about these things opened my eyes.

3.2/

“the idea that physical attraction is somehow less valid than, or exclusive of, attraction to someone as a person is the height of sex-shaming. There is nothing shallow or meaningless about being physically attracted to people. And being physically attracted to someone doesn’t mean for a second that you can’t fancy the hell out of their brains as well.”

Gold. Pure gold. Continue reading

Advertisements

BiVisibility Day – I Like Kissing Girls. And boys.

Well, the internet tells me it’s BiVisibility Day. I feel like I should be excited but I’m not. I’m not out to many of the people in my life, and I certainly can’t post about it on FB, sooo, this will have to do.

I reckon I’m not at all visible as a bisexual person. I don’t dress stereotypically queer and I’m not involved in any offline LGBT communities. I’m probably reasonably out as an “ally” in that I post quite a lot of things about LGBT rights on FB and am often quite vocal in conversation when people decide queer-bashing is ok, but whether most people put two and two together, I don’t know. Continue reading

Trespassing in Gay Town

I had the good fortune to attend a conference this weekend for lesbian, bi, and transgender folk (MTF and FTM) of the kinky persuasion. Fun was had, new friends made and interesting insights gained but feelings were stirred and it was difficult.

I know I’m bisexual, I’ve known it for several years, but this weekend? I felt too straight. I realised I feel like a trespasser every time I walk through the Gay Village. I know my crushes on women are just as important to me as my crushes on men, and I know that if I met the right woman at the right time, I would date her. But in the face of that many queer folk whose relationships and gender presentations put them in the path of significant social stigma, I felt like I didn’t have the right to my voice.

'I bat for both' T-shirt

Best T-shirt I saw all weekend!

Continue reading