Twitter has decided they want to wipe out bisexuality. Over the past week, Twitter has hidden any photos with the hashtag “bisexual.” The official reason for this is that they are trying to reduce spam and unwanted porn. But in actuality, Twitter is trying to silence bi folks.
You are probably aware that bisexuality is an “thing.” You may even know a bisexual or two. Here are a few things us bi folks haven’t talked about much, especially with non-bi folks
1. We are tired of explaining ourselves. When you are bi, both gay folks and straight folks make you justify your sexuality. It can be “proving” you are bi. It can be “proving” you will be faithful. It can be “proving” this is not a phase. Whatever form it is, we are over it. I have lost track of the number of people who have said, “If you are bi, then tell me how many men and how many women have you slept with.” As if somehow whatever number I give them will “prove” I’m bi. It doesn’t matter if my split is 50/50 or 95/5, all that is still bi.
I don’t have to “prove” I can be faithful. Yet again, the assumption is that if I am not hetero or lesbian, then I must constantly betray my partner’s trust. This comes for the idea that bisexual = hypersexual. There is no correlation. There are bisexuals who are demi-sexual, sapiosexual, monogamous, and more.
Here is a quick test: if you don’t ask all hetero or homosexuals the same questions, don’t ask me.
2. Some of us identify as bi but could be classified as “pansexual” in the new sexual lexicon.
Bisexual was a term developed when gender and sexual orientations were considered to be binary. Many of us knew years ago the idea of a binary gender was crap but we are only now getting terms that recognize gender beyond the binary.
I stay with the term bisexual because it means something to me both as an identity and politically. Many of the new terms for gender and sexuality fail to have any resonance for me and I don’t use them. Demanding that I change my term to fit the current linguistic trends for identifying sexual orientation is about making you comfortable and not recognizing who I am.
3. Most of us bi folks fight arm in arm with other queers, regardless of who we are dating. Yup. Despite who I am in love with, my sexual orientation does not change. Yes, I know a bunch of queers out there who hate me because of my sexual orientation. This doesn’t mean I am going to give up fighting for queer rights. You hating someone for being bi just makes it much harder to want to keep fighting for you.
4. We are aware that you don’t see us. I know that who I am dating determines how you see me. Bi folks are erased automatically. You assume I am gay if I walk in with a women and straight if I walk in with a man. This means you (gay or straight) create the need for me to come out 100 times more frequently than you do. Its exhausting. But my choice is, come out over and over or be erased from the conversation.
5. Sexual orientation, gender orientation, and relationship orientations are all different things. Bisexuality is only part of my identity. Bisexuals are males, females, trans, gender-noncomforming, and non-binary. We are monogamous, monogam-ish, ethical non-monogamists, and polyamorous. Just because you know one thing about us doesn’t mean you know us.
6. Many of us HATE unicorn hunters. Poly peeps, I’m talking to you. You are on the great quest to bring in the magical third party to your relationship who will sleep with both of the people in the couple. Please, quit fetishizing me. Straight poly couples go out in droves hunting a bisexual unicorn. Guess what? I see you and your partner as individuals. I may sleep with men and women, but that is no guarantee if I find you attractive your partner will do a damn thing for me. Just because I sleep with both genders does not mean you both have a shot with me. And, if you are fetishizing my sexual orientation, I guarantee I see you both as predatory trolls.
Here are some simple steps to stop your biphobia and anti-bi behavior:
Quit assuming finding out my sexuality means I’m going to sleep with/want to sleep with you. Chances are I am not attracted to you in any form.
Quit assuming everyone is gay or straight. There are lots of shades in-between.
Quit asking me to prove anything about my sexuality to you.
Quit thinking I am your ticket to a threesome. (Seriously, stop this.)
Quit attacking “hetero” couples at gay events. Chances are one, or both, of us is bi.
Quit expecting me to fight for your rights if you don’t return the favor.
And in case its still not clear how bi folks see most of you, I’ll leave you with the joke from the brilliant Shahera Hyatt:
When you come out as bi people see you as their pass to a threesome…. Well, at least all the ugly people assume you will have a threesome with them.