The Gay that I Was Dating:
“I was with a bi before. You don’t fuck like bis.”
That awkward moment when people tell a non-binary bisexual person that bisexuality is inherently binarist (without knowing their non-binary status).
REMEMBER: Don’t repeat stereotypes. Don’t believe lies. Only the Bisexual Community defines what Bisexuality is.
The monosexual privilege checklist
- Society assures me that my sexual identity is real and that people like me exist.
- When disclosing my sexual identity to others, they believe it without requiring me to prove it.
- I can feel sure that upon disclosing my sexual identity, people accept that it’s my real/actual sexual identity (rather than anything other than I said)***.
- I am never considered closeted when disclosing my sexual identity.
- Perception/acceptance of my sexual identity is generally independent of my choices of relationships, partners and lifestyle.
- It is unlikely that disclosing my sexual identity will be taken as a sexual offer or a sign of sexual consent.
- I can be confident that people don’t misname*** my sexual identity or use different identities to describe my identity when speaking about me.
- When seen with a partner I’m dating, I can be certain to be recognized as a member of my sexual identity group.
- I never have to worry about successfully passing as a member of my sexual identity group or as a member of my community.
- I do not have to choose between either invisibility (“passing”) or being consistently “othered” and/or tokenized based on my sexual identity.
- I am never blamed for upholding heteropatriarchy** or cisgender* privilege because of the word that I use to identify my sexuality.
- My politics are not questioned based on the the word that I use to identify my sexuality.
- I feel welcomed at appropriate services or events that are segregated by sexual identity (such as ‘general’; i.e. straight clinics, gay community centers, lesbian-only events, etc.)
- If I’m cisgender, I am accepted and celebrated as a part of “queer” space or movement. If I’m an ally, I am applauded for my support of the queer movement.
- If I’m cisgender, queer or gay people will not try to exclude me from our movements in order to gain political legitimacy for themselves. I am never accused of “giving the movement a bad name”; or of “exploiting” the movement.
- I can feel sure that if I choose to enter a monogamous relationship, my friends, community or my partner will continue to accept my sexual identity, without expecting or pressuring me to change it.
- I needn’t worry about potential partners shifting instantly from amorous to disdain, humiliation or verbal violence because of my sexual identity.
- I can cheat on my partners or act badly in a relationship without having other people put this down to my sexual identity or have my behaviour reflect badly on all the people in my sexual identity group.
- I can choose to be in a polyamorous relationship without being accused of reinforcing stereotypes against my sexual identity group.
- I can fairly easily find representations of people of my sexual identity group and my lifestyle in the media and the arts. I encounter such representations without needing to look hard.
- If I encounter a fictional, historical or famous figure of my sexual identity, I can be sure that s/he will be named as such in the text or by the media, reviewers and audience.
- I often encounter the word I use to identify myself in the media and the arts. When I hear or read it, I am far less likely to find it in the context of its denial.
- I can find, fairly easily, reading material, institutions, media representations, etc. which give attention specifically to people of my sexual identity.
- I can feel certain that normal everyday language will include my sexual identity (“straight and gay alike”, “gay and lesbian”, etc.)
- If I am cisgender, I am far less likely to suffer from intimate violence.
- If I am cisgender, I am less likely to suffer from depression or to contemplate suicide.
- If I am cisgender, I am far less likely to suffer from poverty.
- I am more likely to feel comfortable being open about my sexual identity at work.
- I have access to information about the prevalence of STI’s in my community as well as prevention methods that are suitable for me.
- If I live in a city, I can expect to find medical care that will suit my own particular needs.
- I am less likely to risk my health by avoiding medical treatment.
- Wronging me on grounds of my sexual identity or sexual behaviour is taken seriously:
- Those who wrong me are expected to know that it is hurtful, and are considered accountable whether or not they intended to wrong me.
- I have easy access to people who understand that this wrong is unacceptable, and who will support me.
- I have easy access to resources and people to educate someone who wronged me, if I am not feeling up to it.
- If I am being wronged, I can expect that others who are around will notice
- When I express my sexual identity in my daily life, I can reasonably expect not to be considered unstable, unreliable, indecisive, untrustworthy or in need of help.
- I can worry about issues specific to people of my sexual identity group without being seen as self-interested, self-seeking or divisive.
- I can remain oblivious of the language, culture, history and politics of bisexuality*** and bisexual people*** without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
- I have the privilege of not being aware of my privileges.
* Cisgender means any person who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth, i.e. non-transgender or genderqueer.
** Heteropatriarchy means heterosexual male rule.
*** Bisexual = ♥ people of same gender/gender presentations as yourself + ♥ people of different genders/gender presentations as yourself.
READ THIS. this is absolutely and painfully true. painfully. READ THIS.
Discrimination hurts us all. But neither the straight nor the gay sides seem to feel that way.
I hear it when, while joking about what a terrible gay I am because I’ve never seen Rocky Horror, a lesbian friend chips in with “No, you’re a terrible gay because you have a boyfriend.” I hear it when my brother, after a night of drinking in which we both flirt with the same woman, says he’ll make me an omelet “only if you promise never to fake-lesbian cock-block me ever again.” My Bisexual Guilt, Persephone Magazine (2012)
A primary manifestation of biphobia is the denial of the very existence of bisexual people, attributable to the fact that many cultures think in binary categories, with each category having its mutually exclusive opposite. This is powerfully evident in the areas of sex and gender. Male and female, and heterosexuality and homosexuality are seen as “opposite categories.” Those whose sexual orientation defies simple labeling or those whose sex or gender is ambiguous may make us profoundly uncomfortable.
Thus, bisexuals create discomfort and anxiety in others simply by the fact of our existence. We are pressured to remain silent, as our silence allows the dominant culture to exaggerate the differences between heterosexual and homosexual and to ignore the fact that human sexuality exists on a continuum. It is much less threatening to the dominant heterosexual culture to perpetuate the illusion that homosexuals are “that category, way over there,” very different from heterosexuals. If “they” are extremely different, heterosexuals do not have to confront the possibility of acknowledging same-sex attractions within themselves and possibly becoming “like them.” There is considerable anxiety in being forced to acknowledge that the “other” is not as different from you as you would like to pretend. Robyn Ochs: Biphobia (via ace-muslim)