Q:. My friends had told me that coming out as bi would be way easier than full gay, that the reaction would be positive, and so I was completely unprepared for all the nastiness that came my way. I didn't have access to any resources like this, which would have made coming out so much easier. Thanks for being here
And please pay heed followers! Coming out as bi is not easier than coming out as gay or lesbian. In fact, from my experience, the people you come out to are likelier to argue with you and try to convince you that you’re actually straight (i.e. push you back into the closet), or to drop 1001 other biphobic stereotypes at you in response.
And please remember that you don’t have to come out, and that if being closeted means protecting yourself from harm, you are by no means obligated to come out to anyone, now or ever.
some informational venn diagrams on bisexuality
I am pretty sure that being perceived as straight while in a relationship with a woman, explicitly being exempt from being called diseased by family members and not having to fear negative consequences like getting fired from talking about my relationship, counts as some kind of privilege?
Hint: it’s straight privilege.
fun facts for you, studies have actually found that bisexuals have similar or higher levels of STI infections compared to gay and lesbian monosexuals, probably because of the lack of bisexual-friendly health care; one of the first times bisexuals ever got any public attention was during the midst of the aids crisis when straight people were blaming us for spreading aids to them; and bisexual men are not allowed to donate blood in the U.S. and a bunch of other countries either and any of their female sexual partners have to wait six months after their last sexual encounter to donate. bisexuals getting called diseased? check.
more fun facts! the pew research survey of lgbt americans found that a high percentage of gay and lesbian monosexuals reported that their work places were very accepting of their identity than bisexuals—60% of gay men and half of lesbian women, compared to 44% of bisexuals. this probably contributes to the fact that, while only 8% of gay men and 6% of lesbians say that they are not out at their place of work, over half of bisexuals report being closeted at work.
as for being perceived at straight-weirdly enough, that’s not a phenomenon exclusive to bisexuality! it’s almost as if we live in a heteronormative society in which anyone not doing something explicitly not straight at this very moment is automatically assumed to be straight (excluding people with non-conforming gender expressions, who are automatically assumed to be not straight)—oh wait, we do! and yet no one ever says that gay and lesbian monosexuals who are not in a relationship, or who are stopping by the grocery store to pick up some cereal without their significant other, have straight privilege! i wonder why?
oh right. biphobia. that’s why.
Bi word of the day: sapphobia
It’s Saturday - the last day of Bi Visibility Week, where we reclaim the day to bi women’s issues from the original (problematic) choice of allies as daily theme.
Disclaimer: for anyone who thinks sapphobia is an inappropriate word because “Sappho wasn’t bisexual” go and read this and get out of my post kthx.
[TW: discussion of sexual violence, rape culture, slut shaming, suicidality, and other forms of oppression against bi women]
Sapphobia is a new word coined just a few months ago by bi tumblr blogger mercurialvixen describing misogyny aimed against bisexual women. A new word for an existing concept, sapphobia helps us discuss and define bi women’s particular experience of biphobia, as separate from bi people of other genders, as well as from women of other sexual identities.
Sapphobia happens when biphobia and misogyny intersect. It happens when the media presents bi women as particularly exciting sex toys, existing solely for the viewing and pleasure of cishet men. It happens when bi women are objectified and have their sexual autonomy denied because of their bisexuality. Sapphobia happens when bi women are considered as “privileged” over bi men because of their “increased visibility”, even as this objectifying, fetishizing visibility causes violence against them.
Sapphobia happens when bi women are constantly presumed as being available and willing for sex for cishet men, and it happens when cishet men feel entitled for sex with bi women. It happens when bi women are asked “Can I join?” when they display their bisexuality publicly. It happens when they get asked for threesomes whenever their bisexuality becomes known. Sapphobia happens when people don’t even bother to ask, but simply assume that it’s okay and then do it. It happens when bi women need to lie and say that they’re lesbian in order to avoid sexual violence.
Sapphobia happens when terms like “barsexual” and “party bisexual” are used to slut shame bisexual and bi-curious women. It happens when women say: “not all bisexuals are like that”. It happens when bi women who kiss each other in public are accused of causing sexual violence against other bi and queer women, rather than the men who perpetuate this violence.
Sapphobia is a reality in which almost 50% of bi women are rape survivors, and 75% are survivors of sexual assault.
Sapphobia happens when bisexual rape and sexual violence survivors are accused of their own trauma because “they had it coming”. It happens when they are silenced from speaking about their traumatic experiences or naming them as biphobic. It happens when sapphobic sexual violence is subsumed under lesbophobia but “being attracted to men” is still considered a privilege. Sapphobia happens when bi women are told there’s no difference between their experience and that of lesbians and that “lesbophobia” covers them as well, but are then shouted down for using “lesbian” terms. Sapphobia happens when bi women’s existence and contributions to queer women’s culture are erased, silenced and denied.
Sapphobia is slurs like “bihet”, “breeder”, “bislut" or "dickworshipper" and the belief that what defines bi women is their relation to cishet men. Sapphobia is the presumption that bi women are bisexual for the sake of cishet men. It’s the presumption that bi women are actually straight because apparently cishet men are so superior that no bi woman can withstand them. It’s the presumption that all bi women are even into cishet men at all.
Sapphobia is a reality in which 45% of bisexual women have considered or attempted suicide. It’s a reality in which bi women have the lowest levels of social support, and the highest rates of depression and anxiety. It’s when bisexual women suffer from poorer general health than any other sexual identity group, and are far more likely to be in poverty. (Source #1, source #2).
Sapphobia is a reality where, over a century after the word “bisexuality” was invented, no word for sapphobia existed until just a few months ago.
Now that it’s here, we can understand it better. Learn it, use it, and utilize it to break heteropatriarchy.
Okay let’s get something straight:
Lady Gaga used both the word “straight” and the word “gay” in her Instagram photo description. That everyone thinks this indicates anything other than bisexuality just shows how eager everyone is to deny that Lady Gaga is bisexual.
My famous bisexuals photoset has been getting around tumblr in the past few days
And I swear to god, if I could have a dime for each comment that says “X is not really bi, though, because [insert reason]” I would have had just a little more money in life.
Bisexual Awareness Day: An Important New Study by HRC
Today is Bisexual Awareness Day, and HRC released a report along with BiNet USA, Bisexual Resource Center, and the Bisexual Organization Project that is very important in further understanding the stigmatization that many in the bisexual and pansexual community face on a regular basis.
This is an incredibly important conversation to have and continue having until those with any and all sexualities and gender identities are welcomed within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community.
Kristin also weighed in with her own experience on the issue in an article on the same topic released today by Autostraddle.