ONTD Political

Advice Columnist Smacks Down Biphobe: Dear Lady A: Skeptical about the B

8:06 pm - 03/18/2012

There is not a bisexual person anywhere on the planet who hasn't at one time or another been subjected to this type of insulting nonsense. And while we all know not a word of it is true, usually we are too busy being horrified/hurt/angry to think of the just the right stinging retort that will not only put the boorish person in their place but will also let in actually truth and light. Well no worries, bisexual heroine Lady A, the advice columnist for the Chicago Phoenix has done it for us in this polite, factual but stinging retort to an obnoxious ignoramus.

Lady A is a headmistress with an emphasis on head. She may even spank you. But only if you like that kind of thing.DEAR LADY A: The people I know who claim they’re bi are attention-seeking and creepy. I honestly think, of the “bisexuals” I know, the guys are just gays who can’t emotionally handle being gay, and the women are trying to keep potential boyfriends interested with the promise of threesomes. Are actual bisexuals even real? If so, where are they hiding?~~ Real Homo, Skeptical About The B in LGBT

DEAR DOUBTING HOMO: I’m not hiding and I’m bisexual, so your statement is really more about your own mistrust, isn’t it? It is the worst kind of queer self-sabotage to imply that a sexuality simply cannot be, because you can’t personally imagine it. It’s also ironic. Normally, I have a special contempt for assholes who attempt to inform me that my bisexuality is an urban myth promoted by terrified queens or an affectation I employ to impress my boyfriends. But I will try to exercise patience with you. I will even try to see it from your perspective for a moment.

To pretend like some haven’t used bisexuality as a “gateway drug” to gay or a boy-bewitching sexual tactic, would be disingenuous. Yes, there are folks who, for reasons including self-delusion, hipster trend-grubbing, or maybe just an attempt to earn better money at the stripper pole, might be bisexual pretenders. There are also straight pretenders and gay pretenders, but that doesn’t make you any less gay, does it, sir? And those gay pretenders, by the way, are sometimes boys and girls who love both boys and girls, but felt so unfairly judged by members of their own LGBT community that they actually went back into the bi closet by “picking a side.”

Bi Definition: Teacher Defines BisexualityBut for the most part, people who call themselves bi, flexible, curious or any other similar designation, are telling you the truth. You know how I know? Because it’s hard to be bi. Society immediately thinks the boys are lying and the girls are sluts, they’re queer but they’re not, they’re straight but they’re not, and they are generally just assigned the convenient homo or hetero sexuality that happens to coincide with their most current partner. They’re also some of the least supported queers in terms of organized help and education … And that’s not fun. So they must have a damned good reason (like the fact that they’ve realized they don’t give a fuck what you or society thinks they ought to be) for standing up and saying who they really are. Just like you had a damned good reason for telling the world who you really are, sir.

So, in answer to your question: Yes, bisexuals are real, and yes, they’re sometimes hiding in your ranks, and could possibly be one of your closest friends or lovers. Being fearful of something you don’t understand and can’t control is scary, isn’t it? On the bright side, now you know how homophobes feel.

I’m bi. No lie. Get used to it.

Lady A is a headmistress with an emphasis on head. She may even spank you. But only if you like that kind of thing. She can be found in the Chicago Phoenix, on Facebook, Twitter as well as all the best places to see and be seen (and sometimes even do), in Chicago.

SOURCE: Chicago Phoenix: Dear Lady A | tumblr: Bi Definition | The Bilerico Project | Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations |

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suzycat 19th-Mar-2012 12:34 am (UTC)
Hooray for Lady A!

I am not bisexual but like many straight people have felt occasional attractions not great enough to act upon, but great enough to make me question binary concepts like straight and gay. I honestly find it difficult to understand how truly honest people could NOT believe in bisexuals.

Edited at 2012-03-19 12:34 am (UTC)
kalikahuntress 19th-Mar-2012 12:43 am (UTC)
THIS so much and I have had similar experiences as well. It always makes me want to ask since many straight people have shared my experience, why is it so hard to believe in bisexuality?
slinkslowdown 19th-Mar-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
Major love for Lady A. ♥

I'm pansexual and have experienced both biphobia and panphobia [did I just make up a word there... ?]. What bothers me most is when people tell me I'm not pansexual, I'm just a confused bisexual trying to be ~hipster~ or some shit.
bluelarkspur 19th-Mar-2012 12:48 am (UTC)
I'll never understand this need to analyze or pass judgement on someone else's sexual identity. I guess I can get someone's motives for not personally wanting to date someone bi, but this dude (and so many others) just seem to sit around thinking about it. Just let it be. It really is similar to homophobes' need to think about someone's motives for being gay instead of just accepting that other people are different and living their own lives.

Good point also about bi invisibility. I've known a couple people, where I was surprised to learn it. You naturally assume that a girl with a guy is straight and a guy with a guy is gay, etc. When I ran into a girl after she dumped her bf and was dating a woman, I assumed she was had been closeted or just realized her sexuality, not that she was bi. So the people who stick out as bi in our minds are the guys who loudly repeat that they're bi, not gay, and the girls who make out with girls when in their boyfriends' laps (not that either of these are wrong or automatically mean that they're not really bi.)
lil_insanity 19th-Mar-2012 01:43 am (UTC)
Yep. I can't tell you how many times I've heard things like, "But how many women have you slept with?" and "If it was only one, how do you know it wasn't a fluke?"

Yeah, just because I've found more males that I'm compatible with than females doesn't mean I'm any less bi. There's just WAY, WAY, WAY less eligible L/B/Q women around here than straight men.
pandaseal 19th-Mar-2012 12:58 am (UTC)
That was a thing of beauty. LG biphobes need to stay pressed forever. (This isn't to ignore bigoted straight people, but I expect a less than nuanced view of sexuality from straight folks.)
bialogue 19th-Mar-2012 01:05 am (UTC)
Yes! A thing people constantly fail to realize.
chimbleysweep 19th-Mar-2012 01:12 am (UTC)
I love how people can't trust us scary bisexual folks because we'll allegedly never be satisfied.

Oh. And how are any straight or gay people satisfied by a single partner? NOT THAT DIFFICULT TO COMPREHEND.
danger0usbeans 19th-Mar-2012 03:09 am (UTC)
This. I am so sick of people insisting that I have to be a lesbian now because my wife and I are committed and monogamous.
bostondreamer 19th-Mar-2012 01:14 am (UTC)
Only some of my closest friends know that I'm bi. I've tried coming out to my mom, but she kind of dismissed it as a phase and I've never brought it up again. I tried coming out to my roommate, but because I've never dated a girl she thinks that "I can't possibly be bisexual." (her exact words)

I'm still in the closet to the majority of people in my life because of the social stigma bisexuals have. While the two relationships I've been in have been with men (and I do tend to prefer men), there are women I've been romantically interested in but I'm still too scared to act on those feelings.

ugh :/

but on a happier note, this is an awesome piece and the OP should feel awesome for posting it
foureyedgirl 19th-Mar-2012 02:50 am (UTC)
I'm in almost the same boat as you except I won't ever dream of coming out to my family, mother especially because she's a super religious fundie who thinks people 'choose'/'become' lgbt. My sister and a very few friends know but other than that I think I'm going to stay in.
nyxelestia 19th-Mar-2012 01:15 am (UTC)
I tend to just ask people if they've ever heard of the Kinsey scale, and tell them it's not my problem if they believe me or not, I'm still bi.
redstar826 19th-Mar-2012 01:20 am (UTC)
question about language (and sorry, not quite sure how to word this)-does talking about biphobia specifically from lesbians and gay men imply that lesbians and gay men are privileged over bi people? Because when we talk about homophobia we are also talking about straight privilege, and when we talk about transphobia we are also talking about cis privilege.
lil_insanity 19th-Mar-2012 01:52 am (UTC)
Well, I've definitely gotten a lot more discrimination from L/G people than from straight people. But I'm sure there's some sort of argument that since bisexuals can "choose to pass" as straight (hah... obviously that statement is problematic for several reasons), they are privileged over gay people. Shrug.
xballroomblitz 19th-Mar-2012 01:23 am (UTC)
Just to let you know, your full address is listed in the "location" part of this post..
bialogue 19th-Mar-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind concern, however it's ok in this case becasue Bialogue = Bisexual + Dialogue is a (very) long-running bisexual political action/social justice group, not an individual. Additionally the address is for the Chicago Phoenix who are the actual publishers of Lady A's wonderful columns and we are just being very careful to give all credit back to them (they deserve it).
justspaz 19th-Mar-2012 01:27 am (UTC)
I came out to my mother and father as bisexual, although now I identify more biromantic (homosexual), but still remember reading such hurtful biphobic things when I was figuring out I wasn't straight, especially from the LG aspect of the spectrum. It hurt to imagine that, after all my life feeling like I couldn't find people like myself and then coming to terms with the fact that there was this community, they didn't even really feel comfortable with me there.

(Also, I have a lot of queer feels right now; I just saw Andrea Gibson perform and have no way to articulate how amazing it was).

PS: Why have I never heard of Lady A before? She's amazing.
endlos_schleife 19th-Mar-2012 01:47 am (UTC)
completely OT but Andrea Gibson is absolutely amazing. (sorry I just had to say that).

belleweather 19th-Mar-2012 01:41 am (UTC)
So, I've been out as bi for years in my personal life, but I haven't been involved with a woman since 2004. I just started a new job which, God willing and the creek don't rise, will be my life-long career. I'm also married to a (bi) guy and we have kids, so we look super, super straight to the eye that don't know any better. There's a brown-bag lunch meeting for the GLBT career group at my work coming up and I'd really like to go, but I don't know -- should I go, or no?
lil_insanity 19th-Mar-2012 01:58 am (UTC)
Is there some sort of chairperson you can contact? Ideally it should be fine for you to attend, but maybe there's some way you could gauge the mood of the group.
endlos_schleife 19th-Mar-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
I think I've been pretty lucky so far. Most people at my college* and everyone at home that I've told about my sexuality don't give a shit about it. When I told my friend that my relationship with a woman is likely not to be a one-time thing she just shrugged, "meh, doesn't matter (to me)".

*There has been the occasional stare or dumb comment from people but nothing to the extent that I would consider it biphobic. on second thought this makes me kind of worried about the real world.
chaya 19th-Mar-2012 02:00 am (UTC)
My favorite reaction to explaining to a coworker (a fellow server) that I liked men and women was being asked if I had a vagina and a penis.

salienne 19th-Mar-2012 02:02 am (UTC)
*Blink. Blink.*

Well then.
kijikun 19th-Mar-2012 02:06 am (UTC)
I've had people tell me I can't be bi, I must just be confused and not want to come all the way out of the closet. I've also been told I can't talk about queer issues because I'm bi so "I don't count". I've also had people assume I'll sleep with anyone because I'm bi. D:
lil_insanity 19th-Mar-2012 02:22 am (UTC)
I've experienced all of these as well.
themistressmoon 19th-Mar-2012 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh god, this.

I've been told--by gay and straight people alike--that I only say I'm bisexual because I either want to be "edgy" (because liking the same sex is so taboo) and still have it be acceptable to date men, or that I'm really a lesbian and just want to convince myself I still like men to hold on to some semblance of feeling normal, or some such bullshit.

And when I came out to my parents, my father hopped on the "bisexual people are promiscuous" bandwagon by telling me, and I quote, "All 'bisexual' means is you'll fuck anyone." (It was not a pleasant coming out.)

I have been ranting about this for so long.
dangerousdame 19th-Mar-2012 02:26 am (UTC)
Brb going to read all of Lady A's stuff.
ouronlylight 19th-Mar-2012 02:34 am (UTC)
This woman is awesome.

Speaking of bisexuality, does anyone have any resources for those who are questioning if they're bi? I've suspected this about myself for a while now, but I came out as questioning to my friends last weekend in a therapeutic attempt to be more honest and open, and while they were super about it, I'm kind of freaking out now that I've said it out loud and put a label on what I'm feeling. I've never been with anyone, either, so this is just compounding my confusion. :(
elialshadowpine 19th-Mar-2012 03:10 am (UTC)
I don't have links off-hand, but I've been there and dealt with a lot of freaking out over whether or not I was and whether or not I "counted", and if you ever want to talk to anyone, feel free to message me :)
tabaqui 19th-Mar-2012 02:39 am (UTC)
Wheeeee! Awesome. I've identified as bi for years, but since am in an opposite-sex relationship, i don't get much flack. It still pisses me the hell off, though, when i hear the babble about bi women being 'sluts' or 'easy', and bi men being 'too scared to be really gay' or whatever the fuck.

I've had crushes on girls since middle school, and actual sexual 'ships with a few, too - doesn't make me a slut, and having an opposite-sex SO and a child doesn't make me a 'faker' or 'confused but now straight'.

I am who i am.
fishphile 19th-Mar-2012 03:11 am (UTC)
On the bright side, now you know how homophobes feel

Uh, no. Just no.

I liked a ton of what was said, but I can't co-sign this line. Internalized homophobia is obviously a thing, but this is not a good line to me.

That said, I've realized the almost annual internal "am I really bi?" check I do every year comes a lot from the whole "pick a side" or "you're lying" rhetoric that is often quoted to bisexual people.
kyra_neko_rei 19th-Mar-2012 03:31 am (UTC)
I think she meant the feeling of misunderstanding/dislike/fear, not the direction it was aimed.

So it wouldn't be internalized homophobia, but an external phobia toward someone different. A "you're tainting gayness with straightness," rather than a "I'm getting gayness all over myself."
elialshadowpine 19th-Mar-2012 03:18 am (UTC)
This lady is awesome, no lie.

Being pansexual has been pretty frustrating at times. While I don't think I ever expected straight people to "get it", what's really been upsetting to me is the flack I've gotten from gay/lesbian folks over it. Add to that, I'm poly, and there's another level of issues. I've had people tell me that I can't possibly be interested in a woman for myself, that I just want to please my husband, despite being very specific that we aren't a package deal. Never mind the slut comments.

I don't blame people a bit for deciding to choose one side or the other, because I very nearly did at one point. I was having a lot of difficulties with the guys I knew, and I was dealing with a lot of crap for being pan, and I was just like, "Screw it, I'll stick to women." And then I met the guy I later married, and, well, yeah.

On top of that, it's also frustrating because even people who are friendly toward bi people assume that it's a 50/50 attraction. In my case, I'm somewhere around a 4/4.5 on the Kinsey scale. I'm not generally attracted to men, with a few exceptions, and the personality traits I'm attracted to, I generally find more often in women. I've had people ask "Well if you're bi, why aren't you drooling over *such-and-such 'hot' male*?".

kijikun 19th-Mar-2012 03:28 am (UTC)
Oh god, the slut comments are just so much fun aren't they? I'm poly leaning and the shit I've gotten in some corners of fandom of all places when people realize that I'm interested in multi-person relationships outside of ways to pair up characters.
tnganon 19th-Mar-2012 03:47 am (UTC)
On the bright side, now you know how homophobes feel

this is a really inappropriate comparison to make
maclyn 19th-Mar-2012 04:02 am (UTC)
lunchy 19th-Mar-2012 04:28 am (UTC)
I know that I've felt like I can't say that I'm bi because everyone who knows me knows that I'm in a seriously relationship with a man. "Oh, you say you're going to marry him? That means you're straight." I felt like even among some gay friends I couldn't say anything because I would be seen as a straight girl trying to fit in with the gay guys. I even for a while questioned if I was bi because I was with a man for so long. Situations like that just really suck. One might expect to find camaraderie within the LGBT community, and it sucks when it seems like those people are putting you down the most.
bialogue 19th-Mar-2012 06:21 am (UTC)
I've felt like I can't say that I'm bi because everyone who knows me knows that I'm in a seriously relationship with a man. "Oh, you say you're going to marry him? That means you're straight."

sadly you're not alone and this kind of invalidation of who you actually are in your heart can be so hurtful, but luckily in most places it's a dying relic of an early time that (kicking and screaming as it goes) is being shown to the dust-bin of history

FYI in the more formal definition of bisexuality it notes: No matter what the gender/gender presentation of the person they are partnered with, bisexual people remain bisexual. They do not suddenly switch orientation as if by magic when they enter into a relationship.

yeats 19th-Mar-2012 04:30 am (UTC)
ha, csb.... i spent YEARS thinking that i wasn't a bisexual, that the side of myself that was interested in dudes was just a manifestation of my own internalized homophobia, that obviously i was a lesbian and was too afraid to admit so my brain was just making up being attracted to men because i was at heart a dishonest person.

self-directed biphobia -- THE ACTUAL WORST.

Edited at 2012-03-19 04:31 am (UTC)
bialogue 19th-Mar-2012 06:03 am (UTC)
self-directed biphobia -- THE ACTUAL WORST

maclyn 19th-Mar-2012 04:35 am (UTC)
I think when I was younger I probably believed that 'monosexual' people (hate that term tbh) had it a bit better than me but looking back I think it's because I was, at that time, totally closeted except to people I didn't otherwise know who were queer, and desperately looking for somewhere that I fit, and I was a teenager and everything was all intense, and I think that every little rejection was really hurtful. Now I'm not saying that getting some shit for being bi isn't hurtful but I'm not at all comfortable saying that LG folk have privilege over me, because it just can't be substantiated like other actual privileges can be. When I look back a lot of things that at the time my mind jumped to thinking were down to me being bi were largely down to misogyny from men, problems femme women sometimes encounter etc.

Obviously some people have prejudices and that can cause you problems if you're bi, but know what I mean, nobody ever pushed me down a staircase specifically because I was bi, that stuff happened because of being queer, and it sure as shit wasn't LG people doing it. It's gross and wrong to compare queer people to homophobes, end of story.
mushroomnoomi 19th-Mar-2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
I was totally OK with the 'now you know how homophobes feel' line but now I'm not sure. Damn you intelligent commenter.

Edited at 2012-03-19 04:29 pm (UTC)
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