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 |

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.
redstar826 19th-Mar-2012 02:12 am (UTC)
well, I don't know about 'choosing to pass' but a bi person in a long term relationship with someone of the opposite sex is going to pass as straight lot easier than someone who is never going to be in an opposite sex relationship. Although I think there are ways of discussing that without saying that it makes that person less queer or something like that.

I dunno, I feel like a lot of this infighting and a lot of this stuff about how there is only one narrow way to be queer ultimately comes from straight people. I mean, I really don't think that these silly stereotypes about bi people are something that gay people invented.
lil_insanity 19th-Mar-2012 02:19 am (UTC)
I don't know, I personally have gotten the vast majority of crap from lesbians. Sure, I get the occasional "hurr durr does that mean you like threesomes" comment from idiots, but when we're talking about someone really pressing the issue and trying to argue with me about it? It's all been from lesbians who thought I needed to "pick a side" and saw my bisexuality as either a straight girl trying to get attention, or me denying my homosexuality.
kyra_neko_rei 19th-Mar-2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Intersectionality happens. Two people of differing identities can be both less privileged and more privileged than the other, at the same time, because bigotries/prejudice/bias can go in multiple directions.

In the early years of the modern gay-rights movement, there was some degree of mistrust/dislike for the concept of bisexuality because it was believed to interfere with the understanding that gayness was pervasive and unchosen.

And every group will have assholes and purists and the ignorant and the misunderstanding.

I don't know where it ultimately came from, but when people's lived experience involves rejection or contempt or dismissal of identity from gay people, it kind of doesn't really matter where it came from originally so much as where it's coming from now.
softxasxsilence 19th-Mar-2012 03:36 am (UTC)

here we go
salienne 19th-Mar-2012 02:02 am (UTC)
I read "biphobia" as prejudice against bisexuals, without necessarily having privilege attached. That's also how I've seen it used, generally. So I don't think it implies that gay men or women have privilege over bisexuals, nor would that really make sense, particularly given passing privilege if you're with a partner of a different sex.
bialogue 19th-Mar-2012 04:08 am (UTC)
you might want to look at The monosexual privilege checklist put together by Bi radical
redstar826 19th-Mar-2012 04:19 am (UTC)
Are you fucking kidding me with this homophobic bullshit???


softxasxsilence 19th-Mar-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
bialogue is notorious for this nonsense tbh
redstar826 tw: suicide19th-Mar-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
"Society assures me that my sexual identity is real and that people like me exist.

LMAO, right, lesbians are never told that they just haven't met the right man yet.

"When disclosing my sexual identity to others, they believe it without requiring me to prove it."

hell, even when I was in the hospital for a suicide attempt because I didnt want to be gay anymore I get the "but are you sure you are gay??" line from the people who were supposed to be helping me.

I can feel sure that upon disclosing my sexual identity, people accept that it’s my real/actual sexual identity"

Perception/acceptance of my sexual identity is generally independent of my choices of relationships, partners and lifestyle.

see above

I am never considered closeted when disclosing my sexual identity.

okay, seriously, why does this damned list assume that everyone who isn't bi is straight???

I do not have to choose between either invisibility (“passing”) or being consistently “othered” and/or tokenized based on my sexual identity.

ummm, I face those choices all of the time...

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.

ahhhhhahahahaahaha, yeah, I think I am done here.

Edited at 2012-03-19 04:32 am (UTC)
eversofar 19th-Mar-2012 04:20 am (UTC)
is this a fucking joke?
fishphile 19th-Mar-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
Why are you doing this? Why the fuck are you doing this?
zombieroadtrip 19th-Mar-2012 06:33 am (UTC)
Oh fuck off with your tumblr shit
pandaseal 19th-Mar-2012 06:54 am (UTC)
Wait, wtf is this?
paulnolan 19th-Mar-2012 10:43 am (UTC)
mollywobbles867 19th-Mar-2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
No. STOP. Just stop.
margerydaw_s2 19th-Mar-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
That shit is so wrong and so completely not ok. What the flying fuck were you thinking by posting this?
lizzy_someone 19th-Mar-2012 07:05 am (UTC)
I think there is such a thing as monosexual privilege -- I am definitely not supporting the link upthread, it's obviously profoundly wrong, and obviously the intersection of monosexuality and homosexuality makes for a VERY different experience from that of monosexual heterosexuals (a redundant term, I guess, but it's more parallel structure or whatever), and negates most of the privileges of monosexuality. I think there is also such a thing as, I don't know exactly what to call it, but like, not-completely-gay privilege, which bi/pansexuals have, because it's at least theoretically possible to be fulfilled while only having "heterosexual" relationships (heterosexual as in different sex, not as in "this means you're straight now"). Both of these privileges may be privileges in not quite the same sense as straight privilege, white privilege, etc., but for lack of a better word, they're at least quasi-privileges. And of course there is also different-gender partner privilege, which applies regardless of how you identify sexual-orientation-wise but is obviously not unrelated to sexual orientation.

Point is, with all respect, I would submit that perhaps it's not very productive to get hung up on the "Who's the most oppressed of them all?" issue, because it's a complicated thing, and it's entirely possible to be privileged or quasi-privileged in one way but disprivileged in a closely related way, and the important thing is to have discussion about the qualitative nature of different privileges/biases/stigmas/whatever, not to calculate some quantitative comparison of oppression in a zero sum game. (Not that I think oppression is a game, just, you know, that's the expression.)

With the obvious disclaimer that drawing a parallel between two different things is necessarily approximate and not to be taken as equating the two different things, I would draw a parallel between binary and nonbinary trans people. Some (not all, I realize!) nonbinary people are okay with any pronouns and don't have body dysphoria, some don't feel the need to physically transition, can pass as cis and don't mind, etc. Some (again, I realize not all) binary trans people experience strong body dysphoria, face the difficulty of physically transitioning, are constantly referred to with the wrong pronoun, often cannot pass as cis, etc. What I'm trying to say is that it's my impression that binary trans people often face difficulties that nonbinary people are less likely to. I'm guessing parents are more likely to disown a child for being binary trans than nonbinary; I'm guessing binary trans people are more likely to be assaulted, murdered, homeless, slurred, and generally reviled than at least some nonbinary people are. I also think the general public has more awareness that binary transness is a thing that exists. When I fill out paperwork or surveys, I often see a "transgender" box to check (in response to the question "gender," sadly, but that's another story) but very rarely see "genderqueer" or any option other than male, female, and transgender. And some people who are okay with binary trans people are not okay with nonbinary people. Of course, I'm sure there are people who feel the opposite, but I'm thinking of the people I know who think nonbinary people are appropriating and disrespecting binary trans people's experiences.
lizzy_someone 19th-Mar-2012 07:05 am (UTC)
Or take trans men. Do they have male privilege? Sure, because they're male, but in many cases they don't much benefit from their male privilege because they're so often misgendered as female. They're more likely to be raped than cis men, many laws motivated by misogyny (all the anti-contraception, anti-abortion stuff, for instance) can potentially curtail their rights too, etc. I feel like it's a bit of a path to nowhere to argue over whether trans men or cis women are officially More Gender-Oppressed. They're both privileged and disprivileged in some of the same and some different ways. It's complicated shit. So too with biphobia.

I will say, just personally, coming out to people would in most cases be easier if I were gay (in the environment I live in, you understand; I am not claiming this is generally true in the world); I know for a fact many of my acquaintances, straight and gay, would a) understand and b) be cool with it if I were gay, but do not understand and/or do not believe in and/or are not okay with bisexuality. I have never in my life experienced so much biphobia as when I lived with gay people. When I told them I was bisexual, my middle-aged straight cisgender parents believed me and my gay dorm mate did not. Obviously this is not representative of all straight and gay people, but I do think we need some kind of word for unfair bias against bisexual people that straight and some gay people have. I realize that "-phobia" and "privilege" are loaded words/morphemes with a lot of connotations and that may not always be quite right; I would happily consider other words with similar meanings. As I say, it's complicated shit. /ramble
redstar826 19th-Mar-2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
coming out to people would in most cases be easier if I were gay (in the environment I live in, you understand; I am not claiming this is generally true in the world);

See, that is what is killing me in these threads. All of these people who are acting like being gay is easier and saying how straight people were so okay with them and gay people are just like the worst ever is just so fucking hurtful to read. I mean thats awesome that yall apparently seem to have found all these magical non homophobic straight people but holy shit, I would love to have not experience the homophobia I have experienced.

(I know you clarified that you weren't applying your experiences to everyone, but people seem to making this claim all over the place here that gay people are the worst to bisexuals and straight people are oh so cool with it)
maclyn 19th-Mar-2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
I simply don't accept that it's easier to come out as gay. I think this is a gross thing for a queer person to say to someone else. Coming out is never easy, and it's not any easier just because you don't have to explain liking both. You get awkward questions and doubts but just because we have certain specific problems doesn't mean LG people have it easier.
tnganon 20th-Mar-2012 02:39 am (UTC)
I will say, just personally, coming out to people would in most cases be easier if I were gay

you say you're talking about your personal experiences, but you're still extrapolating because you haven't had to come out as gay, so how would you know it would have been easier? as maclyn said, coming out isn't easy for anyone, and to imply otherwise is really unfair.
kishmet 19th-Mar-2012 08:01 am (UTC)
Personally I'd use the word 'heterosexist' to describe discrimination against LGBetc. people by straight people. The -ism/-ist words, to me, are the ones that imply privilege, whereas -phobia/-phobic just relate to discrimination or dislike without conveying privilege or lack thereof. This makes sense in my head because the people in the oppressed group can experience internalized homophobia/cissexism/whatever without holding any more privilege than any other member of the group.

Yeah, it's 3AM so idk if that was coherent or not
angelofdeath275 19th-Mar-2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
does talking about biphobia specifically from lesbians and gay men imply that lesbians and gay men are privileged over bi people?

I've always considered it intra-queer oppression with obvious intersections

eta: ...or prejudice. Yeah, that word fits in better. Cause its not a separate oppression, nor a discrimination...theres no way lesbians and gay men have any type of societal power to opress bisexuals specifically for being gay w/o repercussion from hetero folk

Edited at 2012-03-19 07:32 pm (UTC)
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