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 |

subversive_kiwi 19th-Mar-2012 09:00 am (UTC)
I don't really know if kyra_neko_rei was intended to shrug off straight people's oppressive behavior... my instinct is that they meant that when it comes to individual cases of prejudice, people tend to react to the event itself, and not the complex roots of biphobia. I can only speak from my own experience, but *damn*, l and g people are totally capable of biphobia. To be honest, I really wish that you had not brushed off the possibility that gay and lesbian people can oppress bi folks. Believe me, I've had "you just don't have the backbone to be gay" thrown at me so many times, and that only got worse when I came out as a nonbinary trans guy (and, I guess, people didn't even know what "gay" or "straight" would mean applied to me anymore).

What I mean to say is, within the queer community, being bi and trans have lost me the privilege of being a known quantity. People have told me straight up that they don't feel they can trust me until I "make a decision," and that I should get the hell out of the LGBT community. So yeah, I do think there's a separate oppression going on there. We can do better than this, and stating that the LGBT community has its issues does not in any way minimize the ways that homophobia is perpetuated by straight people.
redstar826 19th-Mar-2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
be honest, I really wish that you had not brushed off the possibility that gay and lesbian people can oppress bi folks. Believe me, I've had "you just don't have the backbone to be gay" thrown at me so many times

Doesn't oppression go a lot deeper that words though? I mean, anyone can say very hurtful assholish things to another person, but that's not the same thing as facing the threat of violence because of who you are or being told that you can't be equal under the law because of who you are and shit like that. Do LG people really have that kind of power over Bi people?
subversive_kiwi 19th-Mar-2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
Definitely not the threat of violence, as you say. I should clarify that the scope of the two are so ludicrously separate that I would happily cede the point that it is not even appropriate to use the same kind of language to describe biphobia. (Huzzah, I wrote my post at 2:30 in the morning!) In terms of more diffuse power, though, I do think that in many places LG people (and for that matter, generally well-to-do white LG people) are definitely the ones holding the steering wheel in most queer organizations. Bi people can be made to feel that they are extremely unwelcome to the extent that they will fear accessing resources they need, or will go back into the closet because people have made it so clear that they are "tainting the community with their straightness." I know this is an extreme example, but it's one that happened to me - when a very depressed kid is bordering on thoughts of suicide because of their parents' emotional abused regarding being bisexual feels too shamed to go to their school's queer alliance for help, there is definitely something ugly going on.

It may not be intentional, but in a lot of ways the conversation about biphobia tends to swing towards how it is for us in the queer community, I think it is born largely out of pain when even the only support network availble wants nothing to do with do with us.
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