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Beyond Biphobia


There's a reason we use LGBT. When I read lesbian and gay, I cringe because I'm not either and couldn't ever be. There's been some recent uproar in the community as the words "same sex" are tossed out the window in favor for "lesbian and gays", words more palatable to the str8s in terms of marriage. I understand the strategy, but much like HRC's "let's not bring in the trans just yet" debacle it speaks volumes of how much work there still is left to do. Via Bialogue, I'm posting a portion of biactivist's Lindasusan's post re: her stand during recent No on 8 mtgs. There was an apology given, but we must remain vigilant and demand that our LGT allies recognize a long invisible people.

Words matter. Not just some of them, and not just some of the time. Just as marriage is not the same as domestic partnership, bringing the entire queer community along is not the same as throwing some of us under the bus.

Names matter. I have chosen to name myself “bisexual” as a political stand for all people whose attractions span beyond one gender. Even as I acknowledge the word’s limitations, I also understand its rich history and its role in determining our real allies.

During last year’s fight over the non-inclusive ENDA, the queer community came together in extraordinary fashion and true solidarity with transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Organizations and individuals across the spectrum expressed justifiable outrage that some of us were being left by the side of the road, with only vague promises of getting picked up at an undetermined later date.

During this season of celebration, where is the outrage on bisexuals’ behalf? My gay and lesbian colleagues didn’t even notice that fundraising emails from nonprofits fighting the ballot measure kept talking about “gay and lesbian” couples. Why didn’t they get angry for me? If people I consider good friends and allies don’t even have my back, who will?

At the time of the ENDA fight, I suspected that if bisexuals were the ones left to wait at the side of the road, we would never have received the same outpouring of support. Sadly, I couldn’t even imagine it. Even more sadly, it turns out I was right.

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