Touching the Third Rail, Bisexual Identity
To emphasize just how confusing and stupid Chris Cristie's stance on “ex-gay therapy” is, John Aravosis recently said,
|"Gov. Christie is bi on gays" Americablog Article|
"The spokesman declined, however, to say whether Christie would support the legislation banning the phony therapy. So in other words, Chris Christie is bi. Or maybe bi-curious, or simply ‘questioning.’ As I noted the other day, the entire notion of “curing” gays is laughable..."- Gov. Christie is bi on gays
Aravosis clearly associates sickness with social intolerance and I would agree, if not for his use of the bisexual orientation to emphasize just how horrible ex-gay conversion is! Ex-gay therapy has been used on many people with no success, including me. When I shot a video for Wayne Besen ofTruthWinsOut.org, it was hard for me to talk about being "prayed on" or having "my demons called out". After growing up in a black Pentecostal church, I was real blessed to reconcile my spirituality with a fundamentalist upbringing. From Pentecostal fire I jumped raised fist first right into being a radical black lesbian. Eventually though coming out as bisexual became a necessity, for too long I was a lesbian to my gay friends and a bisexual to my straight ones.
Like so many bisexuals, I've always been "something kinda queer" but how "out" I was depended on my safety and circumstances. Being an out bi person in queer spaces was usually hurtful because of the incessant feeling that gay people SHOULD understand me better, instead of writing me off as a the rare half-breeder or regular ol' liar and cheat. Being out in straight spaces meant immediate offers to discuss my sex life or threesomes, but better that than ridicule! At least the straight people don’t want me trapped in their closet, so much as tied to their bed. Recently the wife of a NYC mayoral candidate was outed as having a history of sexual fluidity, and subsequent reporting by gay and straights was gossipy, rude, and overtly biphobic. "Not only was she in interracial marriage but she used to be a LESBIAN!", as if any one person would dare to break so many rules at once. Have gay and straight people found something to really agree on? Are bisexuals the third rail in identity politics?
If like John Aravosis you say,
"I'm one of the few gay people I know who believes you even exist, and has defended you publicly"
you can basically piss off because we'd like you to stop pissing in our face. Stop pretending that believing we exist is the same as believing we matter! We matter because we created Pride and testified against DADT. We matter because we are the barrier breakers and boundary makers. And we should matter MORE now that we're dying in a silent epidemic of self-inflicted overdoses, snapped necks and lacks of nets.
For while the gay and lesbian community tout statistics on the poverty levels of the "LGBT" community they neglect the fact bisexuals are more impoverished than gay and lesbians. By A LOT. If you are bisexual, contrary to popular opinion you have LESS privilege than a gay or straight person. If you identify as bisexual things will shake out worse for you than gays, lesbians OR straights in: health outcomes, sexual assault, rape, stalking, smoking, substance abuse, alcoholism, breast cancer detection, domestic violence, depression and/or anxiety. But what will really make you want to kill yourself is being told by well-meaning queer folks that YOU’VE got it BETTER than anyone else. It's one way to maintain a stigmatizing gaze on us creatures of complexity, for we know the truth: we're the devil that gay people get in bed with, only to use us up and pretend they've got a prayer breakfast in the morning. Even though we've been part of the rainbow from the beginning these days bi, pan, fluid, and queer folks are being betrayed by the gays who say they love us.
As gay people keep trying to do math with invisible numbers, we majority of the LGBT community need to rise up! We must insist being bisexual isn’t something we'll ever be cured from! We must reject attempts to erase and eradicate our lives with jokes, harassment and hate. As we near a day where gay marrieds are just as smug as straight, bisexual people are still fighting for their lives with $0 in resources. Try as one might to dismantle our orientation as "binary" (like a lesbian who won't sleep with men would care!) or a "passing phase", we who exist will ALWAYS exist and we will keep shaking our fists!