Things are looking good these days for those of us in the gay (umbrella term) community. More and more countries are getting on board with marriage equality.
In countries where it’s still not the law of the land (sigh, Australia), it’s dominating the national consciousness and mainstream media headlines.
Trans issues are everywhere these days too. Even before Caitlyn Jenner broke the internet, the movement was already gaining momentum. Awareness was being raised in a number of ways, notably by Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, but also by an increasingly vocal and visible trans community of engaged, and engaging, writers, bloggers and activists.
But what about bisexuality?…And like with almost anything to do with bisexuality, it’s pretty much invisible and being ignored.
When was the last time a celebrity, sports star or politician graced the front cover of a publication for coming out as bi? When was the last time the internet went crazy with overwhelming positive support for someone embracing their bisexuality?
The reality seems to sadly be, that the bisexual movement has been relegated into the shadows by the marriage equality fight and the trans moment we’re currently experiencing. The prejudices, discrimination and inequality that bisexual people experience, continue to be the same prejudices, discrimination and inequalities that they’ve experienced for decades.
Here’s just a small sample of what I’m talking about:
Bisexuality isn’t real, it’s just a phase
Bi guys are just gay guys who can’t admit it yet
Bisexuals just sleep around / are cheaters/ are selfish
The sad thing is, these sorts of attitudes aren’t just coming from the mainstream, they’re coming from within our own community. Sadder still, the people within our own community who hold these opinions, aren’t necessarily stupid or intentionally bigoted.
I think there are two factors at play here. The first is that these sorts of attitudes have become so entrenched in our collective psyche for so long, that we’ve just come to accept them. For a long time, gay guys were seen to be totally feminine. But increasingly, we’re seeing and hearing from gay guys who challenge this notion. There are some totally “macho” gay guys, that challenge these traditionally held views. They don’t look, sound or present as what was traditionally thought of as gay, so community expectations and opinions have changed accordingly. The majority of people now know, from having seen it for themselves, that gay gays can fall anywhere on the spectrum of masculinity-femininity.
The second factor at play is that bisexuality hasn’t been as visible as gay, lesbian and trans issues have been. This lack of visibility has resulted in a lack of access to information, information that can and would challenge these stereotypes head on. As a result, negative stereotypes have continued to be perpetuated, with no clear and loud voice opposing or challenging them for a very long time.
Hence we find ourselves in an entrenched position. Negative stereotypes about bisexuality continue to exist as they have for decades, and there’s no one really cutting through in the media (either gay or mainstream media) to cut out the bullshit.
I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know how we go from where we are now, to a place where bisexuality is welcomed, embraced, respected and fully understood within our own community. But I’m open to letting this blog be a platform for a conversation to happen about bisexuality. If you know someone, or are someone, who would like to share your thoughts and opinions about bisexuality, please feel free to contact me.