Happy Bi Visibility Day!
Unsurprisingly, I’ve been thinking about bisexuality even more than usual today. I knew that I wanted to say something about it. About why it’s important. Why Bi Visibility Day is a big deal to me. It took me until now to really click on what I wanted to say. After all, I’ve already written my bi manifesto. And because there are some incredibly insightful commenters ‘round here, my addendum to my bi manifesto.
Here’s what I’ve got today:
Bi people get a lot of shtick from gay people. While some of this is straight-up biphobia, there’s another facet that’s far more complex: the idea that bisexuality is always a privileged category with respect to gayness.
It looks self-evident at first glance. Gay people experience homophobia and heterocentricism. These things are Bad. Bi people are sometimes in same-sex relationships (where they experience homophobia too) but sometimes in different-sex relationships. Different-sex relationships are considered the norm, so the people in them must be privileged, right? And this means that bi people get to spend half their time benefiting from privilege and have an all-round easier time of it.
It’s a pity that it’s straight-up wrong. You see, when people talk about bisexuals as being privileged in all ways with respect to lesbian and gay people, they miss one of the most important facets of human experience: the need to belong.
Coming out as anything isn’t easy. But in most cases, gay people have somewhere to come out into- the gay community. Everyone knows that most cities have gay spaces. And when gay people get into relationships, they can feel reasonably secure that the person they’re with isn’t overtly homophobic.
I’m not saying that this is always the case. But in general? There are spaces for gay people.
Bi people don’t have that. I said some things last year about this. Here: