I personally don’t identify as bisexual, and find the word problematic not because of the gender binary issue, but because I find it too simplistic to encompass the various types of orientations, identities and experiences in one neat term.
There are some people who are biromantic, and can love either gender, while others are more fluid in orientation. Then there are many people who strongly prefer one gender for relationships, while their attraction to the other is more physical. I believe that the aforementioned scenarios are all completely different orientations, and should be seen as such.
If you didn’t catch it earlier, here’s the podcast of myself and two other members of Bi+ Ireland talking bisexuality with the absolutely lovely people at PrideTime on NearFM. And answering forever the question of what I actually sound like in real life 😉
I’m so damn proud of what we’re doing with this group.
In what we call the bi+ or nonmonosexual communities, we have a problem with words. We have so many words to describe ourselves, not one of which keeps us all happy. We in-fight, we argue, and when we do, the word that takes the worst of the damage? Is ‘bisexual’.
I want to argue for ‘bisexual’. I want to say that bisexuality is nothing to do with men and women, nothing to do with binary gender or any of the accusations levelled against it. I want to say that it is, in fact, the single word that best describes the particularities of our experiences, and that has the potential to be incredibly politically powerful if we allow it to be. I want to argue that when we talk about nonmonosexuality, the most important thing isn’t the precise genders or gender presentations of the people we fancy. While that is really interesting to us all on personal levels, when it comes to representation and activism, it shouldn’t be our main focus. Instead, our focus should be on the ways in which society- including us, because we are part of society- behaves towards those of us who are attracted to and/or have (had) relationships with people of more than one gender.
This isn’t about relationships. It’s not about the people who you or I do or don’t fancy. It’s not about the precise nature of any of our own sexual/romantic orientations. It’s not about who you or I love, or about what that love feels like- although those are immensely valuable conversations to have within our communities, and I hope we keep having them for a long, long time.
Why Bi+ Visibility Matters, from the Bi+ Ireland Network. ‘Nuff said (aside from: B+I is my baby, g’wan over to FB and give it some love? And if you’re bi+ and connected to Ireland, shure you might as well send us a PM over there and join our group. We’re great craic, like.)
Bi visibility is always an odd one. We’re constantly on about being erased, and we’re hyper-critical of anyone who is openly bi. We expect perfect behaviour from our role models. Can’t be too stereotypical. Can’t be seen to be sleeping around too much. If they dare be in a monogamous, long-term relationship, they lose either way. Either they’re taking the easy way out from within nice safe het boundaries, or they’re letting the gay side down