I’m an out bi man. I’m often mistaken on blogs for a gay man, because I talk about LGBT rights issues from the standpoint of someone who’s affected by them, and I have a man’s name. The idea that I might be something else is not considered. The ‘B’ and ‘T’ in LGBT is often silent or taken for granted, and from my perspective as a bisexual, we often get discriminated with in the midst of what’s supposed to be our community.
Bisexuals are threatening, both to heterosexuals and homosexuals. Sarah In Chicago writes that some biphobia in the LGBT community might come from a fear that bisexuals will be used as evidence that gay people can ‘change’. Mythago makes the comment that the lesbian communities’ biphobia is responsible for so many bi women winding up with men.
I personally have experienced curses and insults from within fellow marchers at a pride parade, calling me a slut, a fake fag, and a ‘try-sexual’. We also frequently got ignored or shunted to the side in public debates, and some times in events. I’ve been told that bi people don’t really exist, that it’s just a fad, that I’m really one orientation or another, and that I absolutley must make up my mind one day if I’m straight or gay because my partner will leave me if I don’t.
I’ve also had to deal with the inevitable bisexual/polyamory link. There’s the fear that bisexuals might push for polyamorous marriages to be legal, and that would hurt the same sex marriage movement I’m not sure if that’s biphoba or polyphobia. I know I’m guilty of it whatever it is. I’ve avoided speaking up for multipartner relationships in order to keep the conversation on track about same sex marriages. I always feel a bit like I’m betraying something when I do that, especially considering I’m polyamorous.
As bad as this makes it sound, it’s not all that bad. It’s subtle and small, like if I go into a gay coffee shop with a female and snuggle in, I get sneered at, if I go in with a man, no one notices, but if I go in with a woman, I’ve gotten asked to ‘stop the display’ when we weren’t doing anything I hadn’t done with one gender or the other. PDAs with both genders at the same time get an even worse reception :-)