Here’s my original post that started this thing, on my life, so-called “bisexual privilege” and the fact that we exist. – Cha-Cha
I am done apologizing for being bisexual. I am done accepting my place as “not a real queer, but a good ally!” I am not an ally – allies are great, and without them we are lost, but I am a card carrying member of the LGBT community, and most assumptions about what I do in my personal life, because my primary partner is a cis man, are wrong. I am done being told that being assumed straight, my whole life history erased, and being unable to be truthful about who I really am because “duuuuude why’d you bring that up” in straight spaces (or else “oh maaaaan! That’s HAWT!”) is some kind of ‘privilege’ – yeah, I haven’t been queer bashed in the street as often as others (although it’s happened!), instead I spent most of my life in agonizing self doubt and an endless feeling that I was living a lie. (Not unlike the experience of many lesbian and gay people before they came out, but this is somehow never recognized.) This has resulted in learning experiences in life, for which I am grateful, BUT they were not fun, they were mostly very painful, AND I am 27 freaking years old and I have only come to this place very recently, AND the undermining message of “You are not real” never stops, from any corner, straight or gay or supposedly “safe.”
I am done with being told that gay spaces are safe for me – they aren’t, the end. I don’t go to clubs anymore because I have not ONCE walked in to a new place without being asked “what a straight girl is doing here,” and in one instance was violently attacked for being “an intruder”. Also what’s the point – I never get anywhere with anyone because I’m assumed “fag-hag,” or else it’s assumed that I’m “experimenting”, whatever that means, as tho everyone immediately knows who / what they want in terms of sexuality / love and just goes for it, gets married right away, and that’s it, as tho MOST OF US, regardless of sexuality, don’t experiment in the realms of love…
I am not saying that being “visibly queer” is easy by any means. I am not saying that violence does not happen to visibly queer people – oh dear lord, it does, and it is beyond horrible and needs to stop RIGHT NOW. What I am saying is that the violence also happens to us – the ones who supposedly “pass”, which really means “are silenced, are erased”, in all spaces: straight as well as queer. And, this violence may be immediate, resulting in bodily harm… but more often, it is done over a lifetime, as the messages of “you are not real” and “there is no place for you” and “you are a liar and a fake” sink in and wreck havoc on one’s psyche. I am DONE apologizing to the so-called community for my “hetero privilege”, when I am not hetero. I want to CELEBRATE working through all this, and have a space where it is celebrated, both with people who have been through it, and with those who have not. I want my life experience to be valued, as I see the experiences of other queers valued by the community. But I don’t see bi experiences of life (not just sex!) being valued. I see them being ridiculed, silenced, endlessly questioned for “veracity”, feared. For a bi girl who never wanted to hurt anybody, it’s a shitty feeling to be so feared by the community I was told would be safe for me – after all, us treacherous bi chicks, we’ll break your heart, right, or betray you in some other way, or… god, I don’t even know anymore, but I know that conversation makes it really hard to bother.
But I’m going to keep bothering. I think the whole conversation about bisexuality and “passing” is really effed, and belies a deep, internalized shame that we even exist. Well, I exist. And I have grown to be happy with who I am. And I am done apologizing for it. And I really, really wish that the next time somebody talked about the so-called “community”, it felt like something I belong to. And I know a lot of bi / pan / poly people who feel like this, for basically these reasons, but have no outlet, because there is no bi Autostraddle, no bi Effing Dykes, hardly any bi blogs period that aren’t dating sites in disguise, hardly any visible bi culture. But we are here. And we have a lot to teach, having been taught a lot by life as bi people. And I’m not going to apologize or act like I’m “less” in the community, or be a sideshow, or a token. No, not anymore.