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Biphobia

Biphobia is being recognised as a specific issue requiring targeted actions, by more and more organisations working on sexual orientation and gender identity questions! Here you will find arguments and ideas for mobilising to challenge biphobia, as well as posters, quotes and links to further resources. It is destined to be updated on an ongoing basis! Please send your comments and suggestions to contact@dayagainsthomophobia.org

Arguments for action

Bisexual people suffer from homophobia too

The idea that identifying as bisexual is a way to avoid homophobia, or easier/safer than coming out as gay is a myth. The people who hate us don’t distinguish between us. Homosexuality and bisexuality are ‘not exclusively heterosexual’ and therefore to be feared, hated and distrusted.

In homophobic environments, whether schools or offices or households, bisexual people are scared to come out, because they’ll be seen as ‘them’ and ‘other’ too.

But biphobia is also distinct

Bisexuals also face a distinct form of stigma, both from people who are homophobic and from ones who aren’t. As a matter of fact, bisexuals face stigma and discrimination from within the lesbian and gay community itself. This stigma is based on the denial that there can be more than a binary homo/straight division of sexuality.

Everyone who has an interest in keeping borders clear (either straight or homosexuals, who have constructed their identities – and political powers – within these categories) will attack bisexuals, challenging them back into the binary division. This is when you hear that ‘bisexuals are just hypocrites’, or ‘they can’t make their minds up’.

The real ‘problem’ with bisexuality is that it erases those boundaries, just like certain trans and gender non-confirming people do, who don’t want to be categorised as ‘male’ or ‘female’, but as both, neither, or beyond the spectrum entirely.

This challenging of categories is eventually the strongest single tool to dismantle prejudice: as long as we need to be either straight or homosexual, we’ll be put in nice little boxes which makes it easy to classify, and rank, people. To grant them rights, or not. To let gender and sex determine our right to love. Exactly what the conservatives are adamant about.

Bisexuality puts love back in the ‘driving seat’, beyond social restrictions such as gender. And bi communities are definitely at the heart of the struggle against all forms of ‘gender’ oppression, be it from the straight majority or the narrowly binary-thinking gay and lesbian people.

Bisexuality is clearly to move beyond bi-nary. And maybe the term ‘bisexuality’ itself carries a contradiction. Bisexuals, are maybe not so much people who can have a loving relationship with BOTH genders. But people who have loving relationships REGARDLESS of gender.

Bisexuality calls us to move beyond our small-minded certainties about gender being the foremost criteria in our relationship to people. And as such, bisexuality is one of the major keys to liberation.

Quotes

“Biphobia and homophobia together make our society into one where bisexual people don’t want to come out, even to other LGBT folk. We need to stand up to it, we need to disprove the myths, we need to start recognising bisexuals.”– The Bisexual Index

“Biphobia is thinking bisexual people haven’t made up their minds.” – Wipe Out Biphobia

“I think choosing between men and women is like choosing between cake and ice cream. You’d be daft not to try both when there are so many different flavors.” – Björk

“I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one sex, and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.” – Robyn Ochs

“Homophobia…(is) the belief in the inherent superiority of one pattern of loving and thereby its right to dominance.” – Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider

Ideas for Action

Biphobic Bingo!

Inspired by actions by bi activists in Lithuania for May 17, 2013, why not organise a game of biphobic bingo amongst your community group or friends? As part of their bi meet-up they organised this as both a game and an informal training session (especially as people from outside the bi community were involved). As the organisers explained:

“Everyone had to talk to others and find out if they ever in their lives heard certain remarks, sayings of biphobic nature (like “you should make up your mind”, “I wish my girlfriend was bi too”, “I was bisexual once, before I turned gay”, “you are just scared to admit that you are gay”, etc). We have a lot of fun with this and used this fun method to discuss a lot of important issues like: coming out as a non monosexual person, biphobia and homophobia around us, LGBT movement and so on. Our meeting ended with everyone saying that such peer group is useful and they would attend it again and again and invite friends with them too.”

Some existing ‘Biphobic Bingo’ sets which might inspire you include this one By Milena Popova and this found on Feministing.

You can find more ideas for creative community actions on our Ideas for Action pages.

SAVE THE DATE : September 23 is Bi visibility day. Find out more !

Further Resources

Great quotes from Bisexual celebrities have been compiled by Huffington Post

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