If you’re not seen as the ‘full bi package’ the community is not as welcoming.
Whenever allocishets in the left complain about infighting, they just show that they don’t have a clue. Few arenas are more ferocious to survive than inside the queer community, which is as good at fighting for the disempowerment of other queer people as it is fighting for empowerment. It can be a fraught place, to say the least.
The bi community is used to this. Seen as ‘not gay enough’, bi people rarely experience whole-hearted solidarity from the queer community. Bimisia is as rooted in the queer community as the rainbow flag. Yet, all is not at ease within the bi community either. The same forces of erasure that bi people experience, are pushing it into their own community.
“Seen as ‘not gay enough’, bi people rarely experience whole-hearted solidarity from the queer community”
The queer community is still – confusingly – awful at talking about attraction. There is the misguided assumption from most queer people that sexual and romantic attraction will automatically align. Often though, they do no such thing.
This has become a specific problem for the bi community, which is leading to bi people erasing other bi people. The focus on only bisexuality diminishes biromantics, and shuts out biro people who may have different sexualities, or just want their romanticism to be the focus and get some validation. But too much (negative) focus on romanticism panders to a form of respectability politics the community doesn’t need. Empowering romanticism to disempower conversations on sexuality is not liberation for all bis. Bisexual people should be allowed to talk about the pleasure of sucking, fucking and not giving a damn without it being used to slut-shame them or draw gasps from monosexuals. The focus on biromanticism should be genuine, and not an attempt to go “see, we care about love and relationships and not sex’. This has been where other elements of the queer community have failed. They’ve became ashamed of sex, and so focus on love, without ever actually acknowledging romanticism and different romantic orientations.
It is the unknown and unheard of issue impacting the bi community. There are already issues of racism, poor accessibility with queer events and gatekeeping issues. Erasing other bi people for not being the right kind of bi, or by having such a narrow definition of what bi means, causes greater harm to the community and limits people already isolated and marginalised bi society.
Bi doesn’t just mean bisexual, and talking about romanticism shouldn’t mean stifling conversations about sex and sexuality. The bi community really must do better by its own members.
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