The intolerance to people who identify as bisexual has generated in more simpler and catchy phrases such as ‘Biphobia’ and ‘Bisexual Erasure’. The refusal to accept or believe that bisexuality is real not only exists with people who identify as heterosexual but with many people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community as well. Must we remind ourselves of the gay comedian Christopher Biggins who stated “I think the worst type though is, I’m afraid to say, the bisexuals, what it is is people not wanting to admit they are gay?”
It seems as if the LGBTQ+ community is only accepting if you are the stereotypical white gay male known for their flamboyant nature. These people to a certain extent, have integrated into society much better than others within the community have. They have become the familiar whether or not accepted by everyone, they are the ‘popular’ identification for anyone who is ‘not straight’, therefore, it becomes even more difficult for us to escape that stereotype cast upon us and try to prove our identity as being ‘Bisexual’ or perhaps, ‘Pansexual’ and not receive a few raised eyebrows and many giggles.
And if it isn’t already a struggle to prove my Bisexuality as a male, for a Queer woman, it then becomes even more so difficult to be taken seriously. Take Kristen Stewart for example, where the media referred to her girlfriend (Alicia Cargile) as her ‘Gal-Pal’ which was not only a prime example of ‘Bisexual Erasure’ but that if women look romantically involved with one another, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. Whether or not media outlets say the term ‘Gal-Pal’ as a way of expressing Stewarts queer sensibilities, they were denying her own identity. It was almost as if they wanted to pretend it wasn’t real and not actually report the truth. (Mad how a newspaper could that *coughs* Daily Mail.)
But then to make matters worse in this heap of celebrities and their sexuality, we have X-Factor contestants such as Olly Murs claiming he is “20% Gay”. Comments such as these not only make the LGTBQ+ community look like a laughing stock but impose this ideality that a straight male can claim to be something he’s not and then get away with it, after the years of prejudice we as a community have faced and still face today. Olly Murs does attempt to redeem his comments lead on from Sacha Boren Carter’s original ‘31% gay’ statement and admits, “Straight or gay… they’re silly terms because it’s a scale, and everyone is somewhere on the scale.” A wise approach to sexuality but also no acknowledgement to bisexuality, Gay or Straight seems to be the only terms people are familiar with and refuse to deviate from them leading a cesspit of all of us who feel excluded for understanding their own identity and wanting to own it.
I have not broke new ground here, we always knew Biphobia was in existence. Others who only feel romantically involved with one particular sex refuse to accept that you can be sexually attracted to more than one and it creates a divide within society and it’s perception; it begins to place you in one particular box, the straight or gay box and you don’t always get to decide it for yourself either. It’s like a really bad game of deal or no deal and Noel Edmonds is ruining your life.
Words // Rhys Harding