butch and femme are not opposites
Ok, so I’ve been out of the bi tumblr conversation for a while due to school, work, etc etc. However, I’ve still been paying attention.
1. The interaction of misogyny and biphobia (sapphobia) is definitely a thing. As a bi woman, I’ve dealt with sexual violence that was directly tied to my bi identity. I don’t feel safe in queer spaces. I don’t feel safe in hetero spaces.
2. I also don’t feel validated in queer spaces. I came out right before I started college, and perhaps naively, I expected to have this awesome LGBTQIA+ community behind me. Instead I was shunned, and welcomed instead by creepy college cis dudes who had bad intentions. That lead to self-harm (which I still struggle with, but for other reasons as well).
3. I’ve been questioning my gender identity (something along the lines of genderqueer woman) for a while now, and it’s been really difficult to do with all this “bi=2!!!” crap that we all know is oh so pervasive in the mainstream dialogue around bisexuality. It’s also been difficult, as I fear that my questioning has been influenced by all my negative experiences that happen due to my gender as a woman. I feel like this may have something to do with internalized misogyny/sapphobia though.
4. Having a bi space would be amazing. I’ve had amazing bi friends of mine express their desire for a bi-only space, and it infuriates me to see them shot down. I have only one bi friend that I see semi-regularly that I feel comfortable talking about bi issues with. I live in Michigan. Not the most progressive state. All of our “LGBT” groups are very L&G. In my area there are a decent amount of queer folk, but there’s a lot of biphobia/”queerer than thou” shit going down. Even my most radical queer friends fall prey to not letting bisexuals define themselves, and it’s sad. I tried to write a paper about the benefit of safer spaces, and it was deemed “separatist” by my professor and classmates. Really, when people say that bi folks don’t need their own space, what they are saying is “I really don’t see biphobia or even bisexuality as a real thing, and only real things deserve space.” Perhaps if you’re lucky enough to live in a bigger, more diverse city, it doesn’t seem important to have a small bi club. But I know that if I had a bi group of some kind I would(v’e) been able to have a much healthier life. To say that marginalized people don’t deserve the support of each other out of harms way is an act of violence and oppression.
5. I am trying to start a nonmonosexual group in my area, and it’s hard. So for all those people who do the whole “stop whining and just make your own group already” can jump into Mt. Doom. It’s difficult dealing with an anxiety disorder (which biphobia makes worse), school, work, relationships, and being a survivor of multiple sexual assaults (one witch I reported to my college over 7 months ago by a queer cis dude who fetishists other folks (again, hello sapphobia!) and they still aren’t done with, which is fucking exhausting)). Making a group isn’t as simple as sending positive energy out to the universe and making a Facebook page. It takes time, planning, networking, and resources. You can’t deny someone a community and then shame them for not having enough “motivation” to build a new one from scratch. That’s just awful.
6. Finally, I have to say I’m tired of getting involved with a lot of online queer activism/dialogue. It’s great if people find talking about sexy things or butts or whatever empowering or fun, but for me it’s incredibly triggering. For me, being bi & queer at it’s core isn’t really about sex or love. It’s about me—not who I’m sexually or romantically involved with. I absolutely hate being sexually objectified/fetishized, and it’s happened countless times online & in person. Many of my sexual assaults started with objectification. It really sucks to see people looking at you like that, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m a bi woman. I think people associate bisexuality with mainstream sex positivity for some reason, and it drives me up the wall. I’m okay with sex being a part of our dialogue, but I feel like we need to be more supportive of survivors since so many bisexual stigmas surround sex acts. This isn’t to say bi stereotypes don’t hurt all bi folk, or that I’m saying one is worse than the other. I’m just observing that before I was raped/assaulted, the sexual stereotypes of being bi hurt. Now, those same stereotypes cut deep, and often trigger some unpleasant thoughts/actions. Maybe sapphobia is relevant to this as well?
So yeah. I just really needed to vent. I miss my bi community.