Thoughts on bisexuality and biphobia
I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t faced much direct oppression because of my pansexual identity. I was never bullied in school. I’ve always been very open about it and have never gotten my car vandalized or anything like that. I’ve never seen much biphobia around me. But I know it exists, obviously. I read Project Queer’s post about Dan Savage and his bigotry, and I was especially interested in reading about his biphobia. (I really liked this post from Greta Christina) It got me thinking a lot about biphobia in general and how it applies to me.
I really appreciate this post. It’s a breath of fresh air considering a lot of the animosity on Tumblr that goes around sometimes surrounding bisexuality and pansexuality.
Yes, biphobia hurts pansexuals too, but it seems like some don’t want to acknowledge that. I think it’s partially what fuels the need for some to pretend they are absolutely nothing like bisexuals at all, as if this will somehow magically exempt them from biphobia. Whenever pansexuals reinforce biphobia, I want to say “HI HELLO YOU AREN’T DOING YOURSELF ANY FAVORS” (but I rarely do, I usually just get shouty and ranty though I’m kinda over that). Society just kind of lumps us all together, so stereotypes toward one group can often impact another.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently contradictory or wrong about identifying as both bi and pan. I wouldn’t say they’re always more or less the same thing, but that’s because there are different ways to approach and interpret both of those identities and those ways may not always gel with each other, not because they are Completely Different Things as some insist. More often than not, the two overlap.
In general, I don’t believe that bisexual people are strictly attracted to cisgender men and women,
Plenty of us are attracted to binary and nonbinary trans people. And some of us are such people (people always seem to forget that and think only cis binary people are bi).
but I’m sure there are plenty of people in the world that are strictly bisexual.
It’s probably true that some are only attracted to two genders, but that’s not what the “bi” in bisexual refers to. I do question if there is anyone out there to which the specific number of genders they are attracted to is so important that they define their sexual identity around it alone.
The “bi” in bisexual refers the old belief that such people with multi-gender attractions were psychologically possessing both male and female characteristics (likewise, gay men were considered to be mentally feminine and lesbians were considered to be mentally masculine). It was borrowed from botany which used it to describe plants with both male and female parts. Look at a thesaurus and you’ll likely see that bisexual has intersex and androgyny listed as synonyms. This is why.
So whenever someone says “bisexual literally means you’re only attracted to two genders” I want to say “no, it literally means I’m a plant.”
if i had known about the plant related history of the word
i would have understood things much more clearly ages ago
egg on my face, etc