Teaching The Difference

Creating Engagement Around Bisexuality

How to prove bisexuality doesn’t exist

Shall we use science? Electrodes to the naughty bits and porno slideshows? If the people we’ve decided to call “representative” don’t respond exactly identically to a range of genders, if they show any preference we can shove them to the poles and dismiss a middle ground.

 

How about surveys? Adverts in the “LGBT” press should net a crowd of predominantly one-sided responses. That’s great for confirming biases and stereotypes.

 

Or just personal experience? If you aren’t bisexual yourself then how can anyone else be? Perhaps you once decided it was best not to admit you’d been gay all along, or alternatively you wanted to be ambiguous to generate some headlines – both are great first steps to then telling everyone else they’re not bisexual either when you decide to come clean.

 

 

It’s sad to notice that all of these get used time and time again. There’s an article from 2012 currently resurfacing on Facebook suggesting that there’s no such thing as bi men or straight women.

 

Which is odd, given how many straight women you meet, and how many bi men I do.

 

Another blog recently bemoaned the fact that all the discussion going on about bisexuality appeared to be very much “Bi 101” educating the masses and wondered why oh why can’t bisexual activists get off of than those topics and onto more in depth discussions about language and intersectionality. And if there really was no discussion other than the 101 stuff I think as a bisexual activist I would get very disheartened.

 

The thing is, there’s actually a lot of bi people talking about all the other stuff, but folks outside the bi community don’t notice because they’re not present, largely, for these discussions. I can only assume that the writer saying it’s a shame we don’t have “events .. to create dialogue and discussion on how to move forward and promote visibility and .. discuss issues such as sexual abuse and mental health that affect the bi community vastly more than others” has never been to a local bisexual group or to BiCon.

 

A while ago a gay male friend of mine expressed disbelief that the UK could actually have a large and long standing bi community that had an annual national conference. If this was the case, he said, why hadn’t he heard about it?

 

Had he, I asked, been aware that outside of the holiday seasons the holiday camps hosted week-long events for groups like darts players or barbershop quartets? If you’re not into a hobby, you wouldn’t know about it. And although bisexuality isn’t a hobby (for most people) it’s much the same – our community is there but you wouldn’t notice it unless you went looking for it.

 

How that could be altered and if it should, is a topic for another day.

 

How to prove bisexuality does exist

But here’s the thing – both the “where are the advanced discussions!” and “how can I believe bisexuals exist!” can be solved at the same time by going to an event like BiCon or a local bisexual group or reading bisexual community sites like Bis Of Colour or magazines like Bi Community News.Or, to be honest, the other articles on Biscuit.

People who, if anyone bothered to ask, would probably say they were bisexual.

Want proof bisexuals exist? Go to an event with 300+ people who all identify as bi. Will they all define bisexuality exactly the same way? I hope not, but that’s just one of the discussions you’d find going on during the weekend.

 

Bisexuality as an identity exists because people identify as bisexual. And those people who define themselves as bisexual get to define what bisexuality means.

 

I think too many researchers, especially in the USA, are thinking that if they can find a scientific cause or proof for sexuality it’ll (magically) end prejudice. I doubt that, but also note that no-one is thinking that tactic will win the fight against anti-religious discrimination. Proving bisexuality exists with science would be, I think, as much use as proving Buddhism exists. We know it does, by asking people. Job done.

 

How people are harmed by biphobia is a far better query, and how can we lessen the harm and reduce the biphobia.

 

But, although I’m sure they’re having fun, we won’t find those out if non-bisexual researchers keep spending the funding our community should be using on genital electrodes and pornography…

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