Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bisexuality comics

I have been writing a paper on biphobia today, and when this came up on my facebook newsfeed I was rather pleased.

As someone who might be called bisexual by others (not really a word I use myself for a variety of reasons that I have written about before and probably will do again), I have experienced a lot of these first hand.

Bisexual people can be promiscuous and they can be faithful or abstinent... just like anyone else. It just means that you are attracted to people of more than one gender. Not that you are attracted to everybody all the time.

It is also not a phase - sometimes people identify as bisexual for a while, and often it is a permanent state where people are attracted to more than one gender for their entire lives. One doesn't necessarily stop being bisexual when they are in a hetero-looking relationship - actually, that is sometimes when people are most in need of being part of the LGBTQ community, otherwise it can feel like one is denying a huge part of who they are.

I also really appreciate that the last row addresses some of the exclusion and biphobia that takes place from within the queer community.


  1. Although I certainly don't think people who identify as bisexual should be excluded do in the queer community, I have major problems with the term bisexual and what it means. As someone who is not on the gender binary, where does it leave me? It completely erases those of us who are not male or female, and its really annoying to constantly see the term used in ways that further alienate and exclude us. We're invisible enough as it is.

    The first comic in the series is guilty of this sort of thing. Queer and pansexual are not "extra" terms that complicate things, they exist because words like bisexual fall short and explicitly exclude people like me. This sort of othering language is hugely detrimental.

    That said, biphobia and panphobia are significant problems in the queer community, and its a shame to see some of us hold each others' relationships to some sort of queer purity test for inclusion.

  2. Thanks for that comment! I have written about that before too, and have brought it up many times in my role on an advisory panel for a study on bisexuality and mental health. The 'bi' in bisexual and biphobia does imply two genders, which is precisely why I personally don't identify as bisexual (I tend to go with queer becuase pansexual can confuse people).And when I write about 'biphobia' I prefer using the term monosexism, and am trying to bring it into everyday conversation as much as possible. I apologize for not writing that more explicitly in my short post. Thanks for mentioning it, and you can call me out on trans invisibility any time you see it on my blog!

  3. Thanks for the response and for understanding! I like the term monosexism, I'll have to use that in the future.

  4. I feel the same way about the word bisexual. I've dated people who identify outside the gender binary and I feel like the "bi" part is saying that they don't count.

    The term "monosexism" is great! I'll definitely be using that one.

  5. Just a nitpick - "promiscuous" is another word that a lot of people find problematic. For those of us that are or have had open relationships, casual sex, etc., it's a strongly shaming word for consensual sexual behavior.