Along with all other forms of prejudicial hate or disrespect, biphobia should be something you stand up against, whether you’re gay, or straight, or bisexual.
Here are 15 suggestions on how to go about fighting biphobia:
1) Speak out against bi “jokes”
Speak up when you hear a joke that’s made at the expense of bisexuals. For example, “Know how it’s not cool to say “That’s so gay? Yeah, also not cool to say ‘As confused as a bisexual.’”
2) Don’t assume that everyone’s either gay or straight
Never assume you know a person’s sexual orientation based on who they’re in a relationship with. For example, an apparently heterosexual couple might consist of two bisexuals, an apparently gay couple might be a bi guy with a gay guy.
3) Encourage your groups to be bi inclusive
Make sure any group you’re involved with is bi inclusive. For example: Work for a suicide prevention hotline? Do they have statistics about bisexuals’ high rates of suicidal ideation? Do they know not to assume the sexual orientation of those who call in? Do they know how to talk to bisexuals without being offensive?
Volunteer for a stop rape initiative? Does your group know that bisexuals have the highest rape statistics? Are they addressing the issues that contribute to these high statistics?
Gathering supplies for a domestic abuse shelter? Does the shelter know that bisexuals have higher rates of domestic abuse than straight women (and lesbians)? Do they know to ask questions that don’t assume the abuser is a man? Do they know not to assume they are a lesbian if their attacker was a woman?
Hang out at an LGBT center? Do they have any bi-specific information among their pamphlets? Do they have support groups just for bisexuals? Is biphobia within the organization allowed to run rampant? Do they include bisexual resources on the resources page of their website?
Part of a taskforce for ending bulling in your school district? Don’t forget to address biphobia!
4) Point out offensive bi stereotypes
Speak up if someone categorically puts bisexuals in a negative light. For example, if someone refers to bisexuals as attention-seeking liars, you could say, “I’m surprised that you’d want to lower yourself to repeating offensive stereotypes based on ignorance.”
5) Remember that bisexuality isn’t just about two genders
Use the definition of the word bisexual that bisexual organizations use — attracted to more than one gender, or attracted to two or more genders — and correct those who insist on using the antiquated binary definition — attracted to men and women — that some dictionaries still use.
6) Challenge associations of bisexuality with cheating
Challenge others to challenge their assumptions about bisexuals. For example, “I know your bisexual girlfriend cheated on you, but so did your lesbian girlfriend, and my sister’s lesbian girlfriend cheated on her. Some people are just messed up; you shouldn’t make it about the fact that she’s bi.”
Or, “I don’t know why you think the cute bi guy in your art class is not into monogamy. Bisexuality and polyamory are two different things; just because someone’s bisexual doesn’t mean they want multiple lovers at the same time.”
7) Share bi information through social media
Tweet, post on Facebook, or re-blog on Tumblr or Reddit, information about bisexuality and biphobia to help educate others, and show support for the bi community.
8) Make art about biphobia
Contribute to awareness of biphobia by writing a poem, or a play, or making art about it.
9) Use bisexual inclusive language…
Say “marriage equality” or “same-gender marriage” instead of “gay marriage.”
“LGBT rights” instead of “gay rights.”
“Pride parade” instead of “gay parade.”
10) … and encourage others to do the same
Correct people who use non-inclusive language. For example, “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but you should say ‘Stonewall was the major historic event beginning the modern LGBT movement,’ not the gay movement. There were trans people and bisexuals involved in the original uprising, and we should honor them too instead of erasing them.”
11) Comment on bad bisexual coverage in media
Complain if an article in the press erases bisexuals or mislabels bisexuals, or disrespects bisexuals. For example, in the comment section below the article write:
“What does Amber Herds’ sexual orientation have to do with the fact that her husband is accused of physically attacking her?”
“Actually Frank Ocean said he’s bisexual, not gay.”
“I think you mean the ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community,’ not the ‘lesbian, gay, and transgender community’— the B isn’t supposed to stand for ‘Best to not mention the bisexuals.’”
12) Support bi organizations
Donate time or money to bisexual organizations, because in fact they get very little funding from elsewhere.
13) Learn more about bisexuality
Educate yourself on bisexuality so you can speak out with knowledge.
14) Refute the idea that bisexuals have “passing privilege”
Explain that it’s not as simple as all that when people say that bisexuals can just pass as straight and thus have straight privilege.
15) Accept bisexual identities
Never question someone’s sexual orientation identity, and stop others from doing the same. For example, “If Tad says he’s bi, he’s bi; stop asking him about his sex life — that’s none of your business.”
If you’ve read through this article, thank you for caring enough to do so! If you have any additional ideas how to fight biphobia, please add those in the comment section.
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