Blog 2: “Take the B out of LBGT!”

It’s no surprise that the LGBT community faces stigmas, hate crimes and other general negative attitudes and comments. In Britain, hate crimes committed against LGBT people have increased by 78% since 2013. We all know there’s external hate, but do you know of the internal issues some members face? Bisexuals sometimes face discrimination as they’re “too straight” for the community, and yet, they’re “too gay” for heterosexuals. This hatred is so present that it’s been classified as a phobia. I found this quote on Wikipedia: “Biphobia is aversion toward bisexuality and toward bisexual people as a social group or as individuals. It can take the form of denial that bisexuality is a genuine sexual orientation, or of negative stereotypes about people who are bisexual (such as the beliefs that they are promiscuous or dishonest). People of any sexual orientation can experience or perpetuate biphobia.”

This deludes people into believing that bisexuality is not real or that a person is just on the cuffs of either being gay or straight and “should choose”. The phobia itself can stem from people believing that sexuality should be monosexuals, meaning either homosexual or heterosexual. Others might see bisexuality as an equal attraction towards men and women which is sometimes just not the case! In my instance, I lean very heavily towards women and yet I’m still bisexual, not a lesbian. I even had an ex who couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that I was bisexual (one of the reasons why she’s an ex). Now we know, homophobia is still persistent but people sometimes have problems seeing that a bigger issue persists within the community. “Biphobia is common from the heterosexual community, but is frequently exhibited by gay and lesbian people as well, usually with the notion that bisexuals are able to escape oppression from heterosexuals by conforming to social expectations of opposite-gender sex and romance. This leaves some that identify as bisexual to be perceived as “not enough of either” or “not real.”An Australian study conducted by Roffee and Waling in 2016 established that bisexual people faced microaggressions, bullying, and other anti-social behaviors from people within the lesbian and gay community.” (From the same Wikipedia page)

I feel that denying that this is an issue is more harmful, and I could even say deadlier than we think. I found an article from The Guardian that discusses this problem. “Research now shows how destructive shame can be. The Adverse Childhood Experience study led by Dr Vincent Felitti showed that the greater number of extreme negative experiences a child has, the greater the chance they will develop mental health problems in adulthood. The study showed the most damaging experience was not incest, as expected, but “recurrent chronic humiliation” – in other words, if you invalidate and criticise children over and over, you’ll dramatically increase the chance they’ll develop self-destructive mental health problems in adulthood.” I even read an interesting article written by Them that discusses the discrimination bisexuals can face coming from lesbians and gays. “Bisexual women, in particular, have it hard — at least when it comes to desirability within the LGBTQ+ community. Lesbian women and communities are notorious for rejecting bisexual women as potential friends and as sexual and romantic partners due to stereotypes that bisexual women are untrustworthy, unreliable, incapable of monogamy, disease carriers, and “sleeping with the enemy.” Bisexual men are also stigmatized by gay men to some extent, but given gay men’s lesser cultural emphasis on monogamy and greater interest in casual sex, bisexual men’s desirability is less affected by these stereotypes, and may even be bolstered by gay men’s preference for masculinity (which is perceived as higher among bisexual guys). This “double stigma” takes a toll on the wellbeing of bisexual people, with bisexual women in particular reporting more mood and anxiety disorders, substance use, and other mental and physical health issues compared to gay and lesbian folks.” Insane, right? How can a community that was created as a haven for every sexuality and gender that’s out of the norm now exclude its own members?

Manpreet Singh

References

Them. (2018) A New Study Explains Why Many Lesbians Are Biased Against Bisexual Women. Retrieved from https://www.them.us/story/study-explains-lesbian-bias-against- bisexual-women

Wikipedia. (2018) Biphobia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biphobia

Stonewall. (2017) Hate crime against LGBT people in Britain increases by 78 per cent since 2013. https://www.stonewall.org.uk/news/hate-crime-against-lgbt-people- britain-increases-78-cent-2013

The Guardian (2018) Self-loathing among gay people is nothing new. We’re overwhelmed by it. Retreived from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/08/self-loathing- gay-people-shame

One thought on “Blog 2: “Take the B out of LBGT!”

  1. I’m glad you mentioned how biphobia exists within both the heterosexual and also the LGBTQ community. It’s like how you mentioned that bisexual men are stigmatized by gay men but they are also stigmatized in heterosexual relationships too with straight women since there is a lot of bisexual erasure (of course this applies for bisexual women too). There is also an issue with people having a hard time respecting bisexual trans people because some feel like this intersection of identities is invalid or “too much” when in reality gender and sexuality are not correlated.

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