Prejudice at Pride

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Prejudice at Pride

Panel 1

[Image] A black woman wearing a headwrap, looking at the reader. She looks concerned. The background is horizontal block colours – a rainbow pattern.

[Caption] I get nervous before any LGBT event. Especially Pride.

Panel 2

[Image] Two men, one white, and one black. Both look angry, and both are holding rainbow flags.

[Caption] There’s so much hate towards bisexuals at these events. I can’t have children. These words hurt. A lot.

White man: Breeders!
Black man: Get out of here, switcheroos.

Panel 3

[Image] The woman facing away from the reader, at the backs of the two men, still holding their rainbow flags. The woman is also holding a rainbow flag, but hers is lowered.

[Caption] Pride is supposed to be a celebration, but it hasn’t been for me on many occasions.

Panel 4

[Image] A hand pushing the back of the woman, who looks startled, and is lurching forward

[Caption] I’ve received physical abuse too. Pushed.

Panel 5

[Image] A hand holding a rainbow flag and pushing it into the woman’s back. The woman looks annoyed.

[Caption] Prodded.

Panel 6

[Image] The woman grasping at her shoulder. A hand has grabbed her bra strap and is pulling.

[Caption] Tugged.

Panel 7

[Image] The woman, looking scared. A hand is shoving a whistle into her mouth.

[Caption] And this. It’s almost always gay men who get physical.

[Speech bubble] Now blow, breeder!

Panel 8

[Image] The woman sitting on a park bench. Behind her, a frowning white man holding a large rainbow flag spits at her. The spit has landed on the woman’s face, and she looks shocked. Her hand is on her cheek where the spit has landed.

[Caption] When biphobia combines with racism, it’s even worse.

Panel 9

[Image] The woman, still sitting on the park bench, but the image is zoomed out. The man holding the large rainbow flag is turned away, and has become a silhouette, blending into a crowd of other silhouettes. The woman is crying and shaking.

[Caption] Sometimes I get so scared at LGBT events that I find myself shaking.

Panel 10

[Caption] If gay and lesbian people don’t understand me – having been on the receiving end of hate themselves – then how will anyone else understand?

Panel 11

[Caption] I once thought Black Pride would be better. But it’s not. It’s just less racist.

Panel 12

[Image] A parade. A white girl is on the back of a truck, and a white man holding a rainbow flag follows on foot. Silhouettes dot the sidewalk beside the parade. One silhouette is darker than the others.

[Caption] I often ask myself why I keep going to these events.

Panel 13

[Image] The same scene, but zoomed in closer on the darker silhouette, who is now shown in full detail. She is a young black woman, smiling widely.

[Caption] But then I’ll see a black face in the crowd…

Panel 14

[Image] A closeup of the young black woman, in the crowd of otherwise white parade-watchers. Her eyes are bright and she is smiling.

[Caption] Black and bi people have told me that my presence really made them feel hopeful, encourage. Being visible is important to me.

Panel 15

[Image] The black woman with the headwrap, smiling, and holding a rainbow-patterned heart against her chest.

[Caption] I shouldn’t hide a big part of myself through fear from the very people who are meant to support me. I just hope the next LGBT event I go to really will be inclusive to all the parts of me.

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Full story

I’m sick of how bisexuality is erased in LGBT spaces. I get really nervous before any LGBT event, especially Pride. I feel incredibly sad and hopeless when gay and lesbian people call me insulting names. If gay and lesbian people don’t understand me – having been on the receiving end of hate themselves – then how will anyone else understand?

I marched with U.K bisexuals at London Pride. Some of the gay marchers shouted nasty names at us like “Breeder!” and “Switcheroos!”I am especially hurt by being called “breeder” as I was never able to have children.

I don’t comprehend why some gays and lesbians hate bisexuals so much. I’ve been told that bisexuality automatically means I’ll never be satisfied being monogamous, that I will cheat on any lesbian partner with a man. It’s like they think that bisexual people have a monopoly on cheating, and we are automatically selfish. Maybe they’re scared of their own feelings? Maybe the thought of being attracted to more than one gender makes them scared about their own attractions, and what that might make them? Whatever the reason, verbal abuse from lesbian, gay and trans* people seems almost an everyday thing.

In the past, I’ve received physical abuse too. The physical abuse in LGBT spaces have ranged from being violently pushed, to being prodded, tugged, and poked. It’s almost always gay men who get physical. I’ve also had someone shove their whistle in my mouth and then order me to blow it.

Sometimes I get so scared at LGBT events that I find myself shaking. Pride is supposed to be a celebration, but it hasn’t been for me on many occasions.

When biphobia combines with racism, the attacks are even worse. For example, at Brighton Pride I was assaulted by another marcher. Brighton is a very white place, and I was one of only two black people in the march (that I saw), and probably the only black bisexual person. At one point I was followed into a quiet spot just outside where the festival was happening, and spat on by a white gay man who had been in the march. It still makes me scared sometimes. I’ve never returned to Brighton Pride since. I doubt anyone else on the parade had to worry about that kind of hatred coming from other marchers.

I thought Black LGBT Pride would be better, but in most years, the biphobia is just as bad there as it is in white dominated spaces. It’s just less racist.

I often ask myself why I keep going to these events. But then I’ll see a black face in the crowd, looking at me with astonished wonder. I’ve been told a few times by black people that seeing someone like them at a Pride event was an encouraging thing for them.

Being visible and out is important to me. I shouldn’t have to hide a big part of myself through fear from the very people who are meant to support me. I just hope that the next LGBT event I go to really will be inclusive to all the parts of me.

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64 responses to “Prejudice at Pride”

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  1. Estraven says: |
    August 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I am so sad to read that these things happen to you. In New York, when I started marching with the bi contingent, it would be about 20 people, and the crowd would fall silent when we walked by. Over the years the acceptance has grown, and this year we had 75 marchers, and the crowd cheered for us the whole way. It is an incredible rush to have two million people cheering for you, as a bisexual. Please know that they were cheering for you as well, and your bi community on this side of the puddle cheers you for your courage to just keep going.

    Things are changing, and they are changing because of people like you.

  2. Hayley Brandon says: |
    August 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    This made me so sad and I just have such an urge to reach out to this poor person. I’m bisexual so I fully understand that part. However I’m white so I don’t have to deal with racism directed at me, although I’ve seen it from lgbt people. I too am always trying to be more involved with the lgbt community but find it really nerve-wracking because I’m worried lg people will think that I don’t belong there, especially as I am a woman currently in a relationship with a man. I honestly mean this- If you are ever near Birmingham (uk obvs!), and want a fellow bisexual to check out the scene/pride with, we can go out and be scared together! 🙂 (hopefully my name and twitter name will show up with this comment, but if not, my twitter name is LL_CoolHay. Or find me by name on Facebook!

  3. Roisin says: |
    August 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I love you and I’m sorry you ever had to go through anything like that. The people who have hurt you will live ugly, unsatisfied lives stewing in their own hatred, turning their sense of victimisation against the people who deserve it the least. But you have helped and inspired other people like you to celebrate themselves in the face of oppression from those who are supposed to accept them. And that is why you are beautiful.

  4. Rob Ridings says: |
    August 19, 2014 at 10:10 am

    This is so sad and it disgusts me to hear it happening.
    As a white gay man, if you were at my local Pride, I would happily march side by side with you. And I would never ever, put up with anyone making a racist, sexist, or biphobic remark. I would call them out on that, immediately. It is intolerable that such a thing can happen in 2014.
    Fortunately, I have not seen that at my local Prides here in North Carolina, remarkably. Maybe I just haven’t noticed, but I will be sure to keep my eyes open for it from here on out.

    I will say, that sadly, I have seen some Slightly negative remarks towards our local Polyamory organization when they come for Pride. And often you’ll see bisexuals sticking up for them though—and it’s much appreciated. Hooray for the Bi’s! 😉

  5. Zidders Roofurry says: |
    August 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I get so angry when I see people experience things like this. I’m pansexual but for a long time I considered myself bi, and I absolutely can’t stand when people who aren’t ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ get grief from their own community. Please know that we’re not all like that! I totally accept you for who & what you are. Thank you for having the courage to speak for those who can’t. I’ll spread this around.

  6. Nicole says: |
    August 19, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    It’s really upsetting how the LGBT community brags about acceptance but this stuff like this happens. This is not okay. Not at all. How can we claim to be accepting when bi people are getting ignored and erased and abused? The whole idea is sickening. It’s even more upsetting that there doesn’t seem to be a place for black people .What the hell LGBT community?

    We can’t let shit like this happen. We have to fight for it.

    • L.E. says: |
      February 16, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      EXACTLY my thoughts, thank you!

  7. Lauren says: |
    August 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    My partner and I didn’t got to Pride in my town this year because of the abuse we got hurled at us last time. He’s a trans man and we’re both bisexual. We either get called straight and treated like we’re lying about our sexuality, or we’re told I’m only willing to be with a trans man because I’m bi. Sometimes I’m taken to be a lesbian because my hair is short and he’s told he’s a lesbian who wants male privilege by radfem lesbian groups. Or I get told I’m a “lesbian-lite” because “you want pussy but you like looking straight”. He’s generally read as male so if we go to lgbt stuff together he tends to avoid telling people he’s trans in the hope accusations of either us being faux lesbians stop, but that just results in us being told we’re straight and pretending to be bi. It’s garbage for trans women too, our friend has repeatedly been groped by men and women to see if her breasts are real and has repeatedly been excluded from lesbian focussed events.

    It’s not really LBGT Pride if the B and the T are treated like crap.

  8. Rachel says: |
    August 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I haven’t been to a pride event before, but after reading this I’m so so surprised. I thought it’s suppose to be about acceptance! I’m really sorry that all this shit happened to you. And as being bi myself now I really don’t even want to get involved with pride events, clubs, etc. Now I’m just mad.

  9. Bernice says: |
    August 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I’m a pansexual, and its sad to see this. I’m sorry that this has happen to you, I’m happy that you spoke up, remember you are not alone. All these people speaking up, are with you and many more are out there. You are not alone, we are here.

  10. William says: |
    August 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I’ve marched in the salt lake city pride with an atheist group for the past 2 years. I’m a bisexual furry male and haven’t really experienced the hatred of bisexuals by gays, but I have heard about it. I try to wear purple often, and almost purchased a bi pride flag to fly at the parade this year. Stay strong!

  11. Natalie says: |
    August 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’m one of those people who, when I see others like me, (black bisexual woman, who also cannot have children) I feel less scared. You give me so much hope. Don’t stop. Please know that there are people out there who are and support you. All these kind comments are coming from people who appreciate what you do so thank you!

  12. ciar says: |
    August 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I know how you feel. As a bisexual and very visible Muslim, pride is not a safe place for me either, but I really feel like I need to be there so that other LGBTQ+ Muslims can see me and know they’re not alone.

  13. Tias Jensen says: |
    August 21, 2014 at 3:32 am

    I hear you. I’m a white bi guy, and should technically swim through prides on my own privilege – but as soon as the B-bomb is dropped, everyone hates me. To the straights I’m gay, to the gays I’m less than scum, and to both groups I’m untrustworthy, because apparently I can just switch sexualities and/or stop being in love if it somehow becomes inconvenient.

    The hate is palpaple, and just as bad in the ‘scene’. To whoever wrote this, I know how you feel, and I have hope the rest of us non-white, non-gay/straight, non-NORMAL (such a cold and bitter word these days) will organize and end these problems for good one day.

  14. Captain British says: |
    August 21, 2014 at 5:20 am

    It seems so asinine that this sort of thing happens at pride parades, somewhere that is supposed to make everyone feel proud of who they are. Somewhere that is supposed to demand acceptance and appreciation, a common human right. I had never heard of anything like this happening at pride parades until now and it makes me so, so sad that it does.

  15. Justine says: |
    August 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    This is certainly odd!

    I would assume that, having been on the receiving end of a lot of oppression and misconceptions and such, the LGBTQ community would be more understanding of bisexuals. Where does it come from, exactly? Is it because the rest of the LGBTQ community feels like bisexuals had some level of privilege during the days of homophobia?

    This is seriously unsettling :/ I had no idea bisexuals were being attacked even within a community that supposedly stands for equality, acceptance and acknowledgement.

  16. J says: |
    August 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I hear you. How horrible to experience both kinds of harassment at once. As bi I stay away from the LG community because of fear of people like those who harass you, but I’ve never had this stuff happen to me. I agree with what you say, but I’m never sure what to do about it.

    *holds you in the light*

  17. Nadja says: |
    August 21, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I absolutely understand you. I’ve never gone to a Pride Parade because of this; I’m really scared of what may happen, and I’ve been scared since I was in an abusive relationship in which this girl cheated on me and made believe I couldn’t be bisexual. She told me that I was a fake and was lying about who I was. For years I fought against myself, against who I am just because she said I couldn’t be like this. I even believed her when she said I was a fake, but I felt so uncomfortable that I decided to repress myself and never talk about it, never look at other girls and whenever I felt something for them, send those feelings to the back of my head, because I thought I didn’t deserve to like them if I also liked men. Until one day I realised I could be whoever I wanted to be and that I also deserved someone who loved my real self and didn’t judge me. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who’s been discriminated by the gay community for being bisexual, but I also wished no one had to go through this. Don’t let this get to you; you’re a wonderful person and deserve everything good in this world. Be who you are and keep raising awareness on this matter that is overlooked most of the time. Lots of love!!

  18. Alison says: |
    August 22, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so very sorry you’ve had such negative experiences at Pride, but I’m so grateful to you for being brave enough to talk about them publicly. I’ve also had negative experiences at Pride, but none were bad as yours. I’ve never had the courage to march; I’ve only attended the parades and visited the information and retail booths. One of my friends marched this year under the Bi banner with her clerical collar on and had a wonderful time, so perhaps next year I’ll be brave enough to march. Now that I’ve read your story I feel more determined to do it, so that I can stand up to the bullying and make Pride a more loving and inclusive place, as surely it was meant to be.

  19. Eulenbeulen says: |
    August 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    How weird is that?! I had no idea such things were happening :-O
    I’m straight and felt as included at the Vienna Pride as I seldom felt before. Then again, there are no banners that declare who or what you are here. Anyone who wants to can form a group but there is no “bi” group as far as I know. Wow. Discrimination at Pride Parades makes no sense. At all.

  20. Hayley Brandon says: |
    August 23, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Nadja- I’m really sorry that happened to you, I’ve had very similar experiences in relationships before. I think bi/pan people often experience biphobia in relationships, and it can be very traumatic.

  21. Br. Mike Oboza says: |
    August 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I am a Bisexual Radical activist from Chicago, IL… I fought for Bisexual visible equality to later become our first Bisexual liaison and Founder of Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago at Center on Halsted 2007-2014 in Chicago, IL…. Thank you for sharing your birthright, truth and experience. “Long live Bisexuals!” (… Because we do with our Bisexual flag, Mexican Bisexual flag and all. All the time.)

  22. Kate says: |
    August 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I’m a white cis woman and while I’m lucky enough to not have to deal with racism too, I’ve had terrible experiences with biphobia. I was actually raped by a lesbian woman who justified it because I “wouldn’t put out and that’s all bi women are good for.”
    I do think things are slowly getting better. I just wanted to say I hear you and I recognize your pain.

  23. Jules says: |
    September 1, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Usually, I never read comments on articles… or rarely. However, wanting to say something I just noticed all these comments posted here and the kindness and loveliness of the authors almost made me cry. People like you give me hope. Thank you for existing.

  24. Matt says: |
    September 5, 2014 at 8:45 am

    This is the exact reason I never “do” the pride thing…

  25. Thomas says: |
    September 8, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I have suffered similar anti-bi prejudice at the Atlanta Pride Parade. The last time, it was so bad that I have avoided it for over seven years as a result. It’s always disheartening to hear, but I am impressed and gladdened by your courage to continue being visible.

  26. Faith Cheltenham says: |
    September 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    So grateful to see this story told! It echoes my experience as a black bi woman too. Good work! We will share widely!

  27. Lexi says: |
    September 9, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    If I ever see such bullying at events, I will always step in to protect the victim.

  28. T says: |
    September 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I think you’re very very brave to keep going. I’ve never been brave enough to go at all, just because I know how gays and lesbians feel about bis.

  29. Lily Belle says: |
    September 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    This is so awful. As a white cis BI woman, I certainly don’t experience this sort of behaviour, but then, I am very careful with the friends I surround myself with, and have never attended pride because of a falling out with a local group of gay men who didn’t like it when I pointed out how often gay men were guilty of physical abuse, especially that whole boob grabbing thing Gok Wan made so acceptable. Anyway, I am in Bristol (UK), so if you are ever nearby and need company, i’m here for you. My dear friend help run Bi-Pride in Cardiff, so if you would like info about that, I can get it for you. So sorry this has happened to you, but unfortunately, not surprised.

  30. Jackie says: |
    September 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

    This is how I feel about the Autism community and how they try to shut down people with higher functioning Autism. It’s similar to your story in how gay and lesbian people at pride parade take their anger out on you, because you can pass a little more in society than them, as well as the black and white mentality of you’re with us or against us.

    What troubles me about the Autism community is the lack of accountability, people might act out physically towards you and you can’t complain because they can’t help it. I just stopped asking for help, and now people like myself with Aspergers are called elitist for not being able to be around people with more severe Autism.

    I hope what all advocacy groups learn from this is being able to pass in society doesn’t mean life is easy. It might even be more difficult if your needs for support are ignored by society, and the group of people similar to you. It really makes you feel you have nowhere you belong.

  31. Andrea says: |
    September 21, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    I’m ace/demi myself, and I have bi friends who I love dearly. So knowing that this kind of judgement happens even among the LGBTQIA+ community makes me sad.

  32. Katherine says: |
    September 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Thanks for standing up about this! Even communities that try to be inclusive can have undercurrents of discrimination. And thanks for continuing to attend. It helps others of us to see you there (as you know).

  33. Thomas O. says: |
    September 22, 2014 at 10:34 am

    That’s sad that you have to endure taunting and abuse from the gay activists. That’s not how you act when you’re supposed to be preaching inclusion. If you do, you’re not really for inclusion and diversity, you just want a different version of “Us Vs. Them”.

    What do these guys think the “B” in “LGBT” stands for?

  34. Nena says: |
    September 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    =( I am so sorry you go through this. Anyone at pride who behaves like this toward you is a damned hypocrite! Why do they think this is okay? It is called LGBT, so bisexual is part of it.

    Why are people so cruel like this? I don’t get it. And gay men doing this when they leave the house in fear that somebody will do that to them? What the hell?

  35. Robbzilla says: |
    September 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Any group of people, when collected together, contains just about the same mix of good and bad as any other group of people. Some may be more mannerly, because of external forces, and some less.

    I’m absolutely sorry to see that one group that has put up with SO much prejudice would act this way.

    Disclaimer: I’m a straight white male.

    That being said, I can’t speak for others, only myself. But I say be yourself. You have worth as an individual. Groups are useful because working together allows you to get more done than working alone. It also can be very supporting to be around like-minded individuals.

    I have gay friends. I’m a libertarian who lives in the US. I firmly believe that YKIOK (Your kink is OK. We ALL have kinks of some sort, and even if I don’t share yours, as long as you aren’t hurting someone else, it’s really none of my business.) and that it’s your business how you live your life. I also believe in self reliance, and self defense, having lost much of my trust and faith in our law enforcement. The point of this is that you wouldn’t believe how I’ve been harassed for my stance on guns, law enforcement, etc… The gay guys I know pretty much completely shut down their thoughts when I speak. One went so far as to say that I was beyond human interaction because I believe that a person should be prepared for the worst.

    Again, I’m horribly sorry to hear that you’ve been mistreated like this. You deserve to be treated with the respect due any human being. And they way you’ve been treated should never happen. Especially by people who’ve experienced similar treatment themselves. Gay people are currently experiencing empowerment in the US, and I’d assume the UK as well. Some have become very arrogant, and very closed minded. If you don’t conform exactly to their expectations, they become real pricks. I don’t have an answer to what you should do, but I encourage you to keep speaking out. You’ve spoken about something that needs to come into the light of day. Please stay strong, and please please PLEASE keep speaking out.

    You’re a beautiful human who deserves better. Keep being yourself, and keep helping to inspire other people with your words and presence.

  36. redwolf68 says: |
    September 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that this happens to you – as a bisexual man, though, I completely sympathise. I’ve come to expect bigotry from straights, who only see things (if you’ll pardon the unfortunate phrasing) in black and white, but coming from gays, it’s at least 10x worse. As subjects of hate and violence themselves, you’d think they’d learn a little compassion, but no. It took me until I was 40 to finally accept and come to terms with my bisexuality, and if I like to orally service both men and women (to keep it relatively clean here), how dare anyone tell me I have to be one or the other? Pride is not pride if you’re using it to bash others.

  37. Garen says: |
    September 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    My boyfriend and I are both trans, and I had previously only been with women before him, so it’s been strange realizing that people are going to assume that I’m gay now unless I tell them otherwise. I’m not entirely sure what I am now, but I like being his boyfriend so I don’t think it matters very much, for now at least.

    We were at a comic convention recently (cosplaying Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, in uniform with trans pride, bi pride, and gay pride patterned medals because we are Those Kinds of Nerds), and were psyched to see a Pride table in the dealer’s room, except it was staffed by gay cis guys who misgendered us in spite of the medals, and I could see my boyfriend wilting a bit so I put on my asshole hat (figuratively speaking) and Explained Them A Thing. They gave me a sticker, so I’ll assume they appreciated getting a lecture on gender and sexuality by a short asshole transguy dressed as Bucky Barnes. They also may have been trying to get rid of me.

    I should not need my asshole hat. I’m glad I have it, but not everyone has one, not everyone can have one (my boyfriend is one of these people), and I cannot be everywhere to jump in and help out.

  38. Marty says: |
    September 23, 2014 at 3:06 am

    I have a theory about why the gay community has such venom for the bi community. Because the very existence of bi threatens the line of defense that you are born gay and can’t help it. To me it’s yet another example of the christian right’s puritanical influence on the discourse. The problem is that the gay community got roped into countering an argument that shouldn’t have even been entertained in the first place. So much time and energy has gone into the “See, we can’t help it, we were born this way, it’s not a choice, God/genetics made us this way” argument…which was fine if the goal is to get religious bigots to try and come around to accept you. It’s worked to some degree. The problem is that argument left those who were bi kind of “out in the cold” so to speak. Bi can be seen as a choice…”See, you can be attracted to either so that’s your choice!” So the religious community can say anyway.

    Instead of answering the religiously intolerant, “You have a choice and it’s a sinful choice. Repent or we’ll never accept you.” with “But we can’t help it, we were born this way.”, the response should have been, “So what? Last I checked we do live in a country that’s all about CHOICE. Whether it’s a choice or not, it’s none of your business. We’re here to stay and you can accept that or don’t, but we’re not going to stop fighting for what’s right.” I understand that would have been a much harder way to stand up to religious intolerance and may have made the acceptance of being gay in society a longer process, but the consequence of trying to be apologist to the original intolerance is to leave the bi community outcast from the movement because it’s seen as fucking up their argument. WE are gaining acceptance now and WE won’t tolerate the appearance of bi’s having a “choice” in their sexuality so they must be posers and not legitimate because WE all know it’s not a choice.

    I just really hate the apologist counter in any circumstance because it gives victory to the person framing debate and the intolerant mindset. Think about it in the context of race. IF a person could choose to be black or white and still chose to be black would the racist then be just in discrimination? Saying but I was born black simply says, I had no choice in the matter. It’s a statement that carries the strong logical implication that if I DID have a choice and I still CHOSE to be black, then you’d have a case for your hatred, but because I don’t have a choice you have to accept it.

    • Alison says: |
      January 30, 2015 at 5:49 am

      Marty, your argument doesn’t work for me because bisexuality is an orientation, just like the monosexual orientations. I was born this way: my very earliest childhood sexual fantasies were peopled with both men and women as objects of desire. I have never had the ability to be monosexual, and believe me, I tried so hard to not be bi. In school, while all the kids were swooning over this female pop star or that male athlete, I was struggling with the realization that I was incapable of narrowing it down to one sex or the other. I simply could not choose. Not being able to make a choice–guys or girls, gay or straight?–made me miserable. I was an outcast from both sides.

      I later learned how much I had in common with gay and lesbian friends who shared memories of their adolescent struggles with non-normative orientation. Our experiences were remarkably similar (feeling like a freak, having a terrible secret burden, being bullied and/or shunned), with the exception that I had no community in school whatsoever, no clique, no friend I could unburden myself to and be told that I was perfectly okay as I was. Some “choice.”

      The next time someone wishes to belittle you by giving you that “you’re not born with it, you’ve got a choice” baloney, please tell them what I said. No one chooses the loneliness, ostracism, and prejudice that bisexuals so often face (the original poster certainly didn’t choose her terrible experiences at Pride, for example). We don’t choose our parents, we don’t choose our skin colour, and we absolutely do not choose our orientation.

      • Alison says: |
        January 30, 2015 at 5:52 am

        Sorry, unable to edit after posting. I didn’t mean that “your” argument didn’t work for me, I meant “their” argument, the people you said tear us down by saying we’re not born this way. I was agreeing with you.

        • Miranda says: |
          May 24, 2016 at 8:51 pm

          Alison, I was compelled to retort then your words said exactly what needed to be said. My heart goes out to the woman who wrote this because I know I couldn’t face such behavior. When I was twenty-one I went to DC and met with the LGBT crowd off Doupont and I could only persist for a few months through their strange treatment toward my sexuality. I wasn’t real to them. Or there was the threat of me cheating or something like that. They painted bisexuality in a horrible light and I was the only one. No pleading against their accusations got me heard. So I’ve never been to a Pride anything. I’ve still got LGBT friends. But I know my place. You(the author of this article/comic) are a stronger woman than I am. Bless you. Now 36, a monogamous every bit a bisexual woman, married to a man.

    • mary says: |
      April 2, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      I love your post, I have had all of these thoughts in the past and have said to people many times, “So what if it is a choice. How is that anyone’s business?” But I love how you have laid it out so eloquently. No one should have to apologize for loving another person. Hate you should have to have a damn good reason for not love.

  39. Tony says: |
    December 6, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your horrible experiences with Pride. I’m ashamed to say, but years ago, I was one of those gay men who was disdainful of bisexual people. For a variety of reasons I’m not any longer (one of the most important steps for me was realizing that I don’t get to define others’ experiences, nor how they define themselves. If I want people to accept me for who I am, I damn well better do the same for others.)

  40. Ezri Steel says: |
    December 13, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I’m so sorry about all this. I must admit, as a gay male, I have felt a level of discomfort around bisexuals. It’s something I’m honestly ashamed of. For me, it is the fear of being left for someone else. I’ve never been mean or uncomfortable around bisexual women, but bisexual men…I could never say yes to. I’d be so scared he’d leave me for a girl. I don’t know if, whether it was true or not, I could ever convince myself that he had left me not because I wasn’t a girl, but for another reason. I feel like I’d begin to feel like if I’d been a girl, maybe he’d of stayed. I’m terrified of being dumped. I know I’m being stupid, judgmental, but it’s how I feel. I wish I could get over it and I promise I’ve never done anything to hurt or make a bisexual person feel uncomfortable. I’d slap anyone who did without hesitation. I just hope me saying why I’m uncomfortable might help you understand why the ones who aren’t as kind as me are so rude to you. I hope no one ever hurts you this way again.

  41. Ahab says: |
    January 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I’m so sorry you’ve experienced these ugly attacks at Pride. Biphobia and racism are all too real among gays and lesbians. You would think that a community that has experienced so much oppression would think twice before oppressing others.

    Someday, may you find a space that accepts you for who you are. In the meantime, don’t let the bullies grind you down. Be proud of yourself.

  42. Stevie Grace says: |
    January 29, 2015 at 3:14 am

    I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this. As an asexual, I won’t even go near LGBT events, because I know the odds are very good I won’t be welcome. The feeling of utter isolation that brings is a terrible, terrible thing to deal with, as I’m sure bi people can relate to quite well — knowing that even those who should understand will only shun us. It’s a horrible way of inferring that our existence is not valid. As if we all too often didn’t already have enough personal issues to deal with.

    Maybe us aces and bisexuals should start our own joint event: We Exist, Too. It would be a lot better than continually taking crap from people who ought to be our allies.

    • Alison says: |
      January 30, 2015 at 6:20 am

      Stevie, that’s a wonderful idea! The community needs to support everyone. We are all in the same boat because we’ve all been drawn outside the lines in one way or another. Rather than ganging up on one another we should be protecting each other. When we put each other down we’re doing the oppressors’ work for them.

  43. mary says: |
    April 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I just don’t understand, in Wicca circles bisexuality is so common I did not even realize this was a thing still. We all experience sexuality differently. I’m just so shocked by this I don’t even know what to say. I want you to feel supported and loved. good for you for sticking to what you believe in you heart is right, not just in regards to sexual orientation but also by not stopping going to pride events.

  44. Kristina says: |
    April 25, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    This makes me sad, and while I condemn those idiots for bullying you for being bisexual, I also don’t understand how they’re able to identify you as such.
    Whereever the hate comes from, how do they know you’re bisexual?
    I would never be able to tell; I’ve never been able to tell someone’s sexual orientation from looking at them. Can other people accurately do this? It seems totally unlikely to me, as sexual orientation can be very fluid, not set in stone.
    I really want to empathize, can someone please explain me how people are identified and singled out like this?

    • Tak says: |
      April 26, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      It’s not that you can tell if someone is bi from the way they look. In many Pride marches, you’ll see bis march under their own banner/group.

  45. MariPari says: |
    July 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I came here after seeing this comic on another site to try to find the author and send her love. This shared experience has touched me and I empathize deeply with your pain. You’re not alone, we’re all here for each other. The worst thing we can do is suffer alone in silence. Thank you for picking me up a little bit today with your brave story. Lets keep talking about these issues, even if they’re painful. Even in the midst of opposition, there should be atleast one or two people that will listen and understand the pain of walking a fence between warring factions. That’s what it feels like to be bisexual, walking a tightrope of expectations between crossfire of anti-gay and LGBT fueled hatred.

  46. Sara says: |
    August 2, 2015 at 8:45 am

    This is the first time I’ve commented on an article here.
    I’m Sara. I’m Asexual. Asexuals face the same erasure and hate from within the LBGT+ movement. We get it. We’re called ‘Unnatural’, ‘frigid’, ‘prudes’, ‘freaks’, told that we’re not even a *real* orientation, assumed to be mentally ill, sociopathic, physically disordered, emotionless, cold, or that every single one of us was sexually abused and just has hang-ups about sex because of being victimized. Sometimes, we’re verbally abused. We’re often assumed not even to exist. We are frequent victims of ‘corrective’ rape. It really is stupid.

    If ever you decide to come to Ontario to participate in the Pride events in Toronto or London, look me up. I’d be thrilled to go with you. We can walk tall together, support each other, and play Bi/Ace-Ignorance Bingo with all the stupid comments we get. And if someone gets particularly stupid, we can team up to kick his (and it’s almost always a ‘him’, isn’t it?) ass. Which would be fun… think of it as therapeutic ass-kickery. We’re curing ignorance and feeling damn good because of it! Win-win, right? 😀

    I often think that Bisexuals and Asexuals are where Gay/Lesbian people were 40 to 50 years ago. I just hope it doesn’t take half a century to get to the point where we’re given the same respect and acceptance.

  47. Ineke Geernaert - van Straten, the Netherlands says: |
    November 20, 2017 at 4:35 am

    My dad taught me that all people have equal rights. The color of their skin is not important. Their sexuality is not important. Their religion is not important. He also taught me about stuff that does matter. It is important to love, to care, to be there for others. To respect those who deserve it. To not judge. To always have an open mind. To never forget that we all are God’s children, that our hands are His hands, our feet are His feet.
    I’m married to a wonderul guy. We were blessed with a daughter and we taught her what we were taught.

  48. Bi-bi says: |
    November 22, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    And this is why I don’t tell people I am bisexual. The hate from homophobic people, I can handle. Been there, done that. But receiveing hate from fellow LGBT+ people is unbearable. I prefer to stay closeted.

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