courtlyinthepalace: Hi, I wondered what your thoughts are about people dismissing labels. Because, in my experience, people are fine with them until bisexuality or pansexuality is brought up, and then they say that labels shouldn't matter. We’re a long way from that. And aren’t we entitled to a strong community? 

I said:


I think people dismiss labels they feel uncomfortable dealing with. A lot of the time, gay and lesbian people get this as well, though I will agree that bi people get this attitude more, if only because we get it from both straight and gay/lesbian people.

I’ve seen people use the “Why use labels? We’re all just people” rhetoric in a million different contexts, all aimed to exorcise the threat that they’re experiencing. They do it with race, they do it with gender, they do it with sexuality, they do it with disability - really they do it with anything that undermines their belief/wish that the dominant group that they belong to is the only thing ever in the universe. Because if that belief goes away, they have to deal with the fact that power and oppression exit, and that they have oppressor status. People fear that because the implicit loss of privilege is a very threatening thing for them.

Specifically with bisexuality, I’ve seen people put so much effort to avoid mentioning the term even when they’re literally discussing attraction to more than one gender. In fact, I’ve specifically witnessed people saying “this is not bisexuality” when they’re discussing these things just because bisexuality is present and they really need to repress that. There’s nothing people wouldn’t do to avoid the B-word and erase bisexuality. It shouldn’t keep surprising me, but the effort that people go to in order to maintain that just hits me time after time.

Anyway - what all of this means is that we need community. That people do and say these things is the very reason why we need affirmation. These are not arguments to consider and debate, it’s biphobia.


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