This is a monthly feature that will focus on all aspects of identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning, as well as other ways of defining our gender/sexuality. We aim to cover a variety of topics; some relating to mental health, positive and negative experiences, the reality of today’s society in accepting the LGBTQ+ community, day-to-day life, and many more. As always, we invite anyone who has a passion for writing, or who wants their voice heard, to contact us about writing an article for Student Life. I believe it is important to talk about the things that society can sometimes find uncomfortable. Hiding away encourages this behaviour, and I personally think that we are all different and there is no right or wrong. I say: “be who you truly are, be yourself, embrace yourself, and don’t let anyone get you down” – how boring would it be if we were all the same, eh? Please see our first LGBTQ+ articles which focus on the relationship between mental health and identifying within the LGBTQ+ community. If anyone has any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
THE L WORD
Written BY LEANNE ARNOLD
There’s this super awesome lesbian TV series that, for some strange reason, I’ve realised not many people have seen. It’s about a fictional group of lesbian gals living in Los Angeles, following their relationships, struggles, heartbreaks, jobs etc! There’s so many awesome characters which I’m sure most of us can identify with. It’s not exactly a PG watch though, so I would advise to watch when appropriate! Oh, by the way, it’s called The L Word. What is fantastic about this show is that they cover many different aspects of being part of the LGBTQ+ community – I won’t say anything else as I don’t want to spoil it! Check it out, hit me up with what you guys think, or write an article of your thoughts for Student Life!
Written BY ABBIE
‘Abbie is a 20-year-old student, currently taking a hiatus for the sake of improving her mental health, with the intention of applying to study philosophy at university in 2019. Her contributions towards this magazine stem from an interest in social justice issues, primarily those surrounding mental health and the LGBTQ+ community.’
‘Biphobia is homophobia, it’s as simple as that. The Oxford English Dictionary defines homophobia as ‘an intense aversion to homosexuality and homosexuals.’ Similarly, it defines biphobia as a ‘dislike of or prejudice against bisexual people.’ There is mounting evidence to suggest that bisexuals experience as equally as painful a form of homophobia as gay men and women. With this being the case, why do we not take biphobia as seriously as we do homophobia?
In short, it would appear that biphobia is often regarded as a lesser extreme version of homophobia, if not an entirely separate form of discrimination in itself. My hope is to dispel this myth and to highlight the fact that, in my view, at least, biphobia is as legitimate a form of homophobia as that directed towards lesbians and gay men.
The LGBTQ+ community, in conjunction with society at large, have made great strides in attempting to quash homophobia, but the seemingly apparent rise of biphobia, coupled with bisexual-erasure, is causing this community to regress at a time when unity and inclusivity are desperately needed.
Historically, it has not been bisexuals who have been targeted for their sexual orientation, but, rather their lesbian and gay counterparts. Whilst I cannot account for said historical discrepancy within the realm of sexual discrimination, I can point to the fact that, in recent years, bisexual men and women have been hugely discriminated against for their sexuality, both from within the LGBTQ+ community and from heterosexual individuals. From reports of crowds going silent as the bisexual group paraded by at the 2017 London Pride event, to people delegitimising the sexual orientation of bisexuals by labelling them as ‘closeted lesbians’ who refer to themselves as bisexual only to lessen the blow when coming out as gay, it is clear that biphobia is an issue which needs addressing.
Sexuality is something to celebrate, especially from within the LGBTQ+ community, and, yet, so many bisexuals feel compelled to hide their sexual orientation or redefine their sexuality to avoid being shut out of their own community. It is a sad reality that gay men and women are often victim to homophobia, but it is an even sadder reality that, today, bisexuals are increasingly at the receiving end of homophobia from those who have experienced it themselves. Surely, such individuals who have not only fought for equality, but are all too familiar with homophobia, would know better than to perpetuate such discrimination by way of partaking in such practices as biphobia and bisexual-erasure. The ‘B’ in LGBTQ+ exists for a reason.