Last week was Pride, a time for the LGBTQ+ community to come together and have their voices heard. A call for celebration, right? Instead, I saw how people who identify as bisexual were being oppressed and marginalised across social media platforms from people in and outside of the community. This was followed by further ridicule, such as the ‘#droptheb’ movement, where it was asked that the ‘B’ from LGBTQ+ was to be removed, subsequently excluding bisexuality from the community. This is called ‘biphobia’.
Biphobia can be defined as the oppression of bisexuality. The belief that someone cannot be attracted to more than one gender/sexuality. A type of xenophobia, biphobia enforces the ideology that bisexuality isn’t a valid sexuality. If you look under the hashtag #bisexualityisvalid you will find mixed opinions about biphobia. Some think it is highly present in society. Others say it doesn’t exist at all. Both opinions are alarming – Who is anyone to say who someone can and cannot love?
As someone who follows the LGBTQ+ community I find it upsetting that people who identify as bisexual are being shunted out of their own community. The essence of being a community is to stand together and support one another, not bring each other down. I think that’s what needs to be remembered.
After noticing the rise of biphobia, I asked friends about their experiences. One said that they were initially too scared to come out as bisexual for fear of ridicule. Another said that their sexuality was never taken seriously during their teenage years. They were accused of ‘lying’ or ‘attention seeking’ by their peers when they dated someone who identified as a woman. They also admitted that they were spat on in a nightclub and called ‘selfish’ for choosing to date partners who identify as male and female.
Others I asked didn’t know what biphobia was. Some felt misinformed about biphobia, and didn’t realise how often it was happening in society. Although one article about biphobia will not change the world, it is clear that awareness of the issue needs to be raised.
At the end of the day, biphobia is real and it should not be ignored.