This Friday (23), Bisexual Celebration Day is celebrated. The date, which serves to mark bisexual representation, was created by three American activists in 1999: Wendy Curry, Michael Page and Gigi Raven Wilbur.
On social media, people started the day remembering several famous names who are (or were) bisexual: singer-songwriter Renato Russo, Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and singer Freddy Mercury.
According to the Brazilian Bisexual Manifesto, the term defines people for whom gender is not an impediment to sexual or affective attraction.
Amanda Claro, a lawyer with a master’s degree from the University of Westminster, in the United Kingdom, and co-author of the book “LGBTQIA+ Lives: Reflections on Not Being Idiots”, says the universe that the constant need to reassert belonging is one of the most common symptoms of bisexual erasure.
“Bisexual people do not feel that they belong, nor are they welcomed, in fact, either by the LGBTQIA + community or by heterosexuals. We are left in a limbo, a ‘no place’. And this is due to an issue that is rarely talked about, which is the mononormativity”, he says.
“Mononormativity”, defines the lawyer, is a social standard that imposes on people that it would only be possible to be sexually or affectively interested in a single gender. “Either I like men or I like women. Either I’m lesbian or I’m straight. This social pattern does not allow the existence of monodivergent people, which are bisexual, pansexual and polysexual people”, says Amanda.
“We have the social custom of identifying people’s sexuality based on who they relate to. If we see a male couple, we call it a gay couple, if we see a female couple, we call it a lesbian couple, if we see a couple and male and female, we call it a straight couple. But all six of these people can be bisexual,” he continues.
Claro claims that, generally, bi people are seen as unstable or promiscuous. “Since our sexuality is not so evident because it is not ascertainable by immediate observation, it casts doubt on everyone’s sexuality and causes fear,” he says.
The stereotype of promiscuity is one of the tools of exclusion. “As we are a sexual orientation considered ‘unstable’ and that threatens the stability of others, the path is to consider ourselves dangerous in several ways. This danger and instability is brought about through the attribution of adjectives that denote unreliability and dehumanize us: promiscuous, liar, indecisive, traitor, STI carrier.”
That’s why bi people live in a place of constant need to assert their sexuality all the time to be taken seriously. “It’s interesting because, for non-straight monosexuals — gays and lesbians, for example — the moment of ‘coming out’ is considered a watershed moment, super difficult, that changes your life”, analyzes the lawyer.
So asking any bi person to justify their presence in LGBTQIA+ spaces is violence and exclusion. “Bisexuals are forced to ‘come out’ many times in their lives. Every time they deny a bisexual person’s sexuality, they are forced to go through yet another coming out. And that’s not fair, it’s forcing bi people to come out. go through moments of anguish and stress constantly”, he says.
“By these small and large acts of exclusion, and by building a mononormative society in which their sexual orientation is erased and treated as non-existent, bi people are getting sick.”
Bi is not ‘half straight’
Trans influencer Nick Nagari is bisexual and creates content about bisexuality and transgenderism on social media. He states that biphobia is very present in his life, even if in a veiled way. He says that the most remarkable experience was when I was still discovering myself and was talking about a girl to a group of friends.
“Half the crowd said I was straight and wanted attention, and the other half said I was a lesbian and had to come out soon. ‘ saying I liked men or saying I liked women because the possibility of being attracted to all genders didn’t seem real.”
For Nagari, one of the biggest faces of biphobia is invisibility. “Our society is all divided in a binary way: man/woman, straight/homo, white/black. Always one class that holds power and the other marginalized class. That’s why, in the case of sexuality, it sounds as if the straight and the homosexuality were the only two that exist and that is why bisexuality is not seen as a possible, concrete orientation.”
He claims that bisexuality is often seen as a combination of straight and homosexuality. “As a reflection of this, people understand that we have some kind of privilege because of this ‘straight half’, depending on who we relate to, and often treat us as if we were ‘glowy straight’, only ‘accepting’ ourselves when we live a relationship with someone of the same gender.”