"Bi Body Politic" is William Burleson's take on the concept of Bisexual Erasure, an idea defined by Kenji Yoshino of the Stanford Law Review. The theory suggests that the invisibility felt by bisexual men and women is the intentional outcome of gays and straights preserving their social order--knowing who is on which team. (My quote is paragraph eight.)
Bill Burleson's article is much more interesting than my commentary, but here's what I wrote:
My perspective is that bisexual people are typically viewed by those in the larger Lesbian and Gay community either as non-existent/invisible or as a set of people without a credible sexual identity. I've found in politics, activism and and non-profit activity that bisexual people are not represented excepted as a letter in an acronym. I don't believe that gay men and lesbian women have an adequate experience/knowledge base for or feel comfortable with advocating for the bisexual segment in our community.
On the other hand, I almost never read about the opposition singling out--even for a sentence in a long diatribe--bisexual people as evil-doers. For the most part, the James Dobsons and Pat Robertsons of the world never mention us because they don't use "our" acronyms. Even when their compatriots, like Ted Haggard and Larry Craig, were exposed as hypocrites, the thrust of media coverage focused on a 'gay' label and practically ignored the possibility of bisexuality, or simply that they were heterosexual men who had sex with men.
What the opposition, the media, and too often the lesbian and gay community too often assume is that sexual identity and orientation hinge on the genders of ones sexual partners. Through this warped logic, every man or woman who marries a person of another gender and later comes out as gay or lesbian they would obviously define as bisexual. This is why clinical definitions for sexual identity don't work. We get to claim the identity that fits best. And, to everyone's annoyance, it could change. Or, it won't.
P.S. I don't discuss the transgender community regarding this issue because they have a more complex path to discovery or definition of their sexual orientation and identity with its relation or lack of relation to their gender identity and expression. Transgender people are more likely to empathize with bisexual people. Additionally, I believe that bisexual people may be the strongest allies and advocates for the transgender community. If not, we should be.
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