A bisexual writer and activist has started the hashtag #DoBetterBiUs, urging queer media to report better on bisexual issues and avoid buying into biphobia.
Lois Shearing’s article posted on The Queerness said that queer media must stop perpetuating common myths about bisexual people, including that all bi people are really either straight or gay.
She posted that queer media shouldn’t assume that covering gay issues automatically included bisexual issues.
“Separate us out. Give us the space we deserve,” she wrote.
She also wrote that bisexual people must be believed and supported in relation to experiencing sexual violence—statistics suggest bi women are far more likely than either lesbians or straight women to be sexually assaulted.
Other Twitter users have begun using the hashtag to talk about their own experiences of biphobia.
New Zealand’s Beyond Binaries Aotearoa shared a number of stories.
“When I told a gay guy that I’d hooked up with that I was bi, he said, ‘Nope, you’re gay. There’s no such thing as bi and I should know because I used to say I was bi, too.’ That made me feel like I wasn’t real, that I was confused, that I had something wrong with me,” read one story.
“When I came out as bi, one relative said, ‘Stick to girls so you don’t get AIDS’… It made me feel like being bi was dirty and risky, not something to celebrate,” said another.
Beyond Binaries Aotearoa also called attention to the erasure inherent in the names of many LGBTI organisations that are called “Gay [Whatever]”.
They suggested that such organisations consider adopting more inclusive names to explicitly welcome bi and other diverse LGBTI community members.
The second is not to assume that by covering the ways an issue affect gay folks, you're covering us too. Sure, we are affected by mostly the same issues, but look deeper in your research. Separate us out. Give us the space we deserve. Ensure resources fully apply to bi+ people.
— lumpi 🦄 (@LoisShearing) November 28, 2017
— Larker Anthology (@LarkerAnthology) November 28, 2017
— amyluettgen 💖💜💙 (@amyluettgen) November 28, 2017
There's no escaping the fact that names like "Gay [Whatever]" and acronyms like "IDAHOT", "GLAAD" and "ILGA" are Gold Star Biphobia.#DoBetterBiUs and change your organisation's name to something that embraces our place in the rainbow community.
[Gilbert Baker’s original flag] pic.twitter.com/0zV6pqhRFz
— Beyond Binaries Aotearoa (@BeyondBinariesA) December 1, 2017
#DoBetterBiUs: When I told a relative I was #bi when I was about 19 and single, she said to me, "No, you're just lonely; you just need to find a girlfriend", which made me feel like my feelings weren't right; that there was something wrong with my thoughts.
— Beyond Binaries Aotearoa (@BeyondBinariesA) November 28, 2017