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*Note: The article in question can be found here: www.thestranger.com/seattle/bisexuals/Content?oid=8743322
Dear Dan Savage,
I have some questions for you. What do you have to gain by hating on bisexuals, or trying to debunk its existence? How does bisexuality affect your life? Does it stop you from finding a partner? Does it affect your finances or overall quality of life?
I’m inquiring about this because it seems that you have a real gear to grind when it comes to bisexuals. Your recent article on The Stranger, in which you attempt to dispel the notion that you are a biphobe, falls quite short. You endeavor to defend yourself, saying that you love bisexuals and wish you saw more of them, yet you spend more time spewing the same biphobic rhetoric which you’re known and disliked for.
In your article, Bisexuals: You Need to Come Out to Your Friends and Spouses—Now, You say,
“But let’s unpack—for Pride Week!—why I’m constantly being accused of bi-phobia, particularly by bisexual men. And it’s basically this: I’m unwilling to pretend that what is, isn’t. Here’s one thing that is: Many adult gays and lesbians identified as bi for a few shining moments during our adolescences and coming-out processes. (We wanted to let our friends down easy; we didn’t want our families to think we’d gone over the dark side entirely.) This can lead adult gays and lesbians—myself included—to doubt the professed sexual identities of bisexual teenagers.”
I believe this happens and has happened in the past; I also feel that sexuality is quite fluid, so it’s not necessarily that gay/lesbian people who once identified as bisexual did so only because they wanted to let their family and friends down easy; there are those who identified as bi, and over time, their preferences changed as they changed. I think that you’re going into dangerous territory attempting to tell young bisexual men what they are and what they are NOT. A person’s discovery and acceptance of their sexuality is THEIR journey and theirs alone; to try to make that decision for them would stunt their growth. Teens are not as unsure as we believe them to be, and just like there are people who know from a young age that they’re gay, a lesbian, or were born the wrong gender, there are many people who know and have know as teens that they were and are bisexual.
You also say,
“And here’s another thing that is: Most adult bisexuals, for whatever reason, wind up in opposite-sex relationships. And most comfortably disappear into presumed heterosexuality.”
This is one type of relationship that is open for bisexuals. We also wind up in same-sex relationships, poly relationships, celibate, and so on. It seems as though you’re continuing the use the common misconceptions that many have against bisexuals to to further justify your stance instead of attempting to show recognition.
Now, there is one thing that you spoke on that I DO feel needs to be done. There definitely needs to be more Bivisibility. For sure. And it seems as though we bi-folk need to go get this on our own, without your support, which to me is quite sad. The division within the LGBT rainbow is one that I will never understand. I cannot understand how Gays and Lesbians fight to have Heterosexuals see that sexuality isn’t black and white, but yet you perpetuate this same, closed-minded line of thinking within your own movement.
And THAT is main issue I have with YOU, Mr. Savage. This article fails in my opinion because your attempt to dispel the idea that you are bi-phobic fails. You can’t say that you want to see more of us, yet continue to spew the same misconceptions and then basically say, “Well if I’m wrong, PROVE IT! You need to COME OUT!” It’s an entitled mindset that to me doesn’t foster an authentic platform for mutual understanding and respect.