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If you’re gay or lesbian and already make efforts to end biphobia, then thank you! You might want to read on anyway, because it could help you convince other gay people why they should help too.
If you’re gay or lesbian you don’t think biphobia is a thing, then read this. If you still don’t know why you should care about biphobia, please read on. The bisexual community needs your help, and here’s 10 reasons why you should step-up to the plate.
1) Because you know what it’s like to be hated for your sexual orientation.
Homophobia is almost assuredly something you’ve experienced in your life time, maybe a lot. It wasn’t okay, right? In fact, it totally sucked. In fact, some days, or weeks, or months or years it left you depressed or angry or just hurting. Did anyone ever stand up for you? No? How did that feel? Yes? How did that feel?
2) Because you are a good person.
You care about others, the world, and justice. You vote and/or you don’t litter. Maybe you even take in stray cats. Perhaps you volunteer somewhere, or donate money to causes. You get upset when you hear about suffering across the globe. It might surprise you, but of all the sexual orientations, bisexuals have the highest rates (yes, higher than gays and lesbians) of PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, homelessness, poverty, eating disorders, substance abuse etc. etc.
3) Because what hurts one part of the LGBT community hurts the other parts.
You might not like that we are all lumped together. You might think that bisexuals should accept that they are ignored by supposed “LGBT” organizations, events, and media, and just break off on their own, and go deal with their issues. But here’s what you’re not facing, no matter how you feel about bisexuals, most “gay” organizations do use the LGBT initialism, and/or do say that they represent the B and T as well as the L and G. So, no matter what some gay people may think, and even some bisexuals, we’re already all lumped in together.
If you want the general public to respect gays and lesbians, then you’re going to have to help them respect bisexuals, and trans people too, because as far as many people in straight America see it, if some in the LGBT group are perceived as all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly, things, then gays are guilty by association. It’s too late to try and distance yourselves.
4) Because how do you really feel when you don’t fight biphobia?
Sitting back and watching someone be ugly to another person or group of people feels yucky, icky, gross. It just does, you know it, you’ve felt it, and you don’t like it. It’s not fun to witness bullying, and it’s even less fun when you realize you could have helped and didn’t.
5) Because intersectionality cannot be ignored
The fight for gay rights is ultimately really about the fight for human rights. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “It’s not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.”
6) Because, almost assuredly, someone in your life is bisexual
If you don’t know of anyone, it’s probably because they haven’t felt safe coming out to you, haven’t trusted that you’d be supportive.
7) Because even though it does tend to get better for gays, it doesn’t always get better for bisexuals
Bisexuals have a higher rate of thinking about suicide than gays or straights yet unlike with gay and straight men, thoughts of suicide don’t lessen as bisexual men grow out of adolescence. Yes, biphobia is a serious problem and you might even be saving a life by helping to fight it.
8) Because biphobia has negatively affected your outlook on bi people too
Because negative things you may have come to believe about bisexuals are likely based on rampant unrestrained biphobia replete with ignorant myths and dangerous inaccurate stereotypes, or instances of individual, badly behaved, bisexuals who don’t represent an entire population any more than Jeffery Dahmer represents the gay population.
9) Because bi people have fought for gay rights too
Bisexuals have fought for gay rights for decades, have been at the forefront of many gay causes, often at the expense of being true to their own sexual identity, and neglecting bisexual specific issues.
10) Because when it comes right down to it, bisexuals have more in common with you than you may think…
… and supporting us against biphobia is likely to open up a whole new pool of possible great friendships, contacts, and experiences.
If you’re ready to help fight biphobia (YAY!!), here’s some suggestions on what you can do.
(featured image via Oscar DelaCruz)