Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pink News & Media Matters err in response to #dropTheB

Bisexual people have our unconditional acceptance for good reasons.
Part of the disingenuous campaign that originated in far-right, anti-LGBT space
I respect both outlets. Pink News and Media Matters are highly valued resources. Having said that I have some issues with their response to the right-wing effort to divide us with #droptheb which is reminiscent of a faux 2015 campaign to drop the T. I say faux because these things do not originate in the LGBT community.

On June 15, Pink News ran with What is #droptheb and why should you care? The piece includes:


A previous version of this post included an embedded tweet which did not display correctly
The Pink News piece concludes with:
Bisexuality does not just mean an attraction to two genders, but an attraction to people of any gendered or non-gendered persuasion – which has been noted by several members of the community.
Media Matters, Tuesday: Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes falls for an anti-bisexual 4chan hoax, claims trans identities are mental illnesses. They correctly explain:
The anti-bisexual campaign originated on far-right anonymous message board and harassment cesspool 4chan and attempts to divide the queer community by calling on them to exclude bisexual people from the LGBTQ acronym because gender is non-binary (in other words, many people do not identify as solely either male or female).
They add:
The campaign is based on a false premise, as Pink News reported, because “bisexuality does not just mean an attraction to two genders, but an attraction to people of any gendered or non-gendered persuasion.”
Either my meds are not working or proponents and opponents of the anti-bi campaign are citing the same argument; the gender continuum.

In common parlance, bisexuality means an attraction to both males and females. That is how it is understood by most people and it is generally correct. To be inclusive, the attraction to transgender people will usually be according to their presentation which usually coincides with their gender.

Sexual orientation is a continuum with heterosexual and homosexual at the extreme ends. As we get towards the middle of the spectrum, people are described as bisexual. There is some movement in the needle. I am a gay man. At times I am also attracted to women. It makes me uncomfortable and I am happier when those feelings go away. I (we) have no control over any of this. It is not a choice.

I suspect that most heterosexual people have gay fantasies from time to time and most gay people have heterosexual fantasies from time to time. Theoretically, this reinforces the right wing certitude that sexual orientation is a choice. They also have those feelings and choose to ignore them without considering how they would feel if those feelings were stronger and persistent.

Transgender people are not mentally ill.
There are good reasons for including bisexual people in the queer community and no valid reasons for excluding them. At least in part they violate religious dictates through orientation, even if gay is not dominant. More importantly they constitute a sexual minority which, in my opinion, defines the queer community.
Introducing the gender continuum into the mix is largely inapplicable and adds confusion. Doing so means that we are being reactive to alt-Right stupidity. I prefer to be proactive and assert that bisexual people are part of our community if they, as individuals, choose to be part of our community. We unconditionally accept them.

Note: The author of the embedded tweet has since apologized.

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