First - some background:
- I’ve been seeing more and more people on tumblr arguing that monosexism can’t exist because gay and lesbian people don’t benefit from the oppression of bi people
- This is a rebuttal of this argument
- However, monosexism isn’t about gay and lesbian people
- Seriously, read the links
- No, SRSLY
- Pulling the discussion that way DERAILS IT YET AGAIN and draws attention away from the real issue - centering it around gay and lesbian people when it’s supposed to be about bi people and our oppression
- I’m posting this anyway because JFC already
Now, some statistical facts (sources are linked):
- Gay and lesbian people suffer less from suicidality
- Gay and lesbian people suffer less sexual violence and intimate violence
- Gay and lesbian people are less in poverty
- Gay and lesbian people are less in need of food stamps
- Gay and lesbian people are far less closeted at work
- Gay and lesbian people are less erased in the media
- Gay and lesbian youth are less bullied online
- In years 2008 and 2009, out of over 200 million dollars given by US foundations to LGBT organizations as grants, not a single dollar went towards bisexual-specific organizations or projects. Trans exclusion notwithstanding, that means (white, cis) gay and lesbian people got pretty much all of it.
- And there’s more
- And more
- And even that’s partial
Social benefits (all elaborated in my book please just read it if you want to know more, I promise it’s all in there):
- Bisexual erasure stabilizes the heterosexual/homosexual binary. Acknowledging that it exists would insinuate that sexuality is changeable, making it impossible to argue that gay people were “born this way”. So monosexism makes it easier to legitimize homosexuality.
- Bisexual erasure makes it possible to create (usually binary, cissexist) gender-segregated gay and lesbian environments. Because bisexual people always carry the “threat” of being with “other genders” and then “bringing them into the community”. So monosexism makes it easier to organize and maintain gay and lesbian communities.
- Bisexual erasure makes it possible for gay and lesbian people to use respectability politics with regards to sex. Because bi men are viewed as closeted men who sneak out to have unsafe anonymous sex behind their wives’ backs, and because bi women are viewed as sluts who make lesbians look bad because they’re “sexually available to men”. So monosexism makes it easier for gay and lesbian people to appear sexually “moral”.
- These are all points made by gay scholar Kenji Yoshino (and elaborated by me in my book). Go read his article.
Material benefits (all elaborated in my book please just read it if you want to know more, I promise it’s all in there):
- Gay and lesbian people benefit from the work that bi people put in promoting and being active in queer movements/communities without having to credit them or give anything back to them.
- Because bi people are excluded from leadership in these movements/communities, gay and lesbian people are the leaders and decision makers. That means they control communities’ agenda, money and resources.
- Since internalized monosexism often makes bi people believe that bisexuality isn’t important enough to organize around, many contribute most of their activist time and energy to promoting gay and lesbian issues - again meaning queer movements benefit from the work of bi people at the expense of bi people and movements.
- And of course there’s the part where (as stated above) almost all LGBT money goes to the GGGG part of it, and that bisexual people actually earn less money than gay and lesbian people.
- These are points made by bisexual scholar and activist Miguel Obradors (and elaborated by me in my book). Go read his article.
And then there are other side privileges…
Then combine all this with the fact that bi people are DISPROPORTIONATELY WOMEN, PEOPLE OF COLOR AND TRANS PEOPLE. Then do the math.
Want to know more? Follow the goddamn links.
[Image: Samuel L. Jackson from the movie Pulp Fiction aiming a gun towards the camera looking angry (Say What Again meme). Top text: “SAY MONOSEXISM DOESN’T EXIST”. Bottom text: “ONE MORE TIME”]