asker

bisexual-community asked: Many compliments on your "Organization Through the B Lens" we are STRONGLY recommending that everyone consider it as a model "Must Have" workshop for all LGBTQ Organizing. One thing we did notice looking around your site however if you have an incorrect + transphobic definition of bisexuality. Several years ago an unfortunate fake definition of bisexuality not in keeping with the historical definition used by bisexuals since Stonewall showed up, it might have been malicious or just a joke (1/2)

(cont.) In any event this biphobic/transphobic thing keeps making the rounds + even well meaning people such as yourselves have taken to reprinting it. As generally understood by the bisexual community Bisexuals = people who can ♥ people of SAME/SIMILAR Gender as themselves + can ♥ people of DIFFERENT Genders/Gender Presentations from themselves. Please see right hand side of our main page (+ follow links) for more accurate information. And please RSVP if we can be of further assistance. (2/2)

Response:

Hey there bisexual-community! My name is Kait and I do most of the tumblr updates for Out in Front. I personally identify as bisexual and use the interpretation that you described (i.e. similar/different). First of all, thanks so much for writing in and promoting critical dialogue. We welcome everyone to look at our posts and our events and provide feedback and even pushback if it’s necessary. I just want to clarify where you’re drawing the “incorrect + transphobic definition of bisexuality” from. The most fitting source I can find is from the excerpt of the B Lens that the presenter sent to us. The phrase used was “identifiers that may indicate they have same AND other sex attractions” and that does seem to be a particularly narrow definition of bisexuality. I will say that Melinda expanded it later in the excerpt through the phrase “people with multi-sex/gender attractions/relationships.” I was unable to attend her workshop because I was facilitating my own workshop called “Queering Sex Ed.” However, I can assure you that there was a great critical dialogue about transphobia in relation to bisexuality during the Bi/Pan/Fluid Caucus in the third session of our conference (the B Lens was during the fourth session). It’s difficult to negotiate autonomy/personal preferences with inclusivity, especially when exclusion is most often derived from phobias. Many people asked, “If someone identifies as bisexual, why not go ahead and identify as pansexual? Isn’t it transphobic and exclusionary of intersex people to not do so?” I believe this is a very important question to pose to people of any identity in order to facilitate the navigation between personal autonomy/self identification and inclusivity. We came to the conclusion that preferences should not be shamed and that everyone is entitled to their own interpretation of bisexuality, but that those preferences should be positively questioned in order to expose any underlying phobias that may be driving them. At any rate, it was an incredible discussion that I wish everyone could have participated in and the more inclusive definition of bisexuality (the experience of attraction to similarly presenting individuals and differently presenting individuals) was thoroughly examined and promoted. Let us know if you find any other examples of narrow thinking in our blog or if you’d like to learn more about the programs and workshops that OUT in Front offers! Feedback is important to progress and we’ll be sure to forward your critique to Melinda!

Thank you all for helping us close out OIF 2014 with a bang!

Bi/Pan/Fluid Caucus!

Bi/Pan/Fluid Caucus!

Making friends at lunch

Never Normative

Poly talks

Students of Stonewall, y’all!

Students of Stonewall, y’all!

Queer Representation in Comic Books is packed!

Everyday Leadership