Someone Thinks Bisexuals Are Lying-Again

biRecently for me there’s been some good news and some bad news; the good news is I haven’t run out of or had to look far for topics to write about for several weeks now.  The bad news is it’s because there’s been so much biphobia going around I’ve been kept busy answering it all!  The culprit this time is a site I honestly thought was more open minded; BiPeopleMeet.com.  Having not only used the site myself but having had several friends on it, I’ve always found it to be a welcoming place for bisexuals, as well as for BLGT people and straight people.

So imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks ago this page began circulating on the internet: The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating.  About halfway down the page, the fourth “lie” said this: “‘I’m bisexual.’ REALITY: 80 percent of self-identified bisexuals are only interested in one gender. BiPeopleMeet is a gay- and bi-friendly place and it’s not our intention here to call into question anyone’s sexual identity. But when we looked into messaging trends by sexuality, we were very surprised at what we found. People who describe themselves as bisexual overwhelmingly message either one sex or the other, not both as you might expect.” If you want to see just this itself without the other “lies” expanded out, check out this page by Raspberry mousse: BiPeopleMeet believes that bisexuality is one of online dating’s “biggest lies.”

It seems that bi people meet tries to say it’s not trying to question sexual identity, and then proceeds to do just that.  Nowhere in the “argument” is there even a hint as to other reasons why these so called “trends” might be true (one obvious reason is that men tend to message back much more than women on any dating site, so it makes sense one gender would message more, and there are many other reasons as well) or try to look at this in any way besides implying that the people who say they are bisexual on the site must mostly be lying.  What’s also sad is that when I posted this, even some so called “allies” tried to say it wasn’t that big a deal, that it was just “data”.  I asked if it would be just “data” if the same thing was posted about black people or gay people; for some odd reason I didn’t get a response.  Of course it wouldn’t be; it only seems to be acceptable when it’s about bisexuals.

So, what is the best reaction?  Some people have chosen to boycott Okcupid.  I thought about it at first, but others from the bisexual community thought it would be best to use this as a reason to start a dialogue; and several have written emails to Bi People Meet, as did I.  In my opinion that is the best way to deal with something like this; to write polite but firm emails explaining why such posts are unacceptable when they negate the existence of an entire group.  One way is to use the comments section at the bottom of the “lies” page on Bi People Meet; from what I understand they do actually read their comments.  Another way is on the main site, in the lower right corner; there is an “about us” section that will lead you to the contact page.

One good thing that has come out of all the biphobia in recent weeks: I’ve seen the bisexual community more united than I’ve ever seen it before.  Biphobia is quickly recognized and responses are swift; and there is more and more dialogue between different parts of the community. I sincerely hope that all of this adversity will help us to step up, unite, and find our voices.  Let the dawn of our awakening begin.

What Does The Removal Of Proposition 8 Mean For The Bisexual Community?

communityWith all the depressing headlines lately, last week when I heard that Prop 8 had been overturned in California,at first I thought it was either a joke or I had to be dreaming. I admit I had stopped following the progress of the anti-Prop 8 fight, having lost faith in CA ever giving BLGT people back their rights after they voted in Prop 8 in 2008. I never thought they would strike it down so quickly (within two years).

Naturally what followed was a lot of celebrating in the BLGT community (especially in CA!) and then the sober realization that Prop 8 or something like it could very easily be reinstated; within 24 hours anti-equality groups had already filed an appeal, and hateful articles and quotes have sprung up all over the internet.

In the aftermath of everything, an interesting question popped up: what does the overturning of Prop 8 mean for the bisexual community, and how will it affect us? For starters, many of us remember it was only a few months ago that we were being brought up as a scapegoat reason not to get rid of Prop 8! Some cynically said that’s the only time we’ve been mentioned in the whole Prop 8 saga; and unfortunately there is some truth to that. It seems that one thing the celebrations have shown is that we’re still barely being acknowledged as even being part of the fight for same-sex rights; at least not when there’s good news.

I kept hearing and reading last week about the rights of “gays and lesbians” to marry and how this will affect them marrying in California. Occasionally someone said or wrote all four BLGT letters, I think I actually saw the word bisexual written out once. You’d think after being listed as a reason not to take away Prop 8, we’d at least get more than that!

That being said, this also presents several positive opportunities for the bisexual community; to celebrate with the rest of our BLGT brothers and sisters, to be more vocal and visible, and to remind people that as bisexuals, this is a victory and a right for us too. A big part of the victory is that bisexual men and women living in CA will now be able to marry their same sex partners, and for some in the closet, it may mean finally coming out.

It’s also a new opportunity to put ourselves in the spotlight more as out bisexuals and help in the fight to keep Prop 8 (and other laws like it around the country) from coming back and/or from being passed. This can be accomplished both by working with other BLGT people and by focusing on the unique needs of our own community. If we step back and get discouraged, things will never change.