Recently 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.