Rebecca Bodenheimer, PhD
Previous new york Council Speaker Christine Quinn delivered the world wide web in to a tailspin early in the day this w eek whenever she labeled actress and newly established gubernatorial prospect Cynthia Nixon a вЂњunqualified lesbianвЂќ. The uproar to date has primarily centered on the salaciousness of governmental infighting between two women that are queer. Nonetheless, whatвЂ™s lacking is a review of Quinn for mislabeling Nixon being a lesbian. Nixon has described herself as bisexual, and glossing over this distinction is a definite exemplory case of bi erasure, or even the presumption that bisexuality is certainly not a real identification, but quite simply an intermediate end from the intimate orientation train which includes just two possible locations: gay/lesbian and right. Although Quinn later apologized on her behalf remark, the apology would not relate with mislabeling NixonвЂ™s claimed sexual identity.
While bisexuality is becoming a lot more noticeable in popular tradition in past times several years having a essential escalation in bisexual figures on television in specific there are numerous stereotypes connected to the label. вЂњOn the fence,вЂќ вЂњwishy washy,вЂќ вЂњgoing through a phaseвЂќ: they are all misconceptions that are common bi people. Unfortunately, a few of the stigma and bi erasure originates from the queer community, from self identified gay males and lesbians whom donвЂ™t believe bisexuality is definitely an identity that is authentic.
as they are marginalized with their intimate orientation, they continue steadily to reinforce the heteronormative indisputable fact that sex is binary, any particular one must either be homosexual or directly.
ItвЂ™s interesting to compare the narrative about Nixon to that particular of Oregon Governor Kate Brown: whenever she ended up being elected the media identified her as bisexual, that we assume ended up being as a result of duplicated efforts on her behalf part to help make her identity that is sexual understood. Nixon hasnвЂ™t been as clear about her chosen labels; yet, she’s got been clear about her intimate and history that is romantic the cams free com fact sheвЂ™s enjoyed both women and men. One difference that is major both of these ladies is the fact that Brown is hitched to a person while Nixon is hitched to a lady. Although this may well not look like a difference that is relevant when it comes to queer identification politics, it really is.
Bi females hitched to males are thought to be straight, and if they’re thinking about claiming their queerness publicly, must repeatedly come out to individuals who donвЂ™t understand how they identify as itвЂ™s maybe not obvious from their selection of partner. Whilst the presumption of heterosexuality just isn’t astonishing, it should not be studied for provided that a stand set for their intimate orientation. Bi individuals donвЂ™t have actually to be participating in romantic or intimate relationships with both genders as well so that you can determine as bi; in reality, I would personally reckon that most bi people come in monogamous relationships at any moment. (Incidentally, the theory that most bi people are polyamorous is another major myth; non monogamy is practiced by individuals of all intimate orientations.) Therefore, i could only assume Brown publicly identifies as bisexual as itвЂ™s the way that is only her to claim her queerness.
Nixon, having said that, is married to a female and it is consequently thought by numerous to be always a lesbian. As bi females have traditionally stated, there is certainly normally a specific stigma to distinguishing as bi in the lesbian community: вЂњsheвЂ™ll make you for a manвЂќ the most typical stereotypes about bi ladies among lesbians, and reasons why numerous wonвЂ™t consider dating bi females. Inside the LGBT community, then, Nixon has less explanation to wish to loudly claim her bisexuality, as she’d most likely be (and IвЂ™m certain she happens to be) derided by some lesbians as attempting to retain some part of heterosexual privilege by maybe not вЂњfully committingвЂќ to your label of lesbian.
In the long run, it is certainly not in regards to the words that are specific makes use of to determine by by herself. All things considered, numerous bi people prefer the word вЂњqueerвЂќ because of their self identification since it emphasizes the larger LGBT community to their connections; other people use various identification labels within different contexts. Nonetheless, clearly mislabeling Nixon as a lesbian, as Quinn did, is a type of erasure which also reinforces binary notions about sex. ItвЂ™s high time we stopped considering sex as an either/or occurrence and started using bi individuals at their term, once we compensate definitely the group that is largest in the LGBT community.