Author Topic: Internalised biphobia  (Read 4843 times)

Offline Blythe

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #15 on: Oct 16, 2013, 11:46:51 PM »
Sorry, the confusion is my fault.  When I wrote that my post wasn't aimed at the last two posters in particular, what I meant and should have written was that it wasn't aimed at you AT ALL!  If anyone, it was OhGrowUp and perhaps a little bit Blythe...

I don't think I was offensive, and am already aware of the guidelines for this bi board and can't see how I breached them.

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Offline silverfluff

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #16 on: Oct 17, 2013, 12:02:52 AM »
Well,  I cannot think of what you said as being offensive, maybe it has to do with the fact that you are openly admitting to struggling with acceptance of your experiences with men?


I felt furious and outraged and was muttering to myself that there was no way that I was a bisexual.
I suppose that showed my biphobia, ... like the OP I remember my sexual past with men with shame and loathing.

Maybe admitting to your own biphobia  is off limits? Which is silly because we need to talk about it and this is what the thread is supposed to be about.





Offline Blythe

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #17 on: Oct 17, 2013, 08:48:32 AM »
That was my understanding of the thread too.

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birdwatcher

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #18 on: Oct 17, 2013, 09:01:35 AM »

Then this year ive become attracted to a man.(...)
I think i feel comfortable with the term queer.
 

[...]
I wonder however why is it  that our sexual identity is understood to be based on whom we are attracted to, and not on who we are innately  compatible with on sexual and emotional levels in relationships.

[...]

I'm not sure I understand but I would have thought understanding sexual orientation as who we are sexually attracted to is completely logically coherent.  My understanding of Duck!'s post is the confusion that can arise from meeting someone you establish a rapport with but are not really sexually attracted to but you like them (maybe a lot) and have a connection of sorts. 

There seems to be a lot of stigma around bisexuality - because of my heterosexual past I am often given the bi label which I wouldn't mind not least of all because taken purely on the basis of sexual history it is true.  10 years ago I was in sexual relationship (of a sort) with a man.  I have been blatantly told by a lesbian (gold star?) that bisexuals are okay to have sex with but you wouldn't have a relationship with one.  Meaning me.  Perhaps for good reason.  I don't know.  I do feel that women given the bisexual label are basically second class citizens in this context.   


edited to add:  which I think would be a good reason for women with heterosexual past to want to avoid the bi label at all costs. 




onmyway

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #19 on: Oct 17, 2013, 02:13:48 PM »
I used the words "a little bit" about Blythe, for a reason.  I found it a little bit inappropriate, in this part of the boards, for a lesbian to post what she posted.  It wasn't massively offensive to me, and would have been fine in another part of the boards, but I don't think it was ideal in this particular section.  That's all.

What OhGrowUp wrote was much more offensive to me, for the record...

I assumed this thread was about bisexual women having internalised bi-phobia, that's a discussion that interests me for several reasons including that I know I have some and I'm trying hard to overcome it right now.  As a bisexual woman.  I don't think the Bi Any Other Name part of the boards is a good place for lesbian women to discuss their biphobia.  I hope you can see the difference, that it's about context and about which part of the boards things are posted.

I post this not to start or continue an argument but just to explain where I'm coming from.  I honestly don't want to be arguing with or upsetting anybody and I hope that won't be the result.


Offline Blythe

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #20 on: Oct 17, 2013, 03:56:35 PM »
You are entitled to your opinion, Onmyway, and I did not intend to cause offence to any bisexuals who use this board, I don't want to derail silverfluff's thread by arguing with you further on this, but I am disappointed to see that an admission of honesty about the subject is considered inappropriate.
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Offline silverfluff

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #21 on: Oct 17, 2013, 10:42:33 PM »

Then this year ive become attracted to a man.(...)
I think i feel comfortable with the term queer.
 

[...]
I wonder however why is it  that our sexual identity is understood to be based on whom we are attracted to, and not on who we are innately  compatible with on sexual and emotional levels in relationships.

[...]

I'm not sure I understand but I would have thought understanding sexual orientation as who we are sexually attracted to is completely logically coherent.  My understanding of Duck!'s post is the confusion that can arise from meeting someone you establish a rapport with but are not really sexually attracted to but you like them (maybe a lot) and have a connection of sorts. 

There seems to be a lot of stigma around bisexuality - because of my heterosexual past I am often given the bi label which I wouldn't mind not least of all because taken purely on the basis of sexual history it is true.  10 years ago I was in sexual relationship (of a sort) with a man.  I have been blatantly told by a lesbian (gold star?) that bisexuals are okay to have sex with but you wouldn't have a relationship with one.  Meaning me.  Perhaps for good reason.  I don't know.  I do feel that women given the bisexual label are basically second class citizens in this context.   


edited to add:  which I think would be a good reason for women with heterosexual past to want to avoid the bi label at all costs. 







Oh! mutual misunderstanding!
I don't know how people get attracted to others, but I would assume a lot get attracted to the person first before taking it to a sexual level.


Personally I am seldom attracted to people sexually in general, I can be drawn to them for whatever reason: intelligence, look, personality but that does not mean I desire them.


I find a lot of people cute, very few of both sexes make me think 'I want to kiss them' and even fewer, usually women make me think 'I want to have sex with them' or  'I find them arousing'. I don't know... people once talked about not being able to forget a girl because she was graceful, kind, and had golden hair, since when did this get reduced to lust kind of attraction?

Desire follows once I get to know them. To me this almost asexual  attraction is my kind of default attraction so when people talk about sexual attraction this is what it is for me. It is an attraction to the person with the potential of desire for being close physically developing at some point, but only if I am attracted to their mind/ personality.

With these multiple reasons for attraction to various people most of which don't stem from sexual desire as such,but from a romantic one, but which could develop into sexual desire, how  can I possibly define my orientation based on my attraction?
I get aroused by the idea of closeness and intimacy, but people don't normally wear their intimate selves on the sleeve, how can I know if they will arouse me or not?

From practise I know that the kind of sex that I need and want can probably only happen with a woman and on a purely animal physical level I am only sexually aroused by female bodies, so my sexuality is clearly defined when it comes to liking bodies, I like female bodies, and I want to have one in my bed.  But then when it gets to being drawn to real people in the world I get primarily attracted to minds not bodies, I want to have sex with their mind, I don't care if they have tentacles!


In your posts you seem to contradict yourself: if according to you, attraction defines orientation, then you should call yourself bisexual, and not 'lesbian who took a detour" since you did have a bisexual past, presumably based on genuine attraction to men on some level.









 
« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2013, 10:44:14 PM by silverfluff »

birdwatcher

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #22 on: Oct 18, 2013, 08:57:35 AM »
^ I’m sorry.  I don’t know you and I never do full on internet self-disclosure.  You’ll have to take my word for it when I say I’m not bisexual or give me whatever label you want.  I am beyond care.   

Offline silverfluff

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #23 on: Oct 18, 2013, 09:42:51 PM »
^I think you completely misunderstood me, I was not labelling you as anything, I was saying that by your own definitions you contradicted yourself.

On the one hand you disagreed with me saying that attraction is what constitutes orientation, on the other hand you say that your past attractions are not to be taken into account when defining your orientation, basically making my point after disagreeing with it first. 

Maybe read  my posts, see what I am trying to say before assuming that I am labelling you as anything and responding in a huff based on your wrong assumptions.



Offline kiawe

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #24 on: Oct 22, 2013, 09:03:11 PM »
I think we are all somehow wary of the label "bisexual." Because of all its negative connotations. Even if it might describe the long-term arc of one's life. That's why the most common self-labeling comes from the folks who just want to "run back and forth having fun"--not that I see anything wrong with that and I object to the slut-shaming going on. But people picking a label for their pursuit of fun are probably not going too deep into the politics/community/connotations etc.

I have internalised biphobia in the sense that I am reluctant to describe myself to acquaintances that way though I've known since I was six that it was probably the most likely label. And on the other hand, it is also the world's biphobia that motivates me to use the label. To refuse to be shamed.

At the same time, I don't really see the label "bisexual" describing very much about my sexuality. I would not say that I am attracted to men and women or romantically inclined towards them. Instead I am strongly sexually attracted to tall, skinny, usually pale, people with sad eyes. Of any sex or gender. It's not particularly the maleness or femaleness of bodies that I find sexually arousing. I don't particularly like masculinity or femininity. There are very very few people I would want to be romantically involved with. I choose to be single. So I don't know how that fits into the romantic vs sexual orientation theory.
     

Offline Queen_Bea

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #25 on: Dec 05, 2013, 09:04:33 PM »
Surely a woman passing through a ‘phase’ where she is in an exclusive intimate relationship with another woman would classify as a lesbian?

The term bisexual to me implies someone who is shuttling back and forth between men and women for fun.

This is certainly my experience in dating women who classified as bisexual. We simply had a string of dates and lots of sex.  I had no expectations that these encounters would lead to anything more. Interestingly none of them wanted to be referred to as a lesbian or ever come out as one. I suppose bisexual seems more socially acceptable and one can be forgiven for an error of judgement. Or two. Or three. Or four…
 

I think the problem with bisexuality  that you are describing  comes from the fact that for some it describes a bi-sexual and bi-romantic orientation whilst for others it describes purely their sexual orientation, the bisexuals who are 'problematic' for the gay community are the ones who are mostly hetero-romantic, but not all 'bees' are like that.
 'Lesbian' or 'Gay' as opposed to 'homosexual' describes more a psychosexual orientation, but 'bisexual' for some  describes only sexual behaviour, whilst for others their psychosexual orientation.

Basically I think 'bisexual' just stopped having a descriptive meaning, I'd much rather see it reserved only for the case of bi-romantic + bisexual people: who can and want to have a roma
ntic and sexual relationship with either a man or a woman and they don't care which one. OR find a different word for that orientation similar to 'lesbian' or 'gay'.
People who are sexually attracted to both genders but romantically only to one, are technically hetero-romantic bisexuals or homo-romantic bisexuals.

People who are attracted to both genders romantically, but sexually only to one, are bi-romantic homosexuals, or bi-romantic heterosexuals.

All of this are horrible mouthfuls to say, personally I think I fall into the bi-romantic homosexual category: whilst I can have physical sex with a guy, something always is missing, period.


I think because today we identify orientation as 'attraction' and  many bi-romantic, or bi-sexual  lesbians are attracted to men on some level, this makes them adopt the 'bi' label, because attraction=orientation, when I don't think it is as simple, I think there is some innate part of us that makes us either more compatible with women or men and desire romanic and sexual relationships with them. This problem would not exist if we allowed for attraction to just exist as a thing in itself,  without it having to define our orientation, and if we defined orientation as a innate trait of psychosexual compatibility with one gender or both.

The problem really stems from the fact of how narrowly heterosexuality is defined, if you step outside of it, you are automatically non-straight, when really a person who is bi on only one aspect of their psychosexuality, really still fits more or less into the 'straight' category, because their long-term relationships will be straight.
This narrowness found its way into the queer world as well: you are attracted to the opposite sex in some way= you are bi, when this often is not the case.

I guess keeping the 'bi' label by people who live predominantly gay or straight lives has to do with keeping personal integrity, to 'owning' their past.
It makes sense, but only for people who are bi in the psychosexual sense, for ones who innately don't have a gender preference in terms of forming relationships.
Personally I am not bi in the psychosexual sense, I am bi-romantic and gay, and in my case I've felt that I was pressured into the 'bi' label by a world that demands from us to justify our  attractions and want to define us by them.

I totally love this post .. As a very biromantic but basically more heterosexual woman I really appreciate that distinction. I have always been a bit confused by my ability to fall in love with women and yet not even want or feel the need to go there. I think a lot of people probably feel threatened or confused by feelings that seem to make no sense, rather than trying to unpick them and "own" them.
I know this because that's mainly how I felt!

onmyway

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #26 on: Dec 05, 2013, 09:42:51 PM »
I don't really see the label "bisexual" describing very much about my sexuality. I would not say that I am attracted to men and women or romantically inclined towards them. Instead I am strongly sexually attracted to tall, skinny, usually pale, people with sad eyes. Of any sex or gender. It's not particularly the maleness or femaleness of bodies that I find sexually arousing. I don't particularly like masculinity or femininity. There are very very few people I would want to be romantically involved with. I choose to be single. So I don't know how that fits into the romantic vs sexual orientation theory.   

I think this comes closest of anything I've read in a long time to describing where I'm at with it all.

I'm not particularly attracted to tall, skinny, pale people - please don't take me literally!  But there are certain types that can attract me, regardless of their genitalia or gender.  Even more than that, there's a certain dynamic between me and them that can attract me.

It doesn't mean I want to act on it, or that I want a relationship with them.  Just that I can feel a momentary attraction for them.

Offline Queen_Bea

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #27 on: Dec 06, 2013, 09:18:08 PM »
I have been doing more thinking (always dangerous) and I think part of the issue is that we are under societal pressure for every relationship to adopt an identical traditional format and everything outside that doesn't count.  When I went to uni I met a guy fairly early on and felt compelled by the way I was brought up, to be his girlfriend for several years.
That counts - and yet one of the most psychologically and emotionally deep relationships was with a girl that was "just a pen friend".. I still love her now. Not him though, even though it was a good relationship sexually and otherwise.
It's weird to me that some people really never question their sexuality or gender identity. Sometimes I envy it a bit - to be so sure must be nice!
I also think that it isn't entirely fair to slut shame people for "experimenting" .. There was a time when I would have loved to have loads of women using me for sex, it would have been awesome! Maybe that is a bit flippant but I'm trying to say all sexual and romantic experiences are valid and real - even if it does not turn into a lifelong partnership.
I think everyone would be happier if we were more free to experiment .. If we could just do our thing without it being so loaded with all sorts of baggage and significance

scouser

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #28 on: Feb 07, 2014, 07:06:45 PM »
The main reason I am feeling so totally bloody confused is cos I have had two long term relationships with men, one I thought I was in love with because I loved him deeply, the other just to appease and go along with norms, etc.
The relationship with the woman was also long, intense, loving a nd solid, it ended, but the reason I'm so confused.ed now is, I 've met a woman Iv'e fallen for, that I love more than all the ones I thought I was in love with, both men and women, which has knocked me for six, cos now after falling in love for real, I am realising I wasn't in love before at all, so what the hell does that make me now!!!
Gay, bi, both? Or just a complete and utter f...up!
And what do I do about it?
Help.!
« Last Edit: Feb 07, 2014, 10:00:24 PM by scouser »

Offline Jenny Talia

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Re: Internalised biphobia
« Reply #29 on: Feb 09, 2014, 11:59:32 PM »
I was thinking about this a lot recently, how biphobia hurts the queer community.
 
I guess once I had a baby I realised how invisible queer women are if they don't look the part.  Like how having a baby stops you looking gay.  Even if you have a gf, once you walk out onto the street alone with your baby you are no longer queer.  And then there's the lesbian in successful co-parenting arrangements with their children's donor.  When they go out together as a family they no longer look gay.  Then there's people like me, and other queers in relationships with transpeople.  And of course you can't forget the former lesbians who are now in relationships with bio-men.  Even if you have never experienced any prejudice for being a mother (or for dating the wrong gender), Pride events aren't exactly set up for families or non-gay-but-still-very-queer couples.  We're the forgotten members of the community. 

Once it made sense for biphobia to exist, back when the gay community was oppressed and frightened and deliberately excluded from normal society.  Now in cities where gay rights have progressed to the point where we can get married, biphobia is actually holding back and silencing members of our own community.  It's a shame. 
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