Over the last 48 hours, I've been reading e-mails and Facebook updates from bi activists who were upset because no bisexual service members were invited to yesterday's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” repeal signing. My initial reaction to the fuss was “So what?” because at that point, I was glad just to see the back of DADT. However, at the end of the discourse, I was also angry and it wasn't over White House invitations.
Over 13,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guards were discharged under DADT. While it's unknown how many of the discharged were bisexual, I was told by bi activists that those who were willing to speak out against DADT were ignored by major gay rights organizations and the media. Hearing how yet another issue that affects all queers suddenly became “gay-washed” infuriated me.
Bisexual erasure goes far and beyond DADT. Since the beginning of the LGBTQ rights movement, bisexuals (in addition to transgender people) have been treated like second-class queers. While the transgender movement is finally being recognized, the bisexual community continues to be mistreated and erased. Whenever bisexual activists bring up the issue of biphobia within the community, they're either accused of “over-reacting” or being divisive.
For far too long, bisexuals have received the short end of the stick. One reason is because many within the mainstream L/G community assumes that bisexual issues are similar to lesbian/gay ones and that we're all fighting for the same things. While biphobia and homophobia are similar in nature, they're still two different beasts. Recent studies have revealed that the social stigmatization of bisexuals have led to great health and economical disparities.
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