Prejudice at Pride

By 9 March 2017Uncategorized

Experiences of a bisexual activist at Pride events…

Cartoon brought to life by Empathize This (and reposted here with their permission).

Read the whole story below.

I’m sick of how bisexuality is erased in LGBT spaces. I get really nervous before any LGBT event, especially Pride. I feel incredibly sad and hopeless when gay and lesbian people call me insulting names. If gay and lesbian people don’t understand me – having been on the receiving end of hate themselves – then how will anyone else understand?

I marched with U.K bisexuals at London Pride. Some of the gay marchers shouted nasty names at us like “Breeder!” and “Switcheroos!”I am especially hurt by being called “breeder” as I was never able to have children.

I don’t comprehend why some gays and lesbians hate bisexuals so much. I’ve been told that bisexuality automatically means I’ll never be satisfied being monogamous, that I will cheat on any lesbian partner with a man. It’s like they think that bisexual people have a monopoly on cheating, and we are automatically selfish. Maybe they’re scared of their own feelings? Maybe the thought of being attracted to more than one gender makes them scared about their own attractions, and what that might make them? Whatever the reason, verbal abuse from lesbian, gay and trans* people seems almost an everyday thing.

In the past, I’ve received physical abuse too. The physical abuse in LGBT spaces have ranged from being violently pushed, to being prodded, tugged, and poked. It’s almost always gay men who get physical. I’ve also had someone shove their whistle in my mouth and then order me to blow it.

Sometimes I get so scared at LGBT events that I find myself shaking. Pride is supposed to be a celebration, but it hasn’t been for me on many occasions.

When biphobia combines with racism, the attacks are even worse. For example, at Brighton Pride I was assaulted by another marcher. Brighton is a very white place, and I was one of only two black people in the march (that I saw), and probably the only black bisexual person. At one point I was followed into a quiet spot just outside where the festival was happening, and spat on by a white gay man who had been in the march. It still makes me scared sometimes. I’ve never returned to Brighton Pride since. I doubt anyone else on the parade had to worry about that kind of hatred coming from other marchers.

I thought Black LGBT Pride would be better, but in most years, the biphobia is just as bad there as it is in white dominated spaces. It’s just less racist.

I often ask myself why I keep going to these events. But then I’ll see a black face in the crowd, looking at me with astonished wonder. I’ve been told a few times by black people that seeing someone like them at a Pride event was an encouraging thing for them.

Being visible and out is important to me. I shouldn’t have to hide a big part of myself through fear from the very people who are meant to support me. I just hope that the next LGBT event I go to really will be inclusive to all the parts of me.

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