Rebecca Bodenheimer, PhD
Previous new york Council Speaker Christine Quinn delivered the net as 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 focused on the salaciousness of governmental infighting between two queer ladies. Nonetheless, whatвЂ™s lacking is a review of Quinn for mislabeling Nixon being a lesbian. Nixon has known by herself as bisexual, and glossing over this distinction is a definite exemplory instance of bi erasure, or even the presumption that bisexuality is certainly not a genuine identification, but quite simply an intermediate end in the intimate orientation train that includes just two feasible locations: gay/lesbian and right. The apology did not relate to mislabeling NixonвЂ™s stated sexual identity although Quinn later apologized for her comment.
While bisexuality is now a lot more noticeable in popular tradition in past times couple of years having an increase that is important bisexual characters on television in specific you may still find numerous stereotypes connected to the label. вЂњOn fuckoncam.net the fence,вЂќ вЂњwishy washy,вЂќ вЂњgoing through a phaseвЂќ: they are all typical misconceptions about bi people. Unfortunately, a number of the stigma and bi erasure arises from the queer community, from self identified gay guys and lesbians whom donвЂ™t believe bisexuality is an authentic identification.
They continue to reinforce the heteronormative idea that sexuality is binary, that one must either be gay or straight while they are marginalized for their sexual orientation.
ItвЂ™s interesting to compare the narrative about Nixon to that particular of Oregon Governor Kate Brown: whenever she had been elected the media identified her as bisexual, that we assume was as a result of duplicated efforts on her behalf component to help make her intimate identity understood. Nixon hasnвЂ™t been as clear about her chosen labels; yet, she’s got been clear about her intimate and intimate history and the truth that sheвЂ™s enjoyed both women and men. One major difference between both of these ladies is Brown is married to a guy while Nixon is hitched to a lady. Although this might not look like a difference that is relevant with regards to queer identification politics, it really is.
Bi females hitched to guys are thought to be right, and because itвЂ™s not obvious from their choice of partner if they are interested in claiming their queerness publicly, must repeatedly come out to people who donвЂ™t know how they identify. Although the presumption of heterosexuality is certainly not astonishing, it shouldnвЂ™t be studied for issued that a stand set for their intimate orientation. Bi individuals donвЂ™t have actually to be doing romantic or intimate relationships with both genders as well to be able to recognize as bi; in reality, I would personally reckon that most bi individuals come in monogamous relationships at any time. (Incidentally, the theory that every bi people are polyamorous is yet another misconception that is major non monogamy is practiced by individuals of all intimate orientations.) Therefore, i will just assume Brown publicly identifies as bisexual given that itвЂ™s the only means for her to claim her queerness.
Nixon, having said that, is married to a lady and it is consequently thought by many people to be always a lesbian. As bi females have actually very long stated, there was normally a stigma that is particular distinguishing as bi inside the lesbian community: вЂњsheвЂ™ll make you for the manвЂќ the most common stereotypes about bi females among lesbians, and reasons why many wonвЂ™t consider dating bi ladies. Inside the LGBT community, then, Nixon has less explanation to want to loudly claim her bisexuality, as she’d almost certainly be (and IвЂ™m certain she happens to be) derided by some lesbians as planning to retain some component of heterosexual privilege by perhaps not вЂњfully committingвЂќ to your label of lesbian.
In the long run, it is certainly not in regards to the certain terms Nixon utilizes to recognize by herself. All things considered, numerous bi people prefer the word вЂњqueerвЂќ due to their self identification since it emphasizes the larger LGBT community to their connections; other people utilize various identity labels within various contexts. But, 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 sexuality as an either/or occurrence and started using bi people at their term, even as we constitute definitely the largest team inside the LGBT community.