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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
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Keeping the B in the LGBT Community
How many bisexual people do you know? At LGBT community events, are they actively welcomed to participate, or do they stay at the margins? While visibility and acceptance of gay men and lesbians is at an all-time high and trans visibility has slowly but steadily advanced over the past few years, the LGBT community doesn’t have the best record of including bisexual members. Even as more sexual and gender identities are brought under the LGBTQ tent, bisexual members of the LGBT community continue to experience marginalization, and in some cases, open hostility.
The LGBT Community’s Biphobia
Last September, the National LGBTQ Task Force ran an article titled Bye Bye Bi, Hello Queer, in which a high-ranking member of the group called for members of the LGBT community to stop using the word bisexual. For many bisexual members of the community, this marked a troubling development: if the LGBT community was actively rejecting bisexuals, where could they find acceptance? While the Task Force quickly removed the offending post, their subsequent apology left many bisexuals cold.
At #LGBT events, are #bisexuals actively welcomed to participate, or do they stay at the margins? Click To Tweet
Biphobia in the LGBT community is especially damaging because the myths it perpetuates are so similar to the language once used by straight people to marginalize gay men and lesbians:
- Bisexual people don’t exist: Much like the debunked argument that people become gay, the idea that bisexual people are “just going through a phase” or haven’t “picked a side” is a dangerous myth because it draws from the rejected idea that a person chooses their sexuality.
- Bisexual people are cheaters/sexually greedy/polyamorous: Remember the old stereotype about how gay relationships don’t last? Or the one about how gay men are promiscuous and sex-obsessed? The biases against bisexuals, both within the LGBT community and beyond, are really just the same old myths in a new package.
- Bisexual people are only attracted to binary genders: This is a big sticking point within the LGBT community, and was actually the catalyst for the LGBTQ Task Force’s essay. However, many leading bisexual activists have spoken about bisexuality as the ability to be attracted–in different ways and different degrees–to people of more than one sex or gender.
#Biphobia in the LGBT Community perpetuates straights' exclusion and intolerance of gays. Click To Tweet
Closing off the LGBT community to bisexuals hurts everyone, whether they’re gay men, lesbians, or transgender people, because it stems from the same source as the exclusion and intolerance exhibited by the mainstream. You can’t say “love is love” while maintaining that some love is more acceptable.
Bisexual Erasure Outside of the LGBT Community
Even outside of the LGBT community, people who identify as bisexual are frequently ostracized, joked about, or considered “undecided” when it comes to sexuality. Among straight people, there are many persistent (and scientifically disproven) notions that contribute to “bisexual erasure” throughout society:
- Bisexuals are gays who haven’t come to terms with their identity: This is a lot like saying bisexuals don’t exist, and it assumes an either/or, where bisexuals are just taking the first steps to identifying as gay or lesbian.
- All women are attracted to women: Blame this one on the combined efforts of marketing and pop culture. The perception that all women are–or at least can be–bisexual has been sold to straight men for years, perpetuating the idea that bisexuality is not a true sexual identity, but instead a performance.
- Bisexuals can’t be in committed relationships: When Anna Paquin, one of the few celebrities to publicly identify as bisexual, married her True Blood costar Stephen Moyer, many people were quick to decide that this made her straight. Larry King even asked her if she was a “non-practicing bisexual.” Luckily, Paquin eloquently shut him down by explaining that bisexuality and monogamy weren’t mutually exclusive.
Bisexuals in committed relationships? #Bisexuality and monogamy aren't mutually exclusive. Click To Tweet
The fact that bisexuals have to deal with this kind of public ignorance from mainstream society only supports the fact that the LGBT community needs to maintain and increase its efforts to create spaces where more sexual identities are welcomed, rather than feared and accused.
Making a Space for Bisexuals in the LGBT Community
More and more, the conversations that surround gender and sexuality–in and out of the LGBT community–are beginning to discuss both of these aspects of identity as falling somewhere on a spectrum, and this is a good thing for bisexuals: if attraction and identity can range from 100% gay on one side to 100% straight on the other, then there has to be a middle. Including bisexuals in the LGBT community and our conversations means we’re acknowledging that space and supporting it, and hopefully that means we’ll start to see a reduction of erasure and biphobia.
You can't say #LoveIsLove while maintaining that some love is more acceptable. #Bisexuality Click To Tweet
Has your local LGBT community made efforts to include and support bisexuals? We’d love to hear about efforts to make the LGBT community more open to all of its members, or hear your ideas for how to increase bisexual representation and visibility. Tell us your story.