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gay in the bi kinda way | MA Sex Diss @ Sussex | researching queer generational health trauma | Head of Education & Outreach for Bi Pride UK | they / them

I’m tired of fighting for any number of my identities to be accepted, as are countless other people who share similar identities to myself. Non-binary. Biromantic. Asexual.
The biases and stigma I have faced as someone who is bi and ace are eerily similar (and not in the good Halloween, spooky season kind of way), even though one of my identities is perpetually demonised as gluttonous and inherently promiscuous, whilst the other is considered broken, sex-repulsed, frigid, prudish. My confusion occurs when I hear these statements back-to-back of each other, as they’re so oppositional and just reinforce incredibly outdated stereotypes, which perpetuates both biphobia and aphobia. We’re told we’re taking up space which is not ours because of perceived “privileges”: bisexual people in relationships with people of genders different to their own are “straight”; asexual people just “choose” to disengage from sexual relations. And from this stems the discourse that we are not queer enough. Yet people fail to realise that these “privileges” which are forced upon us by ignorant, uneducated people are in fact erasures of the complexities of queerness. Gatekeeping discourse and the erasure of our existence are painful reminders that we still have so far to go as a community before we reach acceptance.
These attitudes and behaviours creep in around you, pervasive from friends, family, colleagues, education, media, slowly building webs which begin to wrap themselves around you. It’s suffocating: thin threads of silk may seem small, but it accumulates until it feels inescapable. This is how queerphobia works: it’s a comment here, a smirk there, a “joke” made at our expense in a staff lunch room. But it’s nasty. …

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