Friday, November 13, 2015

#ITLQBM: Bisexuality & The Black Community

Intersectionality Through the Lens of a Queer Black Man

Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior toward both males and females, or romantic or sexual attraction to people of any sex or gender identity; this latter aspect is sometimes termed pansexuality.

Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is sexual attraction, romantic love, or emotional attraction toward people of any sex or gender identity.

My mother will kill me for telling this story, but she knows that I mean well. When I was a very small child she had a girlfriend who she would be in a partnership with until I was at least eight years old. Throughout their relationship they lived together and at times it became hard to hear people calling my mother a dyke, bulldagger or any other derogatory term one could fathom. I came understand that as my mother carried out her on and off relationship, that she was into men as well...I do have a brother and sister. I didn't know what to call it back then, maybe because the option was either gay or lesbian. The funny thing about being Bi is that people have false sense of understanding that perpetuates the myth that Bi folks are confused, selfish and will fuck anything that walks. This is furthest from the truth, as my mother has just recently married a man that she has been with for over ten years.

Discrimination against our Bi brothers and sisters is rampant and starts in the form of Bi erasure. This erasure was real back then and it is real now! Think on the fact that the words Gay & Lesbian are forms of homosexuality, which denotes the strict same sex nature of the relationships under those tags. Bisexuality is more than sex, and more often than not, Bi folks are monogamous. Crystal Fleming put it best when she wrote a piece for the Huffington Post called #ThisIsLuv: A Black Bisexual Manifesto"I hope #ThisIsLuv can highlight acceptance of LGBT folk in black communities without glossing over significant tensions, homophobia and biphobia. Black bisexual women are often misunderstood, excluded or fetishized. Black bisexual men, on the other hand, are routinely vilified. Who expresses love and support for our black bisexual brothers? Bisexuals comprise over half of LGB-identified people in the United States, yet we are routinely rendered invisible and marginalized. The erasure of bisexual people is particularly problematic for African-Americans, who already face the strain of racism. Bi black people exist at the intersections of many forms of oppression, and this difficult positionality makes it complicated for us to find love. We not only have to deal with homophobia in our families -- we also have to navigate biphobia among black gays and lesbians -- while dealing with racism in the broader LGBT "community." There is also the reality that most "LGBT" spaces are actually not for us. Very often, they are implicitly white centered and/or mostly geared toward gays and lesbians."

To expand on Bisexual Black men being a target of Biphobia, Its seems that all forms of media clump Bi Black men into the Down Low or "DL" category. The sheer amount of anecdotal publishing and portrayals on television don't help at all! This type of media driven Biphobia unfortunately influences the thought process of heterosexual women who possibly will come in contact with a Bisexual man. The whole concept of being "DL" has so many confusing nuances that get unfairly applied to Bi Black men and paints them as whores who can't control their sexual desires, living in a state of sexual confusion, and the primary sources of STDs & STIs. This is furthest from the truth, because I know Black Bi/Queer men who defy all of those lies. They build healthy and fruitful relationships with whoever they are with, monogamously at that. On the other hand women are objectified and treated like sexual objects for their Bisexuality, Crystal Fleming in the same article quoted above she speaks for women way better than I could: "On top of this, bi black women have to deal with sexism and hetero-patriarchy. Some black bisexuals are transgender and experience the violence of transphobia. These multiple burdens might explain why it's particularly difficult for bisexual people to "come out." We are routinely given the "side eye" from multiple communities -- misunderstood, implicitly or explicitly excluded or reduced to exotic sexual objects. We also experience poorer physical and mental health relative to other sexual minorities. It's a lot to deal with."

BOTTOM LINE: stop the Biphobia and respect people for their humanity and ability to love...



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