Remember that scene in Friends where Phoebe sings, “Sometimes men love women, sometimes men love men. and then there are bisexuals, but some just say they’re kidding themselves?” That’s a pretty blatant example of bisexual erasure (which pains me, as someone who loves Friends). As much as I’d like to think things have changed since this episode aired in 1996, bi negativity is still prominent today. I would know; I’m a bisexual woman married to a man. Being in a loving, committed relationship with a man doesn’t erase my bisexuality.
My husband knows I’m bisexual, as do my close friends. I count myself lucky that they understand, respect, and support my orientation. But I’m assumed to be straight by most other people — like when new acquaintances will see my wedding ring and ask how long I’ve been with my husband without considering what my orientation might be. And when I do choose to share that I’m bisexual, I’m often met with confusion or dismissal due to my choice in life partner. It turns out, I’m not alone in that.
“Bisexual people face some of the most ostracization and criticism of any sexual orientation,” says Dr. Laura McGuire, a nationally recognized sexuality educator, trauma-informed specialist, and inclusion consultant. “There are many myths and misconceptions about bisexual people, and despite decades of education, many members of both the general public and LGBTQ community still seem to believe them.”
A 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 9,175 adults aged 18-44 about their sexuality and found 5.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men said they were bisexual. Meanwhile in that same survey, 1.3 percent of women and 1.9 percent of men identified as “homosexual, gay, or lesbian.” More than half of LGBTQ are bi, according to the Movement Advancement Project.
Even so, the American Psychological Association wrote in 2017 that “many [still] believe that bisexuality does not really exist, and bisexual people suffer bi-invisibility or erasure and bi-negativity from both the lesbian and gay community and the heterosexual community.”
Bisexual Awareness Week (also known as #BiWeek) starts on Sept. 16 and runs through Celebrate Bisexuality Day (also known as #BiVisibilityDay) on Sept. 23 each year. So, now seems like the perfect time to learn about some inappropriate, all-too-common statements and stereotypes that contribute to biphobia, bi invisibility, and bi erasure, particularly as they relate to bisexual women in mixed-orientation relationships.
If you catch yourself thinking or preparing to say any of the following to a bisexual woman, it may be worth reconsidering your words — here’s why.
1. “It sounds like it was just a phase.”
My fellow bi folks, consider writing this in big bold letters and taping it to your bathroom mirror: Bisexuality is a legitimate, lived identity.
“There is no reason to believe that bisexuality+* is limited to a certain amount of time in someone’s life. Bisexuality+ is also an identity that does not change based on the gender of your partner at any given time,” says Mackenzie Harte, a communications coordinator at the GLAAD Institute. “By implying that bisexuality+ is a phase, you are invalidating someone’s identity and making them unwelcomed and misunderstood, which can have negative impacts on their emotional wellbeing.”
2. “It seems like you’re just saying this for attention.”
This one makes me roll my eyes so hard, I worry they’ll get stuck that way.
“The belief that someone would identify as bisexual+ just for attention makes no sense, considering how underrepresented bi people are,” Harte says. “Bisexual+ people are massively underrepresented and misunderstood.”
Implying that someone might come out as bi in an effort to get more attention undermines bisexuality’s existence and generalizes bi people according to harmful tropes — that they’re hypersexual or that they might be somehow more promiscuous. These kinds of descriptions are defamatory and insulting, to say the least.
3. “It sounds like you’re just an overly sexual person.”
It’s ridiculous that it’s 2020 and I still have to say this, but being attracted to more than one gender doesn’t mean that you’re automatically more sexual than anyone else.
“Bisexuality+ as a sexual orientation has nothing to do with how sexual or non-sexual someone is, and bisexuality+ as an identity intersects with other identities (such as someone being bi but also asexual),” Harte explains.
Not to mention, there’s a sexist element to this claim. To call a woman “overly sexual” for being attracted to more than one gender comes with the misogynistic idea of judging a woman based on her sexuality in a way that society would rarely judge a man.
4. “But have you ever actually had hooked up with a woman?”
If you’re a woman who identifies as straight, but you’ve never had a sexual experience with a man, does that mean you’re not straight? Obviously not!
So, why should a bi person have to “prove” their sexuality by having sexual experience with multiple genders? And beyond that, why should they have to “prove” it to you by answering these types of personal questions?
“Bi+ people are well within their rights to respond to these types of statements with, ‘My sexual/relationship history is my business, and it’s inappropriate for you to ask about my history in a way that you wouldn’t for a straight or gay/lesbian person,’” says Harte.
Harte also notes that bisexuality is inclusive of nonbinary people and others who are not cis men or cis women. “These statements all push a binary ‘men or women’ viewpoint that is damaging to nonbinary and gender nonconforming people,” they add.
5. “Do you think you’re just a lesbian who’s scared to commit to being a lesbian?”
“[This] invalidate[s] bisexuality+ as a legitimate, lived identity, and again, aims to gate-keep people’s authentic experiences based on incorrect and harmful biases,” Harte says.
My answer to this question would be, “Well, I love my husband and I’m committed to him — so I’d have to say no, I’m not a lesbian. I’m bisexual, and I’m married to a man.”
But for other bi women, whether or not you’re currently in a relationship, you don’t have to commit to an identity you don’t have so that other people can put you in a box that makes them more comfortable with your sexuality. Your bisexuality isn’t an intermediary on your way to an “end goal” of being heterosexual or homosexual. It’s your identity. Don’t let people take it away from you.
The B in LGBTQ stands for bisexual, y’all. You don’t have to let your bisexuality be erased just for the sake of someone else’s small mind.
6. “So, I guess you’ve picked your ‘side’ then.”
Forcing a bisexual person to “pick a side” is yet another way to invalidate their sexual orientation! It implies that their sexuality is transitory or “a phase,” and that they’ll eventually land on being either heterosexual or homosexual once they choose their partner.
But news flash: Your partner doesn’t define your sexuality! Neither does your relationship status — even if you’re single, your status as a bi woman shouldn’t be questioned.
“This question is inappropriate because it invalidates a person’s partner or potential partner by talking about them only as their gender rather than about them as a person,” Harte adds. “Bi+ people should be allowed to explore relationship opportunities without being forced to perceive them as being solely about gender.”
7. “You’re ‘straight-passing,’ though.”
One of the reasons I hesitated for so long to share my sexuality with people was because I knew I was considered “straight-passing” — I can pass as straight if others don’t know my true sexuality.
It took years (and lots of therapy!) for me to come to terms with the fact that while I recognize my privilege as a cis white woman in a heterosexual marriage, I still identify as bisexual. Having that identity made invisible by others is a painful experience.
“While there are some areas in which a bi person in a different-gender relationship may not face certain struggles (for example, not needing to worry about discrimination while planning a wedding), having your identity erased by others is by no means a privilege,” Harte says.
8. “But if you’re in a straight relationship, you’re not really a part of the LGBTQ community.”
This was the thing that weighed on me the most when I first came to terms with my sexuality. I felt like because I was in a heterosexual relationship, I was out of place in LGBTQ spaces. Despite the fact that my husband was enthusiastic about encouraging me to continue to find my space in the queer community, I felt self-conscious when I brought him along to marches, drag shows, or Queer-e-oke nights — like I was intruding in a space where I wasn’t necessarily welcome.
I was worried about making those spaces feel any less safe for LGBTQ folks who are more actively discriminated against than I am as a bisexual person, and who might need their own space to gather and relax.
But Harte dismantles that fear for me. “LGBTQ spaces exist to support LGBTQ people, so excluding LGBTQ people from these spaces makes absolutely no sense. And bisexual+ people are LGBTQ people,” they say.
Harte adds that by excluding bisexual people from LGBTQ places, folks cut off their access to resources — which is one reason why bisexual people see higher rates of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders; intimate partner violence; sexual assault; and income inequality than our straight peers, as well as our gay and lesbian peers.
“On the other hand, when lesbian and gay people are welcoming and supportive of their bi+ peers, it can make a huge difference for that bi person’s experience,” Harte says. “Avoiding this mindset of gate-keeping really can have a massive positive effect on how bi+ people can experience the world.”
9. “Why do you care so much about labels?”
A few times, when I’ve come out to people as bisexual, they’ve pointed to the fact that I’m in a long-term heterosexual relationship and asked, “Why do you need to label yourself as bisexual at all?” It’s a painful question.
“People who identify as bi+ are often erased by non-bi+ people who won’t use their labels,” Harte explains. “In terms of media, this practice erases bi+ people from coverage of events through history, which creates even further bi+ erasure. On a personal level, it is hurtful and invalidating to have people in your life not respect the labels you use for yourself.”
I had an older family member tell me that my generation seems to simply have more of a need to be open with our sexuality, while their generation didn’t feel the need to share details about their sex lives with others. They were worried about what other people might think if I publicly labeled myself as bisexual, or if I might be setting myself up for a potentially negative reaction from other people.
But I guess that’s the thing. I’m not ashamed to be bisexual. My husband’s not ashamed to be married to a bisexual person. We’re just as in love and committed to each other now as we were before I “came out” to the world in this Elite Daily article. So, people’s negative reactions to this news can’t really hurt me anymore.
To my family member’s point, though, why label it if it doesn’t change anything for me personally? Harte helped to answer that question a little more succinctly than I could:
“Labels are important because they are the words which we use to define and express ourselves, and the people in our lives (and in media) should be able to respect us.”
*Note: You’ll notice Harte’s use of the terms bisexuality+ and bi+. Learn more about that terminology here.
American Psychological Association (APA), 2017 report
Bisexual Resource Center, 2016 brochure
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016 report
Mackenzie Harte, communications coordinator at the GLAAD Institute
Dr. Laura McGuire, sexuality educator, trauma-informed specialist, and inclusion consultant
‘Yakuza’ Video Game Series Being Turned into a Movie by Sega
The Yakuza video game series – Sega’s best-selling game franchise after Sonic the Hedgehog – is headed to the big screen. Sega, 1212 Entertainment, and Wild Sheep Content are developing a Yakuza movie based on the series that spawned seven main title sequels and eight spin-off titles. The first game in the series followed Kazuma Kiryu, a yakuza from the Tojo Clan recently released from prison.
Variety has the scoop on the Yakuza video game movie coming from Sega, 1212 Entertainment, and Wild Sheep Content, stating that Erik Barmack, Roberto Grande, and Joshua Long will produce, and that 1212 and Wild Sheep are searching for writers for the script. The first Yakuza game launched on PlayStation 2 in 2005, and spawned several sequels and spin-offs.
The game franchise “primarily focuses on the yakuza Kazuma Kiryu from the Tojo Clan. While Kiryu often assists the Tojo Clan, the series has also featured him searching for another way of life in the form of raising orphans. The gameplay of Yakuza has the player controlling Kiryu (or another character depending on the title) in an open district where he can encounter an enemy or perform an activity in the city to obtain experience.” It’s also described as an “action-adventure beat ’em up video game franchise,” which is a classification I confess I’ve never seen before because I’m not the biggest gamer (I’ve played Untitled Goose Game, does that count?).
“Yakuza offers us a new playground in which to set compelling stories with complex characters in a unique environment that audiences have rarely seen before,” 1212 said in a statement. “The saga of Kazuma Kiryu has a built-in cinematic appeal – a mix of kinetic action with bursts of comedy, multiple converging storylines, and a gripping journey towards redemption.”
Erik Barmack, an executive with Wild Sheep Content, added: “With our background in telling global stories, we are excited to bring this huge project to global platforms.”
Since the film has no director, writer, or cast in place, it’s safe to say we’re a long way away from seeing how this turns out. Still, Sega found themselves with a hit on their hands with the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, which went on to be highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time in North America. Hollywood has struggled with video game movies for years, resulting in projects that were trashed by critics and underperformed at the box office. Perhaps with the Sonic success they’re feeling confident in their future films.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Bill Murray Threatened With Lawsuit and ‘Eternal Damnation’ for Using Doobie Brothers Song in His Golf Shirt Ads
The lawyers for the Doobie Brothers are threatening to sue Bill Murray for using one of the band’s songs without permission in ads for the actor’s line of golf shirts, but they’d be totally cool with him using the song if only his shirts weren’t “so damn ugly.”
That’s just part of the hilarious legal notice the rockers’ legal team sent to Murray on Wednesday in a formal request to get him to “Listen to the Music” and actually pay up.
“We understand that you’re running other ads using music from other of our clients. It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump,” attorney Peter Paterno writes at one point.
He continues: “This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United States Copyright Act, excoriate you for not complying with some subparagraph that I’m too lazy to look up and threaten you with eternal damnation for doing so. But you already earned that with those Garfield movies. And you already know that you can’t use music in ads without paying for it. We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is.”
As it turns out, Murray and his brothers launched a line of golf shirts called Zero Hucks Given, and the lawyers recommended that because commercials for the shirts have used the Doobie Brothers song “Listen to the Music,” as well as other songs, without permission, the line should actually be called “Zero Bucks Given.”
The letter was sent to Murray and William Murray Golf from the office of King, Holmes, Paterno and Soriano LLP. And yes, it’s very real. You can read it in full below.
The lawyers are clearly “Caddyshack” fans as well, as they signed off by tweaking Murray’s famous line from the 1980 comey, “In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, Golfer. Et payez!”
Ltr William Murray re Doobie Brothers – Listen to the Music
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
The last words of every fallen James Bond villain
Franz Sanchez, played by Robert Davi in Licence to Kill, is a terrifying Bond villain. Sanchez’s evil plot is to mass-produce drugs and basically kill and/or corrupt anyone who gets in his way. He’s not the kind of guy you want to mess with: Let’s just say Sanchez has some pretty elaborate torture methods.
In their final showdown, Sanchez and Bond are going head to head in the middle of a desert. Sanchez is pretty angry, since Bond just took out several of his men and destroyed tankers containing cocaine. Essentially, Bond sabotaged Sanchez’s whole operation. After wrecking in the desert, Sanchez gets soaked in gas and wields a machete against Bond. Poised to strike, Sanchez says, “You could have had everything.” Meaning, Bond could’ve joined Sanchez and been rich. But Bond, clever as ever, says, “Don’t you want to know why?” Bond pulls out a lighter and shows it to a curious Sanchez. Just then, Bond ignites the lighter, burning Sanchez alive. Pretty brutal, but given Sanchez’s reign of terror, we can’t say he didn’t deserve it.
Entertainment4 days ago
Games Inbox: PS5 pre-order hopes, Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS4, and Super Mario Galaxy rocks
Entertainment18 hours ago
Games Inbox: Microsoft buying Sega, Xbox All Access success, and Xbox Series S stock problems
Entertainment4 days ago
Rasheed From ‘The American Barbecue Showdown’ Now Has His Own Podcast
Entertainment3 days ago
Everything To Know About Lakeyn Call
Entertainment5 days ago
Crazy Rich Asians 2: Is The Second Part Happening? Check All Details
Entertainment4 days ago
Lovecraft Country Episode 6 live stream (“Meet Me in Daegu”): Watch Online
Entertainment4 days ago
Big Brother 22 All-Stars live feed spoilers: Some Zingbot zings!
Entertainment2 days ago
Someone Made A Video Of Paul Rudd Dancing To Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September’ And It’s Gone Viral