NYC Pride and LA Pride Erase Bisexuals
By Faith Cheltenham
Quick, how many times can you count bisexuals erased from the history of the LGBT movement on NYC Pride’s Tumblr? Of course there’s also the tragedy of having three NYC Pride Grand Marshals represent the LGBT community…perhaps because the B in LGBT is only pronounced silently by some?
Now, tell me how much it hurts to see LA Pride rename their celebration “TGLB Pride”? Or is it better that Los Angeles is just openly confirming that bisexual community concerns (you know our higher rates of suicides, poverty, cancer, sexual violence, and poorer health than our gay, lesbian and heterosexual peers) should come absolutely last? In the past many people have said “TBLG” if they wished to draw attention to the little discussed issues of our loss of life, dignity and basic respect. Seems someone keeps forgetting that a bisexual is the “mother of PRIDE.”
Dr. Herukhuti has a great article up on Bilerico.com, a portion of which I’ll share with you because it’s very relevant to this discussion:
That splitting and policing of sexual desire, relationship narrative, and life experience is at the heart of what makes bi erasure a psychic murder. By selecting which loved ones and sexual partners in someone’s life are worthy of being recognized, bi erasure is a violent amputation of a person’s chosen family and community.
The destructive impact of such psychic violence contributes to an environment hostile to bisexuality and bisexuals, evidenced by the existing disparities in poverty, suicide, domestic violence and health among bisexuals. Many bisexuals feel an intense betrayal when gays and lesbians, our brothers and sisters in sexual oppression, participate in bi erasure.
Bi erasure sets the stage for bi invisibility, the belief that bisexuality and bisexuals do not exist. Once the amputations of bi erasure have taken place, it is easy to believe that there are only straight and gay people — no bisexuals in the family, workplace, organization or community, no bisexuals in the fight for sexual and gender justice.
Bisexuals become the disappeared of the movement. Nowhere is the impact of this dynamic felt more viscerally than in black and brown communities. - Bi Erasure is Psychic Murder, Bilerico.com
Here are the sponsors of LA Pride:
Here are the sponsors of NYC Pride:
So how do we protest our treatment when we are walking wounded? Do we call on the sponsors to stop advocating for a world where bisexuals are erased with the purpose of the loss of our culture and possibly our lives? Or is this all just an accident, easily rectified?
As President of BiNet USA, Faith Cheltenham helps coordinate bisexual advocacy, outreach and networking efforts for the bisexual, pansexual and fluid communities in America. Faith has been involved in LGBT activism since 1999 and has spoken at locations as varied as San Diego Comic Con, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference, UCLA, and Yale University.
This post originally appeared on BiNet USA. Cross-posted with permission.