Dan Savage: Stop with the biphobia already!

http://www.gay.com/health/sexuality/qanda.html?coll=rela_fantasy&sernum=1053&page=1

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=2859

 

Both of these are littered with the incredibly common bi stereotypes that seem so ridiculous to me, I just have to roll my eyes.  Dan Savage sees himself as so much of an expert that all he references are “people he knows”.  That’s great and all, and maybe all of the bi people he knows fit the stereotypes, because a few people always will (I know I fit a few of them from time to time).  Its just like a straight person saying ‘all gay people are sex addicts,’ well I am sure there are some gay identified folks out there who are also sex addicts, but that doesn’t mean everyone is.  Basic stereotypes lesson, right?

Many of the reasons for using stereotypes against bi folks come from dating.  Gender and dating seem to be sensitive issues.  Most lesbian identified folks I have talked to about dating bi women say it would be more hurtful if the next person their ex dates was a man.  Interestingly enough, I have also had straight men say it would be harder if their ex (bi) girlfriend were to date another man after them.  Penises are threatening.  And these are expressions of insecurity tied to the sexism inheriant in all of us because it is still present in society.

When Savage tells gay men not to date bi men because they really want to be with women, he is pointing out that homophobia affects bi folks (thanks for that acknowledgment, at least).  However, what he doesn’t realize is that BIphobia affects bi folks as well, and many of the men who have bisexual behaviors simply do not identify as bi.  The gay men he is giving advice to might actually identify as bi if the word were given a little more credibility. Why would you use a word that gets you kicked out of the club?  Especially with advice like this floating around.  In addition to this, very few studies of queer folks focus explicitely on bi identified people and their behaviors, etc, so how do we know for sure what bi identified men are or are not doing/wanting/feeling, etc?  Even when studies do include bisexuality, or focus on bi people, many times those studies are filled with the same stereotypes seen in Savage’s articles and advice. 

Would it be too obvious to point out that bi men and married men are two distinct (and overlapping) categories?  Generalizing about all bi men, when you really mean to be talking about guys who are partnered in some way is simply ridiculous.  Wouldn’t the story contain the same heartache if the guy was in a long term (supposedly) monogamous relationship with a man? 

Dan, biphobia is outdated, stop repeating yourself and start thinking about the real issues behind people’s problems.

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7 Responses to “Dan Savage: Stop with the biphobia already!”

  1. [cis queers win another victory, trans* people still denied protection] « Bad Moon Rising Says:

    [...] change the fact that you’re still a fatphobic, ableist, transmisogynist, racist, biphobic douchebag. I could keep adding links proving my point, but jeezy creezy I’d be up all night at that [...]

  2. By the way, did you see “Bi the Way?” : Bi Social News | Social. Entertainment. News. - For Today’s Bisexual Says:

    [...] I understand they wanted to present all points of view (why else interview notorious gay biphobe Dan Savage?!), this was the only study they really talked about at length. They presented others, but didn’t [...]

  3. SG Says:

    Dan Savage is highly biphobic, misogynistic, and even said quasi racist things after black and Latino voters in CA voted for prop 8 in record numbers.

    He’s a tool and one of the biggest hypocrites out there.

  4. Bisexuality, invisibility and erasure « quietlyquestioning Says:

    [...] grow out of it, or end up in relationships with opposite sex people. There have been a bunch of responses to these comments, and I don’t want to rehash them all. Most people can see how erasing, [...]

  5. Matthew Says:

    I am a 39 bisexual man and have been out for over 20 years. I have dated mostly women. I am now dating again after a breakup with a woman last year. I used the orientation “BI” on okcupid and have received harassment from both gay men and straight women. Some women friends told me they would never date a bisexual man. The article “Gay, Straight, or Lying?” and the comments by gays and straights makes me really feel like I am in NAZI Germany and I am Jewish. And I mean this seriously. I don’t see the concentration camps BUT I have interviewed several therapists gay and straight who seem clueless to this issue and seem akin to gay reparative therapy (only now it is bisexual reparative therapy). The widespread misinformation, the harassment I received in grad school from Gays and Lesbians, the straight misperseptions this is enough to make anyone go mad. I am confident and resilient but why be out if everyone is against you.

  6. Dan Savage Is The Reason Scott Brown Wasn't In The It Gets Better Video? - Empty Closets - A safe online community for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered people coming out Says:

    [...] [...]

  7. Matthew Says:

    I just lectured about biphobia at an LGBT center. I am really beginning to understand that “bisexual male” especially but also “bisexual” in general challenges so much that many need to wipe it out of existence. I am lucky to be dating a biwoman now which is highly affirming, and have both gay and straight allies and friends. But this prejudice will be around for years to come. It is lonely making yourself visible with only a few other out bi men (and out bi women). Interestingly even Dr. Bailey did a 2008 study and found bisexuality in men but the 2005 study is plastered all over the web with no mention of other studies. Having had so many “straight” men come out to me over the years I realize bisexual men are pretty much all over the place but very closeted indeed. Biphobia is pretty much destroying lives, increasing homophobia in general, and we really need to do a lot of work to refute the prejudice.

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