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Dan, biphobia is outdated, stop repeating yourself and start thinking about the real issues behind people’s problems.