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  • Bisexual politics

    Bisexual politics


    • Bisexual politics are arguments surrounding individuals who identify as bisexual and their perspectives on issues involving sexuality, equality, visibility and inclusion. Some authors describe "bisexual politics" as a form of identity politics. One form of activism within bisexual politics includes the addition of the word bisexual onto lesbian and gay organisations (such as the acronym LGB) and fighting employment discrimination for bisexual individuals. However, the political issues as well as the position of bisexuals on these issues are considerably more complex.

      New York University School of Law professor Kenji Yoshino says:

      Gays de-legitimatize bisexuals [...] the lesbian and gay community abounds with negative images of bisexuals as fence-sitters, traitors, cop-outs, closet cases, people whose primary goal in life is to retain 'heterosexual privilege'.

      There is an underlying fear that including bisexuals as members in gay rights movements may hurt the movement, either because it is believed that bisexuals "enjoy heterosexual privilege", that they had less to lose than lesbian women or gay men, or because their presence lessens the solidarity among gay and lesbian groups in some way. Rather than fence sitters, bisexuals are at further risk for marginalization because they can be ostracized by both straight and gay communities. Writers on bisexuality recognize this danger however, as sociologist Amanda Udis-Kessler, puts it, "We are not fence-sitters. Let us strive to be bridge-builders". These concerns are recognized by Lisa Orlando author of Loving whom we choose, who writes:

      We challenge many people's personal sense of what constitutes sexual identity. Whether we threaten by introducing a third category or by undermining the notion of categories altogether, we cause enough discomfort that many people deny our existence.

      Thus, bisexual politics involve, among other issues, the debate over inclusion in both gay and straight movements and cultures.

      The problem of identity centers upon whether bisexuals build an identity around their bisexuality, what being a bisexual means socially, and how it relates to other identities such as feminism. One debate is whether or not it is valuable to establish bisexuality as a sexual identity. As author Jennifer Baumgardner writes:



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