Erasing Who I Am: Bi-Erasure ~ Adrian J Smith: Outside the Margins

Join us as Adrian J Smith goes Outside the Margins.

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Erasing Who I Am: Bi-Erasure

Erasing Who I Am: Part 1

There’s a newish term floating around the world, well most of my world, which is the internet. Bi-erasure. It’s a big, complicated word, right? Not really. Bi-erasure is exactly what it sounds like. Erasing the bi. Most of my readers know I’m bisexual, at least I hope they do because that means they’d be reading my blog.

I starting this series to recount the many number of ways my bisexuality has been erased in the past few years. It’s important. For a community that thrives on letting people be who they are, on letting individuals be individuals, there is an awful lot of erasing going on when it comes to my sexuality.

Let me tell you a story, a story of when I was in grad school. There was a prominent number of LGBT et al students at my graduate school, probably close to 30% of the students were gay in some manner or another. What happened to become an issue is when my class entered. A total of nine students in my semester began and two of us considered ourselves bisexual at the time.

Not a year later, there was another student, a gay male student, who started his schooling. This particular student is outspoken, which I generally don’t mind. We bonded and became friends, and he and I could often be found at the local pub sipping down a drink. I can’t tell you the number of times we played at dating just to get out of wanders who would try and hit on us or just because it was fun (mostly because it was fun).

The issues arose when I became single once again, breaking up with my ex after a decently long long-distance relationship. My friend wanted me to date, but he only wanted me to date women, because in his head I was a lesbian. I am not a lesbian. I wish I had a dollar for every time I told him that because surely I would be rich at this point. Surely he would have gotten it in his darn head that I was not a lesbian but in fact bisexual.

My friend is not the only gay person to tell me I was a lesbian, but he was my closest friend to tell me this. I thought because we were close, because we hung out almost every night of the week, that he might possibly one day come to understand. But after a year of him telling me I was a lesbian, of him telling me that bisexuality was not a thing and so I couldn’t possibly be bisexual, of him telling me that I was not attracted to people of the opposite sexes or genders or not attracted to a person’s organs at all, I’d had enough.

This friend was an advocate for the LGBT et al community. He was the leader of the on campus group for graduate students in my department, and he worked with the leaders for the on campus group in the undergraduate department. He had many friends across the entire city in the LGBT et al community, yet he did not accept bisexuality as a legitimate sexuality. There was no “B” in the LGBT for him. I don’t even what to think about what other letters of the alphabet he was missing out on.

Bi-people get hit from both sides. We get shunned because we’re not “gay enough.” Whatever the hell that means. I like men. I married one. I’m a woman who married a man, but that does not make me heterosexual. I like women. I’ve dated them, had sex with them, loved them dearly. That does not make me a “closet lesbian” either. I’ve dated people who were gender-queer. That doesn’t mean I’m gender-queer.

My sexuality has absolutely no bearing on anyone else’s sexuality or gender or sex. My sexuality is all my own, completely 100%, no ifs, ands or buts about it. My sexuality, at least how I claim it, is bisexual. I don’t look at what’s between a person’s legs when figuring out if I’m attracted to them or not, and for some reason, that really scares people. But isn’t that what we should be looking at? We should be looking at what makes a person a person and not simply the parts they were graced at birth with?

~ Adrian J Smith

About Adrian J Smith

Adrian J. Smith, or AJ€ as she is often called, has a generous and soft heart. She loves to rescue stray cats and dogs, as well as those who just escape. Her hoard of animals currently includes two cats, a dog and a fish, but no children as of yet. She’s passionate about LGBT et al rights, women’s rights and children’€™s rights.

AJ loves to read and write lesbian fiction, simply for the fact that strong women make her swoon and when two are involved her knees turn to jelly and she falls head over heels in love. AJ travels around the United States, and sometimes the world, gathering up stories for her novels. Currently, she lives in the middle of nowhere of the middle of nowhere and is rather difficult to find except on the internet, where she spends a lot of her time.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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9 thoughts on “Erasing Who I Am: Bi-Erasure ~ Adrian J Smith: Outside the Margins

  1. “I don’t look at what’s between a person’s legs when figuring out if I’m attracted to them or not, and for some reason, that really scares people. But isn’t that what we should be looking at? We should be looking at what makes a person a person and not simply the parts they were graced at birth with?”

    Exactly! I can’t tell you how mad this issue drives me!!! Nor how much b.s. I’ve had to put up with due to it. Quite honestly, I feel ostracized by the LGBT crowd, generally. They have proven they are generally “not my people.” This was devastating, but it has proven to be true.

  2. Years ago, one of my coworkers and I went to dinner. She told me that she had always been attracted to both boys and girls. I told her that I could relate.
    She had a fiance she had just broken off with to date another coworker who was a lesbian. I was married.
    The lesbian told her repeatedly that she had to choose: she either liked men or women.
    I told her she could “like” whoever she wanted. That since there was no “choice” involved in being straight or gay/lesbian, then there really couldn’t be any “choice” to be bi. Same concept for everyone.
    I lost track of them, but I’m sure that unless they resolved that very basic of all conflicts they are no longer together. How could they be if one didn’t respect the other’s sexuality?
    Years later, I grew interested in m/m romances. As a result, I’ve got numerous FB friends who are gay, lesbian, bi, and trans*.
    One gay man began a relationship with another man when the second man’s marriage fell apart. This time I knew the gay man and was only aware of the second man who identified as bi.
    We discussed the fact that until they had gotten together, the gay man had been of the opinion that bi men where really closeted gay men who weren’t ready to step out. That “bi” was only one step on the way to identifying as gay.
    You know, first they are “straight” then “bi” and finally they realize they are gay.
    The discussion revolved around the irony of a marginalized group further marginalizing people who should be members of their community.
    My gay friend admitted that he now believed that bi wasn’t a choice any more than his own homosexuality was and he didn’t understand why he had ever felt differently.
    I don’t know why everyone seems to be threatened by the concept of bi-sexuality, as if somehow as long as that designation exists then maybe there isn’t a clear cut difference between gay and straight. And one day, they might step over that blurred line by mistake.
    Strange… The Kinsey scale says that it’s a continuum, but nothing about sliding down some slippery slope against your will.
    The bi-sexuality of one person has no effect on anyone else’s sexuality so why deny it exists? It won’t make one less straight or gay or lesbian to admit the reality of bi-sexuality.
    Maybe people think that bi individuals won’t be happy unless they have both a male AND female lover? So they want to force the other person to take polyamory off the table? Or maybe they are intimidated by the thought that they will have to compete with everyone for that individual’s attention, instead of only one gender?
    People are individuals and trying to shove anyone into “little boxes” has never worked out well.
    Live and let live. And don’t forget that respect goes both ways.

    • I think the “boxes” part is more accurate than you may think. I think the reason why bisexuality is so ostracized is because it doesn’t follow the binary. Same with asexual and gender-queer. They don’t follow a binary and that makes it scary. People are used to lines and knowing where the lines are, but when there isn’t a one or the other, there’s a both/and, which confuses people.

      In graduate school, we had a lot of discussions on bisexuality and how it really is the ultimate explanation of things which can’t explain because it doesn’t follow the binary like we try to make everything else. Like you said, it’s a scale, not a one or the other.

      We do the same thing with politics. Democrat or Republican. There’s no middle ground even though the majority of people are far closer to the middle than the think the others are.

      The conversation I had with my gay friend in this post is a conversation I’ve had over and over with people. Add to that the conversation that I am monogamous and not polyamorous, which seems to be an assumption. And that assumption comes from a lot of other bisexuals too, that because I’m bi I must be poly. let’s just say that online dating and putting “bi” under my sexuality was a baaaaaad idea. =P

  3. I can understand where you are coming from. I am the T in the alphabet, which for some LG people, I don’t belong. In my mind and now physically I am a woman. Of course then I am confronted with “real woman” or “natural born woman” and last but not least “born woman”. Does it real matter to anyone but me? Is it necessary for me to fully explain my origins to everyone? Like you it does not matter the real or actual sex is or who they prefer or don’t prefer. Love and friendship are blind, we let or minds become colored and refuse to listen to our hearts.

  4. In terms of dating and friendship, having a simple way to screen out people who have bigoted attitudes about bisexuality is, in the long run, an asset, not a liability.

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