biphobia

Pride, with Prejudice: When Biphobia Creeps into Same Gender Relationships

14993627065_484af81058_zWe mainly think about biphobia in terms of harm to bisexual-identified people, but in reality it can affect anyone. Holly Matthies examines one of the more insidious ways it can manifest.

For me, Pride means minding the stalls for the political party I belong to and the local bisexual support/social group Biphoria. I love it: you’re away from the worst of the overwhelming crowds, and people come over if they’re at all interested in your stall and ignore you if they’re not. It’s nice to feel helpful: to hand out stickers and flyers, answer questions, let people know what we do.

It didn’t take long after I first started doing this at Pride (in Manchester, though I’ve since been to various ones across the northwest), in 2009 or so, to start expecting that something unpleasant would happen when I sat down behind a trestle-table full of purple bisexual literature… Continue reading

Survey Finds Biphobia Alive and Well in America

7872546824_92e7af06e9_bAlmost half of adults would not date a bisexual person, according to a survey of 1000 adults across the USA.

We are often told that bisexuality doubles your chances of a date on Saturday night, but the reality may be that your chances are halved, according to a new survey.

The survey, carried out by sex toy retailer Adam and Eve, found that 47% of respondents would not enter into a relationship with a bisexual person. A further 19% were undecided.

Men were less likely to reject a potential partner because of their bisexuality, with 39% of those polled saying they would date someone bi compared to just 31% of women.

The findings are no surprise to bisexual activists. With belief in the myths that bisexual people are more likely to be unfaithful, pass on sexually transmitted infections and need multiple partners to be content so… Continue reading

Asylum Denied: The Grim Irony of Proof of Sexuality Edicts

United_States_Court_of_Appeals_for_the_Seventh_Circuit_Seal.svgLast week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a decision:that a  bi Jamaican asylum-seeker isn’t actually bisexual. As in Orashia Edwards recent Uk asylum case, Fuller found that his claim of bisexuality was rejected because of his relationships with women.  

If a documented history of relationships with more than one gender does not equal ‘bi’, what can we do? Holly Matthies tackles the thorny issue of ‘proving’ your sexuality.

My first exposure to the news of Ray Fuller’s failed asylum case was a tweet from Bisexual Index. “Horrifying,” it said. “Not bisexual because he’s attracted to women, asylum judge rules.”

My first response was to write When we say “Biphobia kills,” it’s not hyperbole. People don’t know what bisexuality is, and that harms bisexuals. It’s not the only way biphobia can be deadly, of course, but for anyone to be deported… Continue reading

Bisexual Teen Violently Attacked on Last Day of School

JS96380842(contains descriptions of violence, graphic pictures)

Jamie Watson, 15, of Birmingham, was brutally attacked by three masked youths, who verbally abused him before kicking and punching him for around five minutes. The attack was the culmination of a period of bullying and intimidation by the youths, and had been planned in advance.

He was taken to Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, where he was treated for  a fractured arm, broken ribs and numerous superficial abrasions as well as injuries to his neck muscles as a result of being repeatedly kicked in the head.

Jamie-Watson-after-attack (1)

Detective Sergeant James Bennett, from Birmingham’s Violent Crime Team, told The Birmingham Mail: “We are trawling CCTV for any clues and want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have seen the attack to come forward.

“At this stage we believe the attackers could be local and we are… Continue reading

Christopher Biggins is Sorry Not Sorry

 

christopher bigotFollowing his premature eviction from the Celebrity Big Brother house on Friday, 1970’s sit-com star Christopher Biggins has fauxpologised for the holocaust ‘joke’ that formed part of the reason he was axed from the show.

Calling Jewish fellow housemate Katie Waissel a “very sensitive girl with a few issues”, Biggins said that he was “mortified” he had lost his appearance fee upset people with his shocking remarks.

In an interview in the Sun on Sunday, Biggins emphasised that he is “in no way a bigoted person”, and that he knows Lesley Joseph and also some black people.

He did not, however, apologise for his scientifically illiterate, hateful and psychologically telling remarks regarding the bisexual community.

Biggins, who wed Australian model Beatrice Norbury in 1971, sensationally confused himself with other people, telling fellow housemates that bisexuals are ‘homosexuals in denial’ who ‘fuck up a lot of relationships’.… Continue reading

Research Round-up: Why Is Bisexual Mental Health So Poor?

MPOTY_2014_Helping_someone_get_treatment_for_mental_health_issuesBisexuals face many problems, including higher than average rates of interpersonal violence (IPV) and homelessness, but at top of that list is mental health. In a Biscuit poll in February 88% of respondents reported having had mental health problems at some point, with 37% reporting saying that theirs were severe.

But this is only just scratching the surface, as a 2010 study conducted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission found bisexuals to be around six times more likely to have mental health problems than heterosexuals. The study also incorporated data from a 2002 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which reported that rates of mental health issues amongst bisexual people were significantly higher than those amongst lesbians and gay men.

My partners and I constantly argue over whether our mental health is a function of our bisexuality, vice versa, or unrelated. – Phil

A YouGov poll from… Continue reading

Being Bi – My First Pride

imagesFrom the erasure of bisexual participation in the early Pride movement, to incidences of biphobia at Pride events today, the bisexual community has had an uneasy relationship with Pride. But when we focus on the worst Pride can be, we can forget about the best. Here Clara from Retrogreat.com reminds us just how important it can be.

I’m 9 years old. Some friends and I play “Mummies and Daddies”. It turns into a campaign at school of calling me a dyke and a lesbian. I don’t understand – I have crushes on both men and women, but assume puberty will establish a preference.

I’m 17 years old. One night at a classmate’s house, she strokes my waist, she feels different to the lone boy I’ve kissed so far. Her boyfriend watches from a chair. After a while, she leaps away without warning, begins to cry and… Continue reading

Being Bi – Borderline Personality Disorder

118HUsually when we talk about sexual behaviour as a symptom, it’s metaphorical, but when you’re bi and living with Borderline Personality Disorder your sexuality really is seen as a symptom, representing emotional and social instability, promiscuity and volatility.  Friend of Biscuit Cat shares her experience navigating the way.

“I’m bisexual and I have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behaviour, and relationships that has been in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders since 1980.

Mental health issues are prevalent in the bi community, with a higher than average number of bisexuals having suffered from mental health problems at some point when compared to the general population. Bisexual women in particular are more likely to suffer (in a Biscuit poll earlier this year only 12% of respondents said they had never suffered from… Continue reading

Nigerian Woman Wanted for Crime of Being Bisexual

IMG_20160428_114759Chinyeaka Immaculata Onwuzurike is wanted for “being involved in Bisexual Activities”.  

A notice placed in a Nigerian national newspaper, believed to be the Daily Times, asks that anyone who has ‘relevant information’ as to the whereabouts of  Onwuzurike of Lagos should contact the police.

A photograph of the notice was shared yesterday to social media by Seun Kuti, son of afrobeat originator and human rights activist Fela Kuti. It is believed the ad appeared on 27 April.

Throughout Nigeria it is a crime to engage in same sex sexual activity; the offence carries a 14 year prison sentence. The crime of supporting LGBT rights carries a prison sentence of ten years.  In some states of Nigeria, the threat of capital punishment also exists.

It is not currently clear if Onwuzurike is wanted for engaging in a same-sex sexual activities or simply being… Continue reading

Eight Myths About Pansexuality, Debunked

downloadIt’s hard to deny that ignorances and misunderstandings about pansexuals exist, and the bisexual community is not immune – despite facing plenty of myths of our own.  Myths around bisexuality and pansexuality overlap, but pansexuality also attracts some unique prejudices. It’s time to put them all to bed, starting with eight of the most common panphobic myths.

MYTH: Pansexual is a new term

FACT: We’ve been seeing the word pansexual since at least 1924. It’s shifted in meaning since it was coined, of course, just like the words ‘bisexual’, ‘homosexual’ and even ‘furniture’, ‘girl’ and ‘manufacture’. That’s just how language works.

It was first used by contemporary critics of Freud such as Otto Rank and Wilhelm Reich in derision, as an ironic validation of Freud’s suggestion that “that the sex instinct plays the primary part in all human activity”; or that our libidos either directly or indirectly, drive… Continue reading