Drown Them in a Sea of Noise Part 1: Bisexuality, and My Rape

This is your one warning. This post is about rape, misogyny and sex. I won’t get very graphic but it will be there.
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It was around the end of summer 2007 going into fall. I had moved out on my own at college and for the first time in my life I was able to explore my gender, my thoughts about my sexuality, everything. I had at last the freedom to explore my gender presentation. I started dressing more masculine, I dyed my hair flame red. I bought a pair of canvas slip on shoes that had red and black skulls and cross bones on them.

I really loved those shoes .They are the favorite shoes I ever owned I think.
I started hanging out with new friends going out drinking . Being 22.
The statistics show that most people who are raped know their attacker. I knew mine.
We had hung out several times before. He and I had tons of mutual friends. He joked that my boyish gender presentation would turn off my boyfriend. I joked ” but my girl friend she loved it”. After years of hiding away the truth, that I had a girlfriend once, someone I desperately loved but who had passed on I started to talk about her, about my bisexuality. Most of my new friends gave the general ” no you aren’t!” Or the three sums based questions.

We live in a culture where being bisexual signals sexual availability and combined with rape cultures insistence on the idea that women are objects those of us who are or are perceived as women can put us at even greater danger. We are not seen as intimidating as lesbians or as prudish as straight women. We are “more open”/”more fun” then they are my attacked said to much agreement. Not knowing what to say and not wanting to be “unfun” I smiled and agreed sipping my drink.

Then I was raped. In my own apartment. In my own bed. And yes during it he did mention how Bi girls are slutty so I should be OK with it.

That was the moment biphobia destroyed my life. I’ve seen many posts about how bisexuals have it so easy, how biphobia is relatively harmless, “sticks and stones but words will never hurt ” type things. How we shouldn’t complain when media portrays bisexuals as easy or confused or a million other wrong things. That ” hot sexy Bi babes!” Can never create things as bad as what we say they do.
We live in a world where bisexuality is seen as a performance for men.Where everything a woman does is a performance for men. With the expectation of Bi women being ” more open” and ” more fun” ( read sexually available) added on top of that is it any wonder that studies have found out this?

image

thank you bidyke/shiri eisner for the graphic!

Half of all of us. But until now nobody spoke about it. Not the women’s shelter I went to for counseling and testing. Not the LGBTA ( a for “ally” here) center at my university. No one. We are so often invisible and so so many of us suffer in silence.

I had heard and seen what the queer community at large thought of bisexuals. Not queer enough, privilege grubbers. I had seen how lesbian friends reacted to the mention of sex with men, to bisexuals who had relationships with them. Disgusted. They would never date one. How would they react when I came to them for help? Would my mere contact with my attackers penis make them recoil and shun me? Would they ask me how much school I had missed? How much time I had wasted like my mother did?
How did I even begin to talk about what had happened to me when it felt like the whole world hated me? For being Bi, for being dirtied by rape, for wasting time and money?

So I didn’t talk about it.

After that I shoved my bisexuality into the deepest darkest box I could find. I never spoke of my girlfriend again for years. I stopped exploring gender. I stopped trying or trusting.

I threw away the canvas skull and cross bones shoes, with their red that matched my now dingy faded red hair.

We need to talk about this. About WHY that stat is so high. And we need to be LOUD. So loud that our voices drown out the cries of “sit down!” Of ” stop being so angry!” Of ” wait till marriage equality passes!” We need to shriek and howl over them so that those out their in the darkness can hear us and know they are not alone and to warn those that would harm us that it will not be tolerated.

I know I will get hate mail for this. I know I will be told I deserved it. A million things I have heard before, that I believed before. But I will continue to shout and drown them in a sea of noise.

8 Comments

Filed under LGBT Writing

8 responses to “Drown Them in a Sea of Noise Part 1: Bisexuality, and My Rape

  1. No hate from me, just sorrow and understanding. I don’t know if being bisexual was a factor in my own rape, but I know that my openness to exploring sexuality was used against me. I know it sounds like you know it, but it needs repeating: nothing you did and nothing about who you are made that happen. I’m sad you felt you had to carry that burden alone, and I’m sad that I felt I had to, too. I’m concerned when you say it “destroyed your life.” Do you still feel your life is destroyed? Have you been able to find any help since the rape? I hope speaking out here and speaking out in person makes you feel stronger. We all deserve to heal.

    • Yes I have thank you. I have very lovely partner and family and friends. I’m still recovering emotionally from it and it still often effects my life in ways I did and did not expect.

  2. No hate here either, but I do find that ‘statistics’ are misleading – given that a huge percentage of rapes aren’t reported. I do believe in bi-denial – not sure ‘phobia’ is the most appropriate term. I find that straight people don’t get it – or they just think it’s bullshit. Gay people are more understanding – but neither is in that much of a hurry to be in a relationship with an openly bi person, because of the whole ‘trust’ thing. Given that we are out, isn’t that a good indication of trust.

    I am also a rape victim/survivor. I wrote about it in very descriptive terms and how it relates to misogyny. I would like to offer you the courtesy that you too, may find it disturbing. My bisexuality was supressed back then, before. My rape had nothing to do with it. I only subdued my bi side because I was teased as a kid (it was the 70s)

    also, only blog is an article about coming out as Bi.

    I wish you only good things and hope that you are able to see that ‘blame’ for rape, is as individual as the rapes themselves. The fact that one in three women suffer from some form of sexual molestation in their lives, is enough of a statistic for anyone.

    cheers

    Date Rape piece, written in 2003: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=2126

    blog insiderose.com (see posting: All Bi Myself)

  3. Joshua

    It hurts that these things happen, regardless of physical gender. I’m a bisexual male, and we face many of the same prejudices. I’m currently in a relationship with a bisexual woman who is also a rape survivor, and it infuriates me when I hear about these kinds of things. When she talks about it, I can see the pain in her eyes, and I know that it’s a pain that many of us feel. While not a victim of rape, I am a victim of the stereotypes that go along with my sexuality, and I agree – we really do need to be recognized a bit more, and given the same amount of help as gay or lesbian groups.

  4. Jo Ann

    It’s not about you, it’s not even about sex or sexuality, it’s about CONTROL and POWER. Take your power back darling, keep SHOUTING! Peace to you.
    Jo Ann

  5. Dana Hopkins

    Thank you for writing!!! I was a rape survived in my 20s and in my 40s..a gang rape/bashing/ hate crime survivor. Both times it was very clearly spoken..or hollered …that it was because I am bi. To he commenter who said the gay community is ‘more understanding ?? Ha! Not in my experience! This a long time problem we NEED to be discussing

  6. Nicola

    Thank you for writing this.

  7. Pingback: Bi Way of the White House | Safe Schools | Desert Cities

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