My Corpse Will Not Be Your Movement’s Foundation

     Coming into an all day Bi+ Institute, where seconds before people in the room had been talking about how the Bi+ community, how the terms, bi,bisexual, and biromantic had at times saved their lives, and then raising your hand to state that you feel that those very labels, should be abolished in favor of a different term, like pansexual is violence.

   At the time I personally was too gobsmacked say anything. I personally take this moment, this utterance, as the trigger that sent me into a dissociative episode that lasted not just the whole rest of the day, but had extreme mental health consequences weeks afterwards.

    I felt hurt, so much pain and hurt. I’ll never forget the looks on people’s faces. The sheer pain. But also the sheer, unbridled rage. I at the time failed everyone miserably in not calling that statement out for what it was as a presenter/moderator. Thankfully a few participants had the clear sight and courage I lacked and called out the perpetrator,educated them and did what needed done. For these people I am ever grateful and can only hope to someday have even 1/10th of the courage,clear headedness and awesome.

   I failed as a leader then. But I need to grow from it and those people’s amazing example so I’m doing this now.

   What happened was absolutely NOT ok. A cis pansexual called for an end to the use of the terms bi,bisexual, and biromantic. Entering into a group’s safe space, waiting for people to be vulnerable and then telling them, essentially that what kept them alive, what gave them hope, community and power is in fact wrong, backwards,transphobic, and must be done away with/destroyed for the betterment of the “movement “ is absolutely unacceptable and a violent, cruel and callous act.

If you do not like a label, fine don’t use it. Don’t want your precious “pure” label associated with us “nasty dirty etc” bi’s? Fine go talk to the task force and get your own day long pansexual purity institute set up and you can all clap yourselves on the back about how great you are to not be bisexual.

Do not come into bi spaces, use our scarce resources (time, air, emotional labor, physical labor,stickers and coloring books) and then call for the destruction of the label, the community that created that space that you are consuming. I don’t care how enlightened and better you think your alternative label is, especially if you are a cis person telling us bi is transphobic and how important trans issues are to you.

CIS PEOPLE NEVER EVER GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS AND ISN’T TRANSPHOBIC.

Doing so  was an act of violence, transphobia, cissexism and silencing the trans people in that room.

I now need to address the overarching pansexual movement, because honestly, I’ve encountered this the most from pansexuals. If you identify as anything else, including polysexual, gay or even bi and feel this type of behavior is ok I’m talking to you too:

   Educate yourselves. Read this. Now re read this: If you do not want to be a part of bi spaces, community, activism, institutes and workshops fine. Get the heck out. Go make your own. Stop traumatizing us, using us and abusing us because you don’t have enough fortitude, credentials, experience, or just plain old god damned guts to go on your own and attempt to build up your own independent movement.

Stop trying to tear ours down so you can use the rubble to build yours. Do not stand on our corpses and shout about your doctrinal,ideological and label purity.

 

Burn that into your brain. Send it to your friends. Write it on the mirror so you see it every morning. Set it as your background if you need too.

 

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “My Corpse Will Not Be Your Movement’s Foundation

  1. Reblogged this on The BiCast and commented:
    I also was one of the moderators and I cannot express enough how much I and everyone participating were traumatized. All those who think you are doing a service to the community by pushing “Bi Is Binary” understand you are damaging people. A LOT of people. We are not a concept or theory. We are living , breathing human beings are are attacked by this rhetoric.

  2. Loraine Hutchins

    last year i was compelled to teach college level sex ed from a textbook that pushed this very crap so the fact that it is now ingrained in academia is one of the causes of this traumatization and one of the problems we have to resolve

  3. Reblogged this on Eponymous Fliponymous and commented:
    No one is as clear and raw as Aud.

  4. Matthew

    Thanks Aud,

    A lot of this crap seems to be about who in our culture gets to have a legitimate sense of self. Do women get to have a legitimate self or is it up to men to define that self for them? Do gay men and lesbians get a legitimate sense of self or is that self up to homophobes to define for them?

    Parents can guide children to create an adult self that functions in the world. All children leave childhood with some injuries. But when a parent or caretaker tries to obliterate the sense of self of a child and use that child, that is called: Narcissistic Abuse.

    So when these issues come up what it boils down to is Adult individuals trying to impose their sense of self and narrative onto another autonomous Adult individual. That is called: Narcissistic Abuse.

    And then when there is denial that the abuse is occurring or ever occurred that is called: Narcissistic Gas Lighting. Because it is an insidious attempt to rewrite another persons reality and denial that a person is doing so.

  5. Pingback: My Corpse Will Not Be Your Movement’s Foundation (Reblog) | The BiCast

  6. Jackie

    I don’t understand how hard it is too get that bisexual is NOT the same as pansexual and that just because someone is bi and not pan, doesn’t mean they are transphobic! Just because a person is straight, does not mean they are homophobic. The same holds true. Just because you are attracted to only two types, does not mean you are transphobic! Not being sexually or romantically attracted to a person is NOT an attack on that person. But saying that people can’t identify as what they ARE, IS.

    • Taleya

      Jackie, Bi is usually defined as “the same and other genders”. It does not mean “two types”. It’s this sort of ignorance that leads people to scream that pan is better and bi is transphobic.

      • Lou

        Except for misunderstanding the “bi” in “bisexual” (It’s same and other, not male and female) I’d say Jackie is right; no one gets a free pass on being a trans ally regardless of their own label. What I don’t understand is why bis get labeled transphobic when gays, lesbians and heterosexuals don’t. I also want to know where this libel started, as in many cases, bis and trans have worked together to be included in the “LGBT: community.

      • Matthew

        Lou, It is very difficult to know where this all started. For me in the 1990’s both bisexual men and women and trans men and women felt misunderstanding and ostrecization from a large part of the gay and lesbian culture, unless we lied and called ourselves gay and lesbian and dated only the same gender.

        So I felt comradeship with transmen and women, and at that time presented as gender fluid although I did not have that word. I was a bisexual man who sometimes wore a combo of men and women’s clothing.

        I entered into a long term opposite gender relationship. Then when single again in the years 2000’s both bisexual men and bisexual women were put into question yet again as “legitamate”.

        So I think that the word “pansexual” was embraced by Gen Y and after because “bisexual” was under horrible cultural attack.

        For those of us who were out as bisexual during this time, it was extremely traumatizing and challenging.

        When I started to reach out for community I found a bisexual and pansexual division. I accepted as two different social clicks with similar orientations.

      • Lou

        While pansexual and other labels were used in the 1980’s (when I came out and began bi activism) we did debate the issue of trans inclusion and accepted the definition of bisexual as attraction to the same as oneself and to those different to oneself. At that time Bs and Ts were in some cases (as in my local area) working together for inclusion in the G/L community.

        The pan/bi division began about 10 years ago and began as an accusation of transphobia from some pansexuals. Locally we use bi+ to indicate that all identities of non-monosexual are welcome.

        However, the accusation of transphobia has damaged our relationships with trans/non-binary gender people and organizations and I resent that.

    • Uh, what? There’s really no difference between bi and pan. Same interests, same outcomes. Same dog, different collar. Stop erasing bi people by saying that bi and pan are different, when there is literally no effective difference between the two. The end result is the same: no gender preference in a partner.

  7. You are a Bawse. 😄❤️❤️❤️❤️

    -Juba Kalamka
    aka Poinffive
    aka Joe Louis Milk
    aka Jose Luis Microfono
    aka That Black Bi Cisguy

  8. Matthew

    Your fight for bi-inclusion resulted in my undergraduate LG organization changing its name to LGBU in 1991. However it wasn’t really, a girlfriend and I were publically ridiculed in the organization and told not attend until we came out the rest of the way. This lasted for a couple of years until a gay teacher heard about it and told us we were welcome. But after that we decided to just find other bisexual people.

    The organization then changed to LGBT in 1994.

    Today my local center actually provided services and inclusion for LG & T but bisexual people had to really wrestle to be taken seriously. Now there are L G B T and genderqueer groups all at the center.

    So it has taken decades to create inclusion.

  9. Matthew

    I think something else needs to be said some bi people interpret their attractions as binary, some don’t. But I have talked to pan identified man who feels more attracted to men and does not want a relationship with a woman even though he finds women attractive. So he experience a binary. I met a pan woman who experiences stronger attraction to women but is still attracted to men so she experiences binary attraction as well to some degree.

    I don’t really care if a person calls themselves bi or pan. What I found is they can be describing the same thing and other times it is necessary for people to make the distinction to clarify.

    For me I am more attracted to feminity rather than masculinity but bodies are beautiful in all shapes and parts. So an acurate description would pansexual and femme-romantic.

    A femme woman I dated was attracted to femme women and masculine men and was also asexual spectrum /bisexual so she was bi-romantic and bi-ace-romantic.

    Language is wonderful. Let’s make as many wonderful distinctions as possible and celebrate diversity. But let’s not tear the community down in the process.

  10. Aud, I am sending all sorts of love and affirmation your way.

    I learned a wonderful expression two summers ago: “It’s I-dentity, not you-dentity.” My identity is my-dentity, not your-dentity. We all have the right to self-identify and to have our choice of labels treated with respect.

    I identify as bi *&* pan *&* queer *&* fluid, and — to be quite honest — for me, these terms as strongly overlapping. Sexual orientation labels are social identities that do not (and will not) have one fixed permanent meaning that everyone agrees upon. I try to remember that we come to identity through our own personal process, and that each person’s identity is personally meaningful to them.

    It would serve us all well to remember it is in our mutual interest to hold open non-binary space and to make sure it is expansive and welcoming so that we — and those who will come after — have room to be, and to breathe. It does not serve us to attack one another.

    And now I’m off to do my Beyond Binaries program at Washington State University. ❤

    ~Robyn Ochs

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