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Did you know that Marsha P. Johnson was bisexual ?

Pride thought – June 3rd 2021

Did you know that Marsha P. Johnson, pioneer queer activist and Stonewall rioter, human rights defender, badass transwoman and sex worker was also bisexual ?

You probably don’t, because we’re supposed to shut up about it, as if it wasn’t important. As if the fact that we are denied in both the queer and the straight world is okay because we have the privilege to pass in heteronormativity. Maybe you don’t know that Marsha P. Johnson was bisexual because her queerness has historically concentrated in her identity as a trans woman. Rarely we talk about this heroin as a woman simply, even though she used to speak about herself that way. Yes she was trans, and this fact is extremely important because it demanded of her so many sacrifices and subjected her to transphobic violence and exclusion for mainstream society. But the fact the also had lesbian relationships is also very central, and the fact that it was erased says a lot about how the media and how the archival of the LGBTQia+ history has been made.

We are multiple, we are our gender identities, our sexual orientations, and our passions. We are our families, our friendships, our losses, and our fights.

In all sincerity, I’ve been putting off writing this text for a long time. I’ve been talking about it, I’ve cried abou it, I’ve also shut up about it because of exhaustion but now seems the time to highlight an opinion that is shared but still taboo : bisexual people have been excluded from LGBTQia+ visibility for ages.

In queer militant milieux and in the straight world, in parties, in public and private spaces, beyond being misunderstood, bisexuality is the black sheep of queerness and I have a theory about it.

I feel like having intimate, romantic and/or sexual relationships with multiple genders, but especially with all genders AND MEN, is equal to being a traitor in the queer communities.

Because cisgender men are seen as ennemies in the patriarchy, bisexual people, especially bisexual women are supposed to silence themselves, otherwise we will be judged for fucking them, or loving them, or because we are privileged in the straight world. Bisexual men, on the other hand, are almost invisible. Very few representations are accessible, and when we do see bisexual people on screen or in books, we are sexualized, used to justify sex and kink, almost always shown in open, non-exclusive relationships, very rarely happy and even more rarely included in queer communities.

I will avoid here the debate on pansexuality VS bisexuality. 99% of the people I’ve met who identify as bisexual could easily identify as pan, but feel like it’s easier to use “bi” because pansexuality feels like a justifier. I have no other words to explain who I am, but I’ve been in the position of explaining myself an amount of times I stopped counting.

Being bisexual also means coming out all the fucking time, having to answer other queer people who simply don’t believe us, try to lessen our position in the community, approach us with no trust but strong opinion on how we should act. Bisexuals are not the only ones subjected to this kind of contempt on a daily basis. A lot of sex workers are also bisexuals, and their experiences keep being erased, instrumentalized and the violences they live in queer communities undermined.

Trans men and trans women, who incarnate different sexual orientations, often fluid, also have to respond to harmful questions all the time, are sexualized and the targets of exclusionary feminists and people who don’t want to accept the spectrum that gathers us all.

Bisexual men and women of all gender identities belong to the LGBTQia+ community, we fight along the gays and lesbians, we offer visibility and support to our trans sisters and brothers, we educate the straights all the time, and we just want to  be respected and believed when we say and embrace who we are.

I really hope that this month will be the opportunity to open up the dialogue about this grey area and nourish a loving and smart discussion on how we can be closer to one another, respect each other instead of pointing fingers. No one will ever be perfect in the choices we make, no one will ever be exactly what society expects. Building new exclusionary norms within communities supposed to propose safe spaces and possibilities for self expression is hurtful and contradictory to the basis of our fights.

Aren’t we supposed to help one another and accept each other fully ?

My hopes are great and this reality will never ever stop me from being proud of my sexuality and my love, for women, men and non-binary people that I meet everyday.

The queer communities are full of amazing people that compose the letters we stand for 2SLGBTQia+ – colourful and strong, and kind, and fabulous and quiet and creative and fighters and feminists, anti-capitalists folks who work, love, transition, fuck, cry, fight, BE – Let us just BE WHO WE ARE.

Queer family, I love you to Saturn and Beyond.

Alizée Pichot

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