FEATURE IMAGE: PETER HERSHEY
When Bohemian Rhapsody was released, there were numerous comments made upon the “gay life of Freddy Mercury”. What some have pointed out, however, is that he was not gay but bisexual. This example among many other misrepresented lives of celebrities is only part of the everyday erasure of bisexual identity. So, how can we move forward to recognise and respect this existing identity which has long been rendered invisible?
Bisexuality is something that has had a lot of conversation surrounding it, but the climax of the conversation typically results in a denouncing of a person being bisexual. The typical responses to bisexual people that we’ve all heard before (or even said ourselves) are: “he’s going to come out as gay soon, this is just the first step”, or “she’ll settle down with a man one day anyway”, and even, “they’re not bisexual they’re just greedy”.
These misconceptions of bisexuality are engrained in our societies thoughts on sexuality, romance and relationships. Sadly, many people assume that people who identify as bisexual don’t face as much oppression as those that identify as gay. Hence it’s time that we see erasure itself as a form of oppression. Erasure isn’t simply ignorance of something, it is actively wiping it away so that its existence is understood as invalid or untrue on a societal level.
To undo erasure is a task needed to be carried out by more than those that identify with the minority being erased. Conversation is crucial. Not only do we need voices but we need people to be active in their listening to these voices. Ask questions, look things up, read personal experiences online; the role of the listener is one of the most powerful roles there are as it amplifies the power of the voice. So, lets push bisexual identity to the forefront – raise the voices and take part in conversation so that slowly over time those that identify as bisexual are no longer made invisible.