How inclusive do you think Pride is of bisexual people? We asked LGBTQ Nation readers and the overall consensus was that Pride celebrations, like the LGBTQ community generally, have some work to do with regard to bisexual inclusion.
Even though bisexual is the B in LGBTQ, some say they rarely see bisexual folks getting positive shout outs at Pride.
“That’s a tough one, on one hand they are being inclusive, since that’s what the B stands for,” Victoria Bell wrote, “but at the same time, bisexual people hardly ever get mentioned, and when they are, we are usually portrayed as confused or we don’t know which side of the fence we stand on.”
And while the celebrations themselves may be relatively harmless, the people they attract often pack their biphobia alongside their rainbow swag. Multiple readers shared stories of being actively mistreated by gay and lesbian revelers.
“The letter technically exists in the acronym but the erasure is hella real. I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I get a ‘free pass’ because I settled into a relationship that appears hetero,” Sarah Strege shared. “I’ve been told I’m not ‘queer enough’ because I married a cishet man. There’s a lot that needs to be done before Pride is anywhere near the needed level of inclusive of every letter beyond the ‘LG.'”
They described feeling invisible, no matter who they were dating. But if they are in a “straight” relationship, bisexual folk are often both unseen and harshly judged.
“When I dated men, I was thanked for being a “great ally” to the gay community. When I went to Pride with my now wife, I was assumed to be gay. Either way, erased,” Laura Strong said. “Many bisexual people I know, especially women, feel very unwelcome at Pride events. This discomfort is magnified if that person is in a ‘straight’ relationship. It comes from years of being told we’re either not gay enough or just pretending or ‘transitioning’ to gay or just greedy or, or, or. I don’t think Pride is deliberately exclusionary towards bisexual people, but we definitely fly under the radar.”
Because of that invisibility, bisexual people sometimes hear biphobic comments from people who don’t realize they are bi.
“I was actually at a pride parade where this topic was brought up. The individuals speaking out were not accepting of the B in LGBTQ, the comment was made that the B should not be included if they could not make up their minds on which sexual orientation they desired,”Tyne Henry wrote. “I was shocked by this response, contradicts everything this community should stand for.”
Some said they respond to the ignorance by refusing to care.
“I’ve never had an issue with it, but I don’t walk around with a chip on my shoulder,” Lee Rowan said. “If someone doesn’t ‘believe’ in bisexuality, it’s their loss. I hear the whole symphony, monosexuals only hear half. NOT my problem.
But others have had positive experiences at Pride, even if it was just because they met more bi+ people.
“I’m pansexual. This girl walked up to me during Cbus parade this year and was like “omg I’m not the only one! Yay!” She gave me a hug,” Laura Elliott said. “It made my day. I also saw a lot more pansexual pride flags and outfits than I thought I would.”
And some cities seem to be making efforts to be more inclusive.
“Denver’s Pride parade was very inclusive this year,” Jess Mason wrote. “It was honestly the first time I felt it was for EVERYONE. There were flags to represent everyone and groups supporting bisexuals walking in the parade as well. There were flags for genderqueer and even asexuality. It was wonderful.”
And even individuals say they are learning and growing to be more inclusive of the bi folks in their lives.
“You know for years as a lesbian woman I did not like Bi women. My reason was a personal one I had a bi woman married to man lead me on have me relocate my life so she could play games,” Tina Mason said. “Then one day My daughter came to me and informed she was bi. There is no way I could hate my baby girl and through her eyes I learned gay means different in today society’s and those of us who don’t love like society says we should we need to stick together because we are in for one hell of a ride.”