Don’t Forget the B and T in LGBTQ

genderbread personYou only have to search a little bit online or talk to someone who identifies as bisexual and/or transgender to hear the observation that often when people say they care about ,”LGBT,” matters they, “Honestly only are talking about the L and G.” The acronym, “Q,” sometimes isincluded as well and considered to stand for, “Questioning,” by some people and to stand for, “Queer,” by other folk.

Bisexual individuals will often find their orientation questioned more than someone who identifies as heterosexual or homosexual, with people assuming if they are with someone of the same gender they, “Must be Gay,” or if dating someone of the opposite gender, “Are now straight.” Attraction, love, and who you are actively seeing are very different things (see the Genderbread Person above) and just because a man or a woman is with someone of the same or different gender that does not change who they are. Biphobia and Bierasure are concerns often tackled by bisexual individuals, with the idea they are, “Confused/can’t choose/are being greedy,” often being hatefully being stated.bisexualAlso at times forgotten in the discussion of LGBTQ rights are people who identify as transgender. While more and more legal protections have been put in place for people who don’t identify as heterosexual, transgender people continue to face not only everyday harassment, but even being treated as second-class citizens. One need only turn on the television to hear repeated discussion of, “Bathroom bills,” that supposedly protect children from sexual predators but in actuality paint transgender individuals as monsters–when in fact someone who is transgender faces the highest risk of assault in a public restroom.

The common refrains of how, “They,” pose a threat to everyone by simply trying to live a normal life seems to emerge all-too-often, and only through discussion, education, and understanding can things improve. Bathroom bills clearly aren’t about making public restrooms safer, they are about trying to erase transgender people from the public space–it is a rebuke of the very fact transgender people exist, and it is insulting.transphobia.jpgWhile many people remember to include bisexual and transgender people in the LGBTQ discourse and fight for rights, there are issues with these demographics at times being ignored or treated as having less-pressing concerns. In the interest of fighting for equal rights everyone should be represented, and this article simply aims to remind readers of that!

Sources:

Resources about bisexuality and discrimination:

https://lgbt.ucsd.edu/education/biphobia.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/03/are-bisexuals-shut-out-of-the-lgbt-club.html

Personal accounts of facing discrimination as a bisexual person:

http://www.alternet.org/books/biphobia-and-monosexism-bisexual-oppression

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soloish/wp/2017/03/09/the-5-times-i-wish-id-outed-myself-as-bisexual/?utm_term=.7ac4700e4313

Articles about transphobia and legal challenges:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/04/28/transgender-bathroom-bills-discrimination/32594395/

http://www.galop.org.uk/transphobia/what-is-transphobia/

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