Allies are awesome! They help us create spaces for our voices to be heard and eradicate harmful ideas that oppress us. Straight people aren't the only ones who can be allies. Gays and lesbians are just as capable of being allies to bisexuals as straight people. Don't know how?
Here are seven ways you can be an ally to bisexuals:
1. Call Out Biphobia
Biphobia persists both among straight people and among gays and lesbians. Sometimes biphobia manifests itself in microagressions — through either passing comments or jokes. All these things add up and contribute to a narrative that oppresses bisexuals. It’s important for our allies to speak out against biphobia every time they encounter it.
2. Correct People Who Mislabel Us
When you hang out with us, you’ll start to realize how many times people call us “gay” or “straight.” We live in a world where binaries are easier. People are male or female, gay or straight. But we know that binaries in gender and sexuality are false. Still, many will make assumptions about our sexuality, depending on the context in which they met us or the gender of our partner. It’s nice to not have to always be the one correcting strangers. Allies who gently correct others’ assumptions save us the hassle and let us know they are on our team.
3. Always Use Inclusive Language
Gay isn’t an inclusive term. It does not mean LGBTQ. If you are using terminology to describe our wonderfully diverse community, spell out the acronym or use the word queer. Using inclusive language is a reminder to be inclusive in our actions as well. Keep us in the conversation.
4. Support Bisexual Organizations
Do you know there are only six bisexual nonprofits in the United States? Bisexual organizations get very little support from the greater LGBTQ community. Both in terms of finances and in volunteers, bisexual organizations are on the margins of the greater LGBTQ nonprofit world. A 2010 LGBT Funders Report, which tracks all large donations from grantmaking organizations, noted that “support to bisexual-focused issues remained at zero for the second year in a row.”
In 2012, out of all the funds tracked in 40 years of LGBT advocacy, only $84,356 out of almost half a billion dollars went to bisexuals. Want to be an ally? Support bisexual organizations.
5. Organize Against Biphobic Organizations
Boycotts are a good way to send a message to companies that we don’t stand for discrimination. Bisexuals have boycotted TV shows that erase bisexual identities and magazines that perpetuate bisexual myths. Support these campaigns and take a stand against biphobia and bi erasure.
6. Don’t Perpetuate Ugly Bisexual Myths
The idea that bisexuals are just going through a phase, sexually greedy, or not queer are all examples of bisexual myths. These ugly myths are used to discount bisexuality as a valid sexual orientation or to sexualize our identities. They’re harmful stereotypes that aren’t representative of bisexual people. Don’t know what kind of myths we face? Here are 13 of them to eradicate from your vocabulary.
7. Educate Others
It’s selfish to keep what you’ve learned to yourself! Spread the love and share your learned tips on how to be a good bisexual ally.