A few weeks ago I wrote about how biphobia impacted my life in the form of rape and it’s effects on me at the time. But the story does not end there, nor does the biphobia and pain. I had been admitted to a day program after suicide attempts and other dangerous behaviors. It was my first time being one on one with the med giving doctor. He and a smiling pretty med student were in their along with some other tall bald thin man. I told him the whole story. I cried. The poor med students face, she will be a good doctor. Then he said those words. That it was my fault. I had been drinking and had been out as bi. Every guy knew that was code for sexually promiscuous. That I should call my mother who had coldly asked me “how much time did you waste over this? Did you blow a whole semester? How much of our money did you waste?” That I should beg her to forgive me.
Everything went so silent.My bag with my books had these little jingly silver metal bells on one of the zipper’s.I remember how cool they felt in my fingers as I crushed the metal between my fingers till they were flat and I bled. Their sad little death jingles.Everything was muffled and my vision tunneled.I felt this rage.I was murderus.I don’t remember what I shrieked at him. Maybe that he was cruel, a terrible doctor a monster.Yes I remember calling him a monster. I remember my bloody fingers crumpling up his paper and to his surprise I grabbed his little note pad and tore off the first three sheet and flung them at him.All his little jottings now smeared with blood and ruined. I was going to lunge at him.Months of rage and pain and tears.Hot tears. Then I saw the pretty med students face. She looked just as angry at him as I was. She looked like she wanted to reach out and touch me. That brought me back. I took my bag and books and walked out. No one stopped me or even noticed as I climbed up those steps from the buildings basement. I walked out into the freezing air and began to walk. I walked and walked. I made it to the grocery store maybe 4-5 miles away. My legs hurt from the hills and I had frozen matted hair and little frozen tears on my face. It was February. I called my mother in law to come get me. I wiped my face off with a tissue I found waded up in a coat pocket. I opened the van door and climbed in beside her and vowed I would never let any one hurt me or make me that angry again.
We drove home and I told her what happened.We got burger king.I had chicken fries with their weird almost ranch like buffalo sauce. I went home and crawled into bed.
I woke up and picked up Pema Chodron’s ” When Things Fall Apart”
I found one of those crushed jingle bells in the bottom of the bag years later. It still seemed to have blood on it or maybe melted chocolate and it still tried to jingle.
It is treatment like this that leads to the high rates of illness and poor health reported by bisexuals.
Why go get help for our ridiculously high suicide rates ( 40% of bisexuals have attempted suicide) or go disc louse our sexuality to get treated for health concerns? I have had medical doctors make lewd comments to me if they know, dismiss me wholesale or accuse me of lying. With that kind of treatment no wonder we have the worst health versus the L and G and Straight people!
A great effort has been made to make medical spaces gay and lesbian friendly. School counselors offices boast “safe space ” sticker s. Many students find out that it is a safe space only for lg people.
A concerted effort must be made to educate medical providers on the realities and the painful impact biphobia and erasure has on bisexual people. These are illnesses, very real and painful caused by the medical and large LG groups ignoring the health and wellness needs of the largest part of the community.
We need a plan. We need to come armed with facts and figures. Because it us clear that they will not do it for us. They would rather silently crush us like a cheap jingle bell until we have no voice.
We need to jingle and be loud in this vast sea to get noticed. We need to be fearless and look at our doctors and therapists and say ” No. You are wrong” We grow up with this idea that doctors and therapists are gods incapable of wrong existing in some sort of pure neutral science bubble, free from bias and personal hate.That bubble is so dirty it is more like a black hole. They are human and their own biphobia, misogyny and other privileges and biases can and DO blind them and cause harm rather then healing.
Stand up. Even if you cry and get angry. You are real a human and you deserve to be heard and treated with respect. Tear up papers if you have to. Get the point across. We are not some sad jingle bell the Bi community is a huge gong banging as we are buffeted about by the waves. Listen for it and take a deep breath and be strong.
Aud Traher is a Bisexual-Trans Activist, local LGBT organizer, blogger, local craftperson and board member of BiNet USA living in working in a rural community in Western Central Pennsylvania.