“The problem isn't that it was four "straight" women discussing the subject. It's that not enough bi men married to straight women are open and honest about their bisexuality. #HonestyIsHealthy #SayBisexual“
All I can say to this is “wow” and not in a good way. As bisexual males, we get enough heat from the whole world so this really hurts. Bisexual.org is a program of the American Institute of Bisexuality founded by Dr. Fritz Klein. Almost twenty years ago when I came out, his work, especially his research and writing about bisexuality in men, helped me tremendously. The stories of straight women accepting their bisexual male partners coming out gave me the courage to come out to my own partner. Seeing his legacy being used to blame us today instead of helping us makes me emoji sad face.
A few years back when working at TheBiCast, we did an interview promoting a report of issues facing bisexuals. In it there was a statistic: “28% of bisexuals are out to most of the people in their lives”. Because it was in a report bisexuals use to write our own pieces, I see that number used all the time. The stat came from the Pew Study of LGBT Americans and proves what we already know: that while gay people feel confident in being out today (77% of men, 71% of women) many bisexuals still live in the closet. What I didn’t know until having to read the Pew Study was that this number was one which conflated men and women in much the same way Gay Inc includes our bad stats in order to get funding. The number is that only 13% of bisexual men are out and while still horrible, one third of bisexual women are. As a follower of Kropotkin, I follow his philosophy of mutuality in that when speaking or writing about my own or my communities oppression and repression, I make sure I am inclusive of others like and unlike me. Empathy only works if it works both ways.
Staying on Pew, another bad stat for bisexual males is that 59% are not in a committed relationship. The number for women is one third. While I understand that some people choose to be single, I know from my years of work in bisexual community that many of these men are not happy being alone. In our monthly roundtables, the men in particular weigh whether to go back into the closet, to wait until a relationship takes hold to come out, or to continue being out and hope the right person comes along someday. My running joke is that our greatest need is a good old fashion matchmaker to pair these guys up.
Going back to bisexual.org’s comment, even for us 30 some percent of males in different gender relationships, coming out usually ends committed healthy partnerships. I have seen that too time and time again. From losing a leader who had to go back into the closet to get custody rights when his marriage ended by his disclosure to a trans man who lost two female bisexual partners after disclosure to working with GAMMA men who lost their partners by coming out and now identify as gay because we are not visible and many attempts to support men coming out, my experience tells me how hard it is. These biphobic women from the article perpetuate just some of the myths we few out bisexual males have fought forever. They are just voicing what two thirds of women who would never be in a relationship with a Bi man have said in their rejection of us. I count my blessings that I have a partner who loves me for my authentic self and know that many aren't so lucky.
In 2014, the Bisexual Resource Center reused the slogan, “nothing about us without us” which originated in the disability rights movement. As a bisexual male, even in Bi spaces it is pretty common to talk about us without us. Stereotypes about Bi males exist even within the bisexual community. Far too much, the Bi male health equals HIV/AIDS while ignoring all of other health issues shows a lack of understanding of our needs. From IPV to eating disorders to childhood violence to mental health, males are often left out of these educational efforts. Even when we do the work, we are often shut down when asking for inclusion. Ignoring our health, poverty, and wellness statistics only serves to keep us in our closets without any light. The comment here introducing yet another bashing of Bi males shows how out of touch this community can be when talking about Bi men. I'm sure it was not intentional but it coming from the organization founded by a founder of the modern bisexual rights community makes it hard for me to take. All I can say to AIB is please listen to us and be more respectful next time.
Long time bisexual activist