Why I Don’t Apologize for Defending my Bisexuality

5/8/2017

Several times during my ongoing quest to promote bi visibility and equality, I have been accused of attacking others…by simply asking them to broaden their minds and reconsider their negative stance on bi people. Apparently, it is alright for them to spend time routinely disparaging the bi community, but should I try to defend myself (because, as a member of that community, these words are a direct assault on me and my life) and share my side of the story, I am suddenly the aggressor.

In the past, I have had the tendency to let these comments go; it’s far easier to ignore the trolls and individuals hell-bent on making me and others like me feel bad about promoting equal visibility and respect within the LGBTQ+ community.

Alas, I am at the point in my life now where I can no longer continue to do this. My breaking point has been reached and, moving forward, I won’t let these unwarranted words go without some sort of a response; I’ll try my best to reply to them with mature, well-thought out responses that address all of their concerns. That’s really all I can do.

I don’t have exceptionally high hopes that I will change anyone’s mind right away (or even at all), but letting people run around making derogatory, uninformed comments helps no one. So, if standing up to those words and those who say them paints me as an aggressor in the eyes of a few, there is nothing I can really do about. However, I cannot sit idly by and let it continue without holding them accountable for what they say and communicating to them how it affects others.

At this point in my life, I’m fairly sure I can handle the inevitable backlash…but that hasn’t always been the case. While still figuring out my sexual orientation, the animosity directed at those in the bi community promoting visibility and respect was intimidating and, ultimately, it kept me from coming out sooner than I did. However, eventually I did make my way out of the closet and, as unpleasant as it may be, I’m sure I can handle the negativity from others who don’t understand or misinterpret the ultimate aim of my words and actions.

It’s not to say that I can easily wrap my mind around the logic of them trying to turn the aggressor label around on me; how am I, a person who is simply asking for acceptance and promoting visibility for my community, the aggressor in the situation where the opposite side is telling me I am fundamentally wrong, in more ways than one? I can accept the reality that there will be people who always view me in that light, but I cannot accept the logic behind their reasoning.

I’m sure that asking for this equal treatment of bi people within the LGBTQ+ community will ruffle the world view of some individuals; but that does not make it an inherently aggressive act. It just means that there is an opportunity for us to learn more and do better. It also does not mean I won’t continue to fight, advocate, and care for the entire LGBTQ+ community as a whole; it just means that I want to feel like I am doing it for my specific community as well as the larger queer population.

I’m not asking for special treatment in the LGBTQ+ community; I’m asking for fair treatment. If you view it as an attack and set yourself against individuals asking for this, that’s what you have to live with. However, I will continue to promote bi visibility and equality, both in and out of the LGBTQ+ community, and hope that the majority of people will not condemn it as an attack, but instead welcome the opportunity to promote inclusivity and respect for others.

Blaize Stewart
Blaize Stewart is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a BA in broadcast journalism and a MA in journalism. He currently lives in Chicago, IL and works as an influencer relations associate for a full-service influencer marketing agency called Faam and as an adjunct instructor at Robert Morris University. Additionally, he runs the LGBTQ+ blog Out Loud, a space for members to share their experiences and thoughts on current events and more.