Bisexuals, Passing, and Straight Privilege: A Deeper Look
12 hours ago | Updated 11 hours ago
Zachary Zane Freelance writer, novelist, and contributor at PRIDE
DANIEL GRILL VIA GETTY IMAGES
I’m a white, cisgendered man who screwed up. I didn’t check my privilege and I want to apologize. I recently wrote a piece titled, Why Passing as Straight Isn’t a Privilege. In it, I noted how in being in an opposite-sex relationship, I benefit. I’m not afraid of being beaten when I kiss my girlfriend on the lips in public. I’m not harassed by passersby in the street for holding her hand. I claimed that while I clearly benefit from appearing straight, it doesn’t mean I have “straight privilege.”
My reasoning for this was simple: I’m not straight; I’m bisexual. Appearing as straight and being straight are two different things. The privilege I gain from appearing straight is taken away the moment my sexual orientation is revealed. I wanted to make that clear.
I wanted to discuss how bi-erasure is a real and ubiquitous problem. That despite being the largest sub-group of the LGBT+ community, we are rarely presented in media. And I wanted to give people who are monosexual (solely attracted to one gender), a taste of what it’s like to be bisexual on a daily basis, but I didn’t fully explain the struggle. Instead, I explained how bisexuals are assumed to be something that we’re not, and it’s not a privilege to have someone mistake your identity.