0wlsarecool said: Could you give a list of things to avoid when writing about queer people, like the one you gave about writing trans characters? Even as someone who is bi, I'm afraid I might resort to stereotypes without knowing that's what I'm doing, and I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same.
Ooooh lemme think
- Don’t use the whole confused bisexual trope. If your character is bisexual, you’re character’s bisexual. They’re not half gay, or half straight, they’re bisexual. Don’t be all like “ooh whoops jk turns out that I’m gay/straight” because that just contributes to the stereotype that bisexuals are greedy and confused and can’t pick a side
- Now… I’m not one for slut shaming, but it really irks me how bi women are usually portrayed as hypersexual beings who have to hook up with everyone just because they’re attracted to more than one gender. Like literally, those portrayals are the reason why people think of bi women as greedy sluts, which feeds into the rape culture aspect of sapphobia, which feeds into why bi women have higher rape and domestic abuse statistics. Like, people don’t understand that stereotypes can actually harm a group of people.
- Can bi men not be portrayed as secretly gay?
- Please remember that bisexuality is not a binary attraction!!! We are trying so hard to dismantle that stereotype!! Bi =/= two, bi =/= binary! It’s okay to have your bi character be attracted to women and nonbinary people, or men and nonbinary people, or men, women and nonbinary people!!! And not all bi people are attracted to only two genders!!! Not all bi people are attracted to just men and women!!
- Bisexuals are just as queer as other members of the community
So to sum it up, keep true to the bisexual definition, bisexuals aren’t confused, don’t hypersexualize bi women, and bi men are bi and not gay
I’m going to have to disagree with the first one.
When I was young I’d thought of myself as straight. To learn that I could be bi was very confusing at first. Now, this was a long time ago (I was born in 1969), but growing up I had been taught that anyone who was gay was not normal, and bisexual was even more not normal. I thought of myself as normal. So discovering that I was bi was a very confusing thing for me at first.
While it can be a trope, it’s also “normal” discovery for some bisexual persons.
I think it’s an important point to make. Being confused about sexuality is a common experiance for bisexuals (or really anyone not het); but killing the stepping stone or phase stereotype is responsible bi representation
To compare- my first romantic attractions were all sapphic and my first sexual ones andro; i was very confused because i literally did not understand bisexual to be a “real” option. I assumed it was a “stepping stone” or a “phase”. I even came out as a lesbian (but continued to serriptiously see dudes) because i didn’t want to be cast into the bi stereotypes. I assumed i couldn’t be right about my own experiences because i didn’t have any representation saying “people can live thier whole lives happy and bi, they don’t eventually pick”
Yes, some people live MUCH of thier lives assuming (or trying to force) a side, but better bi representation can prevent that