People who identify as bisexual or pansexual receive specifically directed hatred and distrust (biphobia), stereotyping, and denial (bisexual erasure) from both straight and gay people. People may say bisexuals are just unsure of their feelings or going through a "phase" and will or should "decide" or "discover" which sex they are attracted to. On the other hand, there is also increasing support, inclusion and visibility of bisexuals in the LGBT community.
Defining the community
The social networks of some bisexuals, sometimes called gay- or lesbian-identified bisexuals, are heavily concentrated inside the LGBT communities. But others, sometimes called straight-identified bisexuals, may rarely participate in LGBT culture. Others choose to maintain their primary social contacts mainly with other bisexual/fluid/pansexual and queer-identified people.
A series of groups have been working together and focusing on issues that are important to the bisexual community such as biphobia, dating, coming out, bisexuals visibility in the news and entertainment, and bisexual erasure. These groups are queer-identified and closely allied with the gay, lesbian and transgender communities, but their main focus is the bisexual community. There has also been a movement to combat biphobia and myths about bisexuals.
The bisexual community has many bi-specific events and conferences, publications, websites and organizations, magazines, writer's groups, media, leaders and politicians, and even mental health associations. There are bisexual groups in several cities.
These communities come together with the gay, lesbian and transgender communities for bigger LGBT events such as LGBT pride parades, civil rights marches and advocacy, conferences and other nationwide causes where the interests of the communities intersect, such as the National Equality March. Often, conferences have separate seminars on bisexual and transgender topics, and several LGBT pride parades now include special bisexual sections as well.
Heterosexual and homosexual people can often be included in the bisexual community and are typically termed as allies, "straight-but-not-narrow", bi-friendly or bi-inclusive as they often support political rights and social dignity for bisexual and pansexual people as well as for other LGBT people. Other communities also tend to be welcoming of wide range of different orientations.
Feature films and television
Kevin Smith's 1997 feature, "Chasing Amy" portrayed a relationship between two comic book artists, the straight Holden McNeil, played by Ben Affleck, and the lesbian Alyssa Jones, played by Joey Lauren Adams. The two have a tumultuous relationship, and face disturbances from Holden's friend and business partner, Banky Edwards, played by Jason Lee, due to his distrust in Alyssa. Eventually, Banky admits his love for Holden, who suggests a "threesome," but Alyssa declines and dissolves the relationship. Banky also leaves shortly after the incident.
Beginning in 2009 a web TV series Rose by Any Other Name... produced by FenceSitter Films. began showing on YouTube. The story follows the main characters Rose a comfortably out woman who identifies as lesbian and Anthony a straight man who serendipitously meet and then unexpectedly find themselves falling for each other. Rose has to navigate the reaction of her friends (they aren't thrilled) and her family (they are) while Anthony too has to deal with his friends who are equally displeased.
On December 30, 2009, MTV premiered their 23rd season of the show The Real World. The series took place in Washington DC, and features two bisexual characters, Emily Schromm, and Mike Manning. Manning's sexuality appears to have generated some controversy, with both bloggers and many comments on blogs saying that he is really gay, although he himself identifies as bisexual and has dated both sexes.
Equality campaigns and pride celebrations
The National Equality March was a national political rally that occurred October 11, 2009 in Washington, D.C.. It called for equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all matters governed by civil law in all states and districts. The march was called for by LGBT activist Cleve Jones and organized by Equality Across America and the Courage Campaign. Kip Williams and Robin McGehee served as co-directors. This was the first national march in Washington, D.C. for LGBT rights since the 2000 Millennium March.
There was a specific bisexual, pansexual and queer-identified contingent that was organized to be a part of the march. Several bisexual, pansexual and queer-identified groups including BiNet USA, New York Area Bisexual Network, DC Bi Women and BiMA DC, came together and marched, showing bisexual, pansexual and queer solidarity. There were four out bisexual speakers at the National Equality March rally: Michael Huffington, Lady Gaga, Chloe Noble, and Penelope Williams.
In October 2009, LGBT activist Amy Andre was appointed as executive director of the San Francisco Pride Celebration Committee, making her San Francisco Pride's first bisexual woman of color executive director.
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- List of media portrayals of bisexuality
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