Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Response to J.A.T.G.A.B.

Okay, I know this post looks tl;dr but I really hope you will read it. I promise it's at least a little funny in places. If nothing else, you just have to read what this dude said about me, it's unbelievable.

Background: There was a call for blogs about Freedom to Marry Week. I wrote my own about how I don't feel included in the current marriage equality movement a lot of the time. I included it in Mombian's blogswarm. J.A.T.G.A.B. saw it there and responded (but didn't have the courage to link to my post or to comment on it) here: OH HAY I am the donkey! How CLEVER! Get it! It's an ASS! LOL!!111!!
I never would have known about his response except that Queers United called him out on his anti-asexual tirade, and I decided to look at a few of his older entries. I quickly recognized myself ("cowpie bi").

In case you were wondering anything else about this man: He said in his post on asexuality that asexuality is a disability, that "asexual may merely be the opposite of bisexual and just as trendy, if not yet as political," and that "You can be deaf and blind and still be happy -- but you're still disabled. Just like deaf people who refuse to get cochlear impants, 'asexuals' have the right to refuse treatment or advice." Clearly, he's a gem, with a wealth of knowledge about disabilities, asexuality, Deaf culture, and bisexuality, among other things.

So, without further ado, here is my response to his post:

First of all, there is no way that we can "agree to disagree." Your attack on me was very personal. You belittled me in a variety of ways, starting with calling me "gal," alleging that I am a homophobe and a "fucking bigot," and ending with your comment about how the movement losing my work would be no big deal. You don't know me at all, my history, or what I've done for the LGBTQ community. You insulted my identity, my intelligence... How dare you put words into my mouth. How dare you make inferences about me without knowing me.
You owe me an apology.

You do not understand what "biphobia" means. Please, refresh your memory:
I know that reading this page may be difficult for you since you have demonstrated an extreme aversion to learning about others besides yourself and/or opening your mind in even the tiniest fashion.

You really need to shut up and listen. In all seriousness. Shut the fuck up and listen. I am going to use strong language here because you are committing the internet equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and singing loudly.

You can't understand how GLBT organizations are leaving the B and T out because you are unwilling to look. We are willing to spell it out for you and others of your ilk, but first you have to get the hell over yourself and LISTEN.

You did not read what I had to write. You only took what you wanted to hear out of it. You were obviously looking for a reason to hate on bisexuals. I feel that you didn't even finish reading my post. I say that I feel done with the fight for marriage equality, but I also say that I can't give up on the fight entirely, and I say why. I also express my ambivalence about marriage in general. I know that you didn't actually look that much at my blog itself either, because in one of your comments you suggested, "Perhaps the problem is that Bi Avenger... [doesn't] live in large urban centers where there are big GLBT populations and LGBT centers, so their isolation seems even more pronounced and their frustration and anger increases to the point where it just may be a bit over-the-top." Actually, I do live in a big city with a huge GLBT population and an LGBT center.

Also, if ANYTHING is over-the-top here, it's your post and what you said.

Have you done a comprehensive, scientific survey of the language of marriage used in the LGBT community? Your claim that marriage equality is used at least as much as gay marriage is baseless except for your own experience. There are plenty of good reasons not to use the term "gay marriage." Even GLAAD (whose language I and many others still have problems with) opposes the phrasing of "gay marriage" (which I pointed out in my post). But even if "marriage equality" is used just as much as "gay marriage," that's still not enough. No. It's not. If we are all a part of this movement, we expect to be a part of this movement. As a commenter pointed out, the entire case against Prop 8 is being built on the fact that words matter.

The discomfort with "gay marriage" and the feeling of being left out of GLAAD's, NGLTF's, HRC's (etc.) actions is absolutely not isolated to myself. If you joined the BiNet USA or Local Bi Group Leaders listservs, you would be truly surprised at the volume of e-mail from around the country about inclusive language and other related topics. Are all the members of BiNet USA just stupid, elitist, homophobic bisexuals as well? Watch where you tread here. Try
or for starters if you don't believe me.

I shouldn't have to prove my queerness to you or anyone else. No one died and made you the appointer of the Authentic Queer (TM) cards. But since you demonstrated your biphobia (and by the way, "I have a bi friend who said..." won't work here), I'll go through the trouble of doing it, just like I have to for every bi-doubter.

Considering the things you've said about me, I would never, ever give you my real name in a million fucking years.

I am in my mid-twenties. I identify as bisexual and queer. The following may be very difficult for you to understand, so I hope you are sitting down: I don't have a problem being called gay because I hate gay people. I have a problem with it because I am not gay. I have just as much of a problem with being called straight, if not more so (because I identify more closely with the LGBTQ community than with the straight community).

I have been involved with LGBT activism since joining the GSA in high school. I am currently the leader of a bisexual-focused group at my university, which I started. In the past I volunteered as a peer sex educator and an HIV test counselor. I have been an active member of several different LGBT groups. Last year I marched in my city's Pride event. I did some work on a LGBTQIA history project. I'm writing an honors thesis about bisexuality and identity. I've completed 7 courses in sexuality studies. I have received a scholarship for my work and leadership in the LGBT community. In the future, I plan on pursuing a career in anthropology and/or public health, with a focus on human sexuality, and a devotion to issues affecting LGBT people.

Still not queer enough for you? I really hope you are sitting for this one: In 2006 I got a civil union in VT with a partner (I feel the need to mention that the person I married is a gay woman and she was also offended by people calling our relationship a "lesbian relationship," or our marriage a "gay marriage"). Our relationship has since ended. I can't get a divorce because my state doesn't recognize civil unions. It doesn't recognize same-sex marriage either. So I've experienced the consequences of discrimination against same-sex unions (and the crappiness of civil unions, and the need for the word "marriage") firsthand. Because I have one. Yes, the Bi Avenger has a big ol' family-destroying, country-eroding, sodomy-practicing, Good-Christian-Morals-bereft civil union with another person who, like the Bi Avenger, happens to have a vagina as well.

But I'm, like, O NOES sooooo scared of being called a dyke!!!111!!!!TWELVETY!!!!!!!!!!!!
I want to, like, squelch alternate lifestyles!!111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats why I identify as "queer!!!!11!!" in addition to "bisexual!!"111!!!
I'm just a GAY-HATING GAL who is sew much better than TEH GHEY! Thats why I married a gay!!!111111!!!111

In short, you don't know anything about me at all, and a huge number of people would beg to differ that the movement losing me would be no big loss, so shut the fuck up.

People like me - and the other angry bisexuals - and the transsexual people and transgender people whom I can tell you also don't really understand - and the asexuals whom you refuse to acknowledge - along with our gay, lesbian, queer, intersex, ally and other fabulous friends - are the future of our movement. How scared are you now?

Ultimately, I think the question is, do you want equality or do you want to continue in your set-in ways? Do you want to question your beliefs and stop to think, or would you rather continue sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming and defend your continued embrace of ignorance as the eschewing of political correctness? Seriously, it's not that hard to (for instance) use inclusive language. REALLY. It may be more challenging for you than for some others, but it's also not that hard not to be an asshole. You should try it sometime.


Jody said...

Don't bother to address others who don't get it. Save your energy for helping those who do. It is almost impossible to change attitudes, yours or those of others. You are your attitudes. No one else can change your attitudes except you from within. Yours are the ones that matter.

The Bi Avenger said...

Thanks for your comment, Jody.

...You do have a point.