I think the whole “lesbians vs bisexuals” thing is fucking stupid and people on both sides need to realize that other LGB women aren’t the enemy, BUT it does bother the hell out of me when I see bisexual women doing everything they can to make sure everyone knows they’re TOTALLY NOT GAY. Like, I get that erasure sucks and being read as something you’re not sucks (people always think I’m Straighty McHeterosexual, I get it) but if you’re so desperate for people to know that you’re absolutely totally not gay or if you flip out over the terms “gay relationship” or “gay marriage” being applied to a same-sex relationship…maybe consider why you’re so opposed to being categorized with gay women.
It’s because we’re not gay women. We’re not straight women, either. As you yourself noted, we’re bisexual women. That is its own thing! And it doesn’t change when we have girlfriends, and it doesn’t change when we have boyfriends, and it doesn’t change when we love nonbinary or genderqueer people, and it doesn’t change when we get married to anyone of any gender. A marriage between two women isn’t a gay marriage if the women in that marriage aren’t gay. A marriage between a woman and a man isn’t a straight marriage if the people in that marriage aren’t straight. A lot of bisexual people don’t feel included by terms like “gay marriage” or “straight marriage” because we are not gay people or straight people.
It is frustrating to have to explain this to you when you yourself already acknowledge that you’re aware of erasure and that you yourself have experienced the erasure of your own identity by being read as straight, but the very reason it takes so many non-monosexual people so much time and effort to discover and live and be who we are is because of that erasure. By pointing out to those who assume they’re gay that they’re actually bisexual, those bisexual women you’re so frustrated with are validating their own existence. Their own existence as bisexual people. That is a different thing from being gay people or straight people. Most, if not all, of those bisexual people grew up with the idea that what they are is not a real thing—not a legitimate, inhabitable identity, a “phase,” an “experiment,” evidence of timidity or internalized homophobia itself, etc. It takes a lot of work to own an identity that the world still refuses to acknowledge as real, and to have to keep asserting that identity at every last turn. You’re pissed at people for doing that work?
If you have a problem with the fact that people won’t keep silent and let you assume that they’re whatever you’d prefer them to be, I have no idea what to tell you, aside from that you’re a terrible ally to yourself and every other queer out there, because that is exactly what heterosexism and cissexism would do to all of us. The reason those bisexual women you’re bitching about feel the need to clarify that, despite their wives and girlfriends, they’re not gay, is the same reason I feel the need to clarify that, despite my husband (or boyfriends or girlfriends or sweeties), I’m not straight (or gay): because I’m not, and they’re not.
People are losing their fire and forgetting about Ferguson. That’s exactly what the police want, though: for all of this to just go away and for people to forget about it.
Don’t let that happen.