[image description: an extreme close-up of light blue forget-me-not flowers against a blurry blue background. white art deco letters in all caps say “monosexuality is a heterosexist idea used to oppress gay people and erase bisexuality from history and society”]
i just got inspired by the 1990 Bisexual Manifesto
like what if they were right? what if the concept of monosexism rests on the insistence that there ARE two and only two genders, two and only two sexes, two and only two gender roles, to pair up in the first place? that makes sense, doesn’t it?
what if that means that it doesn’t just loathe bisexuals, because our very existence breaks that binary, but also intersex people, aces/aros, and trans people of all types?
what if that means that it does tolerate both straight and gay people, on the surface, but it’s demanding a rigid adherence to gender norms that the majority of gay people don’t fit into in the first place?
remember how Senator Barney Frank, and the HRC, fought for years to keep “gender identity and expression” out of the united states’s Employment Non-Discrimination Act? and even the Advocate magazine said, if it had passed that way, “many LGB individuals would have still been vulnerable to job loss as it would remain perfectly legal to fire a masculine-presenting woman or a feminine-presenting man. Those viewed as somehow outside of what society expects from us in terms of gender would remain a target.”
what if that’s heterosexism versus monosexism?
One part of our community sees things as being centered around “gay versus straight”, and thinks that we are only oppressed if people think we’re gay. Some of those folks acknowledge that cissexism exists alongside it, so people are oppressed for being gay or trans. In this worldview, people who “look straight” – intersex people, aces/aros, “het-partnered” bisexuals, nonbinary people, straight and passing trans people – are privileged. Gay men, lesbians, and anybody who will be read as gay or non-passing, are oppressed.
The other part of our community sees things as being centered around “violating the gender binary”, and thinks that we are oppressed when we are seen as bending or breaking that binary. This includes gay men, lesbians, and/or non-passing trans people, but it also includes everyone who is nonbinary, passing trans people, intersex, ace, aro, bi, et cetera.
Because the rule of the gender binary is that there have to be two and only two genders, which have to correspond correctly with the two and only two sexes that are acknowledged, and the two and only two gender roles, and they have to be with each other, and only each other. That is how the gender binary works. That’s what it is.
I think that one perspective is what we label as “heterosexism,” and the other is what we label as “monosexism”. I think this is the big divide that has always, always been present in the community. And I think that lately we’re being told over and over, by the first group, that believing monosexism exists is anti-gay, and it’s keeping everyone from seeing that actually, monosexism itself is anti-gay.