Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 091615 Contents 9.16.2015 • 29
moderator for NonMono perspective on Tumblr,
said that there are many misconceptions about
monosexual privilege. She said gays and lesbians
may think that bisexuals try to lump them in with
having the same benefits as straight people, but
that they need to instead focus on how privilege
works on an axis with varying degrees.
Someone who is gay/lesbian would be
privileged on the first axis and oppressed on the
second, and someone who is straight would be
privileged on both axes. Someone who is bisexual
or asexual would be oppressed on both axes.
Eisner said she agreed and that cisgender
heterosexual people usually have the most
“Centering the discussion around structural,
heterosexual monosexism, rather than anecdotal,
gay and lesbian biphobia, is meant to put our
activist efforts in the right place rather than
attacking other queer people,” Eisner said.
In 2011, the San Francisco Human Rights
Commission created an article titled “Bisexual
Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations” in
which they went into detail about the problems
bisexual people specifically face.
According to the HRC report, self-identified
bisexuals make up the largest single population
within the LGBT community in the U.S. Their
problems mostly deal with invisibility and
erasure, and monosexual people benefit largely
from acceptance within the larger community,
according to the statistics.
It doesn’t take a report for bisexual people to
realize monosexual privilege exists, Mamone
“We already know it’s out there, but we don’t
quite know a word for it,” they said.
Eisner said that in order for monosexual
privilege to be completely eliminated, the entire
binary system of sex, gender and sexuality
would have to be erased too.
“Monosexism is inextricably linked with
misogyny, heterosexism and cissexism, and
plays a large part in upholding them,” she said.
“In practical terms, this means a lot of activist
work that is intersectional and in solidarity with
women, gay, lesbian, trans and intersex people.”
Mamone said in order for people to be
treated equally all voices need to be heard and
People who want to make is easier for
bisexuals can start by getting informed and
supporting bisexual people both personally and
politically, Eisner said. People can also spread
awareness about it and share information
about monosexism and monosexual privilege
through online and in-person activism.
Eisner also said people should be mindful
of monosexual privilege when speaking with
“The first thing [people] can do is to avoid
perpetuating monosexism and their privilege
in their interactions with bi people,” she said.
“They should remember to step down when
bi people are talking about bisexuality and
monosexism and to give bi people more room
to talk about these things without having to
Mamone said it’s the little things that count
when trying to be mindful and respectful of
bisexual people like calling same-sex marriage,
same-sex marriage instead of gay marriage.
“Also, don’t automatically label people and
say, ‘Oh, they’re gay,’ because they might be
bisexual or pansexual or they’ll say, ‘I’m queer.
I don’t like labels,’” Mamone said. “Little things
like that go a long way.”
Johnson said she feels bothered when
people try to deny that monosexual privilege
exists or try to claim that bisexual people are
privileged because they can pretend to be
“Pretending to be straight is not a privilege
any more than being closeted is a privilege
because they are one in the same,” she said.
“Bisexuals are not half gay and half straight. We
are sometimes gay and sometimes straight, but
always 100 percent bisexual.”
Eisner said she hopes to see more people
coming out in support of bisexual people in the
media and organizations.
“This goes for every context and every
topic, but I’m also thinking especially about
activist communities – for example, feminist,
antiracist/ people of color, disabled, left wing
or LGBT,” she said. “Monosexual people – and
especially cisgender heterosexual people –
should use their privilege to create more spaces
for bi people and for conversations about
bisexuality and monosexism.”
I can find, fairly easily, reading material,
institutions, media representations, etc.
which give attention specifically to people of my
I can feel certain that normal everyday
language will include my sexual identity
(“straight and gay alike,” “gay and lesbian,” etc.).
If I am cisgender, I am far less likely to suffer
from intimate and sexual violence.
If I am cisgender, I am less likely to suffer
from depression or to contemplate suicide.
If I am cisgender, I am far less likely to
suffer from poverty.
I am more likely to feel comfortable being
open about my sexual identity at work.
I have access to information about the
prevalence of STIs in my community as
well as prevention methods that are suitable for me.
(For example, searching online yields many, accurate
and accessible results).
Information about the prevalence of STIs
in my community as well as prevention
methods suitable for me, are unlikely to be subsumed
under those of any other sexual-identity groups.
If I live in a city, I am more likely find medical
care that will suit my own particular needs.
If I am cisgender, I am less likely to risk my
health by avoiding medical treatment.
I have the privilege of not being aware of
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