I saw this a few days ago on Facebook, but lost track of time posting. It was picked up by the Post-Gazette.
What a twist. The long-time LGBT ally alleges the self-identified bisexual candidate is fraudulently identifying with the LGBT community.
Both candidates' positions feed right into ongoing biphobia pervading the LGBT community. Suggesting someone isn't really part of the gay community because they have an opposite sex relationship is a very common point of view. Using language such as “swing both ways,” on the other hand, feeds right into that same mentality and certainly does not convey any sense of dignity or respect for bisexual men and women who don't have the privilege of wealth.
This is particularly interesting given the fact of three bisexual men suing the Gay Softball World Series for saying they didn't count as gay players. The team was disqualified for having too many straight players.
It seems people want some sort of measuring stick to determine if bisexual men and women are “gay enough.” The biphobia that pervades Pittsburgh's LGBT community is pretty sad. Women rail against straight women coming into lesbian spaces to “experiment” with very little thought that they might really be struggling to figure out their identity. I agree they should be upfront about their intentions before dating, but sheesh … do we only want tolerance for people who earn a gay card? How would you do that anyway?
Over a year ago, I was at a community leadership meeting where a respected leader actually said something to the effect that no one bisexual was present because they can't make up their minds, followed by a stupid giggle. It isn't funny and it certainly demonstrates that 1) he thought we'd agree with him and 2) he didn't know much about the folks in the room as there were bisexual persons present. Offensive and damaging to his causes.
Since that was a political meeting, it brings me back to the Josephs/Kravitz race. Babette Josephs is a known quantity who has proven she's qualified and understands the issues. I suspect she's outraged that someone is so blithe about their identity, knowing the struggles many in her district face. Kravitz may be bisexual, but that doesn't qualify him for office. Perhaps this public trial by fire will help him be a little more aware of the discrimination the LGBT community endures.
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