A guest post from N. Gupta
I have basically a 99% hard limit re ‘no white people as lovers/play partners/fuckbuddies.
Because I am done showing/sharing my skin and body with people who have no clue what their white skin means.
And no investment in learning *to the level that I need for any encounter to be remotely good/pleaseuable for me*
if im ever gonna have that intimacy again
and tbh it feels unlikely and I go back and forth on how i feel about that
i am prirotising black and brown bodies like AND unlike mine:
– trans, gender non conforming, bi, crip, mad, working/mixed class, immigrant bodies, goddess/magic/witchy bodies.
Bodies that contain multitudes and borders.
Bodies that get stopped and searched at borders and on the street.
Me, reading this back. OH. Right. Yes!
with endless thanks to Rhizome Syndrigast Coelacanth Flourishing whose writing and making and thinking and feeling and re-imagining have been so inmportant to me in last couple years Love and solidarty to u, mate xx
It’s a 99% limit because someone being BIPoC doesn’t guarantee a connection. or that they won’t be shit to me, or me to them.
I donn’t get to ‘disappear’ into that world coz it’s not magically free of transphobic, biphobic, ableist, classist, sanist, capitalist, racist, liberal, faily etc bulllshit.
And if someone is qtibpoc but is that more comfortable hanging on to instead of challenging that stuff, our skin doesn’t make us kin.
And coz if you wanna be my lover .. you literally have to come round and deali with my messy house. Coz I’m largely housebound these days.
It’s a 99% limit because there are *and always have been* white working class people in my chosen fam. (and some of their families pretty expolicity chose/’adopted me)
We share and connect on many of these lines in ways.
And coz I have rarely found absolutism to be a useful/positive force/ i need pluralism and options.
I attended the first Bi Pride on 7th September 2019. I was surprised at the turnout – it felt like hundreds of people were there! I was also pleasantly surprised at being at the most diverse mainstream* bisexual event EVER.
I spoke on the Mental Health and Bisexuality panel, about the problems with long waiting times, how NHS mental health services are awful and putting bi and trans people in danger. I also spoke up as an audience member during the session on Bi Community. I raised the point of the barriers to building bi communities, when so many meet-ups and events were held in pubs, which are often unfriendly to visibly queer, POC, those who wear religious clothing, and/or gender non-conforming clothes. These places are also often inaccessible to those with mobility issues.
Overall I was impressed at how professional the event was – the scale of things to do, and the community marketplace. Also the Sensory relaxation room was small but it was AMAZING!
*mainstream, as in the event was not for bi people of colour only
This 2017 article in Gal-Dem on self-care, was mostly a positive read, but something really jarred me: the line that read, “The oppression that we face builds character.”
The oppression we face as bisexual people of colour, builds the likelihood of mental distress, anxiety, alienation and depression. It is no wonder that bisexuals of all ethnicities are more likely to be suicidal, self-harm and/or abuse alcohol, cigarettes and drugs more than either straight or gay and lesbian people. (Source: The Bisexuality Report, Open University, 2012). Add to that the racism bisexuals of colour face on top of all of this from white members of the LGBT+ and straight communities, and it’s not a recipe for building character at all (Source: Bi’s of Colour report, 2015)
The myth that suffering builds resilience is common, especially when aimed at women and femmes of colour. Sure we have to go through many things that others don’t, but it wears us down in a way that’s terrible and often invisible. What is worse, we are expected to see it as part of our daily lives. The world is a cruel place for bisexuals of colour. Don’t make it harder by putting the expectation of suffering on our shoulders as well.
Free event on June 3rd: Town Hall Takeover!
Queer Cinema presents: Being Bisexual/Pansexual.
This event is FREE and happens in an accessible place. Newham Bisexual event