I was in town for a couple of days when I stumbled upon your irascible newsletter. As the founder of a large gay and lesbian organization, Sons Daughters of America, I have given many speeches in which I have not once mentioned the word bisexual. This is not because I dislike, disrespect, or fear (biphobic as you call it) bisexuals, but because it is cumbersome to continuously use this extra word when speaking about the movement.
Unfortunately, we are no longer simply gay people. We are now always referred to as gays and lesbians. Now the bisexuals want to jump on board and be included every time we are mentioned as a group. Last summer at the Gay Games in New York City, I heard a speech in which a deranged dominatrix was complaining that the words leather-fetish were never included after the words gay, lesbian, and bisexual. Another speech protested that the word transgender was not used in our aggregate reference either.
When I used to just refer to us as the gay community, if your organization and others had its way I would always have to say the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and leather fetish community. These supplementary words have the tendency to make an address or even common speech long winded and insufferable. To add the word bisexual to gay and lesbian is impractical and your publication is wasting much needed time and energy quibbling instead of helping the gay and lesbian fight for equality.
Furthermore, if you look around the nation you see anti-gay and lesbian laws. I have yet to see one anti-bisexual law. Bisexuals can already love who they wish if they are in a heterosexual relationship. They only encounter prejudice when they enter into homosexual relations. Therefore, that poor professor Ann Schranz attacked for not having reference books for bisexuals really had no reason to have books about them. This is because by having gay books he was covering the aspect of bisexuals that get discriminated against.
The gay and lesbian movement's biggest weakness is having to spend more time battling nit-picking political correctness gurus exemplified by your publication, than fighting our real enemies on the radical right. The hypersensitivity of your newsletter serves no one, especially your cause of bisexual acknowledgment. I urge you to print my commentary in your next newsletter, however, I know how censorship usually goes hand in hand with politically correct publications so I doubt anyone else will ever read this. Sincerely yours, Wayne R. Besen Founder Sons & Daughters of America Inc.
*************************** My response:
Dear Mr. Besen:
This is a very belated acknowledgment of your letter of last April. Since dialog may begin with a statement of positions, I appreciate the clear statement of your position. Your letter will be published in our next newsletter. My position, however, is different.
I identified as lesbian for 10 years. Several years ago I changed my self-identification to bisexual. I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that my life would have taken that turn. I have come out twice to family, friends, and co-workers, once as lesbian and then again as bisexual. Being out as bisexual is harder, primarily because the bisexual community is not as strong as the gay and lesbian community. That's why I am trying to build a bisexual community.
I have enclosed a press kit on bisexuality from BiNet USA, the national bisexual network. I am one of two regional representatives for the southeastern United States. If you are aware of any educational opportunities for me in your area, please let me know.
I am not interested in political correctness. I am interested in exploring my reality, making friends, creating community, and fighting conservatives who object to any view of sexuality that it different than their view.
Sincerely, Ann Schranz
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