Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Quit

I've decided to stop being bisexual. I am neither relinquishing my attraction to more than one gender nor am I going to cease mentioning that I am bi when it is relevant. I'm merely done trying to be a member of the bisexual community. The reason is simple: I won't be the kind of disabled person necessary for inclusion. I am no longer willing to follow these rules: A. Do not talk about my disability. B. Do not discuss my disability-related needs. C. Smile and be grateful for any bit of attention "lavished" upon me. D. Embrace or tolerate the "Let me help you, poor thing" attitude that comes with any aid. E. Allocate my disability-related needs to the realm of wants subject to the "whims" of people's "kind" hearts. F. Let prejudice behavior and policies exist without naming them as such. So, today as the bisexual community comes together to celebrate and raise its visibility, I am taking a giant step away from that community until I can be both disabled and bisexual at the same time. I have not made this decision lightly or in haste for it is only after years of working as a leader in my local bisexual community that I have come to this crossroad. The last three months, as I've taken time from that leadership to focus on health issues, I have watched as any acknowledgment of disability vanishes from the activities of the local bisexual community Then, too, there is the behavior of the bisexual community on the larger national scene. My comments on accessible practices have been snubbed. Requests that people think about accessible formats are not acted upon. Disability might as well be a planet in another galaxy given the amount of attention it receives. Finally, there are the individuals that compose the bisexual community. I am the eight-year-old child at an all grownup party that never conceived of a child being present. While this is not substantively different from how I am treated in heterosexual social situations, I would have expected more from a collection of people who routinely experience social isolation and discrimination. Today, more than nineteen years since I left my closet, I am not exactly returning to that enclosed space. I'm leaving the bisexual building and only going back for brief visits when my bi friends invite me. Maybe the whole "Be polite to guests" principle will apply. [If you are left thinking, "Wow, she's angry," then go read the previous entry for my perspective on anger.]

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