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  1. #1
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    Question The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    hello! my name is dani and I identify as bisexual. I recently got into a conversation with someone who identifies as straight where they said that gay is not considered an umbrella term in the community and can not be used to describe bisexual people.
    I personally have used the term gay to describe myself since I came out 6 years ago. After doing some research, I found confusing results where some websites said that gay should not be used to describe bisexual because it condones bi-erasure, but others said that it is appropriate to use to describe the community as a whole, as you would use queer or LGBTQIA. My friends in the community who I asked said that they don’t have a problem using the term gay for bisexual people and agreed that they use it as an umbrella term.
    I don’t want to offend anyone my calling myself gay, so I wanted to reach out and see what other people think. thank you in advance!

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    The way that I look at these labels is that the term "gay" is for people who are only physically and or emotionally attracted to the same gender. The bisexual" term is for people who are physically and or emotionally attracted to both CIS male and CIS female.

    Monosexuals are the opposite of bisexuals and not the term gay. Monosexuals are the umbrella for the opposite bisexuals. Monosexuals are physically and or emotionally to one gender while bisexuals are attracted to both CISmales and CIS females. Monosexuals include heterosexuals and homosexuals. Heterosexuals are only physically and or emotionally to the opposite gender to themselves. Homosexuals are only physically and or emotionally to the same gender as themselves. Some see Pansexuals are being physically and or emotionally attracted to all humans regardless of their gender.

    I'm not clear as which community that you are referring to. Bisexual erasure or bisexual invisibility is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media, and other primary sources. In extreme forms, bisexual erasure can include the belief that bisexuals do not exist. A negative prejudicial belief against bisexuals do not exist by people or dislike of bisexuals is Biphobia. Your friends sound like they are biphobic. Institutions may practice Bi Erasure ...not individuals.
    Last edited by tenni; Mar 12, 2019 at 12:01 PM.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Meh, just labels. However if you're trying to classify yourself theres nothing wrong with that, just be aware its all relative. Within the straight world any sexual behavior beyond hetro could be called gay. Anything in the middle could be called "weird" by gays. Did you know the gay community use to consider bisexuals degenerates and would shun and reject them? Yep.

    There's something called the kinsey scale. What Ive learned over the years is EVERYONE falls within that scale but the labels always change. I'm probably somewhere in the 1 or 2 rating but I consider myself bi-curious and cockcentric: meaning Im not attracted to men, neither physically or emotionally yet I'm erotically turned on by cock. Ive been accosted/rebuffed online by gays for that and quite frankly.... they can go fuck themselves.

    If you consider yourself bisexual to what degree do you consider yourself? Equally hetro/homo or somewhere in between the two extremes?

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Yes it is just a label but labels may be used against bisexuals as in this statement that "gay" is the umbrella for all who are not heterosexual. That can lead to Bi Erasure in media etc.

    The concept of "fluidity" and bisexuality is important to understand if you ever find yourself attracted to both genders. Monosexuals are not fluid in their attraction to CISgenders. I have read posts by newly aware bisexuals that you are attracted to both. One time you may be attracted to opposite gender and no attraction to same gender. The next hour or day or month you switch gender attractions. Some have had only opposite gender attraction until they are in their 40's etc. Then bang...attraction to same gender. I think that it is best to look at your attractions over a longer period of time . As far as the Kinsey scale, some find it helpful as they begin to become attracted to both genders. Since bisexuals are fluid in their attraction, it makes the Kinsey Scale difficult to understand.

    Some like Sigstache have only a physical attraction and no emotional attraction to same gender people. Bisexuality accommodates physical and emotional. It seems a lot easier to accept same gender physical attraction than same gender emotional attraction. You just need one type of attraction to self label yourself as bi.


    Last edited by tenni; Mar 12, 2019 at 2:29 PM.

  5. #5

    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Labels, sure... but there's a significance to this given how many people firmly believe that there's no difference between being bisexual and gay - and that difference is perceived because the people who buy into this fallacy is only looking at one aspect of bisexuality - the homosexual part and "everyone knows" that homosexual equals gay. Why would it be an umbrella term? It's easier to think of than it is to pay attention to the details. We talk about attraction and while that is generally accepted as a key determining factor, it's often misleading since, uh, it's possible for a gay man to be attracted to a woman - but he might not wanna jump her bones. We try to parse out what attraction is and means to bisexuals while trying to also parse out where most of the attractions lies or even suggesting that a bisexual's attractions should be equal across the board.

    When, in this situation, lumping everyone who gets involved with homosexual behavior as being gay can be easily resolved by looking at the fact that bisexuals aren't just homosexual in their behaviors - they're heterosexual, too, and perhaps to the chagrin of the bisexuality haters, tend to be heterosexual more than homosexual and depending on how active someone might be and other conditions. But that's too much like right and, again, it's easier to look at a bisexual and infer that they're really gay - even when you might know this ain't the truth.

    Then there's this: If you know you're not gay - your attractions, as you define them, are not tidally locked in one direction, then this umbrella term wannabe shouldn't bother you; it's not your fault that there are a ton of people who don't seem to know the difference between a bisexual and a homosexual. There was a time when I'd get very pissed to be mislabeled as being gay but I figured out that there's no reason for me to get pissed off over someone else's ignorance, that and I know - even if no one else does (or even cares) - that I'm not gay.

    If you don't understand me, that's your fault when I'm more than happy to explain it to you...

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and prejudice about bisexuality. I sometimes use the term gay as an umbrella term - but it can be confusing to others. I have not been able to adjust to using the term "queer" because that word was a very negative word when I was growing up.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Quote Originally Posted by dmd5795 View Post
    hello! my name is dani and I identify as bisexual. I recently got into a conversation with someone who identifies as straight where they said that gay is not considered an umbrella term in the community and can not be used to describe bisexual people.
    I personally have used the term gay to describe myself since I came out 6 years ago. After doing some research, I found confusing results where some websites said that gay should not be used to describe bisexual because it condones bi-erasure, but others said that it is appropriate to use to describe the community as a whole, as you would use queer or LGBTQIA. My friends in the community who I asked said that they don’t have a problem using the term gay for bisexual people and agreed that they use it as an umbrella term.
    I don’t want to offend anyone my calling myself gay, so I wanted to reach out and see what other people think. thank you in advance!
    I have seen the words gay and queer used as umbrella terms to cover non heterosexual people....

    some people use the word gay in the respect of non heterosexual person, rather than homosexual person, as a self identifier......

    if I am unsure, I will ask the person... but in most cases, labels and terms do not worry me, each person identifies how they feel comfortable, its other people that have the issue and the problem...

    as for bi erasure, its like bi phobia, its thrown around like a volleyball in a match.... the other day I was reading a article by a bisexual female that was slamming people over assumption of sexuality based around partner.... but was it bi phobia or simply people asking questions to better understand how the persons sexuality worked as she refered to herself as bisexual and her partner as pansexual but in a male / female relationship.... and personally I have also found that some people have questioned how that works just so they understand better......

    as for one of my friends, they call themselves gay as in not straight and are often asked why they have a male partner if they are lesbian, so she has to explain it to people and shes another one that has also had to say to people, stop calling it bi phobia or bi erasure, shes not denying what she is, shes just not identifying with a term others want her to use as bisexual may not be correct either, she feels she may be pansexual or attracted to people that also identify as non binary gender or trans
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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    so the person i was talking to followed up by saying "Bisexual people have not been abused throughout history like gay people have. It's like a Mexican using the N-word. It's just not quite the same, so when we say "gay rights", we mean THOSE people."
    I really don't understand what they mean by this. They are not part of the community but say that "they have plenty of gay friends" because they are an actor and have done research so they understand the issue. Which was more than I did going into the conversation, so props to them. They keep saying that they just want me to understand why I am so set on using the word "gay" to describe myself when it is not technically correct and could be offensive to other people. I'm just super lost and I don't really know what to feel anymore. On one hand, I feel like referring to myself as gay is how I identify and bi is how I specify, and that should be okay! But on the other hand, if it is offensive I want to know if I should stop.

    They showed me this website: https://bisexual.org/?qna=doesnt-the...exuals-as-well
    "One of the bisexual community’s greatest challenges is lack of visibility. When people erase bisexuals by leaving them out of the words they use, it is disrespectful and dismissive. When ostensibly LGBT organizations leave out bisexuals in their names or their programming, they often do so thinking that bis are a small fringe group. "
    But i don't know! Colloquially, I know lesbians, bi people, and trans people who all call themselves gay as a general term. Maybe it is a pop culture thing, because I also see a lot of people on twitter, instagram, and tumblr, in similar situations using the same language. but that doesn't necessarily mean its okay.

    I guess I'm just super affected by this because I am dating the person that started this conversation, and i guess it makes me feel challenged by someone who is supposed to support me. And that's okay! Sometimes we need to be challenged so we can learn and grow, but every time I think about this (the conversation has been going off and on for 3 days now) I start crying because I don't know how to express myself in a way that they will understand and accept. do you have any insight into this or advice on how to deal with this? i've never had someone really challenge the language I use to describe myself, especially because I try to be respectful and aware of what language other people are comfortable with.

  9. #9

    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    A Mexican using the N-word? Let that happen where I live and see what happens; maybe I just know of different Mexicans! Growing up, bisexuals - or, switch-hitters, batters for both teams - were more of a joke or a way to yank someone's chain because bisexuals were just as invisible in the 1960s as they are today and we're kinda of a mind that if you don't see it, it doesn't exist... but you could see gay folks all over the place and, yep, they were often attacked, vilified, harassed, etc.. All this did for bisexuals was to drive them further underground because no one wanted to be tagged as being gay and wind up suffering the same humiliations gay folks were. Even back then, if you tried to explain bisexuality, you got faced with some funny looks - why would someone want to be interested in men and women?

    Today, a lot of riffing about invisibility and erasure, being left out of the daily lexicon, yada, yada; because society is still kinda riffing about gays and now this riff about bisexuals has been running rampant, a slew of bisexuals stay closeted, off the social radar, and if the word isn't being bandied about as much as "straight" and "gay" are, so much the better - out of sight, out of mind, we're not the droids you're looking for. And many bisexuals don't care if "bisexual" isn't part of the daily lexicon because the people with biphobia can rant and rave all they want to about the non-existence or lack of validity of bisexuality... and it does not change the fact that bisexuality is real and bisexuals exist and, get this, they always have.

    Bisexuals just aren't of a mind to "put their business in the street" and in the way gay folks had to do in order to be treated like everyone else. Should we, as bisexuals, just bite the bullet and jump on the "I'm gay!" bandwagon? Hell no - because we're not gay; our partner status in a relationship might be "gay" if it's two guys or two gals... doesn't change the fact that one - or maybe both - people in the relationship are bisexual; just a thing that these same-sex partner are just happy with each other and wanna be together. So if "Gail" and "Freida" are in a relationship, well, they must be gay and even if both women tell them that they aren't gay.

    People believe what they see more than they are willing to accept the truth or otherwise pay attention to the details. How do you express yourself to others? You tell them that you're bisexual and what that means to you; if they wanna insist that because you're with a woman, you're gay, how is that your problem... and why would you get upset over the lack of perception from others? You know what you are and better than anyone else. People ask me if I'm really gay and I'll tell them no, I'm not. But I know what they're looking at - what I'd do with a guy - and not even giving a single thought that I'd also be all over a woman like a bad habit... because women are still a lot of fun to interact with. If they disagree - or lie and say they understand when it's clear to me that they don't, bleh, not my problem if they don't wanna believe me and stick to their own ideas about this. I don't feel disrespected or dismissed behind this bullshit and I don't believe that other bisexuals should feel this way... but it's damned curious as to why there are so many people who think we should feel this way... and I think it's still a matter of misery loving company because some gay folks are still very bitter about the struggle they had to go through and, perhaps, believe that bisexuals should "suffer" just like they had to.

    But if you really wanna get your head around this, don't think of what this riffing is about - look at why this riffing is going on and where it's coming from. It's no secret that some gay folks have had a serious hard-on about bisexuals - where do you think that "being in denial" and "can't commit to anyone" shit comes from? Finally - and I know this is long - just because your partner is a source of support doesn't mean they're not entitled to their opinion about something and if you should think that any "negative opinions" are directly and specifically about you, then talk to them about it; otherwise - and as they say - opinions are like assholes: Everyone has one. I am bisexual: I like men and women and in whatever way they appeal to me; if you want specifics, well, I hope you're not easily embarrassed because I'll explain it to you and in as much detail as you can handle. And if you still don't get it - or refuse to accept what I've graciously explained to you - you're the one with the problem, not me. I am what I am and what I will always be and no matter what someone else thinks to the contrary. Then again, sure, I'm at that "I don't give a fuck!" age at 63... but even before this biphobia shit got going, that was my stance on my sexuality.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Perhaps I don‘t understand very well the question...but there are very clear definitions of straight, bisexual and gay. Gay is only used if you have no attraction at all to the other sex. Since it is not the case, the word „gay“ doesn’t fit. Perhaps you overthink a bit too much? If someone tells someone else that he or she is gay, people assume that this person is only attracted to his own sex. I have one gay friend and he is disgusted by the though of having Sex with a girl. And my straight friends are disgusted by the though of having Sex with same sex. So for me you should not use „gay“ for describing yourself. Why do you want to force yourself in something you are not? You may like having homosexual relationships or having Sex with girls, as long as you also are attracted by guys, you are bisexual according to the definition. Coming out as gay would be missleading.
    Last edited by Franz007; Mar 13, 2019 at 5:06 PM.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    DMD
    Your friend clearly is biphobic but does raise some factors such as the lack of visibility by some bisexuals making it difficult to maintain a political movement for bisexuals. A question for your friend is “How do you know that bisexuals have not been abused? Do you have any studies to support this idea ?


    A British research found that they largest numbers of a sexuality is bisexuality after heterosexuals. Since bisexuals tend to not promote their sexuality this statement was estimated to find the numbers. That makes it seem to not clear but there you are. Gay is not the largest sexuality outside of heterosexuals regardless what gays think and promote.

    Other studies reveal that Bisexuals have the highest rate of having thoughts of suicide and depression of all the different sexualities. I forget the actual percentage but it is some thing like twice as high as gay men and around four times greater than heteroseuxals.

    I would agree that gay rights are not necessarily the best for bisexuals. The lack of cohesive political action by bisexuals to unite and discuss which rights that bisexuals would need that homosexuals do not want?

    Some bisexuals try to live in both the heterosexual and homosexual worlds. Some more experienced bisexuals seem to not believe in labels. Some bisexuals do not believe in telling other’s that they are bisexual unless they are going to have sex with them. Some bisexuals seem to not care what the public thinks. Some do feel shame.

    As far as identifying as bisexual but saying that you are gay is puzzling? Why would a bisexual say that they are gay? Perhaps, you are identifying as gay and only attracted to same gender? That is possible that you are not really bisexual but making such comments damages bisexuals being accepted. Particularly from gays. Why do you say this about yourself Papas? The way that I look at it if a bisexual has had emotional attachment (love) for women and men....they are not gay?

    I am wondering if the woman who started this thread sees herself as a bisexual? Her friends seems to be causing her stress?


    Last edited by tenni; Mar 13, 2019 at 5:29 PM.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Quote Originally Posted by dmd5795 View Post
    so the person i was talking to followed up by saying "Bisexual people have not been abused throughout history like gay people have. It's like a Mexican using the N-word. It's just not quite the same, so when we say "gay rights", we mean THOSE people."
    I really don't understand what they mean by this. They are not part of the community but say that "they have plenty of gay friends" because they are an actor and have done research so they understand the issue. Which was more than I did going into the conversation, so props to them. They keep saying that they just want me to understand why I am so set on using the word "gay" to describe myself when it is not technically correct and could be offensive to other people. I'm just super lost and I don't really know what to feel anymore. On one hand, I feel like referring to myself as gay is how I identify and bi is how I specify, and that should be okay! But on the other hand, if it is offensive I want to know if I should stop.

    They showed me this website: https://bisexual.org/?qna=doesnt-the...exuals-as-well
    "One of the bisexual community’s greatest challenges is lack of visibility. When people erase bisexuals by leaving them out of the words they use, it is disrespectful and dismissive. When ostensibly LGBT organizations leave out bisexuals in their names or their programming, they often do so thinking that bis are a small fringe group. "
    But i don't know! Colloquially, I know lesbians, bi people, and trans people who all call themselves gay as a general term. Maybe it is a pop culture thing, because I also see a lot of people on twitter, instagram, and tumblr, in similar situations using the same language. but that doesn't necessarily mean its okay.

    I guess I'm just super affected by this because I am dating the person that started this conversation, and i guess it makes me feel challenged by someone who is supposed to support me. And that's okay! Sometimes we need to be challenged so we can learn and grow, but every time I think about this (the conversation has been going off and on for 3 days now) I start crying because I don't know how to express myself in a way that they will understand and accept. do you have any insight into this or advice on how to deal with this? i've never had someone really challenge the language I use to describe myself, especially because I try to be respectful and aware of what language other people are comfortable with.
    there is a saying that what you say is not intended or meant to be offensive but you can be sure that somebody else will be offended by it or take offense to it.....

    it begs the question: at what point do you stop living your own life according to other peoples standards and rules, specially when they can not live by the very rules they lay down for others.....


    ask yourself this question, if you identify as gay, how many bisexual people do not exist any more ? how many bisexual people have suddenly disappeared from society or are no longer visible ? we are as visible as we make ourselves, if we are quiet people that are not in your face bisexuals, that means that we are really not that visible because we do not get in peoples faces, it does not mean we no longer exist, we are still here..... and putting pressure on people to be visible people as bisexuals is rather rude, its like expecting actors to tell the world that they are LGBT so people can see they are LGBT yet what matters more to most people is how believable they are in the role they play on tv.... unless we are the type of people that want to judge them by whom they are dating and if they are kissing them in public.....

    recently we had a complaint in my country over the lack of visible gay rugby players.... not a remark but a complaint and the response from rugby players ? we understand that people may want to see a persons sexuality being more visible by way of a role model but its a personal choice to be out and visible... its also very distracting when you are trying to focus on playing a team sport and people want to talk more about your sexuality......

    I would say to the person: why do you feel the need to change who I am and how I ID myself, in order to please other people... we want acceptance of who we are and how we see ourselves, not just tolerance of us as long as we play by the * rules * because I have the feeling its more about them than you, they want to be seen to be dating a bisexual person, not a gay person... cos image and appearance is everything to an actor, not reality.
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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Quote Originally Posted by dmd5795 View Post
    On one hand, I feel like referring to myself as gay is how I identify and bi is how I specify, and that should be okay! But on the other hand, if it is offensive I want to know if I should stop.



    I guess I'm just super affected by this because I am dating the person that started this conversation, and i guess it makes me feel challenged by someone who is supposed to support me. And that's okay! Sometimes we need to be challenged so we can learn and grow, but every time I think about this (the conversation has been going off and on for 3 days now) I start crying because I don't know how to express myself in a way that they will understand and accept. do you have any insight into this or advice on how to deal with this? i've never had someone really challenge the language I use to describe myself, especially because I try to be respectful and aware of what language other people are comfortable with.
    I like how you wrote that - you identify as gay and you specify as bi... I like that a lot. I use the terms gay and bi interchanging - or depending on what and who I am talking to. I don't think you should sweat this - the person you are dating who is making you feel badly about it, because you are offensive - needs to take a chill pill - and maybe you need to back off from it all for awhile. I don't see how what you are saying, as you said above is offensive at all -

    I'm kinda tired of everyone getting so offended so easily these days...

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    I just read an article today where the female referred to herself as gay.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    To be honest with you, I don't like the terms gay or queer, as the were used against me in a derogatory way, when I was younger.

  16. #16

    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    If you're bi, why identify as gay? Um, usually because if you're in a same-sex relationship, not only do people think that both people in the relationship is gay, some go out of the their way to convince that couple that they're both gay and no matter what the couple says about their true orientation. If it looks gay, smells gay, acts gay, then it must be gay. Bisexuals get mislabeled as gay because for some reason, that's what people pay the most attention to; they forget that bisexuals also behave heterosexually and as if that important fact is irrelevant. I have personally had bisexuals ask that all important question and one that even I asked myself: "Am I really gay?" Eventually they discover - and as I did - that, nope, not really gay... but sure do love those same-sex encounters.

    Two women in a relationship with each other and having sex is just tagged as a lesbian relationship and, again, the assumption is both women are lesbians... but are they? You'd have to ask them but that's often too much like right or even TMI and, again, if you tell them, "We're both bisexual - we like men, too!" chances are that isn't going to be believed because everything - and as far as they know - about the relationship is gay.

    And fuck what anyone else thinks; as long as you know the truth of what you are and you're being true to yourself, does what anyone else think really matter? You'd think it wouldn't but for a lot of people, sadly, it does and because of this, it can cause high degrees of self-doubt. It's not unheard of for a gay person to be in a relationship with a bisexual which, if you believe the hype, is like mixing oil and water given what some homosexuals say about bisexuals. In my own experiences, I've only been involved with one gay man who didn't have a problem with me being bisexual; all the others, when not being deliriously happy about playing with my dick and ass, would say some pretty shitty things about my not being gay. It would piss me off but I got in my head to just ignore that shit because at the end of any day, the only opinion that really matters is mine so when I'd hear that shit, I'd just tell them, "You didn't say that when you had my dick in your mouth..."

    Ain't got time or patience for this crap; you know who and what you are and no one should let anyone else tell them any different and if they have some smarmy shit to say about you being bi, well, ya might have to deal with that in some way because I'll be damned if I'm gonna stay with someone who has a problem with what I am and if it really is a problem; don't need to listen to that shit, not gonna listen to it.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    "you identify as gay and you specify as bi."

    What does this mean?

    I think that if you identify as gay that is fine. I have read a few people identifed as gay for decades and then wanted to have sex with the opposite gender. They were surprised and confused. A couple of them wanted to have their first sexual encounter with a woman with another man present. They had not changed to bisexual identifying at the point. I don't know what happened to them. It does show that some people who identify as gay become curious about sex with the opposite gender. It shows that the fluidity that bisexuals struggle with may show in some gay people. There seems to be a lot of pressure on gay people who are curious about sex with the opposite gender not to go over the other side....lol
    Last edited by tenni; Mar 14, 2019 at 6:16 PM.

  18. #18

    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    @Tenni, you're spot-on with what you said - there are, apparently, a lot of gay folks wondering what it's like to not be so totally gay. I know a few very gay guys who occasionally get with women; they'll tell you in a heartbeat that they're still gay because that's their "default" behavior - it's not something they'd do all of the time - but, sure, if girlfriend wants to give it up, he's not gonna say no... but it's unlikely he'd say he's bisexual. I've had sex with lesbians, something you'd think would be impossible and even I did... until I had sex with them. One such woman told me, "Just because we did this doesn't mean I'm not gay, okay?" And I agreed because, end of the day, it doesn't matter to me if you're gay or not - but the fact that we got intimate despite these... differences means everything.

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Actually gay has always been an umbrella term to describe homosexual people, both male and female, but the term has been focused mainly on male. Females prefer lesbian. So, if I eat pussy I am a lesbian, if I suck cock I am gay, so that means I am a homosexual and not bisexual.

  20. #20
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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Biphobic? Bi-Erasure? or just plain ignorant? perhaps all 3 in some "Anything But Bi" stew left on the burner too long.

    So, to me and many others, the definition of bisexual matches that of Robyn Ochs (If you don't know who she is, go and study a little):

    “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
    Read that a couple times...

    It is *not* limited to just Cis-Male and Cis-Female bodied people. It is not limited in many ways. It is not purely, nor inclusive of sexual attraction.

    The issue of using 'gay' as an umbrella is that it is specifically limiting. When Kinsey created a scale from 0-6, with 0 being 100% heterosexual, and 6 being 100% homosexual, it put the end points of the scale at Straight and Gay respectfully. Only the end point of 6 was gay, and as someone else pointed out, that is the absence of attractions to anyone that is not of the same gender. The only confusion I can see with this is that people at the opposite end of the scale (straight/0) look at all other values as 'gay' because to them it is a binary value: Straight, or not Straight. Gay people are usually pretty specific that they are NOT at all part of the bi segment of the scale. So while straight person can see gay as umbrella like, gay's often do not - leaving us bisexuals in no man's land.

    Queer can be problematic, however, it has been reclaimed. It is only used as a slur by those that are not open minded. Unlike the 'N' word as referenced, Queer can be used not only by the population that is queer, but also our allies and other groups as a true umbrella for everything not-straight (Kinsey > 0). Today's youth (under 30 crowd) does not see queer as a derogatory term.

    Pansexual has some significant issues as a defined term. As someone else has mentioned, it can be considered "regardless of gender", but is often used to be derogatory in it's own definition as claiming Bi is Binary - there is a huge nuance here! While Bi, as a root word, traces back to the word two in a different language, the use of this was originally from the late 1800's when knowledge of genders was extremely immature compared to today's understanding. Bisexual has not meant two for several decades... those that use this as a reason to define other people or limit the definition of bisexuals are causing more harm than good. If you cannot manage to allow your own personal definition to include more than two simple genders, fine, but do not demand that all bisexuals believe in that limited mind set, and do not demand we give up a definition we have used for decades to meet your limited mindset.

    So, use gay if you want, but know that most will assume that is limited to same sex attraction. If you want a more fully understanding conversations, define your terms along with those you are sharing the discussion. Be aware that while it might fit for a simple discussion with a straight person, you may be causing some challenges for all the other bisexuals they will ever come in contact with if they assume bi=gay. They simply do not.

    Overall, I feel Queer is an umbrella term that covers all that is not straight. Under that is the term bi, more frequently written as Bi+ now, as an umbrella that covers all but the monosexual end of the 100% homosexual scale (gay and lesbian). Kind of like how all thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs.

    Bisexuality is about openness, not limitations. It goes far beyond the english major researching the roots of Latin Bi and Sex. We are far beyond those simple meanings, and we as people are far more complex.

    https://bisexual.org/bi_pubs/the-bisexuality-report/
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails biumbrella1.jpg  

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    Re: The use of the term "gay" as an umbrella term

    Quote Originally Posted by CurEUs_Male View Post
    The only confusion I can see with this is that people at the opposite end of the scale (straight/0) look at all other values as 'gay' because to them it is a binary value: Straight, or not Straight. Gay people are usually pretty specific that they are NOT at all part of the bi segment of the scale. So while straight person can see gay as umbrella like, gay's often do not - leaving us bisexuals in no man's land.
    For what it's worth, I think this is a very insightful comment...

 

 

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