Prejudice at Pride
[Image] A black woman wearing a headwrap, looking at the reader. She looks concerned. The background is horizontal block colours – a rainbow pattern.
[Caption] I get nervous before any LGBT event. Especially Pride.
[Image] Two men, one white, and one black. Both look angry, and both are holding rainbow flags.
[Caption] There’s so much hate towards bisexuals at these events. I can’t have children. These words hurt. A lot.
White man: Breeders!
Black man: Get out of here, switcheroos.
[Image] The woman facing away from the reader, at the backs of the two men, still holding their rainbow flags. The woman is also holding a rainbow flag, but hers is lowered.
[Caption] Pride is supposed to be a celebration, but it hasn’t been for me on many occasions.
[Image] A hand pushing the back of the woman, who looks startled, and is lurching forward
[Caption] I’ve received physical abuse too. Pushed.
[Image] A hand holding a rainbow flag and pushing it into the woman’s back. The woman looks annoyed.
[Image] The woman grasping at her shoulder. A hand has grabbed her bra strap and is pulling.
[Image] The woman, looking scared. A hand is shoving a whistle into her mouth.
[Caption] And this. It’s almost always gay men who get physical.
[Speech bubble] Now blow, breeder!
[Image] The woman sitting on a park bench. Behind her, a frowning white man holding a large rainbow flag spits at her. The spit has landed on the woman’s face, and she looks shocked. Her hand is on her cheek where the spit has landed.
[Caption] When biphobia combines with racism, it’s even worse.
[Image] The woman, still sitting on the park bench, but the image is zoomed out. The man holding the large rainbow flag is turned away, and has become a silhouette, blending into a crowd of other silhouettes. The woman is crying and shaking.
[Caption] Sometimes I get so scared at LGBT events that I find myself shaking.
[Caption] If gay and lesbian people don’t understand me – having been on the receiving end of hate themselves – then how will anyone else understand?
[Caption] I once thought Black Pride would be better. But it’s not. It’s just less racist.
[Image] A parade. A white girl is on the back of a truck, and a white man holding a rainbow flag follows on foot. Silhouettes dot the sidewalk beside the parade. One silhouette is darker than the others.
[Caption] I often ask myself why I keep going to these events.
[Image] The same scene, but zoomed in closer on the darker silhouette, who is now shown in full detail. She is a young black woman, smiling widely.
[Caption] But then I’ll see a black face in the crowd…
[Image] A closeup of the young black woman, in the crowd of otherwise white parade-watchers. Her eyes are bright and she is smiling.
[Caption] Black and bi people have told me that my presence really made them feel hopeful, encourage. Being visible is important to me.
[Image] The black woman with the headwrap, smiling, and holding a rainbow-patterned heart against her chest.
[Caption] I shouldn’t hide a big part of myself through fear from the very people who are meant to support me. I just hope the next LGBT event I go to really will be inclusive to all the parts of me.
I’m sick of how bisexuality is erased in LGBT spaces. I get really nervous before any LGBT event, especially Pride. I feel incredibly sad and hopeless when gay and lesbian people call me insulting names. If gay and lesbian people don’t understand me – having been on the receiving end of hate themselves – then how will anyone else understand?
I marched with U.K bisexuals at London Pride. Some of the gay marchers shouted nasty names at us like “Breeder!” and “Switcheroos!”I am especially hurt by being called “breeder” as I was never able to have children.
I don’t comprehend why some gays and lesbians hate bisexuals so much. I’ve been told that bisexuality automatically means I’ll never be satisfied being monogamous, that I will cheat on any lesbian partner with a man. It’s like they think that bisexual people have a monopoly on cheating, and we are automatically selfish. Maybe they’re scared of their own feelings? Maybe the thought of being attracted to more than one gender makes them scared about their own attractions, and what that might make them? Whatever the reason, verbal abuse from lesbian, gay and trans* people seems almost an everyday thing.
In the past, I’ve received physical abuse too. The physical abuse in LGBT spaces have ranged from being violently pushed, to being prodded, tugged, and poked. It’s almost always gay men who get physical. I’ve also had someone shove their whistle in my mouth and then order me to blow it.
Sometimes I get so scared at LGBT events that I find myself shaking. Pride is supposed to be a celebration, but it hasn’t been for me on many occasions.
When biphobia combines with racism, the attacks are even worse. For example, at Brighton Pride I was assaulted by another marcher. Brighton is a very white place, and I was one of only two black people in the march (that I saw), and probably the only black bisexual person. At one point I was followed into a quiet spot just outside where the festival was happening, and spat on by a white gay man who had been in the march. It still makes me scared sometimes. I’ve never returned to Brighton Pride since. I doubt anyone else on the parade had to worry about that kind of hatred coming from other marchers.
I thought Black LGBT Pride would be better, but in most years, the biphobia is just as bad there as it is in white dominated spaces. It’s just less racist.
I often ask myself why I keep going to these events. But then I’ll see a black face in the crowd, looking at me with astonished wonder. I’ve been told a few times by black people that seeing someone like them at a Pride event was an encouraging thing for them.
Being visible and out is important to me. I shouldn’t have to hide a big part of myself through fear from the very people who are meant to support me. I just hope that the next LGBT event I go to really will be inclusive to all the parts of me.