I get so much hate for suggesting a character might be bi and even being bi myself. Most, if not all, of the hate I get is actually from gay and lesbian people and I can't understand why.
Well…gay and lesbian folks’ identities are also under threat by heteronormative culture. Homophobia and lesbophobia is rampant. There are still folks out there promoting conversion therapy and corrective rape. So on and so forth…
So I think a lot of the hate gay and lesbian folks throw bisexual and pansexual folks’ way comes from misplaced anger and fear. Especially if they think of bisexuality/pansexuality as being “similar to straight,” or “not quite gay enough.” Or if they fail to recognise the fact that ‘passing privilege’ only exists so long as bisexual folks are closeted (which would mean ‘passing privilege’ exists for closeted gay and lesbian folks too).
Right, like…I think a lot of these biphobic gay and lesbian folks have let their fear influence how they’ve constructed their understanding of bisexuality/pansexuality. They are legitimately afraid their own identities will be erased/minimalised, but they are mistakenly afraid that bisexual/pansexaul folks will cause this erasure/minimalisation.
But also, the existence of bisexual and pansexual folks is so thoroughly erased and invisibled in western cultures, I think most straight folks don’t consciously think to throw hate our way except when they’re lumping us in with gay and lesbian folks or being misogynist (i.e. the bicurious teenage girl trope) or racist (i.e. the oversexualised person of colour)…etc. etc.
Which means a lot of the hate thrown our way by straight people is so normalised as to be invisible/erased, even to us. Normalised and mislabelled. Like, how many bisexual folks have been called fag or dyke in their time? I know I have, even after I stopped identifying as a lesbian…because so many straight folks think of bisexual/pansexual folks as “similar to gay/lesbian” or “not quite straight.”
My point, in this long rambling post, is that I don’t think gay and lesbian folks (or institutions) collectively hate bisexual/pansexual folks more than straight people (or institutions) collectively do. I think gay and lesbian folks are more aware of the concept of bisexuality/pansexuality and thus their biphobia/panphobia is more visible to us.