within a marginalized group like the lgbtqiap+ community, it makes little conceptual sense to say that one letter of the group has privilege over and/or oppresses another letter (example, gay or lesbians having privilege over or oppressing bisexual people), at least not in a way that is relevant to people’s actual lives, and not only to petty discussions over the internet. oppression and privilege are words that, for the sake of better comprehending social concepts and discussing them in academia, are used when referring to a larger sociocultural context. bisexual people may suffer from erasure or may be discredited in their identities within the community, but that does not mean that they’re being oppressed in the institutional sense, or that gay people have in any way, shape or form, privilege over them. privilege is the concept that select groups of people have advantages over other groups, the latter known as social minorities, and the term shouldn’t be used to describe intra-community disagreements and grievances. i know you guys know this, so i sincerely don’t understand why i’m having to make this post.
at the same time, it’s incorrect to say that gay people oppress bisexual people when using the sociological meaning of the word, and much less when you mean institutionalized oppression, and the reason why is simple: gay people do not benefit from the systematical abuse and injustice directed at bisexual people like straight people do. the fact that homosexual people feel that bisexual identities are invalid is a matter of prejudice and horizontal aggression within the group, but it doesn’t in itself mean homosexual people are privileged over those who are bisexual in any way.
using things like suicide rate, bullying rate and poverty rate of bisexual people to exemplify an argument that gay people hold privilege over them is disingenuous at best. clearly those numbers and circumstances are a direct consequence of the privilege straight people have over minority groups and of how terrible our societal structure currently is, not a consequence of minor aggressions that exist within the community itself. even though those circumstances may be rectified through the “othering” of bisexual people within their own community, it doesn’t make them a direct consequence of that othering. of course being white and male while being gay means you’re privileged, but white gay males are not privileged for being gay, but for being white and male. it’s for that reason that they’re more visible and hegemonic in the media, and are the face of the lgbt struggle. it’s completely intellectually dishonest to imply that the high suicide rate of bisexual teens and adults, for example, is a result of the horizontal aggression bisexual people suffer within the community, and not a result of various intersecting causes with differing levels of relevance.
it isn’t improving the community or the movement to imply that gay people are oppressors. you aren’t doing any actual good. you’re creating a bigger rift between two letters of the group who should be entirely capable of communicating and having reasonable discussions, but currently, at least within the tumblr community, seem not to be able to do so, entirely because of these reactive accusations and personal, baseless prejudices. horizontal aggression should be discussed, and the relationship between gay and bisexual people should be talked about, but being aggressive over the internet and repeating misconceptions doesn’t help any of that.
honestly, a lot of the arguments i’ve read so far from people accusing gay people of being oppressors sounds uncannily a lot like homophobia. you can talk about the othering and marginalization of bisexual people without retorting to prejudice yourself, much less prejudice that is directly and actively harmful for your community members. you aren’t doing anybody any favors by disguising your homophobia as sj discourse.
i’m open to criticism of any point made in this text, because i myself am not an expert on the subject. just try to be humane when arguing back and we’ll get on fine