Hello all, Allison here. I am a Bi-trans activist working with Unitarian Universalist groups and this year it was my great privilege to have been invited to speak at Pride 2013 in the wonderful city of Baton Rouge Louisiana. Having recently returned from my trip to the land of alligators, jazz and filé gumbo I thought I should record some of my thoughts and impressions.
Although screaming hot during June, this trip was well worth it! The glorious white sand beach of Mississippi, the great food at so many great restaurants, and the awe inspiring meal of alligator with fried pickles contributed greatly to my trip.
I saw transgender activists consistently bringing the message of equality to all out to the sexual orientation community and the world at large. Some of the the things I learned in New Orleans/Baton Rouge is that the LG down in Baton Rouge need to learn respect for the “T” as a whole and not portrait us all as drag performers. But that there is a VERY strong coalition of “T” in that region and are awesome support for each other.
For a location such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge, this is a dangerous southern world where enemies can greet you at the drop of a hat. The ‘gawd hates fags’ crew showed up at pride screaming all the ‘hell bound you are’ mockery. I couldn’t help but laugh really hard at these folks as I walked by. They are so delusional and it can be like playing ball with a deranged kitten.
I was also impressed with the politeness of every person I had occasion to meet. There were always respectful conversations even with disagreement between the parties (SO FAR REMOVED FROM THE GREAT NEW JERSEY BANTER). It was so refreshing to be greeted in a friendly manner and to be given common courtesies by all.
“South” in action as Pride 2013 was kicked off and individuals were out in force expressing their pride as LGBT… Oops, wait- sorry LG-T. I say that because of the reactions I received by individuals who expressed that there was no bisexuality. As a bisexual gender affirmed transwoman, I was stunned.
On a couple occasions, I gently pointed out I was a bisexual and that I was also gender affirmed. It was patently dismissed by comments such as “everyone is bisexual” or “well, that’s nice until you make a decision of who you *really* want to be with!” . I was flabbergasted. Given I was a guest; I thought it best to relax and tackle this little biphobia from the writing desk. Often, it’s best to have a piece of paper that others can refer to over time.
What was quite interesting was that others were standing up saying “LGBT” over and over as if they actually believed it existed, then erased and dismissed the entire concept. Sexual Orientation bias and privilege isn’t just in the straight folks. It’s within our own lesbian and gay ranks as many attempt to discredit, ignore, erase or simply dismiss our bisexual orientation as false or irrelevant. It’s breathtaking at times to think that individuals who are themselves a minority want to push us deep in a closet and state that all the knocking that is occurring is just some disgruntled confused persons. It’s utterly revolting to me and we need some basic respects applied by our fellow sufferers.
Somewhere, somehow, many lesbians and gays needs to get the message- oppression and sexual orientation privilege exertion isn’t just about the straights – it’s about YOU. The overarching messaging that is continually flowing from Gay Inc and especially many in the LG needs to come to a screeching halt. You discredit yourselves and create great harm to others when you act like buffoons ignoring thousands of years of history.
May we all learn that we don’t have the knowledge, the wisdom or the right to diss someone’s sexual orientation due to false prejudices and judgments.
Allison Woolbert grew up in Silver Bell, Arizona, a remote copper mining community (now a ghost town), where she never quite fit in. She attended Abilene Christian University, where she didn’t fit in either; ended up in the US Air Force, where she definitely did not fit in; and in 2008 was introduced to the Unitarian Universalists (UU), where she finally started to feel like she fit in. She has been the CEO of Phoenix Consultants Group, a national software development firm, for the past 16 years.