If you have a connection with Bi+ activism you will not have been able to miss the kerfuffle about the usage of the Bi flag. To be clear, I have not been directly involved but have been following developments as they have unfolded on social media. My inclination, without being a person in the midst of this, is to think that the current BiNetUSA President is acting like a bully and being reactionary.
The Bi flag is the property of the community. It is a rallying cry to show our value and our visibility. I often where Bi+ bling when I go out into the world and when I see a Bi+ sib we acknowledge each other. It might be something as obvious as ‘that’s me, too’ or just a quiet wink but we both get the message. Obviously, I encourage people react to what I am proclaiming in whatever way feels right for them.
I thought the idea of Virtual Bi+ Pride (a celebration to make us feel more connected right now) was a lovely one and something sorely needed in these challenging #Queerantine times. Of course, I expected that our colors would be liberally sprinkled throughout the festivities. And, why shouldn’t they be. Alas, there was at least one person who truly took umbrage at the whole affair. From what I have seen it truly sounded like sour grapes and gatekeeping. That is the last thing our community needs at this time.
I hope it has been made abundantly clear that this bullying on the part of the current BiNetUSA president is not acceptable or accepted by the majority of the community. It seems that the Bi flag creators are not on board with the territorial take on flag usage. I found that a great comfort. It made me worry a bit less about waving my Bi flag proudly as I try to keep working on creating safe space for my non-monosexual pals.
The bottom line is that unless you are a leader others want to follow you are doomed to failure. Circling wagons to protect someone who acts with disregard for others is never a good look. People make mistakes. I have certainly made my share. But closing down communication, excluding folks who disagree, and refusing to have a dialogue is not a good look for anyone and certainly not for a group that ostensibly represents a community in need of leadership which ennobles and enriches us.
I hope BiNetUSA (the President and those who remain on the board) will consider having a conversation about this incident and apologize to those hurt unnecessarily.
Bi+ community which is inclusive and evolving is so important. I know I would have loved to have national organizations available when I came out over 40 years ago. Our numbers only grow when people feel as though they are not confronted during disagreements. Otherwise, too many folks will be left out of the equation. Let’s do better bi all of us.