4 of 8 – BiTopia: Contexts for Biphobia and Bi-Negativity. Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceedings Volume

Bi ReConNaissance: Introduction to BiReCon
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
Cluster 2.  Contexts for Biphobia and Bi-Negativity

Freedom of sexual expression is often considered a fundamental human right.  In this context , we observe that when research projects are designed with the intent to respect this right, results for bisexuality are encouraging.  Even so, when we open up wider horizons, when we delve more deeply into human relatedness and its dynamics, we find that biphobia and bi-negativity are far from disappearing.  This is the focus of the second cluster.  Where does the fear of bisexuality make its appearance?  What are the contexts, dynamics, situations that trigger biphobia?  What deeper levels of disunity, denial, mistrust, does this fear manifest?  How are organizations, communities, families, relationships traversed by it?  How do biphobia and bi-negativity get symbolized?  What political, cultural, economic forces power its perpetuation and reproduction?  What are the costs to humanity in terms of personal and social life?  These and many related questions are addressed in the two articles in this section:  “Deconstructing Biphobia,” by Miguel Obradors-Campos, and “Shady Characters,” by Christian Klesse. 

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In “Deconstructing Biphobia,” Miguel Obradors-Campos presents a non-essentialist theory of biphobia as a form of oppression that manifests within and without LGBT communities and is a direct result of the overarching binary that organizes knowledge about love in western cultures.  Obradors’ perspective is steeped in epistemology, ontology, and other significant aspects of the Western philosophical tradition, from the classics to Kant and beyond.  He brings his background in the Romance languages to bear on the complexity of the topic, showing how biphobia is a state of mind.  It is an honor to bring such complexity of Latinate lexicon and sentence structure into the multivoiced discourse of this volume.  Klesse shifts to the even more personal and unstable terrain of amorous relationships.  His reference point is heteronormativity, or the ‘normalization’ of heterosexuality that typifies essentialist discourses.  Can bisexuals really organize our amorous lives around a divide that denies us?  Both authors provide evidence of how prejudice, fear, ignorance, and confusion about bisexuality affect the lives of openly bisexual people very deeply, and keep bisexual cultures and communities from expanding as naturally and organically as they should in a healthy society.

To be be continued: 5 of 8 – Cluster 3: Bisexuality Through the Lifespan.   Includes comments about contributions by Rebecca Jones and Jenny Kangasvuo.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!

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