The “Straight Passing” Dilemma

Being a bisexual and biromantic nonbinary in a relationship with a bisexual and biromantic cisgender male is difficult, not for the relationship but in the eyes of the LGBT+ community. In the LGBT community, if you can pass as a straight cis, you’re sometimes seen as not gay. This straight passing is an issue for many in the community. It erases many sexualities and genders and makes people feel like they are no longer safe in the community.

The biggest place that this is found is with bisexuals and biromantics. Some people claim that if you’re bi-femme and dating a guy or bi-masc and dating a girl or bi enby and dating the opposite of your assigned gender at birth, you are no longer bi. This creates biphobia and bi-erasure. Bisexuality and biromantic have been countless times forgotten by people or told to be banned at pride cuz they can be in a straight passing relationship. Bisexuals and biromantics alike have felt like they can’t be bi if they don’t have the “right” partner. They can be madly in love with a member of the opposite gender and get backlash from their own community for it.

Another big place would be under the transgender umbrella. The transgender umbrella has two categories: binary and nonbinary. Binary contains trans men and women. Nonbinary contains nonbinary, genderfluid, genderqueer, genderflux, demigender, agender, bigender, and many many more. Anyone who could look cisgender and pass as their preferred gender or their assigned gender at birth can be criticized like the bis and pansexuals are. They could be nonbinary or genderfluid or a trans male and have a feminine/femme partner and be told that they can’t be their gender due to their looks.

Straight passing and the criticism and phobias that come with it hurt a lot of the LGBT community. While a lot of the community would call it a privilege while others say it damages the “true members” of the community(the ones who aren’t straight passing), I would and am very much saying that it is hurtful and very damaging. It is the invisibility and erasure of a huge majority of the community. It tells anyone who loves more than one gender and who falls in love with the opposite gender as them and isn’t cisgender that it would be better to hide in the closet or be cis and straight than to live as their true selves.

My own personal experience with this straight passing is very simple. Some people in my life learning or re-learning that I am bi have said my boyfriend is my beard or that I can’t be bi because I have never been with a girl or with telling the one that I’m nonbinary and genderfluid, that that was too much and that I couldn’t be as I wasn't masculine enough and didn't have enough masc energy to be genderfluid. It all hurt me and my relationship with mainly myself. For a few months, I stopped trying to be my true self as I couldn't feel like I could truly be genderfluid and use the pronoun they and be who I truly wanted to be. Straight passing and the thought that if you can’t pass as whatever gender you want or you can’t be gay if your relationship can look straight is horrible and should be a thing that we as a society get rid of for good.

By Raven Scarupa


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