So you said something, you didn’t think it was offensive, but suddenly you find bisexuals getting angry with you. You try to explain and it just seems to make it worse, it seems they just want to be offended. Telling them you aren’t biphobic just makes them more insistent that you are a biphobe. I’m not going to argue if they should be offended, but I will try to give you suggestions on what to do now that they are offended.
1. Accept that they are offended: At this point it’s completely irrelevant whether or not what you said was actually offensive, or if someone just took it the wrong way. They heard what you said and were offended, and no matter of arguing with them will make them less offended.
2. Apologize: Actually, you can also just walk away at this point, but I’m assuming that if you’ve read this far you’re actually interested in understanding bisexuals. So, say you are sorry. Try to mean it. We’ll understand if you hedge your bets a little, saying things like “I’m sorry I offended you” rather than “I’m sorry I said something offensive”. Bigotries are hard to overcome and the first step will probably be a small one.
3. Don’t bring up “bisexual friends”: I cannot emphasize this enough. I don’t care if your friend, sibling, parent, child, partner, or fuck buddy is bisexual. I don’t even care if your bisexual friends aren’t offended (or don’t tell you they are offended). Sure some of us are much harder to offend than others, but that doesn’t mean that the ones with thinner skin should be ignored. Plus it makes you sound like the people who claim they can’t be racist because “I have black friends”
4. Don’t be afraid to walk away: If you have gone this far and they are still calling you a biphobe and otherwise attacking you just walk away. If this is happening online just quit responding to them. Block them if you have to, but don’t try to convince them that they have to accept your apology and explain anything to you. If this is happening in “real life” (I hate that phrase, I’m real even when I’m online) then tell them that you don’t want to talk about it anymore.
5. Wait: This may seem obvious, but don’t run off trying to find other bisexuals to explain things to you right away. Wait at least a week, but more would be even better. If you really feel the need you get things off your chest write something on WordPress, Tumblr, email, or just a doc on your computer, then save it as a draft, don’t post it! It’s just for you, not for anyone else.
6. If you really need to ask questions: There are quite a few places you can go to get more advice and what to do after this. First, I will say don’t go to Yahoo Answers, Reddit, or Dan Savage. If you really want good advice, I’d suggest contacting Ask Tiggy, the bisexuality tag on Tumblr is usually good (when not being invaded), or me. It’s sort of why I started this blog.