You recently sent out a tweet,
Now, this is usually the type of casual biphobia and I’ll just send a message telling you to what I think of it and move on. But then you went on to try to excuse it. First you tried “it was a joke”, a brave, but stupid move that most bigots try at some point. Even at this point I wasn’t going to write this letter, then I saw this,
adventures in gay is rooted almost entirely in sexuality and humor, two of the three most subjective aspects of human existence (the third being morality).
I wake every morning and try to make everyone around me laugh but I understand, that by nature of comedy, this isn’t always going to be the case.
I have seen the good firsthand that can come from laughter. When two individuals or sides are arguing, get them both laughing and a resolve will materialize much quicker. When we laugh we begin to realize how trivial the things we argue about are. That is how I approach my life, I refuse to take myself or my sexuality seriously and I encourage others to do the same. If I was worried about offending others, I wouldn’t be able to live an openly gay life.
I’m fortunate enough to work in animation, a community so diverse, welcoming and kind, that we are able to joke about things of all natures (religion, orientation, race) because quite frankly they aren’t issues to us. I genuinely wish everyone has an opportunity to experience living in such an environment.
Oh and also… it was a pun (I guarantee if you were hanging out with your friends and one of them said that, you would laugh). Lighten up people. Life is much easier when you laugh.
There’s quite a bit here that is questionable, like you think that jokes about other’s race or beliefs are funny, but that’s something others will have to deal with. This letter is intended to explain to you why many Bisexuals found your “joke” offensive and give suggestions to move forward. But here in this defense of your tweet you start by admitting that humor is subjective then by the end you are telling us that we would laugh at it if our friends had said it. I hope that I don’t have to explain why both those statements can’t be true. If humor is subjective there’s no way to guarantee that there is any joke every one would laugh at, and vice versa. I know the latter is not true in my case. If a friend of mine, even if they were Bisexual, called me an “onmi-whore” I would tell them that I didn’t find that funny, indeed I found it offensive. Thing is, most of my friends would apologize and we would move on. I do wonder how you react when you hear someone use the term “gay” to mean “lame”, I’m sure most of them would say to lighten up if you told them to stop.
Just in case you’ve missed it, the reason we found your original offensive is that one of the biggest criticisms of Bisexuality is that many think we are more promiscuous than monosexuals. By calling Bisexuals whores, and omni-whores at that, you’re perpetuating the myth that Bisexuals will have sex with anyone, which isn’t even true of the sex workers that I’m guessing would also be offended by your words. (Any sex worker rights activist out there want to tell me otherwise?)
One more thing for me to bring up before getting to my suggestions on moving forward, in your various back and forth posts you say “I guess the two relationships I’ve had with bi guys don’t amount to anything…”. I’m always surprised how often this comes up, just because you had sex with someone doesn’t give you the right to say anything you want about them. No matter how many people of color you know it’s not okay to use the “N word”, no matter how many women you know it’s not okay to use misogynistic language, and no matter how many Bisexuals you know it’s not okay to use biphobic terms. And in each of these cases you should listen to member of the group if they tell you what you said was offensive.
Now on to my suggestions on how to move forward.
- Apologize, and try to make if a real apology. Remember there’s a difference between “I’m sorry I offended you” (acceptable) and “I’m sorry you were offended” (not so much)
- Don’t respond to anyone posting anything about it. Much of this happened on Tumblr, which tends to have an odd memory. It either forgets things in a few days or pulls things up from months back, if you try to defend yourself all you’ll do is bring it into everyone’s memory and we’ll have to do it all again.
- Stick to making jokes about groups you belong to.
When I first saw your comics I really enjoyed them, and have found much of your work on YouTube also very funny, I’m hoping you listen to my suggestions and I can get back to laughing with you rather than having you laugh at us.
Thank you for listening,