By Alna Dall
Image from: http://www.alwaysproud.com/
In memory of the recent Pride week: I pay tribute to individuals such as Simon Nkoli who signalled the importance of gay and lesbian rights as HUMAN rights. I am particularly pleased that the torch is held high by people such as Zackie Achmat who was the founding farther of the Treatment Action Campaign. As pleased as these people make me, I am nevertheless sadly disappointed by the gay and straight community alike.
There seems to be a small part of society that suffers from underrepresentation when it comes to gender politics, particularly on the Rhodes campus. I am referring to the perhaps-confused, perhaps-perfectly-happy bi-sexuals. We are all aware of the connotations which the word “bi-sexual” implies. Some see them as indecisive, by others they are seen as pretentious attention-seekers. Regardless of whether they are judged by the straight or gay community – they ARE judged and patronised on a regular basis.
When I asked a member of the Outrhodes Committee (students who represent gay rights here at Rhodes) why they pay barely any attention to bi-sexual issues, she was very unresponsive. She did say that if there were documentaries on bi-sexualism, she would air them to the gay community. Is that it?
I do not suggest that we have a bi-sexual pride week. (And it should be mentioned that straight people don’t take a week off to celebrate their pride in being straight…) I am sure all bi-sexuals are happy with their worldwide celebration on 23rd September every year. It would just be nice if the bi-sexuals (even the bi-curious) could be treated as a class of their own. I am sure they would appreciate it. Everyone is “proud” of their sexual orientation but prejudice against bi-sexuals makes it very hard for them to even think of “coming out of the closet”.
As Wendy Curry (bi-sexual activist) said:… “Ignoring us won’t make us go away”. Ignoring bi-sexuals will certainly not force them into being gay or straight either…