Queer, while wonderful, is an umbrella term and a way of creating cultures in opposition to heteronormativity. It’s not a specific orientation or set of imposed experiences. Queer is a word we choose, and that’s gorgeous. But we need something more. And pan, while wonderful, both makes the assumption of attraction to all genders (as opposed to the myriad ways in which non-monosexual people experience attractions), and focuses solely on our individual internal experiences. It’s about attraction- and that is marvellous- but it has nothing to say about how those attractions play out in a heterocentric, monocentric society.
Bi is important because we need a word (or set of words- biromantic is as important as bisexual) that both locates us as nonmonosexual and acknowledges the implications that has for our lives. A word that is specific to who we are within the umbrella groups where we locate ourselves, that acknowledges our nonmonosexuality, and that doesn’t gloss over the fact that this means that we will spend our lives straddling and navigating multiple binaries that refuse to have spaces created between or outside of them.
A word that acknowledges that we constantly, in a myriad of ways both personal and relational, are forced to occupy positions at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. I don’t know any other word that does that.
And it is only if we can name our experiences, call them out and show them for what they are, that we have a hope in hell of doing anything about them.
For the rest- well, you know the drill. You’ll just have to move on over to CTTC’s new home over at FreethoughtBlogs, won’t ya?
(G’wan, it’s really nice over there. I promise!)