Since I began coming out to people as both queer and pansexual almost two years ago, I have only gotten two negative reactions. (Sadly this was true a few months ago when I wrote this post, gotten a bunch more since) One of these followed a very expected format – the ‘prove to me you’re bisexual’ reaction. The person wasn’t mean or hostile, but simply looked at me as if to say “Come on… you’re not serious?”
He then proceeded to inform me that he “has a test for this.” He asked me if I would “co-habitate with, and/or have my primary romantic relationship with a woman.” I said I would. It was the truth. But I didn’t feel good about having passed his test.
I politely explained to him that it’s offensive to make yourself the authority on someone else’s identity. “Has anyone asked you to pass a test to prove you’re straight?” I asked him. He chuckled as if caught in the act.
If you haven’t check out Shiri Eisner’s phenomenal monosexual privilege checklist you will definitely want to do so. I have privilege. We all do. But this list helped me tremendously to recognize some of the ways in which, as a bi/pan sexual, I do not have the privilege mono-sexuals do.
Privilege #2 from Shiri’s list:
Monosexual Privilege #2 – When disclosing my sexual identity to others, they believe me, without my having to prove it.
Folks who are gay or straight can mostly take for granted that if they reveal their sexual orientation, others will believe them.