Anna Paquin vs. Bi-Erasure
Flack and True Blood star Anna Paquin is speaking out against bi-erasure.
Paquin, who married her True Blood co-star Stephen Moyer in 2010, recently had to defend herself from hateful comments after posting an Instagram picture in honor of Pride Month.
Paquin shared a graphic which read, ““I’m a #proudbisexual who is married to a wonderful human who happens to be a man.”
The actress then added in the posts’ caption, “If he doesn’t have a problem with it why should anyone else?”
Anna Paquin posted again to say, “Hey! FYI (for those unaware) June is LGBTQIA+ pride month. So the folks who put their bigotry on display in the comment sections of my recent posts why don’t you hit that unfollow button right now [sic].”
She then added in the caption: “…and go f*** yourselves #bipride #lgbtqiapluspride (sic)”
Finally, Paquin shared a photo of “It’s not a phobia, you’re just an a*****” before writing, “I would love for us to come up with a term that doesn’t paint the bigots as victims of ‘fear.’”
Anna Paquin initially came out in 2010 in a Give A Damn campaign. The campaign had several celebrities supporting equality. Since then, she has vocally advocated for bisexual people and fought against bi-erasure. And, she has good company. While bisexuality is still often surrounded by stigmas in Western society, several celebrities have come forward to fight it.
Other Celebrities Join The Fight
In an GQ essay in 2017, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz wrote, “I’m choosing to get married because this particular person brings out the best in me. This person happens to be a man. I’m still bi.”
Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie also talked about bi-erasure. In an interview with Paper, Urie said that his marriage to a woman didn’t negate his sexuality.
“I’m married to a woman and I’m very much in love with her but I’m not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person,” he said. “Yeah I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don’t care … I guess this is me coming out as pansexual.”
“Bisexual people are the largest single group within the LGBT+ community, yet we are hardly recognised,” Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood tweeted during 2015’s Bisexual Awareness Week. “I can assure you that whatever ‘straight privilege’ I sometimes get accused of having, gets erased by #biphobia.”
In an interview with The Advocate in 2015, actor Alan Cumming said, “My sexuality has never been black and white; it’s always been grey. I’m with a man, but I haven’t closed myself off to the fact that I’m still sexually attracted to women.”
“You’re not confused if you’re bisexual,” Actress Kristen Stewart told The Guardian in 2017. “It’s not confusing at all. For me, it’s quite the opposite.”
What Researchers Say
Global analytics firm Gallup released a report earlier this year on sexuality and gender identity in the United States of America. The big takeaway was that the number of citizens who identify as LGBTQ is growing. A similar report from 2017 found that 4.5 percent of U.S. adults identified as LGBTQ, but the recent Gallup report said 5.6 percent of American adults feel the same. Within that, 54.6% LGBTQ respondents identified as bisexual.
Further, younger generations of people were more open to identifying as LGBTQ. 1 in 6 Generation Z respondents identified as LGBTQ.
“One of the main reasons LGBT identification has been increasing over time is that younger generations are far more likely to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual,” Gallup explains in the report. “This includes about one in six adult members of Generation Z. LGBT identification is lower in each older generation, including 2 percent or less of Americans born before 1965 (aged 56 and older in 2020).”
Within the younger generation, 72 percent of queer Gen Zers reported identifying as bisexual. This means 11.5 percent of all Gen Z adults in the U.S. say they are bisexual. Yet, a recent YouGov poll found 41 percent of American adults don’t think sexuality is a spectrum (conversely, 37 percent think it is). Despite the rise in acceptance of LGBTQ people and people identifying as bisexual, there is still an active bias and stigma around bisexuality. But maybe celebrities can help to create change by increasing visibility.