What do you do when the one community formed to be a safe space for queer individuals turns you away, “I ❤ Girls” leaflet in hand? What can be done, when you know you’re not wanted?

It doesn’t matter that you’ve had slurs directed at you, it doesn’t matter that your family refuses to accept their daughter loves other women. I’m a white, cisgender teenage girl in a relationship with a white, cisgender male, so of course, I’m adopting the LGBT label to “try and be cool”.

In a sense, aren’t we all? “Being cool”, nowadays, is often synonymous with belonging to somewhere. I’d quite like that. Maybe, once upon a time, I broke my back trying to be accepted by the LGBT community. I won’t anymore; I’ll just learn to accept myself.

Nothing is considered “more of a phase” than a white teenage girl “trying out” bisexuality. This, to me, is the most hurtful accusation hurled around. Am I just saying it so my male partner can have a threesome? Am I secretly gay? God forbid I love women, just as I love men and no less than a gay man loves other men. If someone told a trans woman that their dysphoria was “just a phase”, or that gay men on Grindr were just being “greedy”, there’d be national outrage, and that person who probably be fired from their job, socially alienated and, worst of all, mocked on LGBT Facebook groups.

But everyone thinks I identify as queer for attention, nobody more so than the gatekeepers of the LGBT community. I wish that “greedy” and “attention-seeking” were just insults strangers said on the other side of the world. I wish it was just something keyboard warriors fell back onto when they were trying to hurt me.

I wish it wasn’t coming from the mouths of friends. I wish I never heard it from the LGBT society I was looking to join. I wish it never left my mouth. I wish it didn’t hurt me.

And it’s the phrases that insinuate I’m MORE heterosexual because of my love for men that I believe perpetrates the recent trend of casual biphobia in the LGBT community.

“Straight-passing privilege”.

“Gold-star lesbian”.

These are exclusionary terms, commonly passed around in WlW (women loving women) areas. But again, nobody would ever tell a lesbian that they had “straight-passing” privilege if they were walking down the street without their partner. Or that a trans person was a “Gold-star Trans” for fully transitioning, putting down anyone who didn’t opt for reassignment surgery.

I don’t mean to compare erasure and stereotypes to being attacked by family for coming out, conversion therapy, or any horrific ordeal other people may have faced. As selfish as it may be, I wouldn’t want to trade. I recognize I have had a positive experience, and some people would think to be invisible would be a godsend.

But with the increase in mainstream awareness of LGBT rights and the social crucifixion of homophobes, the fact that biphobia is still so casually accepted, and actively perpetrated by those who should be supporting us is more hurtful than ever.

Written by Sara Heritage