There’s a certain trend that has been within the LGBTQ+ community for years, and it’s something we should talk about. To some, homo and hetero-flexibility is used when someone, gay or straight, feels little or some attraction towards the same or opposite gender. To the rest of the world, this is known as bisexuality. Here lies the problem of how homo- and hetero-flexibility is really just a fancy word for bi erasure.
How exactly is it erasing bisexuality, you may ask? Well, one could argue that going from questioning to bi is quite the jump. “Some people just aren’t ready to come out as bi!”, they exclaim. That remark itself already gives off an unsettling vibe about being bi, as if it’s too big and complex for the average person to comprehend. It states that being bi is something bad, and that labeling yourself with a completely different term will magically erase the fact that you are bisexual. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to label your love, or being confused in general. The problem is when your labels invalidate my sexuality, as well as other bisexuals. I truly hope you can understand the issue.
While certain people may argue that homo- and hetero-flexibility is in fact an entirely different thing, the Merriam-Webster dictionary can tell you that the attraction to two genders is bisexuality. The concept of labeling yourself with another word that means the same as another only reinforces that “special snowflake” mindset, making you believe that you are setting yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. In reality, you are simply believing that you must set yourself apart. If you suppose you must set yourself apart, you are again reinforcing that bisexuality is bad to begin with. It is a toxic state of mind which shames bi people and promotes biphobia inside and out of the LGBTQ+, as if bisexuals aren’t already shamed by most.
I have had a few debates over this specific subject, talking to straight LGBT+ people alike. Subsequently, one comment has struck me in many ways. As I was speaking with a friend, they had told me that words are power and people may not want to label themselves. I thought about that comment for many days after they had said it, and I agree. Words ARE power, and that is the problem as well as the solution. The problem is that words are powerful and scare us much too easily, warding off further education. The solution is that we are much more than any labels out there. The compromise is the freedom to label yourself and being able to express yourself freely, but without dehumanizing others. This compromise should be established deeper within the minds of students and children, but sadly we have not reached that level of human decency yet.
In the end, you are free to label yourself with any term your heart desires, but please keep in mind that labels may hurt and invalidate others, even if you may not realize it. Always be kind to others and spread love.