Wonder Boi Writes

The Big Tent…(Or F*ck Biphobia)

It’s 9/11, and I’m not really going to go into that because so many other people have so many more enlightening things to say on the subject. My friend Georgia Beers has written an amazing book on the subject called 96 Hours, and she wrote a blog last year talking about all the wonderful acts of compassion that followed in the wake of such unspeakable tragedy.  It’s been said we were all Americans that day, but I would go further and say we were all human that day. Foreign or domestic, regardless of race or religion, wealth or poverty, we were all shocked and saddened, longing for peace, comfort, and understanding, asking how humans could have so little care for human life. And when we cracked open, what came out louder than the fear, the hate, or the anger was the call for love: the desire to feel it, to show it, to give it, and to hold on tightly to it. Humanity, broken down to its most vulnerable and raw, cares little for who and how someone loves so long as they do, in fact, love.

But things change. People forget. Life goes on even in the wake of tragedy. Wars start. People starve. Children are attacked in their schools. Memories of goodwill toward all are hard to come by, even in our own little circles. Just this week there was a huge row in my small little lesfic community that brought home how awful and hypocritical we can be. A woman said horrible things that aren’t worth repeating about an organization many of us care about and people I personally love. The root of her malice was biphobia: The fear, aversion or hatred of bisexuals. It’s not terrorism, and no one died, so I’m not even trying to put it on that level, but I was once again shocked at the idea of people hurting other people over such petty differences. Queers attacking other queers for not being queer enough.

I wrote response after response. Some of them angry, some of them sarcastic, many of them both. I had one full-on tirade about how as far as I could tell, I am the only one (seriously: THE. ONLY. ONE!) who ever brings a cisgendered male to any of the lesbian fiction events, so perhaps I needed to apologize to anyone with a pea-sized brain for the confusion and trauma my six-year-old might have caused with all the hugs and high fives he gave.  But I deleted that because ultimately the mere presence of a male, or even someone who doesn’t hate men isn’t the issue here. Neither is the quality of the writing, because I’ve seen several people who bash bisexual authors in the abstract turn around and post about how much they LOVED a book by a woman they don’t know identifies as bi. So let’s just cut that crap right now. The writing is not the issue. It’s not about how these authors conduct themselves in our circles either. As I said, most people don’t even know which writers are bi because those women work just as tirelessly or more so than anyone else to further the causes of LESBIAN fiction. So entitlement isn’t the issue either, no matter what lies anyone tries to spread. The “real issues” as people always seem to make them out, are about dividing lines.

The us and the them.  The self and the other.  The “real” lesbian (whatever that means) and the posers who are here to steal our…our what? Our money? Let me tell you, no one writing lesbian fiction is living the high life. Our clout?  Sorry, we don’t have much of that either. Our…our… I’m sorry. I honestly don’t know what a bisexual or straight woman could possibly take from the lesbian community that they couldn’t get tons more of by writing a heterosexual romance. So this can’t be about anything legitimate being taken from us. It’s got to be a people power trip, a control grab, using our community lines as way of making oneself feel bigger by making someone else feel small. I’m sorry, but we have got to be better than that.

We need to stop drawing our circles as small as they can be. We need to be open-hearted and open-minded.  We need to reject bigotry, both outside and within our community. We need to seek each other’s humanity. We need to judge each other and each other’s work on their merits.  We need to stop trying to tell people that who and how they love makes them somehow less than we are.  Dear God, we of all people know the damage that type of persecution does to the human psyshe.  And these are human beings we’re talking about.  Real people, with real hopes and dreams and feelings they are shattering with their malice and vitriol.

I did not decide to write lesbian fiction to tear women down.  I write lesbian romance because I believe in the transformative power of love to shape our lives, our communities, and our world. I believe love given freely, recklessly, and without boundaries is the calling of every human life, and the cure for every human ill.  And so this is the only dividing line I will draw: Love over hate.  

As master Yoda says, “Anger, fear, and aggression. The dark sides of the force are they.” It’s time to lay down whatever petty differences have caused division in your life and come on over to my big queer tent. We have light and love, and all are welcome.


September 11, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. BRAVO!!!!

    Comment by powwowmom2000 | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  2. I’ll bring s’more fixins to the big queer tent!

    Comment by nikkismalls28 | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  3. Reblogged this on K'Anne Meinel.

    Comment by kannemeinel | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  4. Awesome. 🙂

    Comment by Georgia Beers | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  5. Fantastic, Rachel. Thank you for being one of the brave voices out there.

    Comment by Nikki Busch | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  6. Thank you Rachel! We have all experienced too much discrimination in our lives. It is time to put down swords in the form of words, and set an example to the world of how humans can indeed live, work and celebrate together.

    Comment by Elizabeth (Liz) Gibson | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  7. Thank you, thank you , thank you. You’ve put in words what many of us have been feeling this week.

    Comment by canuckeh | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  8. Way to go Rachel!

    Comment by Gwen | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  9. Thank you Rachel. I always want to be part of that big queer tent and bring as many along with me that want to share the love there.

    Comment by sandy thornton | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  10. […] Rachel Spangler – “The Big Tent…(Or F*ck Biphobia)” […]

    Pingback by REVIEW: “Just Girls” by Rachel Gold | Frivolous Views | September 12, 2014 | Reply

  11. 🙂 Thank you.

    Comment by laurie salzler | September 12, 2014 | Reply

  12. As others have said, Thank you! We need to stand together.

    Comment by Rogena Mitchell-Jones | September 12, 2014 | Reply

  13. Awesome blog post, Rachel.

    Comment by fergus62 | September 12, 2014 | Reply

  14. […] The Big Tent…(Or F*ck Biphobia) « Wonder Boi Writes. […]

    Pingback by The Big Tent…(Or F*ck Biphobia) « Wonder Boi Writes | Reblog | September 12, 2014 | Reply

  15. Nice job!

    Reblogged at http://reblog.c-spot.net

    Comment by Cheri | September 12, 2014 | Reply

  16. Thank you for posting this. It needed to be said.

    Comment by Gena R. | September 13, 2014 | Reply

  17. I have never understood the whole “my suffering was worse than yours and you are less of than I” mentality. Why is it a competition? Why does someone judge? What is it in them that compels them to attack within our own already marginalized community?

    What is it about the idea of bisexuality that frightened that person? Fr that level of vitriol can only have come from fear. If it were a straight person defining spouting homophobia, we would all shout, “closet case!” Does that mean the biphobic shouter is a closet bi case?

    How incredibly sad and possessed of a small world-view must a person be to feel that THEY must define the lives and roles of others. Who gets to decide someone else’s “authenticity?” Why is this person’s view more valid that that person’s?

    Don’t engage, Rachel. You cannot fix stupid, you can only pity and model a better understanding…and hope they catch on.

    Comment by Pol | September 13, 2014 | Reply

  18. You’re one of my heroes, Rachel.

    Comment by Carleen | September 14, 2014 | Reply

  19. Thanks, Rach. I’d avoided the drama for much of the week and after reading your blog and karin’s I’m glad to have missed most of it. Trolls will be trolls and though I’d love to think the small world of lesfic is above it all, sadly it is not. Hopefully the voices of reason will prevail and whatever personal demons being brought out by the ones spewing their stuff will quiet down when they realize how isolated they’ve made themselves.

    Comment by ramengrrl | September 14, 2014 | Reply

  20. Nicely said Rachel. I don’t understand people getting all chewy over other people being different – afterall, none of us are the same – we share some similarities with various other people, but everyone is a unique being. That doesn’t make me more or less right, or better or worse than anybody else and the same applies to others. Some people need to chill more and chew less.

    Comment by Mardi | September 16, 2014 | Reply

  21. A surprising Short Story by Rachel Spangler entitled “Safe Word.” Not at all what I expected but a wonderful story. Buy it on AmazonSmile and support GCLS!

    Judith A Comella

    Executive Director

    Golf Association of Florida


    Comment by Judy Comella | September 23, 2014 | Reply

  22. I’m glad I’m far enough out here to have missed the original row–but thanks for this, Rachel. Do we really have energy to spare fighting among ourselves when there’s a whole misogynistic patriarchy to dismantle? Let’s go, variously-identified people.

    Comment by J. E. Knowles | September 24, 2014 | Reply

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