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It would have been lovely to see a sympathetic portrayal of a complex bisexual woman on television, but instead Ilene Chaiken did it again – we got Romi, who threw temper tantrums about not receiving the treatment she felt entitled to as a “celesbian” and lied to her girlfriend about her obvious attraction to her ex-boyfriend before unceremoniously ditching her to marry him.Any criticism of her behavior, even when valid, was written off by Romi as biphobia, and while I don’t doubt that much of it was rooted in biphobia, the problem of biphobia in the lesbian community is too pervasive and important to be dubiously employed on national television.Obviously nobody is denying anybody the right to love who they want – that’s sort of the whole point of this community, right? However, Romi’s comments about the role her sexual fluidity has played in both her on-screen vilification and her ever-changing relationship status left a bad taste in my mouth.According to the Advocate, who named “bisexuals” (all of them, apparently) as one of their 10 choices for 2013’s Person of the Year, there’s never been a better time to be open about one’s “in-between sexuality” in the media…Undoubtedly, she should be able to pursue the kind of person who makes her happy, but the myth that bisexuals are unable to make a longterm commitment to a single person of any gender is both unfair and unnecessary.

I’m an actively queer woman who does not identify as a lesbian, and I date people of all genders without worrying too much about giving myself a label.And the other half is because I want to go back to women,” she explains.Look, I haven’t eaten an animal product in nearly a decade, but when I see PETA campaigns that make all vegetarians look petty and insane, it embarrasses me on a personal level.A refusal to look beyond Romi’s experiences — whether that refusal is Romi’s or the media’s — helps us avoid looking at the institutional ways in which bisexual women are disadvantaged, and encourages us instead to continue bickering about whether bisexual women are “slutty” or “greedy.” Focusing the discussion in this way means that all that gets discussed is Romi as an individual.Even if Romi is a bisexual or sexually fluid individual, there’s an invitation to imagine Romi’s personal life as representative of what bisexuality is, and even worse, the negative experiences Romi complains about as representative of what biphobia is. Of course, all we can go by is what we’ve been shown of this person’s public life; we cannot know what happened when the cameras were off.

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