Gatekeeping LGBTQ+ Identities Isn't Just Annoying, It's Harmful


Cook, Motivationist and Nutritionist.

Any historically marginalized or devalued group — women, people of color, the extended gay community — has some percentage of its own members who buy into the narrative that they’re somehow inferior (and then fling that label at others). This internalized oppression is essentially a minority agreeing to an ugly definition from the majority culture that minorities are inherently second-rate. 

Gatekeeping LGBTQ

An internet search for ‘biphobia’ yields an unfortunate bounty of people sharing their rejection stories after coming out as bi to gay or bisexual people. On Reddit, a woman recalls going to a queer prom event and connecting well with a group of queer women. One of them complimented the woman’s homemade crown, who thanked her and said she’d made it from a bi-pride flag. She excused herself, then when she enthusiastically rejoined the women, they ignored her and walked away. In the 2018 study, “Bisexual prejudice among lesbian and gay people,” the authors found the negativity of lesbians towards bi women emerged from a belief that bisexuals are more attracted to men. This misunderstanding fuels stereotypes that all bisexuals prefer the “straight option.” This belief that bi women are actually straight is a common myth about bisexuality.

Bisexuals who happen to be coupled with an opposite-sex partner can be insulted for being “straight-passing.” Those who identify as queer but haven’t yet had a relationship can be unfairly shunned. The feeling that you may not be “queer enough” as a newbie just adds to the complicated emotions that surround coming out. 

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