5 questions with Matt Goodman

DFW BI NET, the local chapter of the national group BI NET USA, was formed in 1990 to build a bisexual community in North Texas. The support group meets at the John Thomas Gay and Lesbian Community Center at 7 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month. Other events are listed on their Facebook page and on their Web site, www.dfwbi.net.

How did you get involved in the bi community?
I was divorced in April 2007. My ex-wife blamed our failed marriage on my bisexuality. Looking for a community of my own, I discovered DFWBI.net. The group had lost steam leaving just a few valiant members. We reopened the Dallas chapter in June, 2008.  

What are the challenges that are unique to the bi community?
We are in every part of society. A large percentage of our members feel that we should be on our own, while others do not label themselves bisexual. Instead they may call themselves pansexual, omnisexual, queer or prefer no label at all. On a national scale, we are in a time of rebirth all over. There is a surge of young people coming up the ranks and joining the established leadership in the movement.  

What are some stereotypes you hear about bis from gays and lesbians?
Some members of the BLGT community believe that we do not exist, or that we are in transition to being gay or lesbian. Some also believe that we will leave them for someone of the opposite sex. Another major stereotype is that we are easy, sluts or very promiscuous always wanting a threesome.

How do you feel about the idea of bisexuals hiding behind heterosexual relationships?
Heterosexual privilege is the idea that we can escape into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex and hide when times are tough for us. This simply isn’t true. The moment we come out, we are victims of the same discrimination, violence and hatred as the rest of the community. Even though I am in an opposite relationship, I am still an out and proud bisexual. What happens to you happens to me. Can you go back into the closet and hide? That is what heterosexual privilege is about. It’s hiding. Only when we all are accepting of everyone in our community and out of our community can we all really be equal.

Why is the marriage fight your fight too?
The marriage fight affects us just like it does the rest of the community. There are members of the bisexual community in same-sex relationships, denied the same rights as the rest of the community. No one in the BLGT community can escape this fight. We all must work together to demand our rights. They are our rights. … We must have them.

Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, editor@dallasvoice.com­.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 17, 2009.
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