A group of renegade bisexual activists has launched a visibility campaign demanding linguistic parity for bisexuals. The group, Activists for the Creation of Diverse Colloquialisms (ACDC), is protesting the lack of a bisexual presence in the hate speech lexicon.
"Homophobic slurs are everywhere, but where are the biphobic slurs?" asked activist Kendra Thompson, founder of ACDC. "We are sick of being marginalized. We have been silent in the face of lack of oppression long enough."
Thompson first became troubled by the absence of bisexual slurs when she began teaching at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. She observed among her teenage students the disturbing trend of using the term "gay" to paint something in a negative light.
"My students would say things like, 'Ms. Thompson, this quiz is so gay!'" Thompson reported. "I had to explain to them that there was nothing remotely homosexual about differential equations. But I heard it all the time. Everything was gay, gay, gay."
The turning point came when a belligerent teenage student asked if she was a "lesbo." Thompson was saddened to realize that no words existed with which a sixteen-year old boy could accurately insult her. "'Lesbo' is only half right," she said. "It speaks volumes to the way that bisexuality is overlooked in society that there aren't even any good slurs for us."
ACDC hopes to address that void. According to Thompson, the organization's main platform is to introduce bisexual slurs and insults into the modern slang lexicon. Their initial push is to introduce the phrase "That's so bi." Unlike the phrase "That's so gay," which can be used to refer to things which are stupid, lame, disagreeable, or vaguely homoerotic, the slang term "bi" will be more narrow in focus.
"The term 'gay' has really gotten off track," said Thompson. "We plan to use 'bi' as a synonym for 'indecisive' to remind people of its roots. Etymology is very important to us in the bisexual community."
ACDC plans to introduce the phrase into pop culture through guerrilla tactics, including using volunteers to stage conversations in public places. Explained Thompson, "If my friend and I are standing in line at Burger King and she can't figure out what to order, instead of telling her to make up her mind, I'll say, 'God, Danielle, stop being so bi.' We're hoping that if enough people say it, it will become cool." New York Times language maven William Safire described the strategy as "original."
"Taking back the language is always a controversial process," said Thompson. "We know these changes won't happen overnight. But we hope that gradually, with time, bisexuals will be just as insulted as everyone else."
Said one of Thompson's students, speaking on the condition of anonymity, "That's, like, the gayest thing I ever heard."