Bi+ People’s Experiences in the Post Gay Era
thesisposted on 01.08.2019, 00:00 authored by Lain Mathers
In this dissertation, I draw on 40 in-depth interviews with bi+ people between the ages of 21 and 30 in the Chicagoland area to better understand the ways they construct identity, navigate forming connections to LGBTQ and bi+ community, and conceptualize social changes that would impact bi+ people. My findings suggest that bi+ people navigate pervasive stigma and construct their identities in relation to these stigmas. They struggled to find community with other bi+ people in the wake of this exclusion. Interviewees showed difficulty naming a core issue for bi+ people beyond increasing visibility. My findings suggest this is because they may not have a solid network of people with a shared bi+ consciousness when it comes to major political concerns. These findings suggest that monosexism is reproduced through social interaction, and my analysis reveals some of the pathways by which this happens. I coin the term “the monosexual imaginary” to highlight how bi+ existence is rendered invisible and monosexism is maintained in contemporary U.S. society.