Bi+ People’s Experiences in the Post Gay Era
thesisposted on 2019-08-01, 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.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Degree namePhD, Doctor of Philosophy
Committee MemberDecoteau, Claire Schaffner, Laurie Schilt, Kristen Sumerau, J.E.
Submitted dateAugust 2019