Articles

On the Crossroad of Bisexual Theory and Affect Theory: Bisexual Shame as an Emotion Shaped by Heterosexism and Biphobia

Author
  • Babette Lagrange orcid logo (Ghent University)

Abstract

Bisexual people are discriminated against both by heterosexual and homosexual people. They not only experience heterosexism because they are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, but they also experience discrimination because of still having ‘heterosexual’ attractions and relationships. These discriminations have a real-life impact on bisexual people, which is reflected in bisexual-specific emotions such as bisexual shame. Researching these emotions allows us to better understand bisexual discrimination. This article focusses on bisexual shame and thus occurs at the crossroad of bisexual and affect theory. The question we ask ourselves is: how are injustices and discrimination against bisexual people reflected in the way bisexuals experience shame? We start this research by embedding ourselves into existing bisexual and (queer) affect theory. Afterwards, we employ this theory and existing literature to reflect on ten conducted interviews with bisexual people. Through analysing these interviews, this study captures important aspects of bisexual people their experiences of bisexual shame, and studying this emotion teaches us about what biphobia can look like and be. In addition, this paper adds to existing literature, the employed theories, and LGBTQIA+ research by shedding light on bisexual shame as a distinct phenomenon that is both embedded in heterosexism and biphobia from both LGBTQIA+ members and heterosexual people.

Keywords: Bisexual Theory, Affect Theory, Bisexuality, Shame, Emotion, Biphobia, Bisexual Erasure

How to Cite:

Lagrange, B., (2024) “On the Crossroad of Bisexual Theory and Affect Theory: Bisexual Shame as an Emotion Shaped by Heterosexism and Biphobia”, DiGeSt - Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 11(1), 68-84. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/digest.89262

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Published on
24 Jun 2024
Peer Reviewed