"And now there’s you," Signorina had said… So they must think Mlle Julie cares for me more than for Laura. Insensate thought!
No, not more. But she cares a little. And diffrerently.
Just as I cared for her differently.
And now I understood it was that difference I wanted.
If you say Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian everyone nods knowingly and you get featured on all the big gay sites.
If you pose with her picture and say she was bisexual people freak out and send you anons detailing in various ways how you are wrong, she was a lesbian and not a dirty bisexual OR they tell you how to unfair it is to try and say what peoples sexualities were after they died.
Unless they are proclaimed monosexual of course.
I’m pretty sure the vast majority of people were not offended because they think bisexuals are “dirty.” They were offended because one of the very, very few lesbian historical figures, and I would wager one of the most if not the most prominent in the entire United States, was suddenly being misidentified as bisexual. We have no indication of any attraction Roosevelt felt for men or of a romantic aspect to her marriage with FDR. Instead we have documentation of a long term relationship with a woman.
Taking a woman for whom all evidence points to her being a lesbian and calling her bisexual does not make you radical. You are taking a woman who we have no reason to believe was attracted to men and saying she felt het attraction. In a society that expects all women, including and especially lesbians, to feel het attraction, this is not a revolutionary or queer act. In fact it is something of a violent act. Taking a lesbian and calling her bi is conferring het attraction on her which, surprise, is a form of straightwashing! So as a bisexual I can pretty confidently tell you that you are completely misinterpreting the situation, which could have been a learning experience for you.
this is so complicated because
a) who “nods knowingly” when you say a major female historical figures like Eleanor Roosevelt were lesbians / queer? a small bunch of lesbians - while all the straight people freak out and tell them to stop trying to make everyone gay - the suggestion that Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationships with / attractions to men need to be “defended” from erasure by lesbians when 99% of the world regards those relationships and attractions as infinitely more valid than her relationships with / attractions to women comes off as really offensive
b) the reasons why we (we, “lesbian historians” of sorts) think Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian and care about this fact enough to tell people about it are not unbiased, they’re indeed tinged with biphobia and with a more general understanding of chaste white upperclass lesbianism expressed primarily through “female friendships” as the queer female sexuality