One form that homophobia takes is pressuring gay and lesbian people to give opposite-sex attraction a “chance”. Many lesbian friends of mine report being pressured to be bisexual or pansexual, usually by predatory dudes or straight friends who were being homophobic. It can be really coercive, manipulative, and vile stuff. So as pansexual or bisexual people, we ought to be careful that we don’t reproduce that same kind of bigotry in how we treat gay folks. When we act as though being gay or lesbian is equivalent to being straight, or we act as though gay people are more close-minded than we are, we are doing harm to them and poking at that much deeper wound. Those of us who are attracted to multiple genders are often misjudged and harmed by straight people and gay people, and we should be cognizant of the fact that we are *also* capable of misjudging and harming gay people ourselves.

Gay people can be biphobic and panphobic. And pan and bi people can be homophobic. We need to be careful of our language, and compassionate to our queer peers. Just because you have a queer identity does not mean you are not capable of lateral aggression against other queer people. I’m sure you know the feeling of being on the receiving-end of panphobia from a gay person quite well. I wrote an essay about this, as a bi person who used to use language similar to what you included in your piece. I understand where you are coming from though, and have definitely used similar language in the past. Then a few gay and lesbian friends shared some of their experiences with me, and it gave me a lot to chew on!

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