- 1:20 pm - Thu, Aug 22, 2013
- 1,403 notes
Bi Erasure in "Orange is the New Black"
Ever since the Netflix-original series Orange is the New Black premiered on July 11, 2013, the buzz has been increasing about the show’s varied portrayals on-screen, ranging from racial and sexual diversity to trans* characters and beyond. One of the biggest issues in relation to the LGBT+ community that the show has brought up is the lack of use of the term “bisexual” – despite the apparent bisexuality of the central protagonist and other characters as well …
When asked about her thoughts regarding Orange is the New Black, Bisexual Resource Center President Ellyn Ruthstrom said, “I enjoyed the show a lot and thought it was a shame that for a show that is trying to push the boundaries on several levels, that it still resorts to the old binary of gay/straight.” Ruthstrom felt like the show “missed an opportunity” and is awaiting Season Two. “Piper is clearly bisexual so perhaps it will be explored better in the future.”
Bisexual activist Aud Traher furthered Ruthstrom’s sentiments, saying, “I still think the idea of calling anyone ‘ex-lesbian’ is incredibly dangerous. It gives credence to not only bisexual invisibility but … putting this into popular media only cements it further into the dominant discourse that queer people can be ‘cured,’ that queer women only need to find the right man or have sex with one to ‘cure’ them.” …
Viewers will have to wait to see if Piper comes out as bisexual in Season Two, or if her journey of self-discovery still has longer to go before she’s comfortable identifying with a specific label. Season One of Orange is the New Black is currently streaming on Netflix. Season Two is set for a 2014 debut.
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A.J. Walkley is a bisexual activist and the author of “Queer Greer” and “Choice”. Her third novel, “Vuto”, inspired by her experience as a US Peace Corps Health Volunteer in Malawi East Africa has just been released. Walkley currently resides in Arizona, USA.