My Identity is NOT My Consent

5 Nov

by Anonymous

We have all heard (hopefully) of the phrase “My costume is NOT my consent,” but apparently it’s not the costume that makes me vulnerable but my sexual orientation and gender. I am a bisexual woman. This Halloween I opted out for a more conservative costume. I wore pants, a sweater, and a backwards cap; not exactly what we consider a “sexy/slutty” costume. I was at a Gay Pride party, which is usually a safe space, until the party was crashed by male students who were unaware of a common theme of the party—that most people present were of the LGBT community or allies. I was asked by one guy if everyone at the party was gay. I told him that most people did identify that way. He then asked me if I was gay. I told him the truth that I was bisexual.

Because I am not out at home, I don’t hide it at school. Here I can be who I really am and will not hide it just to avoid an unwanted situation. Apparently this fact was enough consent on my part because he proceeded to put his hands on me, forcibly turn me around, and began to pelvic thrust against my behind. I was not asked to dance, I did not consent to him putting his hands on me, yet the fact that I am bisexual was enough for him. Obviously, because I am attracted to guys, I am therefore attracted to him and don’t mind him placing his hands on me. Because I do like men, I obviously like all men, including him. I let him know that my sexual orientation did not give him consent and that he should think twice before putting his hands on anyone in that manner, and I walked away.

Later that night after the party was over, I waited in a school square—a very public place at the time. I was awaiting a text when a group of guys proceeded to come out of an apartment. A group of three headed my way up the stairs when one of them proceeded to comment on my ass, then grabbed it, and just walked away. At this point I was too stunned to say anything and saw them walk away; his friend gave the excuse that he was drunk. His friend would rather make excuses for his behavior than confront his friend about it. This Halloween, I learned that “my costume is not my consent,” but sadly my sexual orientation and gender are. The fact that I am a female who is still attracted to males is enough consent for unwanted advances. It does not matter what I wear, my own identities—that of a bisexual and that of woman—make me vulnerable.

In my opinion, society has failed. Not only does the majority of society place the blame on women who dress “slutty,” rather than the men who assault them, but even when a woman is dressed in what is considered a conservative outfit, she is still harassed. And society continues to make excuses. The excuse for the man who slapped my ass was that he was drunk; he placed the blame on something other than himself. Even in the first situation, blame was still put on me. When I shared this story, one response I heard was: why not tell the first guy that you’re lesbian? To this I respond: why should I lie about who I am? Why does my sexual orientation give him consent to my body? Because I am bisexual does not mean that I consent to all advances.  What happened last night was not my fault, it was society’s. 

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3 Responses to “My Identity is NOT My Consent”

  1. alexkellyoc November 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    That’s so true! Just because you say you’re bi,lesbian,gay or whatever, doesn’t mean you are defined by it-it’s the behavior, thoughts and acts that matter (should matter) not the fact you fuck both men and women (in your case 🙂 )
    🙂

  2. bestlittlelion92 November 11, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    I like the whole theme of this post, that when it comes to sexual advances, people will try to find any excuse to go forth. I am bisexual as well and whenever I come out about it, instantly men will ask me if I want to partake in a three way. It is quite sad that the man thought just because you were bisexual that you viewed him as attractive. I’m sorry you had to go through that, I remember when Halloween use to be a more fun holiday.

  3. Ami Fletcher November 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Dear Anonymous,

    I am also sorry for the experience you had on Halloween but I do take issue with your comment that this is “society’s fault”. Are you not part of society? Then are why are you so offended by the fact that you need to say, “stop,” when someone is offending or disrespecting you? Stop whining and get over it. People will try what they can and personally, I think our technology-laden society has contributed to it. People are no longer people, it seems. They are objects and if this guy wanted to reach out and grab you, unfortunately he felt like it was okay. I’m sorry you needed to tell him it wasn’t okay but good for you that you did. Just own it! That’s the way life is now. I’m not sure this is an LGBT issue, it is a societal issue as you say but…that means, I am responsible for myself. If someone is doing something I don’t like to me, it’s up to me to ask them to stop.

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