A bisexual man i know whose been only sleeping with women lately, was complaining that his sexuality is invisible. Which got me thinking.
It ties back to what i was writing about "middle-class butches(?)", cause i think our invisibility is actually a sign of our privilege. It leaves working class butches to shoulder all the weight of representing Butch (which isn't a super-fun job in this culture).
Female Masculinities (a book i was dissing a couple of posts back) makes the point that while white middle class lesbians complained about their invisibility, non-white and working class lesbians were extremely visible and were/are getting beat up on the street for it.
which isn't to say that having no visible role models, (either in your life or on tv, or in books, or walking down the street) that having no one see you as you really are - is easy. It's not, it's like looking into a mirror and seeing nothing there (i got that from adrienne rich) and it's crazy-making. It's just that you have more choices and more power than those who are noticed as deviant.
On any given day I can wear the t-shirt that says 'gender dysphoric'. Or Not. It's not written all over my walk, my haircuts, my clothes, my speech, in a language that everyone can read, as it is for some people. And my bisexual friend can declare his attraction to other men, or not. depending on how many bigots are around, whether he's trying to get a job etc.
Which led me to conclude that it's all about who you're complaining to. I should definately be whingeing at other middle class masculine women to front up with descriptions of our specific experience, confronting people who refuse to recognise my masculinity, and challenging middle-class parents who don't give their daughters the chance to express their masculinity... but i shouldn't expect working class butches to have much sympathy for my invisibility. And i shouldn't present it as the greatest challenge facing butches today.