Bi erasure in a nutshell

21 December 2016 by Jennifer

New badge design, new micro-summary.

Regular readers will know that a current political theme of mine is bi erasure. In particular, I’ve been trying to explain & spread Kenji Yoshino’s ideas of how erasure functions on different interlocking levels. (Essay / video.) I think this understanding of bi erasure mechanisms is useful when we want to get better at noticing, naming and reversing it.

Regular readers will also know that for many years now I’ve been making tiny works of art a.k.a. button badges. And earlier this year, it occurred to me to see if I could write a “bi erasure in a nutshell” summary that was short enough to fit on a one-inch badge!

This felt like an interesting challenge – how short could the gist of it possibly be made?

Here’s what I came up with:

Bi Erasure
1 No such thing
2 Not bi enough
3 Put-downs
Stop that!
We exist!

And here’s a mediocre pic of the beautiful little new badges:

Nine button badges each have the text "Bi Erasure / 1 No such thing / 2 Not bi enough / 3 Put-downs / Stop that! / We exist!" Each badge has a different colour of lettering, on a black background. They're resting on purple velour cloth. At the side of the pic is one more badge, flipped over to show the back and the pin, but half this badge is off the edge of the photo.

If you’d like to buy one, click here (other bi badges also available – minimum order 2 or 3 depending where you are in the world)

Perspective & delight

I don’t think these few words are enough on their own to explain the whole structure of bi erasure. Each layer has more to it, plus there’s the way they interlock to reinforce each other. I’ve only homed in on a few key dimensions, and I might change my mind later about whether they were the most key to include.

And it’s not like this is the badge that’s gonna make my fortune, either. Even among bi themed badges, I bet it’ll never be as popular as “No, I’m BISEXUAL, you’re confused”. Niche within a niche!

But I love the idea of this badge existing in the world – as a reminder, conversation-starter, and/or affirmation that we’re not going along with it :-)