Emily Yoffe, Slate’s syndicated advice columnist better known as Dear Prudence, has revised her opinion of bisexuality.
Yoffe came under fire last month after she told a married bisexual woman to stay in the closet, likening her bisexuality to “plushophila” — an erotic fetish for stuffed animals. The public outcry was swift, with activisits calling the advice extremely harmful toward bisexuals and reminding Yoffe that a bisexual's sexual identity is not determined by the gender of their current partner. Yesterday, though, Yoffe a much more sensitive response to a correspondent, GLAAD, which was among the groups that called her out, reports on its blog.
Yoffe’s advice went to a reader identified as “Coming Out, Again”:
Q. Coming Out, Again: I’m 33 and for most of my life have considered myself gay. I came out to my family when I was in my early 20s and they were very supportive. I’ve had two long-term boyfriends, the last one for almost six years. After he and I split (early last year), I had a lot of support from my best friend and co-worker, who is a girl. I found myself becoming attracted to her and we actually started dating a few months ago and it’s going great! One problem: I don’t know how to introduce her to my family and explain the situation to them. My brother and his wife made a pretty big deal over telling my nieces and making sure they knew I liked boys and that it was OK.
A: If you feel ready to introduce your new love to your family, you should just be straightforward: “I’m seeing someone I want you to meet. Her name is Isabelle. Yes, it came as a surprise to me, too.” The situation apparently is that you are bisexual. Your family is open-minded and supportive, so surely they will being able to cope with the news that you have found someone you really care for, no matter what your partner’s sex.”
GLAAD notes the reader never used the word bisexual and Yoffe should be credited “for acknowledging bisexuality as a lived identity and encouraging visibility in safe spaces.”
The response came on the 15th annual observance of Celebrate Bisexuality Day and the same day Human Rights Campaign released a groundbreaking report on bisexual youth.