Wisconsin Legislator JoCasta Zamarripa Comes Out As Bisexual

Is there ointment that treats both the vertigo (for the speed and force by which the gay civil rights cause is being forwarded) and rosacea (for the huge blush of pride)  we’ve come down with over the newest member of our LGBT political family: JoCasta Zamarripa, the first Latino in the Wisconsin legislature and its third openly LGBT member?

Zamarripa, who came out in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, discussed both the difficulty she had with disclosing her sexuality and a not-so-unlikely source of inspiration: “When Ellen [DeGeneres] came out, that was when I felt I could write in my journal about it.” But she acknowledges its sometimes harder for the public to reconcile a bisexual identity than a homosexual one. “It’s also more difficult to come out as the “B” in the LGBT acronym,” she said.

Zamarripa wishes she had talked about being bisexual sooner but admits she “didn’t have the valor and courage to come out,” when first running two years ago. In addition to stopping the kind of rumors that surfaced in her 2010 campaign, Zamarripa, 36, says she went public to help young people who are struggling with their orientation. Whether or not that is enough to defeat her primary challenger, Laura Manriquez, on August 14 is a battle of another sort.

But in the contest of firsts, JoCasta Zamarripa has won a decisive victory.

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  • Greg

    Good for her.

  • Peter Fitz

    Who would have ever guessed,

  • Geri

    Congrats to JoCasta!

    “But she acknowledges its sometimes harder for the public to reconcile a bisexual identity than a homosexual one. “It’s also more difficult to come out as the “B” in the LGBT acronym,” she said.”

    Strange isn’t it? Especially considering that the Bs are the largest population within the LGBT community.

    San Francisco Human Rights Commission LGBT Advisory Committee:

  • skeloric

    @Geri: Ah but even as Heteros discriminate against the Homosexuals and Lesbians, there is often a strong discrimination against bisexuals FROM the homosexuals (and probably some Lesbians too, tho I have not ever seen it)
    Labeled ‘cowards’/’fence sitters’ and such as well as deemed ‘traitors’ for their ability to ‘BLEND IN’ with the Heterosexual population, Bisexuals do not tend to get very good treatment.
    I have been aware of Bisexuals finally ‘coming out’ for a SECOND TIME as homosexual simply to end the derision.
    It is a horrible act that should be opposed but typically is ignored instead.
    So I can say, at least among men, this is a serious problem.
    Which in turn should have Bisexuals in an understandable quandary — do they support the GLBT side of equation and get discrimination from everyone, or side with and pretend to be Heterosexual so as to receive it from NOBODY.
    If this practice of trying to force bisexual men to identify as homosexual were resoundingly opposed, there might be many more bisexuals coming out in support of the GLBT.
    A shame such probably won’t happen.

  • DrewSF

    Congrats to her. I agree with Geri, there’s A LOT of biphobia within the so called LGBT community and it comes from gays and lesbians who claim that bisexuals want to hide as heterosexuals or in a hetero relationship and other bullshit that bigots like skeloric wrote about.

  • Mike

    *Yawn* More biphobia from gays like skeloric who claim that bisexuals will just pretend to be hetero or that we somehow get hetero privileges just because we’re in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender.

  • Brandon


    * Assuming that everyone you meet is either heterosexual or homosexual.
    * Supporting and understanding a bisexual identity for young people because you identified “that way” before you came to your “real” lesbian/gay/heterosexual identity.
    * Expecting a bisexual to identify as heterosexual when coupled with the so called different gender/sex.
    * Believing bisexual men spread AIDS/HIV to heterosexuals.
    * Thinking bisexual people haven’t made up their minds.
    * Assuming a bisexual person would want to fulfill your sexual fantasies or curiosities.
    * Assuming bisexuals would be willing to “pass” as anything other than bisexual.
    * Claiming that bisexuality in men and women is somehow rare or does not exist as a valid sexual orientation.
    * Assuming that bisexual men are usually or are always closeted gay men who haven’t come out, and that bisexual women are usually or are always closeted lesbians who have not accepted their sexuality.
    * Feeling that bisexual people are too outspoken and pushy about their visibility and rights.
    * Automatically assuming romantic couplings of two women are lesbian, or two men are gay, or a man and a woman are heterosexual.
    * Expecting bisexual people to get services, information, and education from heterosexual service agencies for their “heterosexual side” (sic) and then go to gay and/or lesbian service agencies for their “homosexual side” (sic).
    * Feeling bisexuals just want to have their cake and eat it too.
    * Believing that bisexual women spread AIDS/HIV to lesbians.
    * Using the terms “phase” or “stage” or “confused” or “fence-sitter” or “bisexual” or “AC/DC” or “switch-hitter” as slurs or in an accusatory way.
    * Thinking bisexuals only have committed relationships with so called different sex/gender partners.
    * Looking at a bisexual person and automatically thinking of their sexuality rather than seeing them as a whole, complete person.
    * Assuming that bisexuals, if given the choice, would prefer to be in an different gender/sex coupling to reap the social benefits of a so-called “heterosexual” pairing [sic].
    * Not confronting a biphobic remark or joke for fear of being identified as bisexual.
    * Assuming bisexual means “available.”
    * Thinking that bisexual people will have their rights when lesbian and gay people win theirs.
    * Being gay or lesbian and asking your bisexual friend about their lover or whom they are dating only when that person is the “same” sex/gender.
    * Believing bisexuals are confused about their sexuality.
    * Feeling that you can’t trust a bisexual because they aren’t really gay or lesbian, or aren’t really heterosexual.
    * Expecting a bisexual to identify as gay or lesbian when coupled with the “same” sex/gender.
    * Expecting bisexual activists and organizers to minimize bisexual issues (i.e. HIV/AIDS, violence, basic civil rights, fighting the Right, military, same-sex marriage, child custody, adoption, etc.) and to prioritize the visibility of so called “lesbian and/or gay” issues.
    * Avoid mentioning to friends that you are involved with a bisexual or working with a bisexual group because you are afraid they will think you are a bisexual.
    * Calling a relationship or marriage between two people of the same gender a gay/lesbian relationship or gay/lesbian marriage.

  • Rob

    I wonder when the homosexist members of the LGBT movement will finally acknowledge that bisexuals and bisexuality exist, that our sexuality is as legitimate as theirs, and that the civil and human rights gains that have been made for LGBT people would not have been made without the involvement, commitment, hard work and sacrifice of us bisexuals.

  • Geri

    @Mike: I think you are being a bit harsh on skeloric. If you read what he says carefully it’s clear that he does recognize that biphobia is a real and serious issue.

  • Carl 1

    @Mike: Mike, I resoundingly oppose biphobia (being bisexual myself) and have got into some pretty heated discussions on here about it, but skeloric’s post does not read as that – in fact, it reads as opposing biphobia. I’m not hugely aware of his past posts (I read so many), but this one echoes many of my own feelings – that biphobia forces many to hide their sexuality (as either straight or gay), that we face it from both sides, that it’s abhorrent and so on.

    I’m more pleasantly surprised that the article is biphobia-free, 9 times out of 10 a story about bisexuality on Queerty will have at least one, maybe even two or three biphobic slurs thrown in.

  • Luis Rivera

    This just goes to show that everyone, nomatter who they are, have skeletons in their closets.—- ( Stop background check discrimnination for employement) even “you” have past indiscretions!

  • Carl 1

    @Luis Rivera: Since when is bisexuality a “skeleton”? Given the state of US politics, I don’t blame her for being initially wary of coming out publicly. Also, with the general attitude towards bisexuality, I again can’t blame her. But the phrase “skeleton in the closet” generally implies that the news/secret is something unpleasant or to be ashamed of (affairs, illicit children, violent behaviour etc) and I think it’s a bit offensive to place staying quiet about ones sexuality in that category.

  • skeloric

    @Mike: i can tell you stopped reading way too soon.
    I wasn’t commending such actions. I was appalled and condemning them.
    Read it again, more carefully this time.

  • skeloric

    And let us be REALLY honest, if anyone is really aware of the mathematical concept of the “BELL CURVE” (I first saw it in an old Dungeon and Dragons RPG book), it fits well with sexuality.
    Truly exclusive Homosexuals and truly exclusive Heterosexuals are each MATHEMATICALLY only about 2% of the population.
    The other 98% fill in the center of the BELL CURVE as varying degrees of non-exclusive sexuality.
    As you can see in the image, there should be a hell of a lot of “Bisexuals” out there.
    (Except barely anyone seems to be “Bisexual”?? Seems quite strange, at least MATHEMATICALLY.)
    If “Biphobia” were to be eradicated, there’d be MILLIONS OF ALLIES out there voting in favor of Equal Marriage.
    Until it is eradicated, I can’t foresee any true victory against prejudice.

  • skeloric

    ..That should be each being 1% (making the TOTAL be 2%) with 98% left over to fill out the middle…

  • skeloric

    [Different person #1 using similar name] WTF???
    I sign in once and post.
    I sign in again with the same info and Queerty declares that I am NOT ME?
    LOL, I wonder who I am then?

  • Triple S

    It’s often cast as suspicious or doesn’t exist because of the HUGE amount of times people have said; “I’m bisexual”, when they’re actually not.

    Whether it be for misunderstanding what exactly bisexual means, or attention seeking, too many people say they’re bi when they’re not.
    Women generally are the perpetrators of this phenomenon. There’s a thing called a ‘LUG’, (Lesbian Until Graduation), and on this same principle, many simply take the identity for no good reason except wanting to feel special and stand out from the crowd.

    Of course, this don’t speak for every bisexual out there, as it is a real thing, but because of the times the description in misused for all the wrong reasons and how it is used as an intermediate thing (it happens a lot in younger people) before coming out as fully gay, I ALWAYS reserve judgement until I’m sure that they aren’t the person to lie about things and they have proven that what they say is genuine.
    I’m not saying they have to sleep around with both men and women to prove it. One can see it in their character after a time.

  • skeloric

    @Triple S: “It’s often cast as suspicious or doesn’t exist because of the HUGE amount of times people have said; ‘I’m bisexual’, when they’re actually not.”
    Hm… Or maybe they got so tired of all the bullsh*t coming at them from every side that they recant and either went back to proclaiming themselves as heterosexual or fulling embraced Homosexuality/Lesbianism even though NONE of the terms actually applied.
    Way too much derision and discrimination is out there.
    A couple of years ago, there was a local bar that had a “Gay Happy Hour” on Thursdays.
    One guy came in who was an avowed “bisexual” and the little snide comments that could be heard just beyond his range of hearing, or WERE they?… well I’m certain most can figure out what comments there might have been.
    The usual sort, naturally.
    “Confused” and “Having the cake and eating it too” and other such as were on the list supplied above by Brandon.
    This is how we treat our Allies?
    My partner and I stopped going, bars are way too expensive, so I have no clue how that situation resolved itself.
    I’d like to think such comments had been quelled, but I just can’t be certain.

  • skeloric

    It is rather sad that declaring oneself to be “Bi” seems to require much more courage when such is told to the “G and L” of the GLBT than it is when told to Heterosexuals.
    Mostly as Heterosexuals have all the wrong ideas, IN GENERAL, about what “Bisexuality” really is all about.
    Let us be honest, Hetero men LOVE “Bi-girl” couples — it feeds into their EGO that their c*ck turned the (supposed) “Lesbo” couple straight enough to have a three-way.
    “Lesbian until c*ck” does seem to be a concept that only exists in porn catering to Hetero men to begin with.
    And it continues some dangerously erroneous assumptions.
    And there are women out there who honestly believe in the fallacy of “Gay until Coochie” as well…

    Maybe, just maybe, because there are those out there who have pretended that they lack opposite sex attraction?
    They looked around at the HOSTILITY directed towards those identifying as “Bi” and got that poisonous message pretty damn quick?

  • skeloric

    Let us be clear. As a gay man, I firmly think we should be outraged at how the Bi community is treated to such a similar injustice to how many in the Heterosexual community treat gay men.
    The sad truth is that people who were discriminated AGAINST, eventually join in on discriminating the next group ostracized.
    I just wish such were NOT human nature.
    As such, we REALLY need to start making a stand on the issue.

  • Geri

    @skeloric: Well said skeloric!

Comments are closed.