Here's an excerpt:
Archives like the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection protect, preserve, and make accessible primary sources that document the lives of queer communities. We highlight the “B” in BTQLG because too often bisexuals and other non-monosexual communities are subject to a phenomenon called bisexual erasure. Bisexual erasure is the tendency for bisexuality to be denied an existence by refusing to believe it is a valid orientation, or by omitting it as an identity in history and media.(1) With the support of community members, the Tretter Collection can play an important role in correcting the problem of bisexual erasure simply by doing what the best archives do well, collecting a diverse array of primary source materials, describing them appropriately to make them findable, and making these materials accessible to users.
This may sound simple, but the mere fact of bisexual erasure in media and other sources can pose significant challenges. In one prominent example, Robyn Ochs, internationally prominent bisexual activist, author, and speaker, married her partner of seven years, Peg Preble, in Massachusetts in 2004 right after the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was overturned. They were one of the first same-sex couples to be married in the state. Their lovely wedding photos were printed in many national news outlets. Even though Robyn Ochs openly identifies as bisexual, the media frequently labeled them as a lesbian couple, beginning with the headline of an article about them in the Washington Post.(2) Why does it matter that they were labeled as lesbians? Och’s own words explain quite well, “’My identity is hard won — I worked very hard and for a very long time to come to a place of comfort and pride about who I am, and it matters to me that people see me accurately.’”(3) This example of bi erasure matters to the bi community because many of us were deeply involved with the fight for same-sex marriage rights. In fact we have been there all along in struggles for acceptance and equal rights for same-sex loving human beings, but because of bisexual erasure you might not have seen us.
If you are interested in donating materials to The Tretter Collection, please contact Lisa Vecoli, Curator of the Tretter Collection. You can also talk with Martha Hardy, Tretter Collection Advisory Board Member and Director, Bisexual Organizing Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.