Top US bi politician quits

USA

Scandal-hit US Katie Hill has announced she is stepping down following a ‘revenge porn’ campaign against her.

The Democrat Congresswoman was elected just twelve months ago, one of the wave of women and queer politicians who made a breakthrough in the US ‘midterm’ elections and gaining her seat from the Republicans. In recent days she has become embroiled in a scandal about a past relationship involving another woman that has led to an ethics committee investigation by Congress.

The relationship story has seemingly most likely been given to the media by a husband she is in the middle of divorcing, though the hate sites that have published photos of her with her former girlfriend have not said where they actually got the pictures.

Ironically one of the places the photos were published was a UK tabloid – if Hill were a UK citizen, such action might have come under the revenge porn laws passed in 2015.

The media circus surrounding her story has played up to all the usual cliches of presenting bi people as hypersexualised, especially a young woman like Hill who recently turned 32. While there seems to be an inappropriate dimension to the past relationship there is a remarkable contrast between her story and the impact of allegations of sexual impropriety against her, and the lack of repercussions following the boasts of Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential election.

Research has shown that bi people are disproportionately likely to be targeted by revenge porn attacks.