This has been an issue for me—and one that I’ve written about before not because I have problems with bisexuality but because the gay community seems to have a problem with it. In fact, when I had addressed bisexuality last year, the week after the article was published, Northwestern University proclaimed that bisexual men do in fact exist (much to the shock of bisexual men, I’m sure). And what sparked me readdressing this issue was, of all things, a blow-up on Facebook following the posting of my last article which accused parts of the gay community to be misogynistic.
Frankly put: I am severely debilitated by the excessive exclusiveness that is becoming the Gay Club. Slowly but surely, we are not only excluding members of other cultures who are our supporters (don’t get me wrong: the annoying straight chick who thinks she is supportive when she is in fact being outright offensive is frustrating for me—though I don’t support the idea that we harken back to the 60s and outright ban them) but our brethren as well, particularly bisexual men and women.
There have been two moments on loop for me for quite a bit of time with regard to this subject.
The first, when I was with my ex, revolved around a discussion about sexuality where I proclaimed my oft-proclaimed proclamation, “Jesus, I wish I was bi: everyone would be an option.”
My greedy lil’ pun, much to my shock and dismay, caused my ex’s face to grow into this grotesque, gargoyle-like expression and just as the rain of Paris drains through the gargoyle’s mouths of Notre Dame, he responded with the quality of spewing vomit, “Ew. I would never date a ‘bi.'”
There was a tinge in his voice with the word “bi,” as if the word itself was not only repulsive but outright wrong.
His reasoning was, at least according to him, quite simple: he doesn’t want to “battle” with someone who wants something he can’t “provide;” I, of course, took this as the fact that since he doesn’t have a vagina, dating a bisexual man would result in an ongoing, furtive pursuit of vaginal pleasures behind his back since my ex could only provide good ol’ pee-pee-n-booty. And this wasn’t just the opinion of my ex: friends galore, straight and gay, unanimously opined that indeed, they wouldn’t date a bi. It led to unfulfilled desires, a fight to always ask questions, the possibility of dealing with the bi asking for a poly-gender threesome, the increased chances for cheating…
Given these onslaught of “reasons” that for them somehow validated the dismissal of an entire group of humans, I quipped back with a particular question, “So, you’re tellin’ me that if you have a man who believes in everything you believe in within a relationship and he admits to you his undying love for you—but happens to be bi, you’re gonna end it? You’re going to shut down someone’s love for you because he happens to be—biologically mind you—attracted to both sexes?”
They nodded. I almost puked. There goes the whole love-conquers-all ideal that so many queers are apt to throw around—only when needed, of course.
The second moment is one that has particularly frustrated me to no extent and, despite the amount of times it occurs, it always tends to bring forth this deep defensiveness within me. I should say it isn’t a particular moment but many moments, where gays and straights alike sum up bisexuality with the following quick—albeit nonetheless tactless—quip: “Being bi is nothing but a pit-stop on the Highway to Gay.”
Before I provide my disdainful opinion of such a phrase, I would like to preface it with the fact that I understand there are many a gay folk who use bisexuality as a hiding apparatus so that he or she does not have to fully come out of the closet; I thoroughly understand this. I get that it is an easy way out in more ways that one.
But that is not what I’m talking about. I am not talking about closet cases nor queers who occasionally fool around with the opposite sex. Unless you honestly think bisexuality doesn’t “truly” exist (if you do think of nature and biology in such a dichotomous, black-and-white way, I suggest you avoid this article all together and research as to why 2 can equal 1 and how our reality, theoretically, isn’t the only one that exists), your point isn’t rendered valid within this discussion.
I am talking about bisexuals, people who openly identify as being sexually attracted to both sexes with certainty and concreteness. Of course, I understand that, as of now, true bisexuals are a far rarer breed than gays and straights—I understand that oftentimes, nature disperses itself in a bell curve. However, this doesn’t negate that there are people who do identify as such and it is not in a vain attempt to hide their gayness or inability to choose.
My defenses in this arena are often paroxysmal because I find there is a disturbing and almost sickening disjunction hiding behind both of these moments.
Given the first moment, the fact is that each of their points can be equally applied to those that aren’t bisexual. A gay man dealing with another gay man still has to deal with the concept of unfulfilled desires, a fight to always ask questions, the possibility of requests for sexual favors that aren’t the most appetizing, and most certainly the increased chances for cheating. In fact, particularly on that last note, someone who cheats is dealing with something within themselves, something that isn’t being fulfilled; a bisexual isn’t more apt to cheat because he or she is attracted to both sexes. It’s not only an ill-grounded argument but a poor state of contemporary thinking that harks back to ideas that homosexuals are pedophiles and randy women are prostitutes.
With regard to the second point, it pulls me back to the days when I was informed that my sexual identity was “just a phase,” in which the right choice would be made and eventually I would be straightened out. In other words, whenever you utter to someone who claims they are bi, whether to their face or behind their back, that they are just “not making a choice” or that they “don’t need to worry, honey, ’cause we’ll see you in the Gayborhood soon enough,” you are becoming nothing short of the person who told you that what you were experiencing in becoming gay was just an illusion, a sporadic leap within your own head that would naturally even out eventually because nature only intends you to be with one sex and one sex alone (back to that whole black-and-white worldview thing…). This belief is not only deeply insulting and self-centered, but utterly incommensurable with the idea that we can freely choose our identities as we see fit and, given the struggles we have faced with our own identities, that we accept people’s identities as they see them—not as we wish to perceive them ourselves.
On an even more disturbing level, it relegates bisexuals into this untouchable group of Other and the LG(B?)TQ community begins to creepily imitate the power it is trying to usurp. The gay community has the audacity to parade around shouting “Love!” and “Equality!” and yet does not want to face the very dark fights needed to maintain such ideals—and that includes facing insecurities such as assumptions and stereotypes and personal preferences.
These things—freedom, love, equality—are not token ideologies that come out of a candy dispenser nor are they things that one is relegated to when one doesn’t have an answer; they are values and values as such cannot be maintained by soothing our own comforts and widely ignoring things that cause us to question ourselves.
It is the passivity with which we approach different sexualities other than the straight-gay dichotomy that I find highly suspect since the implications are beyond social: we are truly becoming American, isolationalists of sexuality and otherness, submerged in xenophobia.
In a world where the diversity of perspective is slowly being eroded, it is imperative to maintain a social openness to difference and to avoid hiding behind things that are easy to hide behind. Downsizing an identity, particularly within our community which boasts about its acceptance and diversity, is an utter failure on our part; it does nothing but contribute to the degradation of our mission and cohesiveness that we are struggling to maintain in a decaying space.
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