Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bisexuality Rant

Here is a (condensed) list of reasons I was afraid to come out as a bisexual, or to label myself with the term bisexual:

1) I was afraid people would be like, "...but your'e in a committed relationship with a why bother coming out? It's not like you're actually *gay*."

2) I was afraid my boyfriend would be like, "but your'e in a committed relationship with *me* why bother coming out? It's not like you're actually *gay*."

3) My parents. Which is a whole different can of worms that finals week will not bear going into right now.

4) I was afraid people would be like, "Are you sure you're just not actually *straight* and you're just rebelling against your parents?"

5) I was afraid people would be like, "Are you sure you're not actually gay and you just haven't experimented enough and the boyfriend is just a cover?"

So, turns out, these are fears a lot of bisexuals have, and experiences a LOT of bisexuals have had as well. Here are my experiences with my fears:

1) no one's ever said that to my face, but it does come across A LOT in the media (cf one very strange episode of Happy Endings, which I generally like as a show and was therefore disappointed in, and A LOT of other things) and in offhand comments by acquaintances/classmates who don't know that there is *gasp!* a bisexual in their midst.

2) My boyfriend did not say this, having always suspected something of the sort, and though he was perhaps a little perplexed about my need to label myself, we talked about it a lot and are (I think) both pretty comfortable with it.

Did I mention that my boyfriend rocks?

3) comment. Yet.

4) Multiple people have said this to me, namely my LDS bishop and my parents.

5) No one said that to me, presumably because I've been into boys as much as I've been into girls for my entire life.

So what is it about bisexuals that freaks people out? Obviously people are freaked out by homosexuality and queerness and transgenders because they go against standard norms, but I've found that there tends to be a prejudice against bisexuals because they aren't one thing or another. They defy our human belief that things need to be in shades of black and white--you're either all gay, or you're all straight. Of course, the Kinsey scale itself pushes against this, and I'm not trying to say that this same issue isn't applicable to the LGBTQ community as a whole (and human life in general, really), but the way the media (and my classmates) tend to deal with the issue of bisexuals is to write them off as confused, because really they should just be all gay or all straight.

I still struggle with the issue of why I wanted to "come out" as bisexual when I could have just stayed hidden as a typical (...kind of) heterosexual in a monogamous heterosexual relationship. But I think it had to do with wanting to be true to myself, and wanting people to know that for me, a real expression of love wasn't necessarily dependent on gender. I told my parents not because I wanted to "rebel" against them, but because I wanted to show them the thing they were the most scared of in the world--ie, being kinda gay--and see if they could still love and accept me. It was kind of a plea for acceptance, and since I relied on them for my self-worth, I think I was also saying, "Tell me that I can be this way and still love myself, because if you love me, then I can love me too." Needless to say, that didn't turn out very well, and while I know that my parents still love me, they don't love me in a way that translates to me as "love," ie respecting my decisions and treating me like a capable, inherently good human being. But hopefully throughout this experience I can move closer to choosing how I want to define myself and how I want to see and love myself, and feel less like I need outside sources to define and evaluate me to determine my self-worth.

I'm not sure how I feel about Single Dad Laughing; I'm not crazy about him, but I do think he makes some apt points occasionally, including this list about what it means to be bisexual:

That doesn’t mean that I sleep around.
That doesn’t mean that I am confused.
That doesn’t mean that I am attracted to everyone.
That doesn’t mean that I am in transition.
That doesn’t mean that I am not faithful in my relationships.
That doesn’t mean that I will always want and miss the gender I am not with.
That doesn’t mean that I am denying my true self.
That doesn’t mean that I am into threesomes. Or orgies. Or swinging.
That doesn’t mean that I am always horny.
And, believe it or not, that doesn’t mean that I am attracted to you simply because you’re breathing and you have two legs with something in between them.
It simply means that I will fall in love with whomever I will fall in love with.
Here's the full post if you want to check it out. I thought it was interesting, though I don't know how he can live with someone who says that if she could change one thing about him, it would be his bisexuality. That seems...terrible. But it's his life, not mine.

Also, I wanted to note that it's okay not to label your sexuality, or to label it in a way different from the norm. Identifying as "queer" instead of going with the more traditional labels is often really helpful for people and really cool. Alternatively, if you choose not to label yourself, I think that can be as freeing as choosing a label for yourself instead of letting society choose one for you. This is just kind of the way it worked out for me.

(ironically, perhaps, I am now going to choose my "labels" for this post so people can search for it in the blog...I guess I can label it whatever I want to)

That's pretty much my unedited rant for the day. Now back to paper writing. Have a good week, everyone!

Also, here's a poem I found today on my friend's tumblr that served as a good reminder that if you haven't read any of ee cumming's erotic poetry, YOU REALLY SHOULD CONSIDER DOING SO.

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh … And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new.


  1. Interesting. I've been recently wondering how--if--people manage to define themselves not in terms of other people. Do you have any examples you look to in that regard?

  2. I really appreciate your point about bisexuality as a way to transcend binaries about sexuality and gender. <3