A couple of weeks ago, I was looking through my Tumblr dashboard to where I came upon an image speaking of “bi-erasure.” My sudden reaction was, “Are you kidding me? We’re going this far? We haven’t even conquered understanding of queer monosexuality in America.” The same blogger had various posts including, facts about bisexuals being discounted from “gay marriage” and etc.
I was convicted and then asked more questions comparing myself to the rest of the LGBT community.
When I first came out, I did not think I was gay I actually came out bisexual. It was only to my sister, my parents, and a few friends. It was only my journey to full understanding, especially since I held myself celibate to my “gay side.”
A month later when I came to accept the fact that I was only attracted to men both sexually and romantically, bisexuality confused me. Is it actually real? Or is it an actual “trend” (unlike heterosexuality and homosexuality) like my 10th grade biology teacher proclaimed?
My toughest question was, “If half of the queer population is actually bisexual, then why are so many ‘straight-leaning’?”
My guy friend in my new gay-straight alliance told me he was bisexual, but why had he only experiences with women? Heck, over 60% of my gay-straight alliance claimed being bisexual, but only were seen mostly with people of the opposite sex. Let us not forget the tons of celebrities that claim to be bisexual, but end up marrying someone of the opposite sex.
I could understand lesbians because they were monosexual and only liked the opposite sex of me. (Though, I was still frazzled why the hell they would be.) I could understand transgender because it seemed to be just of a more dynamic and bigger experience of understanding my queer monosexuality.
Yet, bisexuals? Make up your mind, eh?
Heck, asexuals made more sense because it just seemed to be like someone who was without hair just sexual attraction to homo sapiens.
Then, came my friend….let’s call her Betty. Betty had sexual experiences with my lesbian friend, but when I talked about guys she got excited also. Yet, why was Betty not in a relationship with my lesbian friend anymore? We went to LSU for preparation of this queer conference coming up, and Betty was in awe of some of the other girls on campus. Even running after them humorously. Betty with her long, shiny black hair and petite build.
Some would say after considering this behavior, Betty was the stereotypical bisexual – a “slut.” Yet, is that the reason why some of us don’t understand? Is it really just that we do not understand a person’s high sex drive?
After I came out, I thanked God I was not bisexual because I realized how frustrating it would be. How would I even be able to go anywhere? Being gay was hard enough. Oh yeah, that’s right gay men are all sluts, too. Yet, I have been celibate and Betty…..she has not really been out much since her past girlfriend.
I still was confused, though. My gay friends and I would ask each other questions wondering if people were just calling themselves something queer because “it’s cool” or because they “were just a Kinsey 1.”
Why were all of these bisexuals still marrying people of the opposite sex? Fergie? Marlon Brando? (Though not yet married) Angelina Jolie?
I soon learned that Freddie Mercury of Queen was the primary example of “bi-erasure.” Forever people have marked Freddie Mercury as the “homosexual of blah blah era.” Yet, Freddie very well called himself “bisexual.” Why would he write a song like “Fat-Bottomed Girls” anyway?
The epiphany came to me later. Bisexuals have a lot of decisions to make……..and maybe even more out-number the gays……….they…………. just are not all out.
As a Kinsey 6 gay man, heteronormativity pisses me off daily between the lingo of “mancrush” and “bromance” to the wife of a heterosexual couple taking her husband’s last name. Yet, a bisexual is in this flow of heteronormativity and their sexuality. A “tug-of-war” you may call it. What am I saying?
Bisexuals have so many options. “Do I want to marry a woman or a man if I am a woman or a man?” “Do I prefer someone with facial hair or do I prefer someone with boobs?”
Of course, a bisexual has their own experiences that shape who they will go for in the end, but really monosexuals, do we really give them enough credit?
If a bisexual is to have a same-sex relationship, that takes guts to even proclaim. “So gays and lesbians do not take risk and adventure?” That is not what I am saying.
Voluntary Coming Out
A bisexual more voluntarily can “come out” in comparison to a homosexual, who has to live with a mask to not get as ostracized as they could be while not in the closet. It is moreso mandatory for a homosexual.
A bisexual can live a fundamentalist Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness lifestyle without ever coming out. Of course, it will be rough with the random encounters of the same sex, but they are more voluntary.
Biphobia and Heteronormativity
Yet, a bisexual also has the biphobia, bi-erasure, systemic homophobia and etc. etc. to deal with for just having attraction to the same sex at all. A bisexual makes a statement of valiance and bravery to come out whenever they do not have to at all because they want to stand with their fellow queers for the fight of rights and justice and love.
A bisexual deals with heteronormativity on a different level. “If I get married to someone of the same-sex, do I want to have children by surrogacy and/or artificial insemination or do I just want to adopt? On the other hand, straight marriage is easier for the sake of natural insemination?” “How can I relate with my gay partner if I’ve only had straight relationships?” “Do I want to marry someone of the same-sex in a state hundreds of miles away? Will I have to move?”
Overall, the respect and patience for bisexuals needs to be given more exceedingly by gays, lesbians, and straights for their multisexual orientation. We need to understand the decisions they must make, the sex drive they experience at any level, and the levels of heteronormativity and biphobia they encounter. Do not call them “lesbian”, “gay”, “straight”, and etc. unless they permit because they are “bi” or “bisexual.” Refer to them as “bi” and/or “bisexual.” You wouldn’t want someone calling you “half-bisexual,” would you? Gays need to understand their differences of options. Straights need to understand what the term “queer” means in all different areas if not done already. Who knows….we’re both likely to end up with one of our own.