Seriously, though. Why not?
When I first admitted to myself I was bisexual, it felt like I had finally snuggled into an outfit that fit me. I was relieved that my attraction to the LGBT+ community was rooted in something other than the taboo. Because I grew up in a very conservative part of my country. Women were nurses rather than doctors, cowboys were still a thing, and when your driver’s license was taken away, it was acceptable to angle park your horse outside the bar. Okay, maybe not strictly acceptable, but it close enough to normal that nobody objected. (Farm towns were like that.)
It took me years to reconcile my identity with the fact that I had a thing for both men and women. I had to come out twice to my mother. With my brand new label, I felt I could finally join the LGBT+ community that had been so unreachable to me as a kid. But I was shocked by what I found: I wasn’t gay enough for the clubhouse. I was a backwards bisexual redneck who hadn’t spent their formative years in a city with access to queer spaces. I said the wrong things, I was too rough and obnoxious, and I represented a lot of what the community recoiled from.
The redneck part I understood. I could change that. Eventually. (Homophobes needed to quit being such goddamn pussies about everything first.) University helped smooth out some edges. But the bisexual part? That wasn’t going anywhere. The B part of our little alphabet only counted when bisexuals hitched up with certain slices of the LGBT+ demographic. Ironically, our community and mainstream society shared the same prejudice. Bi’s didn’t count, they were greedy, in denial about their true sexuality, experimenting, natural born cheaters, or unicorns to spice up the bedroom for other couples. Committed bisexuals who kept being bisexual after entering a relationship? Gosh, you’d have better luck finding hobby horse shit.
Or maybe we’re everywhere and people don’t want to see us. That’s usually how these things work, isn’t it?
But we can pass as straight. We’re privileged. We get off the hook sometimes. Yeah, yeah, I get it. It’s hard not to be pissed off at the institution of straight cisgender folk, especially when a well-documented chunk of them insist on being such mouthy, self-righteous cu…jerks. I’m there. I got you. But we’re not straight, we’re not even half-way straight. For all the talk of orientation and gender being on a spectrum, bi people suddenly have to pick a side. (Gay or GTFO.) There’s plenty of bigots out there already fine with beating the bejesus out of every letter in LGBT+. Doesn’t anyone learn from history? Never fight on two fronts. But that’s exactly what people are doing because only part of bisexuality fits comfortably into the mold.
Things I have heard thus far:
- “Sorry, I don’t date bisexual women.”
- “Why don’t you date more women?”
- “You’re probably lesbian and in denial.”
- “You’re probably straight and experimenting.”
Am I resonating? Am I making it clear how very hypocritical and irritating all of this is? I hope so. Because if I knew people would be this way about bisexuality, I would’ve stolen all the clubhouse snacks and ran back to the closet. Bisexuals aren’t the only ones either. People who identify as ace? Pan?