A rainbow for the post on bisexual erasure

Bi, Bi, Birdie

You might find the topic I have chosen to write on a bit strange. But I have thoughts and sometimes I have the need to express them. This is one of those times. If you would like to read Molly’s point of view on her sexuality, please check out her post “Changing Labels

I believe in equality for people regardless of gender or sexuality or race or really any of the other criteria that people use to try to divide into “the other”.

It has been with great pride in humanity that I have watched (and maybe contributed too) the strides that our species has made in accepting gay marriage and all of its other permutations. Really just the growing realization that who we love doesn’t matter, you know what I mean #loveislove.

Sure we still have the backwards places that seem to think that it matters what you have or don’t have between your legs when it is time to visit the bathroom. But great strides in LGBT have been made. The end of the war is in sight! Time to celebrate out victories and march bravely forward into our future of equality, or is it?

Maybe not. It seems from this outsiders view that perhaps parts of the LGBT acronym are not being shown the same support and acceptance as the others. In this case I speak of the B. Yes folks the dreaded Bisexual. The sexuality selection that no one seems to like, both the straights and the gays seem to think that they are

  • Greedy

They just want it all like the big ole sluts they are, cock, pussy, cock and pussy, they are just having all the fun and leaving no one for us to have sex with.

  • Cheaters

Obviously they could never be monogamous, don’t be ridiculous. If they are with a man they will cheat on him with a woman and if they are with a woman they will be dropping their underwear for any Hung, Dick, or Hairy.

  • Hiding that they are really gay

Once they have a true gay relationship they will never want that icky other gender.

  • Hiding that they are really straight

Once you have gone hetero normative you will never go back!

  • Going through a phase

Like they are some sort of confused teenager who will stop dressing like a vampire and get a REAL job.

  • Are only doing it for the threesomes

Well of course they are, remember from the first bullet about how greedy they are and stealing all the good sex? This is a prime example.

Now I can sort of wrap my head around the fact that some straight people (homophobic ones) have problems with “The Bi’s” after all they hate the gay stuff and bisexuality is the road to the devil’s penis. But I get a bit confused with the L and G people, why are they so concerned? Surely they must realize that like gender, sexuality lives on a sliding scale just like kink does too? How on earth are they threatened by the desire to play on both sides of the divide?

I don’t have the answers to these questions since I don’t have any desire to play with people of my gender and so I am not qualified to speak from any point of view other than my own.

So I did what I always do when I need to expand my lack of knowledge and I appealed to Twitter for assistance and as always Twitter came through. It seems I know a fair number of people who identify as Bisexual and were willing to help out so I am going to share these words I have written will all of those who have responded and share with you their actual real life experiences instead of the crappy straight male notions that I have probably gotten wrong. So without further ado.

Horny Geek Girl

When I first realised (okay, someone sat me down and told me) I was Bi it didn’t really occur to me that it could be a problem. Maybe it’s because I was living in a sex blogger community bubble where the only experience I really had of a range of sexualities was positive. The people I talked to were all (for the most part) very open about it, and welcoming of each other.

This may have given me a false sense of security. The first time I went to a meet-up for an LGBTQ group I had found online I wasn’t worried about hiding my bisexuality, I hoped I might even meet some other bisexuals. The first meet was lovely, everyone was really nice and friendly, I had a great time. They mentioned other meets and that it would be great to see me. Two girls on learning I was self-employed even asked if I’d fancy just meeting for drinks in town sometime. I was really happy with the whole thing, we moved from the original meet location to a pub, and everything was great. There were a few discussions going on, and right next to me two of the guys were talking about giving head. One of them said something about gag reflex, and the other wasn’t sure what to suggest as it wasn’t an issue he had, so I leant over and offered a suggestion. Maybe I phrased it poorly or maybe it would have caused issue either way but there was silence at the table. Instead of saying thanks, or good suggestion I was asked, “Aren’t you gay?” I laughed, “I’m bi, isn’t anyone else?” There were head shakes, and no’s. The guy who had been looking for advice gave me a smile and said, “I’ll try to remember to have a go at that, cheers.”  Then conversation shifted and everyone was just chatting again.

I didn’t really think much more about it. Figured it was just one of those things. Then I went to the next meet up, and while people were perfectly polite, it felt like it had lost that warmth, the welcoming feeling the first meet up had. While people did speak to me, it was very brief, and I didn’t feel included. When I left there was no, see you again, or offers to meet up. And the girls who had taken my number before never got in touch.

It may have just been because it was a different situation, or it might have just been me. I haven’t been back to a meet up since though. Which is a shame because I felt so positive after the first one but the second one left me feeling really deflated.

Ruby Goodnight

You mentioned that all sexuality is on a spectrum. I agree. Maybe reiterate the fact that also means that bisexuals don’t necessarily have 50/50 split with attraction. Also – maybe define Pansexuality as a differing way to view bisexuality?

I like what Ruby had to say about what I missed, of course it is not just a three way split, straight, bi, or gay. Rather it seems to me you can be closer to straight where mostly your attraction is to those opposite your self identified gender or mostly towards those of an opposite gender, or anywhere in between. And I think that it could certainly change over time.

As for Pansexuality she brings up another good point because your identification might not be of any one gender, as well who your are attracted too might have absolutely nothing to do with gender at all.

Sub-Bee

I think the one point you have missed is actually the one I have most difficulty with.

As a bi female in a monogamish relationship with a male, people assume I have made my choice and that choice is to be straight. Likewise if I was living with a female partner I would have made my choice as being gay.

The real erasure issue, for me, is not the lack of acceptance by either straight or gay people but once I am in a relationship I am no longer seen as a bisexual person.

Louise Lace

I’ve never really put a label on my sexuality, I don’t like to put myself into a locked box.  I like to be free to explore my wants, desires and needs as they arise and not rule anything out due to labels or stigma.

Neither hubby nor I would actively describe ourselves as bisexual, yet we have both engaged in many same-sex play sessions.  I say ‘play sessions’ as that’s what they are to us, a time to play and enjoy ourselves with partners in a sexual way regardless as to what genitals they happen to have.

However, there is no love involved where our play partners are concerned.  Lust? definitely, but love?  No.  Love is the thing that binds my hubby and I together and it is what our marriage is built upon, a love for each other that in our little world, cannot be distributed.  To label ourselves as bisexual feels like an injustice to those who are in loving relationships with men, women or both.

This and what Domsigns covers so brilliantly in his writing is why we feel the need to keep our bisexual tendencies limited to ourselves and not broadcast it to the world.  We don’t feel worthy of the Bisexual title nor do we want to face the negativity shown so often, from those within their own LGBT community.

 

Hurricane Nic

 I do have a pretty decent understanding of some of the reasons LG people like to erase and exclude us bi folk (and pretty often trans folk, too.)

Part of it is the name. We don’t say heterosexual, we say straight. We don’t say homosexual, we say gay and lesbian. But bisexual has sex in it. So right out of the gate, there’s an association with sex in our orientation that’s more muted for monosexual folks. This affirms the idea that we’re greedy, oversexed hedonists. (Which…yeah, some of us. No reason to think we’re more likely to be that way than straight or lesbian or gay folk though.)

So if bisexuality is just who we have sex with…wait. Wouldn’t that mean all the lesbians and gay men who have ever had sex with straight men and straight women respectively are actually bi? (It doesn’t. There are plenty of reasons that have nothing to do with orientation that would lead to a sexual relationship that doesn’t fit orientation. Wanting acceptance in family and faith communities, safety, sex education that erases pleasure and desire so thoroughly that they don’t realize they’re supposed to want and enjoy sex and relationships. These aren’t even rare.) This adds a really personal, visceral aversion to allowing bisexuality to exist, because it’s perceived as opening non gold-star gays’ sexuality to questioning. The questioning would come from straight or other gay people–in my experience bi folk are really good at separating experience from identity–but to someone already experiencing homophobia, I can understand the impulse to close any other possible avenues of attack.

We also fuck with the narrative. A huge part of support for marriage equality came from the idea that gay and lesbian people are born that way–there’s a lot of belief that there’s a single gene like an on-off switch and you’re either straight or gay. It’s a bad narrative–we’re born children, and children aren’t sexual. Gender can’t be determined from appearance 100% of the time. Variation in sexuality is perfectly natural, as much as left handedness and ambidexterity, but treating it as an immutable inborn trait implies both that fluidity and bisexuality are disordered and the existence of immutable biological gender.

 On which note. Both straight and gay people seem inclined to call attractions to androgynous or exceptional people not of their preferred gender “confusing,” or conflate gender with genitals (if I never hear another gay man’s diatribe about vulvas being “disgusting” it will be too soon.) And now we’re back to the earlier point. Current mainstream gay and lesbian people aren’t any more comfortable queering gender than your average straight people are. The face of the community that gets media attention are cisgender white couples who pretty much conform to gender norms and whose primary political issue was marriage equality (sorry to disappoint but that’s not even close to full legal equality or equitable treatment). That’s the face of gay and lesbian existence that straight people are comfortable with. Bi and most trans folks don’t fit that comfort zone, so we aren’t seen, and unseen is unaccepted.
There’s a lot more going on than just that but I’m already being long winded. Basically bi people confuse straight people and gay and lesbian folk. We raise questions they don’t want to think about and it’s easier to just pretend we don’t exist.

I’d like to thank all of these wonderful people who took the time to read my nonsense and add their own contributions. If you would like to add something I would love to hear it, the comment form below awaits your attention.

Michael

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