My Bi Musings
My first boyfriend was bisexual, and I hated him for it.
I hated that he could wander off at any moment, find a girlfriend, and enjoy a heteronormative lifestyle. I hated that he had the “option” to go the “easy” way when it came to things such as acceptance, having a family, finding love, etc. I hated that he could ignore some of his desires and still be left with a world full of possibilities. I hated that he didn’t have any “mannerisms” or tells, and that he could hold a conversation with a group full of straight guys. I hated that he wasn’t fully “mine.”
That hatred was what ended us... And it ended every relationship I’ve ever had with bisexual men. (3 in total)
And now, years later, I finally realize that the real issue was me.
There’s a big problem in the LGBT community when it comes to bisexual representation and bisexual support, and I’m guessing a lot of that comes from fear and jealousy, regardless of the excuses many will make. (I know I had plenty at the time)
Time and time again, I’ve seen gay men try to rebuke bisexual men whenever they bring up their attraction to the opposite sex. They try to get an answer as to which sex they prefer, or convince them that they’re better suited with the same sex because of points A, B AND C. They throw themselves at Bi men as if they’re conquests, as if to prove something, as if they’re going to push them over the gay cliffs and splatter their bodies along the gay shores of gayville, never letting them step foot outside the cock-only zone again. And let’s not forget just how homophobic the gay community is. How “No fems” is etched into every grindr profile around the globe. So, when a bi man comes along – a bi man who doesn’t have any “tells” that most gay men do – it’s bonus points if you can snag him.
Bi men are often omitted from the conversation when it comes to gay rights. After all, they have the “choice” to play it straight, right? So, why should they get a seat at the table? They can run and hide, whereas we must take whatever abuse is hurled at us… Right? I’m right, right? (Of course not, but this is a mindset I’ve seen a lot, and it’s one I used to have)
On the flipside, do you know how many straight women say they’d never date a bisexual man? Not only do they share similar fears that gay men do when it comes to having a relationship with someone who is bisexual (that they’ll leave them for the other gender, etc) but they ALSO question the bi man’s “masculinity.” After all, since he enjoys doing the deed with men too, he’s not a “real” man – which is, ironically, the reason so many gay men fetishize bisexuals.
So, we have a community full of ravenous gay men who want to sleep with, and to a degree, take ownership of our imaginary bisexual man. Meanwhile, we have the majority (based on straight women I’ve spoken to about this subject**) of straight women saying they won’t date him because he isn’t “man” enough for them.
We have someone who has the capacity to fall in love with absolutely anyone, and yet our first concern is how we’re not the sole object of their desire – as if that concern is strictly limited to bisexuals and not any relationship we get into.
You know, I’ve been with a – insert one figure short of slutty – number of gay men and about half of that number cheated on me. However, out of the three relationships I’ve had with bi men, I never had a reason to be the insecure mess I was. I’ve also been in bars full of gay men, only to focus solely on the bi guy once I unveil his sexuality, regardless of if he’s my type or not.
Why do we have such a weird relationship with bisexuality?
At this point, you might be wondering why I’ve only mentioned bisexual men, and the reason is because bi women face a whole different set of issues with their sexuality.
While Bi men are usually shoved into the gay category and get into relationships with other men by omission, bi women are usually not taken seriously in society and are still expected to settle down/grow out of it regardless of how many women they’re with.
If you were to ask me why there’s a double standard with men and women in the bi community, I’d say it’s the same thing that creates double standards with all matters involving genders – masculinity. A bi man has his masculinity brought into question; it’s his masculinity that attracts gay men, and his lack of it that repels straight women. Since women aren’t judged based on their masculinity, it stands to reason that their sexuality isn’t taken as seriously. AKA straight men aren’t threatened by other women, therefore being with a bi woman isn’t an issue – perhaps it’s even fetishized (albeit in a different way compared to how gay men fetishize bi men)
This also shines a light onto why it is women might be more open about their sexuality and willing to admit to things such as experimentation, etc. After all, if a woman sleeps with 5 women, she still (likely) won’t have trouble finding a male partner, but if a guy sucks one cock and it gets out, he’s labelled gay for life, even if it was nothing more than curiosity that led him to it.
So, what can we do about it?
1. Well, the first thing you can do is openly admit why it is you harbor whatever resentments/hang ups you have toward Bi people (and anyone who identifies as anything attracted to more than 1 gender) because it’s only once you do that – as I did at the start of this article – that you can grow past it. Admit to yourself that you’re jealous of their options or acknowledge that it’s your own insecurities about your self-worth that scares you from being in a relationship with someone who is Bi. Once you let that go, you stop being part of the problem and can help become the solution.
2. Stop vilifying bisexuals in media. Stop erasing bisexuals in media. Stop fetishizing them. Stop treating them like conquests. Stop using bisexual as a stepping stone when you come out, further cementing the idea that the sexuality doesn’t really exist.
3. Realize that their sexuality, like yours, like mine, like your mom’s and my granddad’s, has absolutely nothing to do with you. And if you’re lucky enough to be the one person that they fall for out of a world full of options, realize how truly special that is.
It really hurts me when I see people (especially in the LGBT community) brushing off the struggles of bisexuals – though not nearly as much as it hurts them, I’m sure. It upsets me to see them fetishized, to see Bi men discarded because of a gay man’s/straight woman’s insecurities, and to see Bi women not taken seriously. And the saddest part of all is that we always find a way to blame them. We blame their capacity to love anyone as the reason we can’t be with them, as the reason we can’t trust them, as the reason we can’t let them into our community…
It needs to stop, and while the ramblings of one gay man won’t solve much, I hope something I’ve said connects with whoever stumbles upon this article.
And lastly, to any Bi person reading this, I want you to know that I’m sorry for not being a better ally in the past. I want you to know that it’s never been about you, and that any issues you encounter based on your sexuality are all to do with the other person.
You’re capable of loving so many people, cherish that, and don’t let anyone dump their shit on you for it.
Where to find TC
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Amazing post. As a bi woman, I always appreciate commentary on bi relationships and erasure.ReplyDelete
One part that hit me was about bi men and women not thinking they are real men. I'm sorry to say that many years ago, I missed an opportunity with a wonderful bi man, not because he wasn't man enough, but because I was threatened by the idea of not being able to meet all of the sexual needs and honestly, I was concerned with disease. This was 20 years ago and I didn't know shit about solutions for both of those concerns. It's good that now we are able to be more open, and with the advent if the interests, we can also be more educated.
I've been with a wonderful bi man for over twenty five years now, but if I had a penny for all the people that have said to me recently "you live with a bloke so you're straight now right?" I'd - um - well, I'd probably be able to afford a rusty 1989 Transit van with 3 wheels and no MOT, but I digress.ReplyDelete
So many people on either side of the fence see sexuality as black and white. You're either gay or you aren't right? Well - no.
Thanks for this piece, Craig. Love ya.
Thank you. 😍ReplyDelete
Another great post. Really enjoying how you tackle topics head on.ReplyDelete
Very interesting post. "I hated that he wasn’t fully “mine.”" reason is something I have come to expect in books with bisexual characters I read, and I don't know if that's something that can be overcome.ReplyDelete
Amazing post! My daughter is bi and I found this very interesting.ReplyDelete
Great post very interesting.ReplyDelete
Thank you <3ReplyDelete
Well said, thoughtful, honest & open. Thanks. Not to oversimplify, bc one of my points is that we tend to want to simplify things, easy answers, and dichotomize into one or the other. But I believe in Kinsey's idea of a spectrum, and most of us fall in between the two extremes with a little of both. Which leads to my other thought that if you are self-confident about your sexuality (no matter what your orientation), then you're not threatened as much by others'. But not just the gay world is rife with self-hate, but even the in a straight world men and women can be threatened bc they may subconsciously see a bit of themselves in others who are "disgustingly" different.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this. It's opened my eyes on things I have heard from time to time.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the post. Bi-sexuality is often condemned, but I have a couple of bisexual friends who are loving as caring and really open mindedReplyDelete
very thought provoking postReplyDelete
Great post and very intriguingReplyDelete
Thank you for the post, it was intriguing and I hope it helps others and give them some food for thought.ReplyDelete
Yup! Very true! This post gives you A LOT to think about!ReplyDelete
This is food for thought. Thank you for sharing, TC.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your very enlightening post. I thoroughly agree with all you've said, especially #3. Much, much to think about. Be well, TC.ReplyDelete
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