I’ve been sitting here, watching TV, playing games on my tablet and iPad… and just thinking about being bi, the pros and cons of it and trying to figure out at what point bisexuality became a sociopolitical animal. The sociology part I get and I’ve always found the psychology fascinating but now there’s some political shit going on with all this talk of heterosexual privilege and bisexual erasure. I was thinking that the reason why a lot of people don’t really understand bisexuality and the reason why they’d rather believe all of the stereotypical bullshit is that we have a failure to communicate and this failure is allowing a dearth of factual information. This communication desert just doesn’t exist between bisexual and the rest of the sexuality world – we don’t talk to each other either so there’s no real chance for budding bisexuals to get a handle on what’s going on in their mind and body.
I once again thought about the fact that if I had access to the information and support that bisexuals can find today, maybe I would have been a better bisexual; I wouldn’t have had to learn via trial and error and would have understood the implications of being bisexual sooner rather than later. When asked about what’s the hardest thing about being bisexual, I often answer, “Not having anyone to talk to about this.” I know that this can be a very private thing for some and because it is, being able to find a fellow bisexual – and sex isn’t on the menu – can be difficult. I’m still miffed with MSN for making the adult groups go away; it was a great source of information and it was just good to be able to reach out to other men and learn of their experiences, thoughts, and feelings so that I could better understand my own. At the very least, bisexual men (and even some gay men) were able to talk with anonymity on their side, creating a safe haven for those unable or unwilling to voice their thoughts about being bisexual.
I see now that anonymity has come back to bite all of us in the ass and that The Community – that would be the LGBTQ community – created to help all of us non-straight folks is also a source of the derision aimed at us, giving us more of a reason to stay under the radar or in our respective closets. They want us to come out, want us to pick a side and even while they’re calling us out about this, the stereotypes are being added to or emphasized to paint bisexuality – and in males – in the worst possible light. And bi women haven’t fared any better; they’re being seen as pretenders, perpetrating the fraud of appearing to be bisexual and interested in women when their only objective is to grab male attention.
While we kinda/sorta understand what bisexuality is – and there’s a pseudo-political debate on exactly what this really is – a lot of us don’t know how to be bisexual nor do we know how to go about defining our bisexuality instead of having it defined for us, like we’re suppose to equally like men and women, that we should be thinking more in terms of relationships than anything else and, of course, the stereotypes all apply in this ‘enforced’ definition like we all do the same things and we all behave the exact same way. And do you know whose fault this is? It’s ours and because it’s better for us to remain silent and hidden out of a sense of self-preservation… but don’t some of us get pissed because of the things people are saying about us, like we’re really gay and in denial about that and, worse, that we don’t exist at all?
I’m not saying that every bisexual everywhere should now jump up onto our respective soap boxes and start raising hell, raging against the machine that’s trying to minimize us, a pimple on the ass of socio-sexual behavior. Sure, we should speak out more to the masses – and there are ways to do this and remain anonymous… but I’m thinking more about the lack of “education” bisexuals wind up having to suffer and struggle with – and all because we’re not all that anxious to compare notes with each other. Clearly some of us deal with being bi better than others and, I dunno, it just doesn’t seem right to let them wallow in the muck; I don’t know about anyone else but I find it hard to just stand by and watch a fellow bisexual drown when I could have lent a hand.
Not because I’m some bisexuality advocate or teacher but just because you’re supposed to help if and when you can… even if all you do is listen (or read if that’s the case). It’s not really about problem-solving because while an experienced bisexual can advise on this or that, it’s still up to the individual to solve their problems and ease the struggles I mentioned in my last blog and even then with the sure knowledge that everyone’s situation is different. One of the things I say when all this crap gets going about bisexuals is that if they really want to know, um, maybe they should ask a bisexual instead of guessing and/or applying pseudo-sciences in an attempt to qualify and quantify bisexuality… but that could easily apply to bisexuals as well; if you’re not sure of what you’re doing or what you should be doing or you just have questions about being bi, ask another bisexual if you know one and if you don’t, find one – that’s one of the advantages of the Internet because, almost literally, the world is at your fingertips.
Because while you’re going through whatever’s bugging you about being bi, it helps to be able to talk to someone who knows how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, someone who can help you cut through all of the bullshit being flung about regarding bisexuals. At some point, the ones flinging the shit will eventually figure us out and that’s a good thing… but we still have a need to understand ourselves in this and as the saying goes, if you don’t know, you better ask somebody.
I admit to having yet another of my soapbox moments, a moment where my passion for being bisexual is just leaping out of me. Every day – and even several times a day – I check the Reader for the “Bisexuality” tag because I want to see what others are saying about this and, at times, what I see is disturbing; it’s either someone who hasn’t come to terms with being bi, someone having problems dealing with the social pressures, and even attempts to analyze bisexuality and then in heteronormative or homosexual terms. I know that to understand a thing it’s best to be able to examine it from every angle possible but when I see shit that say that bisexuals and bisexuality doesn’t exist or that we’re really just transitioning to being gay, well, I just gotta drag out the soapbox and speak out against what appears to be nonsense to me – I have the “advantage” of having been bisexual and in a time when people were more worried about homosexuals and all their attention was focused in that particular direction. Bisexuality makes sense to me since things like gender identity and things like that either didn’t exist or just weren’t questioned – there wasn’t a question about what constitutes being male or female; there were transvestites and cross dressers – but if there were transgender folks, I never met one of them back in the 1960s.
I try my best to keep up with all of this just out of curiosity, you know, to see where all of this sociopolitical shit is going and to understand, if I can, why it’s even taking place at all; again, to me, it’s rather simple – it’s not always sexual, it’s not always emotional, and while relationships are possible, it’s not centered on relationships as a primary focus, not like being straight is or even being gay and, no, we’re not straight but we’re not gay either. I’m often amazed to read that people don’t seem to believe that there’s something between being heterosexual and homosexual; I am often bamboozled to read about people behaving as a bisexual would but they say they’re not bisexual. I scratch my head (which explains the bald spot) to read that people won’t and don’t consider themselves bisexual because they think they’re incapable of having a same sex relationship… and it makes me wonder what these folks know that I’ve not learned… or what they’re being “taught” that is outside my realm of understanding.
I wonder if everyone else is overly complicating bisexuality or if I’m over-simplifying it but the only way I can know for sure is to keep getting on my soapbox and speaking my piece – then wait for anyone to agree or disagree or, better, toss in their view of things because there’s really no such thing as too much information. I don’t want everyone to be bisexual – I just want to see bisexuals be better bisexuals so that if we have to stand as a group, we can do so from a position of strength instead of being the red-headed stepchild begging for scraps at the big sexuality dinner table.
Time to check on my steaks…