In the above-referenced blog, Kiltman makes a good point about some stuff but while I commented on his blog, I had to come home and say some stuff that wouldn’t be “right” to say on his blog, beginning with what makes him think that bisexual men aren’t honest about being bisexual? Kiltman’s gay and I have no problem with that at all – but this is a chance to debate the issue and it goes without saying that I’m overly honest about being bisexual.
He talks about celebrities coming out and Hollywood’s “fear” of casting more bisexual characters and while I do agree that these things allows for more awareness of bisexuality, what does any of this have to do with me as a bisexual man and one who’s been out before a lot of the celebrities who’ve come out were even born? I don’t feel that if I weren’t out, I should do what others have done about coming out, famous or otherwise because there are some consequences that one must be aware of and, as my mother said to us over and over, “You don’t give someone a stick to beat you with.” You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand what this means and for a lot of bisexual men, just jumping out there and yelling, “I’m bisexual!” to the whole world could get you beaten – and, hopefully, only metaphorically – with a two-by-four.
As I’ve said too many times, coming out isn’t as easy as it sounds and even I changed my tone from “Yeah, you should come out!” to “You should only come out if you absolutely, positively, have to…” – too many people have had their lives destroyed by being honest about this and given some of the damage I’ve personally seen, nope, if you can get by and you’re hiding in plain sight, do what you gotta do. Given the mood of the world about bisexuality, there are those who would cry foul at what might appear to be blatant dishonesty; those same people would say that by not telling the truth, a partner is – not could – at risk… and while it is possible, it’s more like frightened bullshit because we cannot just assume that someone partnered with a bisexual man is going to be at risk for anything.
It assumes that all bisexual men are having the sex and then doing it unsafely; some are, but not all, but this isn’t really the point. The point is that coming out will invoke fears within those you come out to, some rational, some irrational, and it’s not a given that the person you come out to is just gonna say, “That’s okay, baby – I love you anyway!” And because a guy doesn’t broadcast to one and all that he’s bisexual doesn’t mean he’s not being honest. Okay, do I know that there are bi guys out there who aren’t being honest with themselves about it? Yeah, I do, which is why I say that before a guy can be honest with someone else about his sexuality, he’s got to be honest with himself first.
I do not believe that if some celebrity comes out, there should be a rush for other bisexuals to jump on the bandwagon. I personally don’t give a fuck if some celeb makes the news about their sexuality because that’s them and not me; I’m not gonna live my life based on what someone I don’t even know does when it comes to this – again, it brings more awareness just as it brings out all of the naysayers and their usual raft of shit that’s anti-bisexual. I’ve said, on other occasions on this topic, that we as bisexuals aren’t coming out in droves because we don’t have to. While full social acceptance would be nice, if we only come out to the people who need to know – and that sure as shit ain’t everyone on the damned planet – then it’s all good; otherwise, if a bisexual man chooses not to come out, that’s his decision to make and if he has to deal with the consequences of his actions – and we all do at some point – then that’s just the way it goes.
Who gives a fuck that Hollywood doesn’t portray more bisexuals on TV or in the movies? I don’t but, again, when they do, it is a sign that they’re getting their heads out of their asses a little more and dealing more with a bit of reality than the fantasy that is their craft and trade. I’m not gonna get upset if I’m watching a show that doesn’t have bisexual characters; I’ve stopped saying, “How about that?” when I see gay folks – real people – announcing their gayness on the shows I currently watch and I recognize that it takes guts to say that you’re gay while a half-dozen TV cameras are pointed at you and recording every word.
And that’s fine… I just don’t see bisexuals doing it. I can get my head around why gay folks want us to come out – they did it and all in the public/social eye… but not without getting their heads handed to them repeatedly and then with greater gusto when they fought for their right to marry and be treated like every other married couple. I give them big props for standing up for their rights but, as I’ve said, their fight isn’t our fight.
Kiltman said something about bi men not wanting to be seen as being gay – and this is on the real. I know that I don’t want to be seen as being gay and I said, in my comments, that not only is it insulting but it’s inaccurate. This, all by itself, is enough to not make a bi man say anything about his sexuality and more so since it’s been widely put out there that a lot of gay men firmly believe that we’re actually in denial about being gay, that we’re using bisexuality as a transitional stepping stone toward being gay and other things that’s just plain bullshit. There are enough haters – or, really, people who have been severely frightened by bisexuality and the shit being said about it – to make most bi guys feel the need to keep this to themselves or maybe a select few.
The truth of the matter is that if “society” wants all bisexuals to be front and center and announce their choice of sexuality loudly and clearly, um, all the negativity being heaped on us ain’t helping the cause – it’s defeating the purpose and I’m not quite sure why there is a purpose to begin with. Other than being able to come clean and all of that, there’s no real benefit to coming out; we have much to lose but very little to gain and that, of course, depends on the individual and their situation. Yes, we’re concerned about acceptance… but perhaps not so much about being accepted by society and a society with a mindset that is anti-bisexual as much as it is anti-homosexual. We want the people closest to us to accept this thing about us… and there are many people who just don’t give a damn if you’re bi or not so telling them is a complete waste of time and when bisexuals happen to run into someone who doesn’t give a fuck about it, it’s like getting punched in the liver to them – it’s emotionally painful to bare your soul about this and then learn that the person you told doesn’t care one way or the other.
I don’t knock Kiltman for what he had to say… but I’d really be interested in hearing his take on exactly why he said what he said about men not being honest about being bisexual. If he means that bisexuals should have some kind of global coming out party, well, I don’t see that happening – remember the two-by-four. If he means that bisexuals should be openly honest with people they come in contact with, well, that’ll only happen if the bisexual has a damned good reason for being that honest. This is one of those life situations where we think that honesty is the best policy… but we live in a world with a lot of people who can’t handle the truth and that tend to react badly when the truth kicks them in the groin and follows up with a liver punch for extra effect. I’d be grateful to Kiltman if he would tell us why, oh, why, would we, as bisexuals, want to subject ourselves to such prejudice, the stereotypes, and the misconceptions when coming out, in the big picture, isn’t going to lessen the prejudice against us.
I’d really like to know why there are those who feel it’s wrong for us to hide in plain sight. If part of accepting our sexuality – and no matter what that happens to be – is being comfortable with it, um, stepping into a lake full of piranha isn’t what I’d call comfortable or safe… or even smart. I think about what Pyx said about why she’d never date a bisexual man (and I’m really wondering where she is and if she’s still pissed with me) and even as comfortable as I am in my sexuality, that stung and I’m thinking that any bi man who happened to read what she wrote would have felt the sting as well. I’m not pissy about it – she spoke her mind on the matter and gave the truth as she understands it – and that’s part of the point of this writing because if someone who’s kinda out there like Pyx is has this opinion of bi men, how many other people feel this way? How many of those people are the ones who are close to us, that we consider our friends or associates, that’s our family?
Sure, they might feel the way they feel – their right and all of that – and you might even hear it from them; that doesn’t feel good even when they’re not talking to you so you can imaging what it would feel like when their words are directed at you, or when you lose a friend, a lover, a wife, girlfriend, or fiancee, have your family turn their backs on you, trash your working relationship with the folks you work with, have your name dragged through the mud in the community you live in…
Or otherwise turn your life into a living hell. Does anyone think it feels good to know that there are some people out there who firmly believe that if you’re a bi guy, you already have HIV/AIDS and every other STI out there… and even if you’ve never had the sex or take every precaution if you are having the sex? To be labeled a cheat and when you’ve never cheated on a partner in your life? To have your mental stability questioned; to be seen as someone who can never have a long-term relationship with anyone; to be seen as someone who is so fucking horny that they have this dangerous sex haphazardly and even mindlessly as well as indiscriminately? To be subjected to all of this and much more… and just because of the way you feel about men and women?
Some of us can deal with all of this – I do but, again, even as open as I am about it, it doesn’t make me feel good even though I know the truth about myself even if no one else does. But there are many more who can’t deal with this so they choose not to deal with it by hiding in plain sight or, if it suits their purpose, never even peek out of the closet. Gay folks have shown us that it’s often not safe to be so honest and along the lines of self-preservation, it just doesn’t make sense to be like a lamb lead to the slaughter or being thrown to the wolves, or any other metaphor that applies in this: Why give someone a stick to beat you with?
Oh, my, I’m ranting again! I’m trying to suss out the logic in this and the more I hear people making their case to why we – bisexuals – should be more open and honest, the less sense it makes. It could be said that people who are already out kinda make light of the situation; they’ve gone through whatever hell they had to deal with when they came out, they survived it, and they might even say that if they did it, everyone can do it… and that’s just not the truth. I don’t make light of it because I know it isn’t easy, that the truth isn’t always accepted and there’s a happy ending after it’s all said and done. I know what it’s like to lose friends, to be made to feel like an outsider and have others turn their backs on you. It takes time to get over this shit; it takes a strong will to continue along a course of “social misbehavior” when you know there’s a lot of opposition; it takes time to get to a point where you really don’t care who knows you’re bisexual and to be able to say, “I’m sorry you feel that way but it is what it is?” It takes some nerve to tell a person to their face, “Look, just because I like pussy and dick doesn’t make me a bad person! And it doesn’t change who I am – I’m still the same person you’ve always known; it’s just that now you know something about me that you didn’t know… and now you’re acting like this?”
Shit, I’m still ranting… but fuck it. My stance on this is if you feel you can be honest about this and come out, then fine – do what you gotta do and I honestly hope you survive it. If you feel it’s not in your best interest to do this, then don’t; yeah, you’re gonna catch hell when someone makes your sexuality about them, you know, that “what about my feelings?” thing that always seems to come up. You will be on that raft of shit for not being open and honest but if you are, your raft will become a cruise ship of shit because we all know that in a lot of things, honesty is not the best policy and that some people can’t handle the truth even when they demand to hear it.
Fuck celebrities. Fuck Hollywood and doubly fuck the media. None of us should be made to embrace our sexuality because some famous person has so publicly done so. What, if your friends decide to jump off a cliff, are you gonna jump off with them? What the people pushing for bisexuals to come out into the open are forgetting is that, in this country – and if nowhere else in the world – we have the right not come out if we don’t want or have to. And if we are hiding in plain sight, this is also our right to invoke if it suits our purposes.
We decide and no one can make us do it if we don’t want to. I’m gonna finish watching “The Voice” now before my blood pressure goes up…