Last night – and while I was watching the WWE pay-per-view, I was thinking about something, like, that I’m bisexual, have been like this for almost fifty years – and bisexuals today are worried about the same internal issues that I worried about way back in the day, with a couple of differences like bi erasure, and that idiotic “straight privilege” thing.
The same things, stuff I ran head first into five decades ago and I thought, “Fuck! Nothing’s really changed in the last fifty years, has it?” That’s not entirely true… but it is if you temporarily set aside the fact that more people are identifying and even coming out as bisexual – there’s much more visibility and much more of a push to let the world know that we’re not totally straight but we’re not totally gay, either. I dunno… I guess I had in mind all of the blogs I’ve read about bisexuality lately and noticed a very familiar theme when people were writing about how they felt about being bisexual, the issues they have, the fears they have and, yeah, even cases of mild denial and a resistance to being labeled a bisexual that’s almost as fierce as a bisexual being labeled as gay.
We’ve changed so much in the last fifty years… but some of these things were issues that I dealt with, like acceptance, not wanting to be pegged as being gay or other confused about my sexuality identity. I had to be aware of and even concerned about the social angst and, at times, outright hatred, prejudice, and violence that was hurled toward anyone who appeared not to be straight. There were the issues about coming out, feeling that… potent urge to tell everyone that I was sexually liberated and then some because I had gotten my head around my duality; and then I learned – and easier than a lot of people have today – that sometimes, the best thing to do about this is to keep your mouth shut and don’t worry so much about who knows or who might find out – and then be able to defend yourself one way or the other if that became necessary.
Fifty years ago, I was asking myself a lot of questions I didn’t have the answers to, like, why did doing something I was told never to do make me feel like a gazillion dollars? If doing this is a sin, why does God allow us to behave like this? What am I gonna do about this? What the fuck am I doing? What the double fuck am I feeling? Why do I want to keep doing it like this? Should I? What happens if I get caught, if someone finds out? And people are asking themselves similar questions fifty fucking years later. They’re either feeling good about being bisexual… or they’re still trying to work it out in their head, millions of unanswered questions bouncing around inside their skull and then learning that there’s no true “right” answer to these forbidden thoughts, feelings, and desires even though today, unlike fifty years ago, there’s more information readily and easily available about bisexuality than I could have imagined back when the only source of information was the public library.
Some of the information available about bisexuality is, in my opinion, psychobabble and pseudoscience. Fifty years ago, you might be accused of being gay when you weren’t but the only time someone questioned your gender identity and/or sexuality was if you displayed a proclivity and fondness for wearing your sister’s clothing. If I thought the concepts of bisexuality were tough to grasp fifty years ago, things like gender identity, the gender bias, and the like only serve to confuse the issue. I understand that science has more of a reason today to explore the mystery of bisexuality than it did fifty years ago, back when homosexuality itself was still considered to be a mental illness. It got me wondering, as I watched A. J. Lee defeat Paige for the Diva’s Championship, why we, as a whole, didn’t find a reason to explore human sexuality beyond Masters and Johnson’s stunning observations on human sexuality that hit the scene around the time I was born. They’re doing it now… but in a way that I feel (at least at this moment) not only doesn’t answer the questions of bisexuality people have today, it wouldn’t have answered the questions if this information was available fifty years ago.
I see that society is just as myopic about sexuality today as they were fifty years ago; homosexuality wasn’t seen as being a real and true sexuality state and that was despite the obvious evidence that homosexuality was still quite alive and well… or about as well as it could be given the high degree of sexuality bigotry. Over time, okay, homosexuals are real and while our society (and maybe even the global gestalt) tried to get their heads around a lot of issues in this, bisexuality was always right there, hiding in the cut, and going unobserved and no one seemed to consider that Masters and Johnson had it right, that there is something between heterosexuality and homosexuality. It never occurred to them fifty years ago and, fifty years later; they still believe that it’s inconceivable that there are people who are not straight or gay. From time to time, you’ve seen me write that our society (and maybe the world) have a Sith’s attitude about this because they think in absolutes and only see things in black and white and assume – for reasons I don’t pretend to understand – that a person is either straight or gay: There’s no middle ground despite the historic evidence that this middle ground exists… and it always has.
I thought that one of the reasons for this sparsity of change and understanding had a lot to do with our attitudes about sex. Today, just like fifty years ago and despite the sexual revolution that’s still in progress, sex is still a very private thing; we’re taught not to discuss with anyone and even then only in general, vague terms if it is spoken of. I reasoned that this… desert of understanding doesn’t exist because of what we don’t know about sexuality and even bisexuality – it’s that we just don’t fucking talk about it and to do so usually gets you slapped on the wrists and with varying degrees of hardness. In this line of thinking, it’s no wonder that bisexuals today are worried about the same internal issues that I faced fifty years ago; silence is not golden, ignorance is not bliss and, yes, what you don’t know can hurt you, if not immediately, then somewhere down the road.
We have the same concerns about STDs that existed fifty years ago; we assume that the more people who engage in “non-standard” sexual behavior are guilty of the spread of STDs while glossing over the fact that you can be married, straight and faithful and can still contract a STD. Yeah, today, we have HIV/AIDS on that list of bad shit you can catch… but things like genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, and even chlamydia and UTIs have been around like forever, just waiting in the wings to strike the careless or, in some cases, the unlucky.
The religious angst is still the same: If you’re doing shit that ain’t married and straight shit, you’re right up there with the worst sinners ever. Back in the day, I wondered – and even had the nerve to ask a minister – about sex and religion and, yeah, I got my head handed to me big time for having the nerve to question religion’s mandates about sex. But just like fifty years ago, there are bisexuals today who are wondering about their relationship with God – if they have one – and how it might be in trouble because they’re bisexual… and even the answers to this are pretty much the same because we all come to the same conclusion: If this is the way God meant us to be, so be it – His Will be done.
I’ve seen men walk on the moon; I’ve seen a Black man become President of the United States; we’ve made technological leaps that are just fucking amazing and we’ve even unlocked and decoded the human genome. I mean, shit, we have cars that can park themselves! Yet when it comes to sexuality – and bisexuality in particular – we’re still just as much in the dark about this as I was five decades ago; someone today who knows or is just now realizing that they’re bisexual is facing almost the exact same crises I had to work through. It generated a few rhetorical questions: Why don’t we know more? Why do we refuse to believe and accept better than what we’re doing now? Why can’t we accept the evidence of our history where human sexuality is concerned? How does it benefit the human race as a whole to totally and completely be in denial about bisexuals and bisexuality? Instead of things getting better, they’ve gotten ‘worst’ because there are, today, people who are behaving like bisexuals who’d adamantly deny that they’re bisexuals.
And at the root of it, it’s my belief that we have our heads stuck so far up our asses that we’re just flat-out scared to admit that if there are straight people and homosexual people, then there has to be bisexual people and it would explain much as to why nothing has changed in the last fifty years that I’m aware of. Yes, we’re making some progress, progress that’s being blunted even in the homosexual world that we just cannot be what we say we are and all that does is add to the confusion that, yep, I fought through decades ago, creating even more questions that there are no ready or even sensible answers to. Even with the greater acceptance of homosexuals – which I never thought I’d live long enough to see – we’re still being hammered by the same mindset that existed when I started down the path of bisexuality: If you’re not straight, you’re about as wrong as it gets and it continues to amaze me that in five decades, we still haven’t changed our minds about that.
And bisexuals still struggle with the same things I faced and eventually overcame fifty fucking years ago. Amazing… just simply fucking amazing…
Gevalia coffee time…