One of the biggest questions a lot of guys ask regarding bisexuality is how do you know if another guy is bisexual? The answer is, at a high level, “You don’t – there’s no way to know if he is or not unless you ask him.” There’s so much hullabaloo about bisexual visibility and while it’s true that a lot of male bisexuals (in particular) are closeted, there are many more who left the closet behind… and unless they told you, you still wouldn’t know that they’re bisexual. Once upon a time, you could easily identify a gay man and for them, this was a problem because it painted a huge target on them and, as such, very bad things would happen to them. At some point, gay men came to the understanding that in a society that has such a conditioned hatred of homosexuals, the best thing for them to do was to hide their homosexuality as much as possible and in the best way they could manage.
“Straight-acting” gay men began to appear; many dropped their feminine affectations in public to appear to be just another macho guy; some gay men, in order to keep their jobs and other things along this line, actually married women since, at the time, if you didn’t have a wife or a girlfriend, it was a “clear indication” that you were gay… and, no, saying that you just haven’t found a woman you wanted to be with wasn’t seen as a viable excuse. I’d even seen some straight-acting gay men do a fairly good job at pretending to be very interested in women and all for the purpose of keeping their sexuality a secret and to avoid persecution.
Even when a bi guy is deep in his personal closet, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s bisexual; it doesn’t matter if he has actual experience or he’s biding his time to get into the game at the right moment; the point is that even when a bisexual isn’t out, you still can’t tell if a guy is bi just by looking at him (see what I did there?). I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “You don’t look like the type!” when I’ve revealed my sexuality to someone; likewise, I don’t know how many times I’ve asked, “What does the type look like?” in response to such a statement. I know what the type looks like, by the way – those shamelessly flamboyant gay gays who’d have you believe that they’re more woman than the real thing so, yeah, I can see how this crap about “the type” came about so, sure, if you’re not behaving in this very stereotypical manner, you are effectively invisible.
When talking to other bi guys about this, one of the things I keep pointing out to them is that they could be standing in a line somewhere… and the guy in front of them, next to them, behind them, whatever, could be just as bisexual as they are… and you wouldn’t know it even if the guy was out of the closet. Some guys wonder why their “gaydar” seems to be broken, you know, as if it’s possible to sense this as easily as you can, say, smell a flower. True, there are some guys you can see (or even know) and sense that there’s something different about him and without really understanding how you know this and more so when the guy under observation isn’t acting like the type… but it’s not a sure thing and, yup, some guys tend to find out that what they thought they knew about a guy was dead wrong and embarrassingly so.
Could you tell if a guy is bi by paying attention to his body language? Nah, not really; for example, practitioners of the martial arts move with a grace and economy of motion that can be mistaken for feminine-like movement; ditto for professional dancers, athletes, etc.. Hell, there are some guys who are just naturally and normally graceful and fluid when in motion… doesn’t mean a thing where their suspected sexuality is concerned. It has always seemed to me that those folks suffering from biphobia wind up with worse “symptoms” because bisexuals are not easily identified; there’s a faction or two out there who are still calling for all bisexuals to get out of the closet, step into the light, and make it known to one and all that they’re bisexual… and I’m still wondering exactly what purpose that serves because like I said earlier, a guy can be 100% out… and unless he told you, you still wouldn’t know if he was bisexual… and, fuck, even if he did tell you, what are the chances that you’d believe him because, you know, uh, it doesn’t make sense that a guy would be into women and men and more so when it’s still being said that bisexuals don’t really exist.
Yeah, right… sure they don’t. One of the things I feel being ignored where bisexual visibility goes is how private people can be about what goes on behind closed doors. If there are people who are not of a mind to put their, ah, sex business in the street, what makes you think they’re gonna be willing to confess that they’re bisexual because, um, you know, it’s not like it’s any of your damned business if they are or not. So even if they were bisexual, chances are pretty good that if they think you’re not one of those people who needs to know this, ah, they will look you dead in the face and categorically deny that they’re bisexual… because it’s none of your fucking business. And, while we’re at it, er, um, why are you asking me about my sexuality in the first place? Is there something you wanna tell me? Hmm?
My protegé and I talk about this a lot. He feels that if bisexual visibility were to improve, it would go a long way toward fostering bisexual acceptance… but I’m not sure how that works even though it sounds good because, again and again, you could be standing next to a bisexual and not know it… because there’s no way to know that they are unless, again and again, they tell you… and why would they do that? There’s no “incentive” for every bisexual on the planet to come out and be identified (and as if there’s really a way to accomplish this); for many, it’s true that if it were known they went both ways, it could be catastrophic for them which is exactly why some bisexuals stay in the closet – it’s just “safer” for them. It’s true that there are bisexuals who don’t give a flying fuck about being out… but it remains true that unless they tell you that they’re bisexual and out, um, how would you know they were bisexual? Sure, ya might have heard some stuff about them… but now it’s a matter of what you might suspect being one thing… and what you can prove being something entirely different. Yes, you can ask them (if you dare) and, no, just because they don’t answer the question doesn’t mean that they’re bisexual – you might think this is true only because sometimes it is… but it isn’t what I’d call universal, undeniable proof. For all you know, they could be thinking about whether or not it’s worth the hassle to cuss you out, punch you in the face, or just walk away and ignore the question… because how they enjoy having sex still ain’t none of your goddamned business.