Some time ago, I read a rather lengthy article from a “reliable” source that sought to apply demographics to bisexuality. The article cited things like living in urban areas, being at or below current poverty levels, a lack of education, ethnicity, and joblessness as the epicenter for risky bisexual behaviors and mainly among men. They did mention a rise in domestic abuse instances among bisexual women as well as date rape and other despicable things but the gist of the article was about bisexual men.
It had me wondering where they got their information from and noted that, as the media tends to do, they carefully omitted some things and, notably, that there are a lot of people who don’t fit the demographics they mentioned who are bisexual and, at a high level, no more or less than anyone else who is. Their data are skewed – or got that way – as a lot of well-known celebrities came out as being bisexual but instead of adjusting their demographic statements, much of the media chose to field the question of whether they were really gay and, I don’t know, maybe because their celebrity didn’t fall into the demographic information all that much since many celebrities don’t live in urban areas, aren’t anywhere near poverty levels, are college educated, from all walks of ethnic life, and they obviously have a job.
If you’re gonna tell it, tell all of it and not just the part of it that fits your view of things and more so when you’re going to make a “point” that male bisexuals are a clear and present danger to everyone. Is the information the article provided accurate? Yes… but they only told one side of it; they left out the larger demographic group who makes up the middle class and definitely didn’t say anything about those in the upper class who, just like anyone else can, are getting their bisexual freak on.
The article almost specifically called out Black and Hispanic men and, yep, they got that part right because there are a lot of Black and Hispanic bisexuals; the article sought to downplay white and other ethnic bisexuals and I remember reading all this and thinking that I knew more white bisexuals than any other ethnicity – and that was just where I grew up and lived; once I got traveling to other places, I got a more broader picture of things bisexual and while I could better see how inclusive male bisexual was in reference to race and those other things that article mentioned, reading the article had me wondering what the fuck was the media trying to do.
Of course, it mentioned men being on the DL and making a point to state that this behavior was a great threat to women because if a man was on the DL, he was engaging in very risky sex and was responsible for the continued spread of STDs and HIV… and I thought that, okay, this much is true… but they still didn’t tell all of it and, notably, the part where there are a lot of men getting some dick action on the side who are not contributing to the health risks to themselves or anyone else for that matter. They inferred that if you’re bisexual, you’re prone to being subjected to or initiating all kinds of abuse, are drug users and other such things and, again, making me wonder where they were getting their information from but also recognizing something I was very familiar with:
You can make the data say anything you want it to say. One of the things I had to learn in order to do my job was statistical analysis which is some pretty cool stuff but even in the business world, I could see how some data were being left out in order to make the results fit the way they wanted things to say. It was something that used to piss me off since, having access to the raw data, I could easily see what was being omitted and I got miffed when whoever ordered the analysis would lose their shit when the results didn’t fit the way they wanted it to and I’d wind up manipulating the data to their specific results and results that, more often than not, didn’t tell the whole story that the data really told.
After reading the article, I could see how the media source only took the data that supported their position in order to write the article and to send the message that if you were male and bisexual, yeah – that clear and present danger thing as well as offering up the opinion that male bisexuals were really on their way to being homosexuals and, yep, in denial and all that other stuff. My thought was, “This is some bullshit…” but the thing that got to me was the number of people who were believing what this particular article – and others like it – were saying and now there were a lot of bisexuals not only believing it but spreading the misinformation and as if it were the gospel truth of bisexuality and male bisexuality.
And it isn’t. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see someone on Twitter and other social media spouting the misinformation and giving it such weight and importance when, methinks, they should be paying more attention to their own sexuality and how to be the best bisexual they can be – and in the face of all the spun-up misinformation and more so when, if you were to really pay attention to it, you’d see that, again, the whole story isn’t being told and the media is having a field day basically fucking with people with the way they present the data but, at the same time, playing on our fascination with celebrities who, hmm, don’t ever seem to be included in the doom and gloom messages about bisexuality… and a lot of bisexuals just love to talk about how cool and nice it is that this celeb or that celeb came out as bi and like them doing so gives validity to bisexuality.
It makes me want to throw up at times. Fame and fortune doesn’t make bisexuality “okay” in that sense and you can’t hold up the “rich and famous” as examples while downplaying or outright denigrating the regular kinds of people for being bisexual. Most of my bisexual experiences involved white, middle to lower upper class guys. Well educated. Being employed not so much of an issue at those ages but, sure, some of us had jobs just the same. The majority of the families in my neighborhood were more middle class than poor and, yeah, most of those families were Black so, sure, all of us guys were having a fun good time having sex with each other and any girls who’d let us have sex with them. And this was back in the 1960s and, yeah, times were hard back then and not all that different from how hard times are in the here and now as far as joblessness, fluctuating poverty levels, education and shit like domestic abuse and mental illness goes; those things haven’t changed much and are facts of the matter… but the media never tells the whole story.
Just the one that fits their point of view or whatever message they’re trying to convey, like, all bisexuals are fucked up but, again, celebrities? They’re kinda/sorta okay; they are lauded for their bravery in coming out while often writing about how many bisexuals come out and get their whole lives FUBAR’ed for telling the truth about themselves. And at fault are… bisexual men and those who fit the aforementioned demographics… but not so much any bisexual man who doesn’t fit them.
Cityman and I often talk about this and he’s got this… thing about education and financial standings where male bisexuality goes that I find both funny – and because he sounds like a lot of other people I know of – and “disturbing” because he’s paying attention to what the media has been saying as well as other sources of misinformation and I tend to caution him about looking at things like that because it creates a bias and as such things tend to do in others that won’t allow one to really see bisexuality for what it is and that there are no barriers that bisexuality doesn’t easily leap over. Things like education, financial standing, where you live or where you grew up and including ethnicity means nothing because, duh, anyone can be bisexual and for whatever reasons makes sense to them.
But there are those who’d want to make you believe that these things are a factor in someone being bisexual and negatively so. And, might I be allowed to point out that a lot of this misinformation is of the same kind I heard about homosexuals and homosexuality? If there’s a difference, it’s that we’ve become adept at spin-doctoring and taking any raw data and making it say whatever we want it to say… while conveniently not telling the whole story or all of the facts that the data reveals.