My late and revered mother had a great store of sayings and some that I’d first hear them, I’d go, “Huh?” because it didn’t make sense and like this one: “You never give somebody a stick to beat you with!” Now, this one really didn’t make sense because I can remember too many times being told to go to the privy bush, pull off a branch or two, strip all of the leaves off of it, and bring it back so I could get beaten with it… and giving her a stick to beat me with.
Of course, she was teaching me a few lessons, like, oh, don’t get your ass into the kind of trouble that’s gonna get my ass beaten in the first place and by sending me to get her something to beat me with, yeah, that does something to your mind that suggests that, hmm, maybe whatever I’d done to deserve the beating wasn’t a smart thing to have done.
I saw yet another tweet about the rise of discrimination against bisexuals in the UK and how something must be done about this and every time I see stuff like this, the first question that pops into my head is, “Um, how can you be discriminated against if no one knows that you’re bisexual to begin with?” I am all too familiar with the stick you can give some people to beat you with by coming out as bisexual and just like the lessons my mother taught me about this, if you don’t put your business “out in the street,” you keep the stick out of the hands of those who would beat the shit out of you with it.
I’m kinda remembering other and past tweets about this where some bisexuals were saying that they were turned down for jobs because they’re bisexual, refused housing, and just treated like shit and, again, the question in my mind would be, “Well, how did they know you were bisexual?” And, really, if you give someone a stick to beat you with, guess what’s gonna happen?
Okay. There are those who need to know this about you… and then there are those who so many find out that, yeah, they shouldn’t have given them that stick and that’s usually the people that you know and trust more than some “stranger” walking down the street and somehow divining that, hey, you’re one of those damned bisexuals! Get him/her! Of course, growing up with this, I learned quickly that there are some people who do not need to know that I’m not straight, well, not totally and completely. It was bad enough to be discriminated against because of the color of my skin and learning that this just “automatically” puts that stick into someone’s hand because, well, some people are like this and for no good reason. There’s nothing to be done about the color of my skin… but I could do something about not giving someone a stick to beat me with because I wasn’t straight and like I was supposed to be and, yeah, assumed to be.
Lie. Deflect. I would neither confirm nor deny any allegations of not being straight. Categorically deny that I had no knowledge of what they were talking about. Created quite the conundrum because such things are just wrong… but getting beaten by a stick – and sometimes literally so – that you put into someone’s hand is also just wrong as well. What made this worse was feeling compelled to tell someone about this. I had learned not to – and usually by finding out what happened to someone who did tell “the wrong person” – but that compulsion to let the whole world know was pretty powerful. Indeed, the very next day after I got my introduction to dick, I couldn’t wait to tell all of my male friends what I had learned! It felt great to tell them and even greater when most of them already knew what I’d just found out. Yeah, some of the were like, “Ew! That’s nasty!” but, um, would later change their stance on that but, yeah, sometimes, I’d tell someone about this who I thought I could trust and find that I gave them a stick to beat me with and now I’m down one friend.
I’ve lost a lot of friends because I felt the need to put that stick in their hands and trusted them not to beat me with it. It’s happened enough times that I really did learn who my real friends were and, again, given the overall hatred of homosexuals displayed by people I knew and adults I trusted, I just learned that even though I wanted to tell them – because I felt compelled to – yeah, I’d better not… because I’d be giving them a stick to beat me with, metaphorically or literally so.
It’s a… terrible secret to keep to yourself but you learn, at some point, to keep it. You get to know someone and to the point where you start sharing stuff with them that you’d not share with just any-old-body and you let them know that you not only like having sex with girls, you also like it with boys and… you just put that stick in their hand and trusting them not to beat you with it and the bad part was always not knowing if they would or not or thinking that they’d take the stick and put it down… but that’s not what they did.
You go through this enough and, at some point, you just don’t give much of a fuck if someone else knows or not and more so when all it took for someone to get a stick to beat you with was for them to suspect that you were gay and that was reason enough to try to beat you with it in some way and the worst of them all was running around and telling everyone that blatant lie and now whatever reputation you had has now be permanently tarnished and no one will ever see the “good” in you and no matter how much you try to remove the “gay blemish” from yourself. And, yeah, knowing that I wasn’t gay didn’t help matters all that much.
You learn that people are going to believe whatever they’re going to believe even if what they believe isn’t the truth. True enough, homosexuals were being beaten with sticks and discriminated against when trying to get jobs, going to school, finding a place to live, being denied service in restaurants and other places of business. If people today think this is bad now, they have no idea of how bad it used to be but, you see, some gay folks had a problem: You could literally look at them and tell that they were gay. Which got them into acting straight. The logic was sound: If you look, act, and sound like you’re straight, no one is going to fuck with you and I’d seen this to the extent where gay men and women were getting into relationships with accepting straight folks because people believe what they see so if you see a man and a woman walking down the street holding hands and putting on PDAs, well, they’re both straight, right?
This is the same bullshit bisexuals are being accused of and not being… intelligent enough to know and understand that we are straight. Just not all that straight. I have been discriminated against trying to get jobs, housing, and a few other ways… because I’m Black but never because I’m bisexual and that’s because it’s none of their fucking business and Mom, as usual, was right: You never give someone a stick to beat you with. Still, I did get to a point where I didn’t give a fuck who knew I was bisexual, and you fuck with me about it at your own peril. That didn’t mean that I was running around and telling everybody because that’s just not a smart thing to do.
You learn that people can be quite intuitive, and I used to be quite surprised when someone would say that there’s something different about me and… they got it right. I could deny it and sometimes I would because if they were that intuitive to have figured this out about me, I was that intuitive to know that confirming it would be… giving them a stick to beat me with. Or I can neither confirm nor deny that which you think is different about me or, yeah, “What you talking about, Willis?” I have no knowledge or memory of this and no idea why you believe that there’s something different about me.
And, sometimes, yeah, you got me. Then getting even more surprised when they say something like, “That’s cool!” along with them being insufferably pleased with themselves because they were right about me. Oh, well. The cat is not only out of the bag, but the bag got stolen with the cat. Nothing to be done for it and now it’s just a question if that very intuitive person puts the stick down or feels the need to take a swing at me with it. And… I got to not caring one way or the other and if they decided to beat me with the stick, well, time for them to teach them how big a mistake that decision was. You should’ve just left it alone.
When you know you’re different, you learn some shit about it and especially that there are people who are not going to like that you’re different than they are and more so when I grew up in a time when homosexuals were being brutally beaten and murdered for being different. You really get to see how… ugly people can be, and it can make you seriously lose faith in your fellow man. If you can be discriminated against, someone will find a way to do it and they can be quite petty about whatever it is they feel they need to beat you with a stick with and whether you actually gave it to them or not.
So when the cry went out throughout the land for all bisexuals to do the right thing and come out to everyone I was like, “Yeah, let’s not and say we did…” because even if those who answered the call didn’t know what was going to happen, I knew it. Been there. Done that. Became adept at dodging sticks. Coming to the conclusion that people are on a need-to-know basis and there are people who just do not ever need to know. Seeing men and women getting caught up in that fucked up situation where they’re in a relationship and… the shit hits the fan and aided by the stick their partner is trying to beat them with. Friendships ruined. Relationships destroyed. Families turning their backs. Being accused of a lot of shit that didn’t happen.
Why didn’t you tell me about this? Why did you lie and betray me like this? Well, I didn’t tell you… because I knew you were going to act the way you’re acting now. Did I lie? You think I did but I didn’t but enter the lie of omission and where someone thinks that you should have told them something but since you didn’t, you lied to them. No, it was just something I saw no need to tell you about because, in my mind, this bisexual thing about me had nothing to do with my thoughts and feelings about you. Did I betray you? You think I did but methinks we have different views of what that means. You just get sick and fucking tired of having this stick in play and listening to someone losing their shit about how they feel about something that started out being about you – and now it’s all about them.
And… you get to a point where you just don’t give a fuck that they’re losing their shit over something they are proving that they’re incapable of understanding and, oh, yeah, did you miss the part where I said that my being bisexual has nothing to do with you? Yeah, you did and because I’ve been subjected to this too many times in my life, you’re not going to understand why I’m not really paying attention to anything you have to say. You find out who your real friends are and you sure as fuck find out who really loves and accepts you for the person you are.
Sometimes, you don’t have to give someone a stick to beat you with because someone else already gave it to them. Now it’s on you to not give them a reason to use it on you and, yeah, even if it’s killing you inside because you want to tell them; you want to share this very exciting thing about yourself and you know that if you do, they’re going to beat you with that stick and on top of you shooting yourself in the foot. Here’s the thing I’ve never been able to understand:
Why does one always feel compelled to come out? I kinda get that you want to share with those you feel, think, and believe you can share it with, but you also know that you could be making a huge mistake by doing this. Your intelligence says, “Yeah, don’t do it. Just don’t.” but emotionally? Your emotions are telling you to shout it to the mountaintops and, man, that’s just insane because, again, you know what could happen because you know the people that you’re dying to tell about your bisexuality and how it’s changed your life in some pretty good ways, well, uh, it was good before some of those you told are looking for that stick to beat the shit out of you with and, again, they probably already had it – and now they get to beat you with it because they were taught to beat people who aren’t like them. Hate them; despise them; go out of your way to just fuck their lives up and in any way you can get away with and all because they believe some shit – and was taught some shit – that isn’t the whole truth of things.
You cannot be discriminated against for being bisexual if those who’d discriminate against you doesn’t know that. I understand that, for some, being bisexual can make one paranoid; you know that everyone who sees you knows that you’re not straight – and this is some real shit, too, because I used to feel that way during the teenaged years and into my early 20s. I intelligently knew there was no reason for me to feel paranoid but, yeah, whew, it took me a while to get this particular monkey out of my head but also finding out that some people didn’t give a flying fuck if I was bisexual. Do you, boo. Oh, you go both ways? At least you can always get a date, huh? Hah, hah.
Fuck you, Woody Allen. You still don’t ever give someone a stick to beat you with but, yeah, sometimes, you have to. Indeed, it gets kinda funny because if you’re looking to have sex with someone, um, don’t you have to let them know – or confirm – that yes, you’d be very interested in having sex with them! “Expecting” them to read your mind or something doesn’t work but, yeah, there’s a risk in letting someone know that, mmm, us blowing each other would be so nice and this is so exciting to you that you have to keep yourself from drooling but, shit, if you tell them this, you don’t know how they’re going to react and especially if the person you’re lusting after is someone you know.
And it fucking sucks to find out that you didn’t know them as well as you thought you did. It’s embarrassing and, once they beat you with the stick you gave them, it can be quite painful to hear what they’re saying or sometimes, doing. You get to a point where you have to ask yourself if letting others know your secret is worth the shitstorm that’s likely to happen when you tell them and even when telling them is the right thing to do. You give them the stick and they beat you with it and… you just take that beating because telling them was the right thing to do and it had to be done.
It’s not your fault that they don’t, won’t, or can’t understand. It’s not your fault that some people are taught to hate anyone who isn’t straight. It’s not your fault that they believe something you found out that, well, maybe they shouldn’t believe it. The truth does, in fact, hurt and it can set you free in ways that you might not want to be freed. I don’t know about other bisexuals, but I quickly got sick and fucking tired trying to explain myself to someone who is proving to me that this coming to the surface was a very bad idea. I took the position that if you don’t like the fact that I’m bisexual, all you can do is not like it and, short of killing me, nothing you can do or say is going to change the fact that not only am I bisexual, but I’ve pretty much always been bisexual.
You get tired of people beating you with the stick that is all about them. How they feel. What they think. How hurt they are to have been lied to, betrayed and all that other stuff that they’re feeling and all because you felt that this was something you could share with them and you even needed to and… this shit. I tell you a truth about myself and this is how you act? Maybe now you can understand why I didn’t want you to know this but you just had to go there and your search for the truth wasn’t going to let you just leave this alone and more so when what I am has nothing to do with you.
You can’t be discriminated against if you don’t give someone a reason to do this to you. Like I said, there’s nothing I could do about the color of my skin and being discriminate against because of it. It really and truly sucks in the worst ways imaginable and more so to see how this hate can consume people. Bad enough that the color of my skin gives some folks a stick to beat me with… so why would or should I give them an even bigger stick to wail away on me with? Logically, it doesn’t make sense to do this until pain is something you really enjoy and especially the emotional pain that’s involved.
If you know this about me, you just know it. I’m not going to volunteer it because I have learned the hard lesson that there are some people who need to know… and a great many people who don’t. Huh? You have reason to believe that I’m bisexual? Okay… so what? Depending on how you’re now coming at me, I might say, okay, yeah, I am… now what? Come at me sideways with your hatred and prejudice and, well, I’m going to ignore you and you’d do well to not keep fucking with me about it because I know how nasty my temper is and it tends to scare me. I understand that you’re feeling some kind of way about this and chances are good that I know why you’re swinging the stick at me, and I am kinda/sorta truly sorry that things have come to this but, ah, do you remember me telling you at some point to never ask me questions you’re gonna find out that you didn’t want to hear the answers to?
Yeah, this is one of those questions. I’m not of a mind to give someone a stick to beat me with since, when I have, I’ve gotten beaten in some way. Mind your business and stay out of mine. If what you have to say about it is negative, I do not want to hear it and you’re not going to say anything to me that I haven’t heard already and too many goddamned times. I’m not going to give you an extra opportunity to discriminate against me and deny me a place to live; the color of my skin can, has, and will do that all by itself. I know that, legally, an employer cannot ask you about your sexuality and not like they used to be able to although they have learned some sneaky ways to ask about it without doing it in a way that could land them in court. We can avoid this clusterfuck… because I’m not going to say anything about it because I don’t have to. I’m here to try to get the job I know I can do and my sexuality has nothing to do with my ability to do the job and even if it did, I’m not going to let you know that because, since I need this job, it’s not in my best interest to give you a big stick to beat me with.
I don’t doubt that there are those in the UK and even here at home who are being discriminated against because they’re bisexual, but it also makes me wonder if it ever occurred to them that, again, they wouldn’t be getting discriminated against if they didn’t tell the discriminators some shit that is really none of their fucking business. It sounds weird but one of the “perks” of being bisexual is that people can’t just look at you and tell that you’re bisexual; they say that this invisibility thing is some fucked up shit but it’s also something that has kept a great many bisexuals from getting beaten with this particular stick and, um, yeah, getting beaten doesn’t feel good. You tell the people who need to know and then hope like hell that you’re really doing the right thing by telling them.
There are bi guys, in particular, who will not tell a doctor that they’re bisexual and if there’s someone who really needs to know, it’s your doctor. I understand why they won’t tell any doctor, but they also have to know that there isn’t a doctor anywhere who wants to get sue for violating both their oath and doctor/patient confidentiality. They have insurance and the premiums are, well, shit, I wish I had that money they pay for this… and the last thing they want to do is to wind up having to use it and right along with losing their license. Their job is to keep you as healthy as possible and that includes their need to know some stuff that you wouldn’t tell anyone else. My doctor knows and when I told him he just said, “Okay. Thanks for letting me know.” Yes, he asked if I’d ever or recently had sex with a man and I told him that I have and, um, I did the other day and all he did was make a note of it in my file.
Like, when I had my “bladder ordeal?” That asshole didn’t have to ask about this because it’s in my file that I gave permission for them to get from my doctor. He did say, “We can rule out HIV and STDs…” but, yeah – bladder cancer. He could rule it out because my file contains the lab results from where I’ve been tested, and my doctor knows that I know that he’s been testing me – I can read a lab slip just fine. I’m good with it.
Those who need to know… knows. Those who don’t… won’t ever know and I am good with them not knowing. I know all too well that socially, bisexuals are being discriminated against and that’s some fucked up shit… but that doesn’t bother me a whole lot because it’s none of society’s business how I get my sexual jollies… unless they’re offering. I stand by my right to be bisexual and it’s not like my right is being taken away… because it can’t be taken away. I can’t be erased and I’m not really invisible because you can see me… but, yeah, there is something about me that you probably don’t need to know anything about because my mother was right: You never give someone a stick to beat you with and this is a very big stick these days.
Does my lady know? Yes, she does. The important thing is that she knows that my sexuality has nothing to do with my love and desire for her and that I am… what I am and have always been and she does think it’s pretty cool. Do I look like the type? No but, then again, I do… because I look like any other guy you might see and/or know. The type looks like… anyone. And, um, if you dare to ask, I might deign to answer but don’t get shitty with me if you don’t like the answer… because you were warned not to ask. I don’t want your feelings and sensibilities to get hurt and I sure as hell don’t want to go through this shit again. And, by the way, if you now have it in your mind that I want to jump your bones, don’t flatter yourself: You’re not that interesting.
If you gotta come out, you gotta do it but you also gotta know that you just gave someone a big stick to be the shit out of you. It… doesn’t make sense to do this but, again, sometimes you have to and if there are lumps forthcoming, well, you wind up taking them and move forward from there. I say again and will keep right on saying it: Bisexuality isn’t the problem – it’s all the people who don’t believe that people should be anything other than 100% heterosexual. It sucks to have someone losing their shit over finding this out about you when, before the “big reveal,” everything was cool between you… and now shit has possibly been irrevocably fucked up.
Or not. It depends. It’s one of those judgment call kinds of things and you hope and pray that you guessed correctly about their ability to understand this about you. If you did, fine but if you didn’t, here comes the stick and it’s gonna hurt. Your employers don’t need to know. Those you seek housing from don’t need to know and neither does financial institutions. Really, what does my sexuality have to do with being able to get a loan or to get a mortgage? Mind your business and let’s stay focused on the business at hand.
It’s… funny because we are so private about having sex but when it comes to having sex as a bisexual? Now it’s not supposed to be private? How does that work? That I like to suck cocks is none of anyone’s business unless, of course, you’d love for me to blow you and provided that I don’t mind doing it. Otherwise, you do not need to know because I have deemed it so and that’s because I have zero patience for the dumb shit that I’ve spent my life listening to in one form or another…
And my mom told me to never give someone a stick to beat me with.