Monday, April 30, 2012

I Thought Bi-Phobia Went Out of Style

It all began last week when I listened to episode 288 of the Savage Lovecast.  Dan Savage had a supposed expert on bisexuality on his show to help a lesbian who was frightened of bi ladies.  Sadly the expert was kind of a dipshit when it came to his advice, which was "guard your heart for bisexuals may stray".

A few UK posts have caught my attention in the last few days as well.  The first was a post by Louise McCudden on the blog The F Word.  In it Louise discussed female bisexuality and the prejudice some gays and straights have against bi women.  The second piece was by Ludi Valentine on Lesbilicious. This post discussed statistics on bi folks and why the term "gold star" when describing a lesbian who hasn't had sex with a man, is offensive.  After listening to Savage Lovecast and reading these two posts and the posts that were linked to those posts, I found myself thinking (as I often do) what the fuck?

Twenty one years ago (yes I'm kinda old) I came out as bisexual to my friends.  It took another two years to tell my mom, family, and my dear grandmother.  Though I didn't always get the best reactions (my mom had a fit & my gran & I didn't speak for a year) I knew that it was important my loved ones be clear as to who I was and that I may not just marry some dude one day.  When I told my ma, I had my first encounter with bi-phobia.  She said something about bi's passing diseases off to married men.  Even then I thought "perhaps these married guys ought to keep their dick's in their pants."  Luckily my mom got over herself in regard to my orientation and would only a few years later come with me to an LGBTQ Pride celebration.  In fact there was one girl I dated who my mom bugged me about getting back together with for years.  Never once did she give me grief about the men or women I dated unless they were idiots.

Anyway I did encounter bi-phobia from folks but usually it was at it's most cutting from my fellow queers.  I was told to choose to be a lesbian by a few gay women and men.  The straights that had an issue just seemed more confused about it more than anything.  I was never told by a straight friend to make a choice, even if I could tell they were somewhat uncomfortable.  But the days of allowing anyone to try and tell me how to live my life have long past, so I guess I was a bit surprised to learn this whole bi-phobia in the queer community was still... in fashion.  I mean bi-phobia just seems so passe.  Of course any prejudice should have been gone long ago so why should the gays be exempt.

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I am not a unicorn.  Meaning, the fact that I came out as bi when I was young and married a woman (rather than a man) doesn't make me a rare magical creature (even if I like to think of myself that way).  And for the record I still identify as bisexual.  Sometimes I'll say gay for shorthand when I'm dealing with strangers or have a short amount of time or are just too fucking tired to explain my life, but I am bi.  And you know what?  My wife is not threatened by this in the least.

Just today I mentioned my latest Hollywood crush Ryan Gosling to my wife.  And she kindly said "maybe we could play Drive."  And I was like HELL YEAH!  Because she knows in the end, regardless of of the other people I'm attracted to, she is the one I want.  And she also knows that if she had happened to come with the proverbial "third leg" I'd have loved her all the same.  Because it's what's in her heart that connects to mine and not what is in her pants (though I must admit I really like what's in her pants).

Fear will not keep us safe.  Yes some bi girls date men after they date lesbians.  Lord knows I pretty much dated in a consistent pattern of girl/boy/girl/boy for most of my romantic life.  It never meant I wanted one sex over the other.  I simply went where my body and mind were most intrigued.  It had nothing to do with anything other than that, and if someone was so insecure with themselves that they assumed anything else, then that sure as heck wasn't my problem.

For my wife and I it is perfect that I am bi.  She in her own way is duel gendered and has always wanted someone who not only accepted that but appreciated it.  I love both women and men and for me, being with her is like having my cake and loving it too.  Gay, bi, straight.... it's all just labels and words anyway.  In the end it's the heart that chooses a mate, not the label you cover it up with.

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