Happy Bisexual Awareness Week! If you have no idea what it is, visit the GLAAD site to learn about what this week’s all about. And check out #BiWeek on Twitter to see what others are saying. The week runs from September 19th to 26th this year, with Celebrate Bisexuality Day on September 23rd.
I missed writing something last year, but I’m on it this year. There are two posts this week. This is post #1, which is personal and touches on my issues with bisexual erasure (a.k.a. bierasure). Post #2 will be the fun one with an excerpt from my current WIP, because the 23rd is all about celebrating and I WILL CELEBRATE! *ROAR*
So without any further ado…
Hello, It’s Me, and I’m Bisexual
And that’s as simple as it gets. But since there’s always that little bit extra, let’s get this on the table right now:
No, I’m not confused
Yes, I really am bisexual.
Yes, I’m in a long-term, common-law marriage with a female who identifies more as bigender.
And yes, I find other women attractive.
But I’m attracted to men, too.
And no, I’m never going to apologize.
Because this is part of who I am.
Here’s the low-down: I grew up with the occasional crush on the occasional guy. There weren’t many that I was attracted to, and no girls I liked “that” way, and they certainly never returned the interest. (I also had zero clue that bisexuality was a thing — until high school, I didn’t even know being gay was a thing. There was no talk in our schools, nothing in the TV shows I watched or books I read, and none of the adults around me talked about it.) So public school and high school were a little… lacklustre in the romance department. I didn’t date. I didn’t have sex. I never got to explore exactly who I was in terms of those things. I knew I liked guys and they didn’t like me — that was it. Then again, I was a complete misfit that only other misfits seemed to understand. And those misfits became my chosen siblings. I was weird, odd; I was a thinker and a writer and studious, and if people other than my friends or teachers liked me, they certainly had a screwed up way of showing it.
But in university, things changed. In my first year, at twenty years old, I came around to bisexuality. And I discovered what it’s like to elevate the status of one of your best friends to girlfriend after thinking about her in ALL the sexual ways… and how to be okay with that.
It was alarming at first. I suppose I could blame the video for t.A.T.u.’s “All the Things She Said” for making me see the possibility. At that point, I’d had thoughts but had done nothing with them. After that video, though, things moved along emotionally. To put it not-so-delicately: I woke the fuck up. I let the emotional barriers fall. I let assumptions about myself go.
And it scared the shit out of me when the feelings I had were returned in kind.
It was a very complicated year. My psychology class was way easier to get through than the emotional whirlwind. My science courses were more manageable than thoughts. At least they made perfect sense.
Fast forward to now, 13 years later: That girlfriend and I live together, hardcore common-law. We wear wedding bands — hers is gold, mine is silver, catering to what we like best. We’ve lived in the same apartment for 12 years. We’ve laughed, cried, fought, and struggled together. We’ve become full-fledged adults together, weathering the ridiculousness of life. And that’s a good thing. A bit of security to fall on. She puts up with my wacky humour, my writing, and the irritability I inherited. I deal with her video game obsession, her social butterfly personality, and the vicious, damaging truths haunting her from a childhood marred by abuse and rape. Between us is a wonderful give-and-take, and I really wouldn’t trade it, even on the days when I’m 100% anti-social hermit.
But that doesn’t change certain things about us, like the fact that while we’re committed to each other, we’re still attracted to others. I still dig men. So does she.
And we drool over them together.
Because wouldn’t you know: it’s damn liberating being able to crush on the same people with your spouse. We can watch movies and TV shows and find the same guys hot. We can compare notes. Then we can turn around and watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and drool over sexy abs on gorgeous female models. Because we can. Because when we hooked up, we didn’t stop being who we are. We didn’t stop finding certain people of different genders attractive. I’m bisexual, she’s pansexual, and it’s SO. MUCH. FUN.
Even better: no one is apologizing.
Being Bisexual Was My Destiny.
If the subject of sexuality comes up or someone asks about mine, I’m open about it. I’ve got no shame. But to be honest, my in-the-middle / blended romantic and sexual interests are exactly like who I am in so much of my life and decisions: neither one extreme nor the other, dancing around the middle line and enjoying every bit of it.
I’m both “left-” and “right-brained”; both an artist and a scientist, adoring language and fictional worlds as much as I love logic and scientific thinking (even though my mathematical skills are suspect). I need diversity in my thinking and the way I see the world. I need diversity in the way I explore the universe and understand it.
My music collection is all over the place because I can’t choose genre over genre. I like having a little of everything. I need diversity in my tunes.
I don’t believe in all-peace or all-war because both can be a disaster; coexistence is the real trick. Moderation is key. Balance is everything. I need the middle ground.
I’m a realist, with equal helpings of optimism and pessimism. And when it comes to politics, I don’t identify with any one party because while none of them will ever truly, or properly, represent me, I think they all have their merits. I need the world to be represented among the multiple options.
My simplest truth is this: I see greys everywhere, in everything. I don’t see the world in black-and-white but rather a range of colour and shade.
So why would my sexuality to be any different?
The only thing that doesn’t seem to “abide” by this in-the-middle thing is my cisgender identity. Other than that, I’m all over the map. It makes perfect sense to me. I feel pretty damn balanced.
Which is why I really don’t get why bisexual erasure is a thing.
Straight-up, the fact that bisexual erasure and anti-bisexual crap exists pisses. me. off. And baffles me. It breaks my brain as much as it breaks my heart.
I don’t get it.
Okay, that’s not completely true. I kind of get it, in some moments more than others, though it still baffles me on the most basic level of behaviour and logic. Why the hate against bisexuals? Why the myths that it isn’t legit, or true, or that we don’t exist? Why are some people so quick to shove bisexuals and pansexuals and others in a similar circumstance into the Mythical Unicorn category and deny us the chance to be exactly who we are?
Although it’s difficult to explain how it comes up rational in my head, sometimes I get it, though I usually don’t have the words to explain it. Ego is involved, especially when it comes to the really human thought of “we know EVERYTHING”… when we totally don’t, but our species likes to think so. Fear is another thing, though I’m not sure what those exact fears are. Is it the fear that in recognizing bisexuality as real somehow invalidates homosexuality and/or heterosexuality? Or is it the fear that in validating bisexuality, it brings it too close to home in terms of the truth? Or is it the fear that our strange, clingy relationship to binary concepts is under attack?
Because, oh god, do humans LOVE the freaking binary concept.
[Insert the ultimate face palm]
So maybe it’s the scientist in me, but what the fuck, fellow homo sapiens sapiens? This obsession with binary — it’s harmful. Really, truly harmful. The world does not evolve around binary concepts. SURPRISE! Spectrums have everything to do with everything. So do things that exist of more than one thing.
Light exists across an entire spectrum. So do colour, sound, temperature, and a host of other variables. Without those spectrums, the world would be a very different place. They have extremes, but so much more of the universe is found between those opposite ends. They can overlap and they can stand alone.
Gender exists as a mix and a spectrum. Our biological make-up is all over the place on spectrums: from skin tone, eye colour, and hair colour to behaviours, personalities, and disorders. And don’t forget hormones, chemical balances, and pH levels! There are spectrums everywhere, inside every one of us.
Why can’t sexuality be like that? Why can’t we have asexuals, homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, and all-manner of other-sexuals? Who has the right to say those don’t exist?
But guess what: there’s MORE.
Light can exist as both wave and particle.
Matter can exist in multiple states. Water can be a liquid, solid, or a gas, dependent on the situation. While it might exist for awhile in one form, it can still exist in the others.
Bonobo apes are known to be sexual with females and males, engaging in both hetero- and homosexual activities. They’re more interested in social interactions and keeping peaceful groups. And they share about 99% of the same DNA as we do. They’re our closest relatives.
So why can’t we be attracted to two or more genders? Why can’t we be in-between or outside homosexual and heterosexual? And why can’t we be with someone of one gender and still be attracted to another?
Enter the Big Question: Just what is it about bisexuals that is so terrifying? What is so offensive that some people feel the need to say it’s a lie? Because the last I heard, the universe operated on spectrums and diversity and mixes of all sorts of things. The galaxies laugh at our obsession with binary.
We need to learn to let that shit go.
We need to learn to accept there’s more to the world — more to us.
And we need learn to accept that more is beautiful.
So go forth, my bisexual, pansexual, and whatever-sexual friends. I see you. You’re here. You’re a person. And I see you. Because we aren’t invisible — we’re right here, right now, and we’re beautiful together. Just like our homosexual, heterosexual, and asexual friends, we’re real, we’re valid, and we’re here to stay.
We will not be erased.