The discourse about homosexuality in a hetero-normative world has gone on for ages. Homosexuality has reached a certain point of acceptance and most people feel more uncomfortable with the way how some people of the gay/lesbian community point out their preferences than with the preferences themselves.
I myself have no interest in another persons sexual orientation and preferences and practices, as long as anyone involved agrees on whatever (this excludes animals, children and other individuals that are not able to make decisions about their sexual behavior). Why someone who is over his teen years needs to shout out his interests like that is a mystery to me. I don’t mind someone mentioning the gender of his partner, I’m talking about that kind of people who introduce themselves with words like “Hi I’m gay”.
“Hi Gay, I’m Not-Giving-A-Fuck” is from my point of view a totally appropriate answer to that.
What most people don’t realize in all these discussions about being straight vs being gay/lesbian is that there is a pretty big amount of people who are bi. Many of these are sorted into the hetero or homo category, based on their current or last relationship. If they have a long-lasting relationship with someone, people who knew them having a relationship with someone from another gender will often ask “So it was just a phase, right?”.
Being bisexual is not a phase. I always try to explain that I don’t fall in love with a certain gender but rather with a human being. To most people that seems to be a pretty strange concept.
Most people are like “But you have one gender that you prefer more, right?”. No. Love is (to me) not about the gender.
When you are a woman and you tell a straight guy that you’re bi, the most common reaction is “Up for a Threesome?”. Honestly? Being bisexual does not mean that one likes to have several partners at once. It’s not about being polygamist either. Bi people are as often loyal and monogamic as gay or straight people.
Actually that is one thing I noticed very often within lesbian communities – statements like “I could never have a relationship with a bi-lady, they will cheat on me.”. And I was just like… “Dafuq?”. The assumption that bisexual women are unable to have loyal and long-lasting relationships is ridiculous.
Trying to understand this behavior, I guess we need to look into what is considered a “normal relationship”. We live in a society that considers a pair normal. “Most” normal is a man with a woman, but as written initially man with man and woman with woman also is pretty normal nowadays. A bisexual person that is in a relationship will be in one of these pairings – and as long as s/he does not point out being bi, will thus be considered either hetero- or homosexual. Someone who is homo/heterosexual is only suspected of potentially cheating with persons of either same or different sex.
Here comes the trick: someone who is bisexual has an assumed twice as big group of people s/he could cheat with. This raises concerns: will s/he withstand not only the temptation of the members of one gender surrounding him/her but also of the other gender?
The answer to that is not surprising: s/he will, if it is in her/his nature not to jump on anything that is potentially sexual attractive. Same as all straight or homosexual people.
The fear of everything that is foreign to us, is more than human. Someone whose sexual attraction is not focused on one sex but rather on two is a very weird concept, because it is neither talked about nor picked as a central theme in discussions about sexuality. When talking about the concepts of love and sexuality teens are often get told that it is okay “to love someone of the same sex”. While that is some part of being bisexual it’s not the whole. Being bisexual means that love and sexuality are not linked to the sex (or gender) of another person. That is what makes bisexuality itself appear strange, as we always link sexual behavior to sex/gender.
It is for the same reason that bisexual people are sometimes considered to be unreliable (how can you trust someone who does not even know by which gender s/he is turned on?). Or promiscuous. The fear of something that is different has made homosexuality a big topic once, because they didn’t match into the “wife & husband lived happily ever after” bed time story society liked to tell itself. After all we figured that homosexual people are not that different. They see someone and which gender s/he has determines whether or not it can be an object (or subject) of sexual attraction and love.
This important role of ones sex/gender is undergone when it comes to bisexual people. And it is oh so much more easy to put them into the standard categories of homo/heterosexual when they are in a relationship.
While bisexual women are a common part of wet dreams from straight men (having two girls at the same time and all enjoy each other), bisexual men are even worse off than gay ones. Not only would they sleep with men same as gays, they also would sleep with women! That makes them a threat and swinging the other way at the same time.
Swinging the other way is a nice phrase to illustrate and summarize what was written. “The other way” suggests there are only two directions. Even our language(s) is not able to fill in bisexual people. (Same in German: “Vom anderen Ufer sein” literally translated “to be from the other bank”). And as long as it isn’t, they’ll have a hard stand in society – and most often end up agreeing on being either the one or the other instead of okay with both.