Queer Politics: Behind Bisexuality and Invisible Identities

Recently the University of West England published a report on Bisexuals and their place in the LGBT world and heteronormative “straight world”. It concluded that the 20 self-identifying bisexual women did not feel at home in either community with rhetorics as being told “bisexuality as a temporary phase on the path to a fully realised lesbian” or that they were labelled as “confused, greedy, untrustworthy, highly sexual, and incapable of monogamy”.

These findings, to me at least are met with only pure exasperation. Likewise, I find it as groundbreaking of a discovery as citizens of Seoul are more concerned with Kim-Jong-Un’s bat-shit insane actions than say, citizens of Lagos. Or that cereal tastes much better than milk in comparison to water.

Many people honestly believe that being bisexual is the holy grail of sexualities. It wasn’t even last week I read an interview from the Sunday Times Magazine with Dita Von Teese with the headline of her longing to be bi so she could just love whoever she meets. There’s a few snags however, many people, in the LGBT Sphere and out, bisexuals are viewed with confusion, uneasiness and even contempt.

Mixed race is something you can see in the flesh, sure some people may ask you “Where you’re really from” (A good response is always “my mother’s uterus”) after telling them you were born in London, Islington . But for the most part, there are no qualms. Mixed race people can be seen everyday, rebuking that they don’t exist and aren’t real would probably would result in you being sent to an institution. I’m half indian. You only have to look at my parents to confirm that.

Similarly I’m cross-dominant, this essentially means I use my left hand to write and to use a pair of scissors, and with my right hand I do everything else. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who then ask wholly inappropriate questions (“define everything else” – Head out of the gutter please). But again if they’re that desperate I can always give them a “demonstration”.

Conversely being bisexual is an invisible identity in its performance. If I date a man, that doesn’t make me gay, nor does dating a woman make me straight. However if you were a passer-by in a restaurant you’d be none the wiser, I’m still bisexual, making claims that I’m not, is as logical as stating a virgin who can’t get laid is infact asexual.

Sexual orientation is defined who you’re attracted to, not who you’re currently screwing.

I like both genders, always have and always will. Reaching this conclusion was a bit long winded. I always knew I liked girls, always, first crush, first kiss… and the rest. But I didn’t watch Titanic for the storyline, nor the Olympic diving for the seamless synchronisation between the partners. When that fateful night occurred when I finally “experimented” and there were still as equal “fireworks” as when I did lose my virginity to a girl, it totally destabilised my backward assumptions that sexuality was binary. Even though I felt this way, because of its erasure in society and media, I still doubted myself.

Name five prominent celebrities who are bisexual, Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Cameron Diaz? Fantastic, now name five who are men. No David Bowie unfortunately doesn’t count. After some depressing scouting on the internet, it turns out my best examples were Billie Joe Armstrong: lead singer of Green Day, and Kenny Moffitt, the ginger dude off Buzzfeed. who is trying to dispel the same misconceptions that I am right now. Oddly enough searching “Bisexual Men” on Google, and then proceeding to edit my search lead to the autofill suggestion “Can a man be bisexual” at the top of the list. Which to me makes as much sense as asking “Can a girl be ambidextrous”.

On paper it may seem like Bisexuals can get with anyone. In reality Bisexuals aren’t greedy, (straight people have the odd 3 and a half billion people to hit it off with too) but moreover you’ll find vast amounts of guys and girls who are put off by swinging both ways, the number of people who’ll won’t want to get with you on the pure basis of your sexuality is a mere fraction of the aforementioned several billion.

Any girl who who’s turned off on the basis that they think I’m just gay and in denial crops up far too much. Maybe that’s why the bi-guys seem to be absolutely barren in comparison to the girls in popular culture, because we’re back to the whole tragic ideology of fragile masculinity and that god forbid you ever thought about a guy in a certain way means you’re tainted and no longer fit to sleep with Women.

I could have stayed in the closet, but blunt ignorance from others shouldn’t be a price I have to pay. It’s ultimately your problem not mine, and I guess it’s a great initial litmus test that you’re not close minded. Bisexuals aren’t any more likely to cheat on you than anyone else. Being an asshole, we can all agree on, is not exclusive to one sexual orientation.

At my lowest, I wished I wasn’t bisexual. There was a time I regretted not flat out lying to my parents, and just told them I was Kinsey six gay. This is of course absolutely terrible and as bad as staying in the closet altogether, but then you don’t have to hear your mother openly admitting she’d rather have a daughter-in-law rather than a son-in-law. This rhetoric eats you up. The idea of that again being gay is a lesser, the idea that you should have your fun with the boys and then quite literally “straighten up” and marry a girl. Its screws up your head, and is something I’m still trying to overcome that I have to marry someone for my own pure intentions, and not be flooded with guilt or that there’s an ulterior motive if I marry a man or a woman respectively.

I’m not trying to start an “oppression Olympics “here in whining that I’m marginalised more so than the gay community, but being on a spectrum and not fitting into a box is a bit of a life story, I came out as bi, not to then come out as gay, believe me, I already would have done this long before now. the only thing I can do is to continue doing what I do in the straight world. Uphill battle?

Absolutely, But one thing I will say is that The G in LGBT however needs an intervention, and not just on bi-phobia, but also on racism, trans-phobia and internalised homophobia from asshats like Daniel May. This experience is my own, and within the community people have it far worse, despite this, like it or not, we’re in this together. If you’re gay and want acceptance from people who have a different sexual preference (i.e the straight world), yet can’t get your head around a separate sexual identity or performance that differs from the “norm”? The sheer irony in this is staggering. We are all trying to justify our presence and validity in this heteronormative world. Like I said earlier, being an asshole isn’t limited to one sexual orientation, and neither is prejudice or ignorance.

We’ve all heard it and want to stress it ourselves, sexuality isn’t defined by my identity, just like being mixed-race or being cross-dominance isn’t define me either. I’ve come a long way to accept myself for who I am, but the good part of it all is you don’t have to overthink it nearly as much as I did. If I’m attracted to you and you feel the same way, then my bisexuality is irrelevant.