10 responses

  1. quietmarc
    January 30, 2012

    I identify as gay, and all of my sexual relationships have been with men, but I feel like there is an element of bisexuality in me as well, so I’m sympathetic to the idea of the sexual continuum, or even a “field” with many axes, where everybody sort of occupies their own space (and, heck, why not, may move around in this field throughout their lives). Sexuality itself is so complicated and multi-faceted that I have a hard time thinking of it as a strict either-or situation. While I fully believe that there are “100% gay” or “100% straight” people out there, I think that just happens to be where they landed, and that there’s likely a lot of people who are, say, “98% gay” or whatever.

    I identify myself as a gay man, though, mainly because that is where I feel most comfortable in the standard categories, and there are very, very few situations where I could see myself having a sexual relationship with a woman.

    I do think that this is an area where our culture could really be more flexible and nuanced in its thinking.

  2. Elly
    January 30, 2012

    It’s interesting to me, a person who is just becoming a member of this community, to see this topic under discussion. Since I came out as bi I experienced fluctuation. It seriously changed on a daily basis whether I was more attracted to one or the other, or if it was approximately equal. It was just normal for me that it fluctuated. I was discovering myself and rolling with the punches, as they say.

    I consider myself pansexual now, and all it means to me is that gender isn’t a deciding factor in my attractions, and I have been attracted to varied trans people at varied parts of their transition.

    Although, I’m sort of in a flux all the time in multiple ways. I’m in a relationship with a cis male, but I’m more attracted to other people sometimes. (Almost never another man and I never act on it.) I also consider myself androgynous and I sort of fluctuate in my gender identity, though I present as female (my biological gender) almost 100% of the time.

    I’m basically a big ball of wibbly-wobbly identities, and it’s totally cool with me.

  3. hikeru
    January 30, 2012

    I like to consider myself a bisexual intellectualsexual, because while gender matters very little to me I need to find a person’s brain sexy to be truly attracted to them, physically or mentally. I’m extremely comfortable with this identification, though sometimes I get weird looks in conversation. I do wonder if intellectualsexual is actually considered a thing or if its just a cool word I picked up somewhere?

    • rosewater
      February 5, 2012

      I feel that way too!

      At school, people always ask “Would you still date a girl if she didn’t shave?” or “Would you dump a guy who used makeup?”. They look pretty shocked when I say I couldn’t care less. Physical attraction should *always* come second to personality in relationships, in my opinion. Why should I have a say in what my partner wants to do with their body? And why on Earth would I want to make them feel uncomfortable about it? (Exception: if I feel they are harming their body, I may be more resistant.)

  4. Xanthe
    January 30, 2012

    Bisexual erasure, or the assumption that you’re gay or lesbian when in a long-term relationship with a same-sex partner, or straight when with a opposite-sex partner happens all the time, and from both directions: I can remember hearing biphobic shit from gay guys about how you can’t ever trust bisexuals, which got to be a self-fulfilling prophecy with one same-sex partner who became paranoid over the issue of trust and subjected me to all sorts of emotional abuse. (Guess what happens if you don’t trust your partner? It fucks up your relationship.)

    And the term is problematic from the bi- aspect as well: I’m open to being attracted to people qua people, whatever size, shape, colour, or gender they come in (obviously I do have some preferences, such as a minimum age of being an adult), and being transgender myself I don’t like a term which assumes I’m sexually interested only in the categories of men and women, tacitly erasing people who don’t strictly fit into the gender binary straitjacket. If the term were more ubiquitous, I’d prefer to call myself omnisexual rather than bisexual since that’s how I feel about people, whatever their gender identity.

  5. nayohmee
    January 31, 2012

    Great post! It’s important to address the dilemma that bisexuals face – being seen as invalid by both gay and straight communities.

    I know what it feels like to be seen as someone who is just, “going through a phase,” or “experimenting.” While there is definitely nothing wrong with either of those things, it is hard to be taken seriously when there is no portrayal of strong bisexual role models or characters in pop culture or television.

    That is why I make it clear to people that I am bisexual. I’m a real person and I have real relationships that are all meaningful, and they have involved many sexes and genders, and I am not just experimenting.

    For some reason that is harder for people to accept than just being “one or the other,” but I feel that visibility always helps dispel the false assumptions that lead people to being uncomfortable with openly identifying as bi.

  6. Ashlyn
    February 6, 2012

    When I came out to my mom as bisexual, after she had gone through all the usual stereotypes of bisexuality she told me she would have preferred if I told her I was gay, since at least that was “a decision she could understand”

  7. nomaduk
    February 7, 2012

    I haven’t decided whether I’m really bi or not, as I haven’t had the opportunity present itself! It doesn’t seem to me I would have any problem identifying as such, though. It’s a shame that ‘purity’ seems to be so important — or that bisexuality seems so threatening — to some people.

    I remember encountering this idea of a sexuality continuum when I was quite young, reading Arthur C Clarke’s Imperial Earth, in which people are able to place themselves on the continuum using a percentage (e.g, 25% female/75% male), and the folks who are purely heterosexual are pitied!

    A bit simplistic, but it opened my eyes to the concept, and it always made sense to me that people were rarely all one thing or another.

  8. sheviper
    February 17, 2012

    Im bi but dont really tell anyone. A lot of girls my age seem to be bi when super drunk, or to get boys attention and for some reason now I feel embarrassed to say Im bi…I feel a bit stupid for being all wimpy. Hopefully it’s just the age group…

  9. eden238
    February 25, 2012

    I find the idea that people are not prepared to call themselves bisexual a bit depressing. I can understand it, but don’t think that we should be afraid to say it.

    As a former gay man, I changed what I called myself to bisexual immediately after sleeping with a woman. I really do understand the fluidity of sexuality all too well.

    However, I’ve never quite got along with identity politics, so I don’t ever say that I identify as a bisexual. If this seems contradictory, it really isn’t, there#s a big difference between describing what I do than identifying as it.

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