Bisexuality is the outcast sibling of the queer community. Often viewed with suspicion by gay men and lesbians, bisexual people are at the same time not completely members of the straight community either. My best friend Kyle and I took a break from our incessant, coffee-fueled chewings of tangential life issues to continue an ongoing conversation on paper, for the benefit of you all.
JEN: I think that part of the hostility toward bisexual people from the “full-fledged” gays comes from insecurity. I know that my first girlfriend, a lesbian, was concerned that I would leave her for a man, with whom she thought she could not compete.
KYLE: I agree with this. I frequently hear other gay men say, “I would never date a bisexual because I couldn’t handle it if they left me for a woman.” I think what they’re really saying is “I’m insecure about how I am as a partner and am threatened by the idea of dating someone who has [whether it is correct or just perceived] more potential partners that this person might leave me for.”
JEN: People (straight and gay) often say, “Why can’t they just decide?” As if it is somehow universally required to pick either men or women. My experience is that there are specific things about people that attract me, regardless of their gender identity. If I can be a walking stereotype and quote Ani DiFranco, she says it best: “Some days the line I walk turns out to be straight / Other days the line tends to deviate / I got no criteria for sex or race / I just wanna hear your voice, I just wanna see your face.”
KYLE: I highly respect people who are attracted to people based on who they are as a person, rather than their parts. This applies to both bisexual and pansexual people, as well as to people who date transgender folks. I think they are the people in this world whose relationship priorities are the most healthy; looking for someone of compatible personality, rather than someone really hot to have sex with. Personality before body, rather than body before personality.
JEN: Well (wink, wink) it’s not always personality before body, if you know what I’m saying. But I get your point and agree with it. There’s also a misconception that bisexual people like to date men and women at the same time. The name for that is polyamory, and bisexuality doesn’t necessarily imply polyamory.
KYLE: I won’t state my opinion of polyamory. The queer community has struggled for liberation from the hetero-normative values, and then we turn around and marginalize groups of people ourselves. I just want to say that I think people in the GLBTQ community need to just get over their anti-bisexual issues.
JEN: Hear, hear. Is there any more coffee?