May 2018
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bisexuality is a stable and legitimate sexual preference -- not transitory, not fake, not fickle.


"Bisexuality is real" -- a statement I've seen with an accompanying colorbar in quite a few profiles. But many people don't believe that -- or, more to the point, don't believe that bisexuality is a stable and legitimate sexual preference. It is seen as transitory/false/fickle, because we live in an exclusionist society that declares that all people must be either/or -- gay OR straight (bad or good!). This means, for the many people who are not 100% same-sex or opposite-sex oriented, whichever feelings are: a) less strong or b) less socially acceptable (by whatever culture you're in) are therefore considered illegitimate, not real. People 'experiment' with the same sex in college and then after graduating settle into heterosexual life, but instead of allowing for the possibility that those people are bisexuals with stronger opposite-sex than same-sex feelings (or a desire to stay in the closet), they are categorized as straight. Their feelings and experiences are considered illegitimate, unreal, meaningless, because they MUST fit into one category or the other, based on whom they are currently/most recently in a relationship with. I think many people explore their bisexuality in college ((18% of college men say they've kissed another man, and 20% of college women say they've kissed another woman)) because it is (more) socially acceptable then, but later leave it behind to fit into a monosexual lifestyle because they feel they must choose one or the other.

One thing I keep seeing in tv/films which INFURIATES me is this: person discovers they have sexual/romantic feelings for the same sex, and immediately ASSUMES that they are gay, completely illegitimatizing their feelings for the opposite sex!!! (now if they mentioned a lack of feeling for the opposite sex, that would make sense, but that's never part of it!) THEY ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE!!! This assumption is extremely discriminatory, either/or, us/them, exclusionist. Feelings for one sex simply mean you have feelings for that sex, they do NOT mean all feelings for the other sex are therefore invalid and fake. And the assumption always goes the same way -- one drop of queerness makes you gay! Straight has to be pure, untainted. Sounds a little prejudiced, doesn't it? but it is an assumption made across the board, by all sexualities. Assuming people are either gay or straight is just as bad as assuming that all people are straight.

It's not just in the media either -- I've seen so many people say "I've discovered I have feelings for the same sex... I think I'm gay." (because bisexual is not an option? doesn't exist?) or "I would love to be [with women], but I love the cock too much." (I'm so not kidding, that is nearly a direct quote -- what she actually said was 'gay.' (also, hello? dildos?)) Liking penis and liking vulva are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. (It's fine to like exclusively one or the other, of course, but liking both is ALSO a possibility)

Bisexuality is considered politically unimportant by some, because bisexuals blend into whichever monosexual group they fit into with their current lover -- they aren't visible. However, this is the very reason they are of utmost importance. Bisexuals bridge the gap between straight and gay -- they bring to awareness that we are all the same, we are all just people. Bisexuality makes many people uncomfortably aware of the fact that there is no strict dividing line between gay and straight -- you can be both at once. There aren't purebloods and mudbloods -- bisexuality throws out the either/or, throws out the rationale for us/them mentality. How can you discriminate if you don't know who's who? Heterosexism is essentially based on appearances, and since bisexuality makes appearances completely irrelevant, heterosexism relies on the belief that bisexuality doesn't exist.

If a heterosexist person sees two girls kissing, ze is disapproving, but if ze sees a girl and guy kissing, ze is approving. However, if that person believed in bisexuality, ze would not be able to dis/approve based on simple appearances, because that opposite-sex couple could easily both be queers. (Or, for that matter, one of the same-sex couple could actually be a 'feminine' guy and therefore marginally 'approvable') If ze was the boss of a man who had been happily married to a woman for 20 years and had four kids, ze could not assume he was straight (if ze believed in bisexuality). Or if ze had sex with someone of the opposite sex, ze could not assume that that person was straight, and knowing that the person you're sleeping with could be queer makes it a hell of a lot harder to discriminate against queers. Also, if ze believed in bisexuality and ever had ANY feelings for the same sex, ze could not dismiss those feelings as illegitimate or unimportant, and could not so easily discriminate against others who act upon those feelings.

Until bisexuality is recognized as a stable and legitimate sexual preference, discrimination against all sexualities will continue. There are other factors of course, but I believe this is a major factor.

I've made my own colorbar: feel free to use if you wish.

     
Bisexuality is a stable and legitimate sexual orientation.



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Comments
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Love
jenniology ══╣Love╠══
Excellent post! :)
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
thanks! :D
love; esotsm -
delicatexflower ══╣love; esotsm - "i loved you on this day"╠══

you should totally write a book about
your point of views! all of them are so
true and so deep. i only wish there were
more people like you ... i think if people
took the time to stop and think before they
react, we will probably live in a calmer world.

i totally agree with you, 100% hands down... ♥
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
oh you rock! thanks so much! *hug hug hug* :D
unnecessary_ ══╣╠══
I support and agree with your opinion.
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
awesome!
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
I love this. Thank you so very very much.

Something my husband said to me once made me raise my eyebrows. I am attracted to women, but have not had sex with a woman or dated a women. He suggested that this only made me bicurious, not bisexual, because I had not acted on the feelings yet. We wound up in a heated discussion about MY feelings and MY beliefs and how I PERSONALLY felt. I am bisexual. Nothing is going to chance that. Just because I have not slept with a member of my own sex does not mean that I'm not still attracted.
jodie foster grew up to be just like me
acid_burns ══╣jodie foster grew up to be just like me╠══
I am attracted to women, but have not had sex with a woman or dated a women. He suggested that this only made me bicurious, not bisexual, because I had not acted on the feelings yet.



That is the silliest thing ever. It's like asking a straight, virgin girl how could she possibly know she's... well... heterosexual if she hasn't even had sex with a man. No one ever questions that. Ever. It's completely suggesting that we, who don't play for the straight team, are only ever in this for the sex. Whereas the straight team actually gets to have feelings and that whole know thyself aspect in their lives.
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
maleficently ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
mourningdoveava ══╣╠══
AMEN.

Glad you wrote this. I seem to get problems with this issue in particular. *laughs* Society does not want to deal with a male who is dating a male, and yet considers himself pan/bisexual. People get so impossibly frustrated when they cannot categorise my sexuality by the relationship I inhabit.

And ultimately that's what it's all about: control. The ability to control, delegate, designate, and box other people's sexuality. That's at the heart of the refusal to acknowledge anything that isn't a binary - and honestly it's frightening.
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
I'm glad you got something from it! It's an issue that is really close to my heart.

and you've definitely got it right -- it's about control. Because when you can categorize something, you can control it -- or at least predict it, which is an illusion of control.
Mangoes!
jendaby ══╣Mangoes!╠══
Thank you for this. I have been spending the day so far trying to parse things, trying to figure out why I can't seem to find a place where I fit in society, etc. Like when my grandmother found out that my husband and I have a girlfriend, my grandmother was all "Isn't she attractive to men? Why isn't she married to a man? Hasn't she ever dated guys? Do you have a lesbian relationship? You and your husband had such a nice marriage. Your generation and your new ideas!"

I told her that bisexuality has been part of human society and culture forever, that polyamorous relationships actually were the norm in many cultures before they were "reformed" by missionaries. That the exclusionary, closed-minded way of thinking and categorizing is the new thing and our species is finally getting back in touch with our roots more openly than in the past few hundred years.

Incidentally, my grandmother had been very fine with and happy about and supportive of my orientation and relationship until she saw a recent episode of Oprah, which apparently completely changed her mind on how polyamory, bisexuality, and marriage in general work. Ugh.

So, thanks for this post! It was lovely and came just at the right time for me to reassure me that I am not some random anomaly. :)
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
I'm glad you appreciated my post! It's definitely an issue that is very close to my heart.

Your grandmother sounds like she's trying, but is a little too easily swayed by public opinion. I hope you can help her to a more stable openmindedness. ;-)
maleficently ══╣╠══
febrile_lune ══╣╠══
I agree with this, thank you for posting it!

I think it hits the nail on the head here: "bisexuality makes many people uncomfortably aware of the fact that there is no strict dividing line between gay and straight..."

It makes so much sense, because of all the stigma there is about homosexuality. accepting that bisexuality is legitimate makes vulnerable any personal inclination towards feelings and attraction to the same sex one might have experienced in the past. Those whoare afraid of the stigma against homosexuality don't want to do this because they might wantto think of their own personal attractions part of a "phase", therefore still being able to consider oneself "normal". And many homosexual people may be uncomfortable with it for similar reasons, in that there is so much pressure against them in the first place, and discrimination. coming out of t he closet and live in a homosexual lifestyle takes a lot of courage. so after putting up that much of a fight, I wonder whether anyone is afraid to explore bisexuality rather than strict homosexuality, as if it invalidates everthing one fought for to be able to express homosexuality as okay and acceptable.
imagine
brassdaughter ══╣imagine╠══
I wonder whether anyone is afraid to explore bisexuality rather than strict homosexuality, as if it invalidates everthing one fought for to be able to express homosexuality as okay and acceptable.

*raises hand* That's how I've felt, definitely. As though my experience was a self-indulgent fluke if I was "only" bi, and as though I'm wasting my battles and victories if I wind up in a relationship with the opposite sex.
brassdaughter ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
imagine
brassdaughter ══╣imagine╠══
*applause* Do you mind if I add this to my memories? You've expressed everything so well.

...whichever feelings are: a) less strong or b) less socially acceptable (by whatever culture you're in) are therefore considered illegitimate, not real.
This has been a long internal struggle for me, recognizing and respecting my infrequent desires. I don't like men all that much, sexually, and the more wildly happy I become within my queer identity the more likely I am to dismiss that rare attraction to the opposite sex. A huge part of this comes down to anger with and alienation from straight society--I don't want to be part of that, don't want the privilege. As it is, invisibility alone is enough of a cage. I've fought harder for my identity than for anything else in life, and I want to wear it.
But I'm also in love with a man. And I'm not going to let politics stand between myself and honesty about this, not if I'm truly as radical as I seek to become.

*blush* That's a lot of rambling, there.
Have you read Jennifer Baumgardner's latest book? It's not without flaws, but she handled the subject well and covered a lot of ground.
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
of course I don't mind, I'm immensely flattered!

Oh how MUCH I relate to this!!! I really can't even express it, I felt like crying when I read this. I'M NOT FUCKING STRAIGHT OKAY and I'm not gay either!!! I want a community -- and we bisexuals are the homeless sexuality, we have no place to go and express all of ourselves. that's how it feels anyway, you know? YOU DO! thanks so much for this comment!

nope I haven't read it but I've added it to my wishlist, thanks for the recommendation!
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
I see where you are coming from. People CAN be consistently bisexual. However, I think those that are confused about their sexual preference claim bisexuality until they further define it by dating both sexes. I've had so many friends who were bisexual eventually gravitate toward a sex once they began feeling comfortable with who they are. It's a stepping stone for many because coming out isn't easy. I think it's easier to come out now than back in the day so maybe less people will claim temporary bisexuality.

Oh, and the media loves to go to the extremes with controversial issues cause it makes for good tv! heh Soon they will jump on the bisexual bandwagon once they've tired out the gay storyline. And I say bandwagon because it's cool to be bisexual temporarily. Guys dig bisexual girls, and of course some girls will do whatever it takes to be more desirable. And that is so obnoxious on both sides that it makes me want to become asexual. lol
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
See, many people do use the bisexuality label as a stepping stone identity, because it's true that coming out is hard, but not all bisexual people do and it doesn't ake it any less of a legitimate sexuality on its own. Coming out as bisexual can be just as hard beause people often don't beleive your sexuality is real.
belenen ══╣╠══
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
neverland
austentatious ══╣neverland╠══
I feel that gender identity and sexual identity (is that even the right term?) are aspects that I don't really know enough about to have an opinion on, but everything you've said made a lot of sense. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post, and it's give me a lot to think about. :)
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
well thank you! I enjoy giving (and receiving) food for thought. ;-)
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I agree 1000% andhave felt all of these things for years.
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
thank you! I'm glad you understand.
sun_bubbles ══╣╠══
Thanks for adding me to your list of friends... :) I'll like reading your posts, I think.

I categorize myself like this: I find both sexes attractive, but I only fall in love with women. That's the way it seems to be, and I'm happy with it now... But for so long I wasn't, because of the pressure to choose, to be completely something, fit completely in some mold. This is MY mold, and I fit perfectly, but it was so hard to find such a simple truth.

You are absolutely right about the discriminitaion. Bisexuality is frightening because it breaks down the walls of hate. I guess hate is fuel for power, so some people (think that) they need it.

Anyway. What an awesome point you made.
bisexuality
belenen ══╣bisexuality╠══
This is MY mold, and I fit perfectly, but it was so hard to find such a simple truth.

AMEN, yo!

I know from peeking through your LJ that I will enjoy having you on my flist too! ;-) glad you added me back!

and thanks!
verviana ══╣╠══
Thanks for posting this. It's a subject I'm usually too frustrated to expound my feelings upon, and you've done so eloquently.

May I quote/link to it?
queer
belenen ══╣queer╠══
yes, of course, and thank you! :D
cyclops25503 ══╣╠══
This post hits home hard for me, as I feel the same way. I've got quite a few friends who are gay, for who coming out has been a fairly straightforward affair. But I'm finding it quite hard, as although more people are starting to accept gay and lesbian people, it is still very hard for bisexuals to be accepted by most people, as most people, like you said, want you to be either straight or gay, and thats that. Society is screwed up.
saltyrose ══╣╠══
Have you seen this lame-ass community?

anti_bisexual? Losers, man.
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.