Belenen (belenen) wrote,

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.

Tags: philosophical musings, queerness, rants, social justice / feminism, the essential belenen collection

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