This may be the more sensational title I’ve ever used.
Being bisexual is a difficult thing to be. It’s not something you have control over, but the moment you are born in to this sexuality, it will never be referred to by name.
You are closeted.
You are an ex-Lesbian.
You are going through a phase.
Basically, Hannah Montana lied to me. Bisexuality is hardly the best of both worlds; it’s a target for the worst of all worlds to attack. I find that women are put off me when they find I’m bisexual. The belief is there that I will stray back to penis, and decide that my lesbian phase is over. I’m not a real lesbian, therefore I am not worth the time.
Then assume I find a man who isn’t homophobic and put off by the attraction to women. Suddenly I am assaulted with a barrage of fetishised questions, and the inevitable request for a threesome.
I experience homophobia just as any homosexual would. Yet there is no community for me to turn to when the homosexual community decides I do not qualify to join their ranks. I’m too straight for them, and therefore do not deserve their comradery.
I know not every queer person thinks this way, but this is the same language I face daily with the generalisations of bisexuality. Bisexuals are greedy, in denial, or whores. There is no middle ground for us. Bisexuality is just an experiment.
So what prompted this blog post?
Absolutely nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary happened to me today. It was yet another day of watching television, and noticing that there is no role model for me. If a bisexual person comes out, they are swiftly claimed as homosexual, and that is the last we will hear of it. Characters in shows, if they dare to use the b-word, are not characters to be emulated. They are the villains, the deviants and very rarely the hero.
A show I often hear lauded is Orange is the New Black. I’ll be honest, I don’t like it that much, but I’m all for representation in the media. Having a culturally diverse cast with queer members in a mainstream show always a good thing. And unlike Glee, it’s not repulsing me.
In Orange is the New Black, there is the character of Piper. She is attracted to both men and women. But the b-word is never used. It’s as though it is a slur that we are not comfortable having in our media. She is instead “ex-lesbian” or “on a spectrum”, in the same way that Glee’s Brittany is “fluid”. We’re invited to infer what we like, but without the creators outright telling us that this is what the character is, we’re susceptible to people telling us we’re wrong, and corrupting characters to meet our bi-agenda. This isn’t a role model for young and confused bisexuals. I didn’t realise until college that I could like both men and women. It was an epiphany moment of “Oh! I am normal!”. All this because no one told me that I could like all the genders, no matter where they fall on the spectrum.
In the media, I am invisible. And when I am visible, I am a slut in denial. One needs to look no further than Andrew Garfield daring to suggest that Spiderman be portrayed as bisexual and Stan Lee’s reaction.
“He’s becoming bisexual? Who have you been talking to? Seriously, I don’t know anything about that. And if it’s true, I’m going to make a couple of phone calls. I figure one sex is enough for anybody.”
People are not comfortable with bisexuals. And I can see why. I mean, we are superheroes. With our invisibility, we can take over the world. And maybe then, I can see a bisexual on the TV.
And so dear readers, we reach the end of another blog post. And I feel better already.
So let me ask you; do you have any bisexual role models, whether in reality on in the fictional world?
Do you have any experiences with bi-erasure?
Let me know your thoughts!