I’m bisexual. I’m married to another woman. We’ve been together since 1998, and are coming up on our 15th wedding anniversary. And, as John noted in an excellent story yesterday, everybody assumes that either I’m actually a lesbian, or that I’m constantly jonesing to be with a man.
Unless that man is George Clooney, in which case all bets are off. (It’s written into our pre-nup.)
My wife’s lesbian friends warned her I couldn’t be trusted, that I’d leave her. They employed all the anti-bi stereotypes, including the notion there’s no such thing as an actual bisexual – rather, we’re simply people who like to experiment.
There was a guy I was dating before my wife and I got together. When he heard about my new relationship, he didn’t take it well. (I suspect he felt like his manhood was threatened or something.) He said many of the same hurtful things as my wife’s lesbian friends.
I’ve run into both varieties of ‘truthers’. Those who deny bisexuality exists, and there are a lot of ’em, especially in the gay and lesbian communities. And those who deny that anybody doubts our existence. Doubly fascinating to me is how many people will say they don’t know anybody who is Bi.
We’re really not that rare. It’s just that everybody assumes we’re either gay or straight, all depending on who we happen to be with at the current moment. Our problem is we’re all but invisible, except when — as humans will do — we behave badly, or simply break up with our current love and pickup with another of a different gender. Then it’s suddenly stereotype time all over again.
The trouble seems to be we can’t win. If I was with a guy, my attraction toward women would be deemed irrelevant and everybody would assume I was actually straight. And if I’m with a woman, everybody assumes I’m a lesbian. If I try to make a point of asserting my bisexuality, not wanting to be pigeonholed, all of a sudden all the negative stereotypes come pouring out. (“Isn’t your wife enough for you? Aren’t you being all defensive?”) And it doesn’t matter if it’s the straight community or the gay/lesbian community, it’s actually the same negativity from both.
I’m not confused.
I’m not promiscuous.
And I fully expect to be with my wife until one or both of us kicks the bucket, or George calls, whichever comes sooner.
The only thing being Bi means is that if I were single, I’d have no clue whether I’d next be dating a man or a woman.
I honestly don’t care about the label. I do care about whether people are willing to believe the truth, and drop the prejudice.