Friday, December 07, 2007

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?

"What do we think of bisexuality?" I asked my queer coworker out of the blue the other day.
He paused for a moment, shrugged and said, "They're lucky? I wish I was?" and returned to the book of grammar he had been pursuing for lesson ideas.

Returning to my own thoughts, I shook my head again with surprise at the recent turn of events. Since the summer when my partner started working part-time at a Korean hair salon on Yonge Street, a family of misfits has slowly started to form. First it was his Korean coworker, who loves gay men, but was surprised to discover that Koreans could be gay as well! She introduced us to her hairstyling friend who brought her on again- off again boyfriend to our informal gatherings for dinners (both in and out). We met another Korean/Anglo gay couple and they seemed to integrate with our group right away. And finally my partner met another Korean gay guy online and as he owned a car, we all joined him for daytrips and shopping excursions, as well as airport pickups and dropoffs.

A family we called ourselves. We celebrated our birthdays and Thanksgivings (Korean and Canadian) together. For Christmas, the Korean family members have met to draw names for "secret Santas" so we will be saved from buying gifts for everyone. And it was at this meeting things got interesting! My partner's ex-coworker (he moved on to find fulltime work, coincidentally in the same building, on the same floor as his gay Korean friend) quietly announced she had something she needed to tell everyone. As the only two single people in the group, she and our aformentioned gay friend had decided to date and she hoped that we could accept that and be supportive.

" he bisexual now?" I wondered aloud after my partner returned home with the newsflash. Not really any of our business, we decided and life seems to have gone on as usual except now they are a couple.

This isn't the first time I've had to wonder about this subject of course. I have friends who are bisexual but are with a different or same-sex partner. Visiting with them, they all seemed to have gone through a "phase" and are really happy with where they are now. Somehow I find their certainty comforting whereas I find ambiguity (as in my friend, Ani DiFranco or Anne Heche) disconcerning. I know sexuality isn't as cut and dry as the "once saved, always saved" plan of salvation that was engrained into my head from an early age. Even I wanted to be bisexual at one point as well. But unlike my coworker, I kind of wish it was an "either-or" situation. I guess my queasiness stems from the implication that bisexualty contains a choice, one I don't feel I have. That choice would be to be truly happy with anyone, no matter what "accessories" they happen to have.

There actually is a term for what I am admitting to here- it's called "biphobia." I have gay friends who have had their hearts broken because they dated a bisexual person and they decided it was "easier" to be in a straight relationship. Due to this hurt, some gay people refuse to date bisexual people and furthermore dismiss their orientation as something that doesn't even truly exist. On a less esoteric and more personal level, I'm afraid this doesn't bode well for either of our friends. Someone is bound to get hurt and then things will get messy, mark my words!

To close, I'd like to include a relevant conversation between my favourite girls of "Sex in the City"
Carrie: He's a bi-sexual.
Samantha: Well, I coulda told you that, sweetie, he took you ice skating for God's sakes.
Carrie: You know I'm not even sure bi-sexuality exists? I think it's just a layover on the way to gay town.
Miranda: Isn't that right next to Ricky Martinville?
Samantha: That generation is all about sexual experimentation. All the kids are going bi.
Carrie: So what? If all the bi kids are jumping off a bridge, are you gonna do that too?
Samantha: I'm a tri-sexual. I'll try anything once.
Carrie: You know I did the "date the bi-sexual guy thing" in college, but in the end they all ended up with men.
Samantha: So did the bi-sexual women.
Charlotte: Which explains why there are no available men left for us.
Samantha: You know I think it's great. He's open to all sexual experiences. He's evolved. He's hot.
Miranda: He's not hot. It's greedy. He's double dipping.
Samantha: You're not marrying the guy. You're making out with him. Enjoy it and don't worry about the label.
Charlotte: I'm very into labels; gay, straight, pick a side and stay there.
Carrie: When did this happen? When did the sexes get all confused?
Miranda: Somewhere between Gen X and Gen Y, they made XY.