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.


Kethryvis said...

My boyfriend is bi... although, to my knowledge, he hasn't had an actual relationship with a guy, he's definitely slept with them, and likes that just as much as the girls. I don't see it as ambiguity... I just see it as being really in touch with his sexuality and not ashamed of it. But, every person is different, and I have to say I don't get Anne Heche ;) I think she's just CRAZY.

All that being said, it has been a bit of an adjustment for me... he's one of those types that keeps ex'es as friends, and the girls are hard enough for me to deal with sometimes... meeting/hearing about some of the boys has been a bit jarring at times. But, well, I knew about all this when I signed on (as I tell him whenever we have to deal with one of his little quirks). I will say he's very secure in his sexuality, which makes it much easier for me. I think you can be bi... as long as you're secure in it. If you're not, that's when the real problems start. Just like any other sexuality, really.

Lance Noe said...

i believe in biSEXUALITY! I don't believe in biRELATIONITY!

bi people like sex with both sexes, fine. BUT i have never known a bisexual person to DATE both sexes.

They are attracted to one or the other in emotions.

So sure bisexuality exsists. but to quote torch song trilogy, " Once, i would like to see a gay guy leave his bf in the middle of the night to met a girl!"

Bi now, Gay later

Jolie said...

Hey! Good post and great comment from Kethryvis. I think she got it exactly right. It comes down to being secure with your sexuality. If you are secure you will find fulfillment and happiness with the person you fall in love with. I don't think bisexuality has to be a wishy washy 'can't make up my mind sort of thing'. But one must be open and honest to them self and of course to their partner.

Diana said...

Howdy -- Jolie's friend Diana here.
I personally identify as "Queer" which is an even more ambiguous term than bisexual . . . but for me and others I know, far more fitting. I am truly attracted to certain people regardless of gender or biological sex.
There is a large deal of stigma attached to the term 'bisexual' in large part due to its place in the coming out process for those of us who live in an unaccepting environment. It is, very often, a way to dip your toes in the pool before jumping in for big old gay laps . . . but many people don't feel it's a choice even if they don't pick a side. It's all desire and attraction and love and mystery -- no real logic or choice involved. The choice for a person who identifies as queer or bisexual or any other inclusive term is in acting on your desires, which is the exact same choice gays and lesbians face.
The fear associated with dating those 'crazy bi people' is often an offshoot of the hypersexualized image of bisexuals -- they must be more sexual and can't be sated by only one sex or gender. It's a lot like the Reefer Madness image of potsmokers verses the reality. We all know plenty of hypersexual straight or gay folks, right?

Anywho -- that's my forty-five cents -- can you tell I've thought about this a lot?
Hope you're having a blast up north!