Thursday, September 4

Bisexual Visibility Month

Well here it is the fourth I'm only just getting around to welcoming y'all to Bisexual Visibility Month here on my blog. *sigh*  I can see September is off to a rollicking good start!  ;-)  

I'm going to start with my story, but then I've got a bunch of awesome writers who have volunteered to guest blog with me this month. You can look for Cat Grant here next week. (And let me tell you, I'm excited to read her new book!)  

But okay, it's only fair for me to go first.

When I was a senior in high school, I was reeling over being broken up with (I'm talking to you, Don! --and yes, we're still friends). He was my first real, heart beating in my chest, can't quite breathe right, love. I was 17. It was short and it was sweet, and best of all we still talk once in a while because high school silliness aside, he's an awesome human being. 

But when I was 17, he crushed my heart. And then, there was this girl. My heart had beat double time for a *girl* before. Not ever. And I was SOOOOOO confused. It took several months for me to figure out the name for what I was (bisexual--or really, I am pansexual, because gender is a fluid thing and I'm not hung up on it, but I've been living with the label of bisexual for a lot of years and don't feel like changing it.)

What is it with labels? Are they a bad thing? I'm not sure. I mean, for me, I like having a box I can put myself into. And take myself out of. Because I'm using the label to describe myself (much like I use the labels "mother" "wife" "woman" "author") I don't think that they're a bad thing. But remember, I'm a Capricorn (there you go, another label) and I like lines and boarders and definitions. I may color outside the lines sometimes, but I need to know where those lines are.

Bisexual is one of the labels I have for myself. But it's not one that most people realize. After all, I'm married (to a wonderful man). Before him, I had two very visible marriages--after all, marriage *is* visible. Most married people wear a ring and have a big ceremony and party afterward. Chances are, everyone we meet knows we're married. And if you're married to a person of the opposite gender, people assume you're heterosexual. But getting married doesn't change who you are inside. I'm *just* as bisexual now as I was the day I said "I do."

Probably the worst thing anyone has ever said to me (besides all the stupid boys I ran into when I was younger who wanted to know if my girlfriend wanted to hook up with us too--um, no, honey, if I had a girlfriend I wouldn't be on a date with your sorry ass, and oh, look at the time, gotta go! *shudders*)

Anyway, the worst thing that anyone has ever said me was that he (a gay man) wished he was bisexual like me, so he could "get married to a woman and have a normal life." 

I didn't quite know how to respond to that, except to feel incredibly sad for a gay man who was obviously incredibly uncomfortable in his own skin. Later, I realized I was a little insulted at the underlying assumption. I married the man I married because I'm no love with him, not because I crave society's idea of "normal." If I did, I wouldn't make such a big deal out of, "no, actually I'm not straight, I'm bi." 

So I'm curious, if you're bisexual (or pansexual), what's the worst thing anyone has said to you? 


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing more about your experience! I honestly don't mind labels, as long as I get to choose my own for myself.

That statement from that gay man is sad and bothersome. I "pass" as straight if people don't know any better, since I'm in a relationship with a man. But I wouldn't hide a relationship with a woman if I were in one. I'm with my partner because I we love each other and we're compatible.

I've... actually not had anyone say anything bad to me directly in reference to me being pansexual. Maybe because I've only been out for three or four years. Maybe because I've only told people who just didn't care or are accepting.

H.B. Pattskyn said...

I think that overall, it's getting easier to be bisexual/pansexual (although it seems to be easier for women than men, for reasons I don't understand). There are still people with bias against us and people who refuse to date bisexuals. (Back to the whole, just because I'm bi doesn't mean I'm incapable of fidelity).

It really was sad what that one guy said to me. He was very uncomfortable in his own skin and it showed in so many ways. Once in a while I still think about him, although I've long since cut ties (for a variety of reasons).