A very ‘Happy Bi Visibility Day’ to my fellow bisexual buddies in our queer family – whose struggle with the stereotypical is still very real.
Although, I always joke that I’m not really Bisexual but Billingual – I just ticked the wrong box on the Equality and Diversity form, I feel our pain.
Why do so many people, usually the older generation, and I include my straight and gay peers in that, have such a desperate desire to put their labels on everyone.
And why is it that when you say ‘I’m Bi’ then people feel they are perfectly entitled to put you in their prejudiced, preconceived box.
I think ‘Bi is Beautiful’ but you don’t have to understand or agree, you just have to accept and respect who I am.
Then there’s the absolute ignorance as to what Bi actually means with the assumption that every Bi woman is really ‘living a lie’ and is actually a lesbian, whilst every Bi man is a closet gay taking that first step to full on homosexuality.
And yeah, yeah, I’ve also heard all the wisecracks about ‘being greedy, ‘can’t make up your mind,’ best of both worlds’ blah, blah, blah.
All said under that awful excuse of ‘banter,’ or with the classic comeback, if you get a bit arsey, “Chill Out, I was only joking.’ Ha bloody Ha – you’re a comedy genius mate.
Then we get into the minefield of who you actually happen to be dating.
If you date a bloke he’s ‘turned you back’ – see that’s all you needed was a real man to put you straight. If you date a woman then, that’s it, you have now gone into full blown lesbian mode from 0 to 90 in three seconds as you were obviously deep in Narnia for years. Massive eye roll and even more massive yawn from me on that one.
That’s usually then followed by the classic, ‘You can’t be gay, ‘cos you don’t look like a lesbian.’ Oh excuse me whilst I go home, get a haircut like P!NK, and put on a suit and tie whilst simultaneously sprinkling myself with Rainbow dust…just for you.
It’s not how you look as a lesbian, it’s how you look at other women isn’t it?
And Bisexuals have always been attracted to both sexes – but don’t get excited, not when they are both together.
Bizarrely, no one ever questions you when you are in a opposite sex relationship. But the first time you go public with a woman, all hell breaks loose and it seems like the whole world is having a ‘Coming Out’ Party on your behalf. I didn’t even bother turning up to mine…I was washing my hair.
And then if you date a bloke again that really throws the supercilious squad into a spin.
As Robyn Ochs said: “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge in myself the potential to be attracted, romantically and/or sexually, to people of more than one sex, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
I strongly believe that, for some people, sexual orientation takes a while to work out, is not always clear cut or easily defined, can be about the person not the gender, and can change over time – even changing back and forth too.
That’s why I identify as queer mostly now – as it’s such a much more inclusive and all embracing term.
Also quite like the ‘Fluid’ thing. Picked that one up from the young people I talk to, my own straight kids included, who are so so less hung up about the whole sexual orientation thing than my generation ever were, so there’s a glimmer of hope.
I tell you what, and here’s a radical thought, shall we keep the labels for our clothes and just let people be who they want to be.
Let’s just live as we live, and love as we love.
Now that would be beautiful.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist.
She blogs about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.