Best Bi

There are two sides to every story.

By Steven Wells
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Apr. 28, 2009

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“Someone had tagged me on YouTube or somewhere as ‘pretendedtobegaynow- married’,” says Robinson. “I tried to contact the person directly with several hundred sworn affidavits obtained from former male partners. Unfortunately, their ID was anonymous with only a pseudonym and no forwarding email address. Such is the heavy burden we bisexual men have to live under. Other than that, everything’s fine.”

Bisexuals, in the words of bisexual pop star Howard Devoto, are still getting shot by both sides.

When the writer Susan Sontag defined herself as bisexual, she was vilified. After her death she became a political football for gay movement dinosaurs who saw her declared bisexuality as a betrayal. Which strikes me as particularly stupid. What was she supposed to do? Put half of herself back in the closet? Pretend she didn’t find some men attractive? Lie?

And to what end? To preserve the ridiculous but almost universally held notion that human sexuality resembles a pint of Guinness, with a massive totally straight majority topped by an entirely separate 9 percent (or thereabouts) layer of gay froth?

Please. Kinsey smashed that myth as far back as the 1940s.

“Every Pride I’ve ever been to,” says James Klawitter, a Philly bi activist who’s in a relationship with a bi woman, “I hear, ‘Ooh, bisexuals, what are you doing here?’ Most people I know who I would classify as bi don’t call themselves bi because they don’t need the pressure. They don’t want to have to deal with the stigma.”

“I’m a bi woman in a relationship with a lesbian woman,” says Cappy Harrison, who’s on the steering committee of BiUnity of Philadelphia, a support network for Philly bisexuals. “You get people telling her they’ll help her find a ‘real’ woman. There’s still a stigma in the lesbian community. There’s still work to be done.”

Really? Even though bisexuals now have their own initial in LGBT?

“Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything being done for the Bs and the Ts. I’ve seen whole weekends of events with nothing on the schedule for bisexuals.”

Robyn Ochs, editor of the anthology Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World, says, “The perception that bisexual people are on some sort of fence, refusing to make a commitment to the gay and lesbian movement or to commit to a ‘real’ identity, is, unfortunately, still alive and thriving.”

“I believe a lot of bi phobia comes from people’s needs to believe in false binaries,” Ochs adds. “Human beings love to think in binaries—in race, in gender, in sexuality.”

So is Ochs willing to consider the possibility of bisexuals being in the majority? “[It] depends on how you define bisexual. If you mean everyone who’s ever had a crush on somebody of the same sex, then maybe. But if you define bisexual strictly as being equally attracted to both sexes, then no.”

I have met men who passionately and with great fervor deny the existence of a single gay bone in their entirely heterosexual bodies. One such person recently went on vacation to Thailand, fell in love with a slim elfin beauty in a bar and took her back to his beach hut where, in the throes of sexual passion, he discovered she was a he.

So what did he—this 100 percent totally not-a-gay-bone-in-his-body heterosexual—do?

“What do you think I did?” he said. “I flipped him over and fucked his arse.”

“Wow,” I said. “What was it like?”

“Same as fucking a woman up the arse,” he said.

Back in the early days of the gay liberation movement, says Robyn Ochs, there was a slogan: “RELEASE THE HOMOSEXUAL IN EVERYONE.”

Personally, I think it’s worth reviving.

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Comments 1 - 5 of 5
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1. Nico said... on Apr 29, 2009 at 11:40AM

“As a bisexual woman who has laughingly referred to herself as a bisexual man in a woman's skin, I found this article to be both refreshing and amusing. Most of the time when the subject of sexuality comes up in conversation with the close minded and confused sort, be they gay, straight or lesbian I typically keep my mouth shut to avoid dealing with their small mindedness and antiquated attitudes about bisexuality unless I happen to be in an aggresive mood. Thanks for setting everyone straight Steve. Right on!”

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2. Charles Tyson said... on Apr 29, 2009 at 06:57PM

“There has been many a person who claims that bisexuality "doesn't exist!"

I've come across that intellectually-stunted viewpoint from several different kinds of people.
Even a good friend of mine who is otherwise very open minded and liberal told me that "being gay is not a choice but being bisexual is!"

You don't choose to like your own sex, but then going to the opposite sex IS chosen behavior! And also that there really isn't a "bisexual." Just varying degrees of "gay." She views anything not heterosexual as just being "gay." Any attempts on my part to dissuade her from this fallacious mindset just resulted in a heated argument in which I almost jumped from her moving car!

Needless to say, in order for us to remain friends, that subject never came up in conversation AGAIN!!! :)”

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3. Monica said... on May 4, 2009 at 10:17AM

“In terms of bisexuality being a choice; the way I see it is that the only choice we have in terms of our sexuality is the choice about how we identify ourselves.
We also have a RIGHT to self-identify. So all of those folks who tell us that bisexuality doesn't exist, may be suggesting that it is not my right to choose my label, but everyone else's right to label me. Pretty sure that most gay, lesbian and hetero-identified folks prefer to claim/choose their label instead of some of the vicious labels that get thrown at them.

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4. JS said... on May 5, 2009 at 12:07PM

“No Mr. Wells, that doesn't make you straight. Maybe you're straighter now than at 16, but based on your statements, mostly women get you excited and most of the people you've had sex with have been female, to me make you mostly straight, but not entirely. You might as well embrace it. I never thought any of those rockers looked like butch girls. Maybe Steven Tyler.”

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5. Rick said... on Dec 10, 2012 at 09:35AM

“As a married guy, 40, wife is 35 and sexy I can say that occasionally I feel the "need" for a male/male massage and it almost 100% ends with mutual touching and oral for both of us or just him "making me" do it for him. It's the taboo of it being so taboo and erotic that does it. I do it for my wife with our toy to role-play it too but I don't have the guts to do it for real for her (yet)

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