There are two sides to every story.
“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.
Judge Daniel Anders may be the most well-known personality in the least-known political campaign in Philadelphia. On top of his regular judicial schedule, Anders is flying in full campaign mode, running ragged from one event to another throughout the city while seeking a 10-year seat on Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas. He’s also running as the city’s first openly gay judge.
As a transsexual African-American female organist, Desiree Hines has encountered her fair share of discrimination in a field dominated by white men. But along her rough road she’s developed a commitment to visibility. The director of the Traverse Arts Project (TAP)’s upcoming LGBT festival, Hines sat down to talk with PW about her long journey.
Welcome to The Skorpion Show, a low-tech, high-volume YouTube talk show full of celebrity gossip, family intrusions and occasional advice on how to tell if your man is gay. And Kevin Simmons—the “Skorpion” of the show’s title—believes it can be his launching pad to stardom.
There’s a rich history of queer activism here. But now, outside of friendly enclaves like Philly, it’s still perfectly legal in Pennsylvania to fire someone or deny someone housing because they are gay or transgendered.
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