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Sep 23 2011

Bisexuality Visibility Day

Today is Bisexuality Visibility Day. So I thought I’d take a moment to say:

I’m bisexual.

Which should come as no surprise to anyone who regularly reads my writing. But it still sometimes does. I’ve had a good number of smart, thoughtful, queer- conscious people assume that, because I’m married to a woman, I’m a lesbian. The possibility that someone could be bisexual is often just not on people’s radar. When someone is in a long-term same-sex relationship, it’s commonly assumed that they’re gay or lesbian; when someone is in a long-term opposite-sex relationship, it’s commonly assumed that they’re straight.

Hell, I’ve done it myself. I’ve heard about weddings/ relationships (of acquaintances, celebrities, etc.) and thought, “Huh, who’d a thunk it. I always read them as gay/ straight. I guess I was wrong.” And then I’ve realized: “Wait a minute. I’m assuming that, because they’re in an opposite-sex relationship — or a same-sex relationship — therefore, they’re straight or gay. And I’m bisexual. D’oh!”

I’ve even done it in my personal life. Just the other day, I was semi-flirting with a guy on the plane, and, when he asked to borrow my copy of “Elle” magazine, I was like, “Oh, well. Never mind. Guess I’m barking up the wrong tree.” And then I realized: “Wait a minute. Yes, the guy likes fashion magazines and is flying to San Francisco. Yes, the odds are excellent that he’s queer. But just because he’s probably queer doesn’t mean he’s not into women. I wouldn’t bet much money on him being straight… but he could be bi. And I’m bisexual. Why do I keep forgetting that this is an option?” (Not that I was going to do anything about it… but I do prefer to think that the people I’m flirting with are, at least in theory, genuinely interested.)

So let’s remember: Bisexuals exist. Bisexuality exists.If someone is in an opposite-sex relationship — it doesn’t mean they’re straight. If someone is in a same-sex relationship — it doesn’t mean they’re lesbian or gay. Unless we know for sure that someone is gay/ lesbian/ straight, we shouldn’t assume that they are.

So happy Bisexuality Visibility Day! And if you’re bi, and you feel comfortable coming out about it — let us know!

63 comments

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  1. 1
    Melody

    I always preferred the word fluid.

  2. 2
    GirlNoir

    I’m bisexual too!

    I try not to make assumptions about people, but just as you say, Greta, it happens. From the other side, it’s hard feeling like I have to preemptively qualify myself, or someone will make the wrong assumption. It’s also hard seeing essentially nobody like me in the media… explicitly bisexual characters are often characterized solely as promiscuous, with very little additional depth (not that promiscuity is inherently bad, by any stretch). Other times, you get a character who has been quite happy and fulfilled in opposite-sex relationships who then discovers a same-sex attraction and abruptly comes out as gay; there’s no middle ground. Slowly but surely, that appears to be changing, and it’s efforts like this that will drive that process.

  3. 3
    Kate from Iowa

    Love the “wait…I’m bi” train of thought!

  4. 4
    Mara

    I’m bisexual and married to a guy :) But yeah, I’ve made the same mistake.

  5. 5
    John

    Hear hear. I’m a married bisexual man myself. I really don’t do anything to bring attention to the fact, though I don’t hide it either. My sexuality just isn’t something that comes up that often. But yes, people need to know that there are a lot of people like myself out there. Perhaps it’s just my point of view, but I think it’s unusual for anyone to be either completely straight or gay. Most of us fall somewhere in a continuum of sexual preference.

  6. 6
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I like fluids myself! Not least Orangina. Mmmmmmm….. Orangina!

    I don’t use bisexual b/c of the inherent dualism. But I recognize that when people talk about “bisexuals” they’re at least *trying* to talk about me.

    I wouldn’t use fluid to describe me as a person, though, because I simply think it’s bizarrely non-specific. What does it mean to be fluid? Self-employed? Good at improvising? Always late or early but never on time?

    And I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to refer to me as “a fluid”. I opt for pansexual in some circles, queer in other, occasionally when I’m trying to say that I’m politically engaged, I use the word “dyke” because when I came out it wasn’t about butch or femme or hyper-sexed or non-sexed or any of that. If you were a lesbian, you were a lesbian. If you were a bi-woman, you were a bi-woman, but if you were a *dyke* – you were a POLITICAL lesbian or bi-woman.

    I’ve been politically engaged since I was challenged by a friend of mine about feeling voting almost wasn’t worth it (I did vote, I just thought about not) during the very first election in which I was eligible to participate. I have opinions on everything from subsidy policy in the farming & energy sectors to the interpretation of the “necessary & proper” clause of the constitution. Given all that, it would seem weird not to consider myself among the political crowd. Plus, since it has the virtue of not excluding bisexuality, pansexuality & general queerness, I don’t have to worry about betraying some “dyke” community if & when I fall in love.

    So…. I don’t use bisexual much, but I appreciate the need for organizing around issues that affect people specifically because they are neither straight nor gay/lesbian. Admittedly those issues either overlap with gay/lesbian issues OR they are social and not legal (I don’t know of any law or policy which treats straight & gay/lesbian people the same but treats bi/pan people differently). But that doesn’t make such issues unimportant. It just changes the focus of the discussion.

    Anyway, that’s my ramble on this Friday the 23rd.

  7. 7
    Toaster

    I’m bisexual too!

    … that’s about all I have to add to the conversation.

  8. 8
    GemmaM

    I’m a little bit bi. But I’ve never had the chance to do more than make out with a woman; I’m in a monogamous LTR with a guy, and I really do think I lean pretty heavily hetero. Can’t be sure, though.

  9. 9
    Cuttlefish

    In classes, I’ve talked about how anyone who looks at a spectrum and only sees black and white is missing so much–I have a similar theoretical beef with someone who sees three colors (it wouldn’t be black, white, and grey, because there are many shades of grey, which kinda gets back to the spectrum idea). Variation is inherent in the human–no, in the living condition. Indeed, variation is a necessary part of evolution, and of learning, and of culture. Compartmentalization is a very human thing to do, but it puts unboxed stuff into boxes, and often loses important details along the way.

    That said, everything about me is boringly at one end of that gorgeous spectrum, and I frequently fall into the traps of dichotomizing, assuming myself as default, and other such biases that I rail against professionally. I’d like to think it’s human nature, and not a personal fault, but every once in a while I am just shocked at how dense I can be.

    Happy BV day to people all along the spectrum!

  10. 10
    Irata

    Well, I’ve recently come out to my therapist as bi… and wishing I could do something as bold as you did and come out to the world. But it’s nice to know there is a day of recognition I guess… Makes me feel less crazy! :)

  11. 11
    Kaoru

    Well, as long as you asked.

    I’m bisexual, very clearly so in my day to day life, out to my friends, and very well may be coming out to my parents within 24 hours. Wish me luck!

  12. 12
    Hazuki

    There’s a lot of bi-phobia out there. I try not to contribute; I’m lesbian and was dating a bi woman for some 4 years. That was never an issue because we agreed to be exclusive ahead of time. The bisexual reputation for being greedy is an undeserved one. And she would have been abusive anyway no matter what she was into, as I found out the hard way :/

    Cuttlefish hit it on the head before; this is a spectrum.

  13. 13
    James Davis

    I’m bi, and Hazuki is totally right. There’s tons of bi-phobia.

  14. 14
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’m in kind of a weird place with this. I find sex with men appealing and it features in many of my fantasies, but while I’m not as skeptical about the possibility as I used to be, I still can’t say I’ve met a guy I’d actually want to date, and I don’t usually find myself attracted to men I meet unless they’re fairly feminine-looking. Since I’m not really seeking a same-sex partner, since there is a stigma, and since the Red Cross still has that ridiculous blood donation policy and donating is (in principle) important to me (though the reminder calls I get consistently coincide with minor colds), I tend to just describe myself as straight. >.>

  15. 15
    Quinapalus

    Bi and loving the implied puns generated by putting “visibility” and “spectrum” in the same thread!

  16. 16
    Maria

    Yep, I’ve been attracted to and have fallen in love with, both men and women in my life. Though men have been overrepresentated – maybe 80 %/20 %, or so.

  17. 17
    Dhorvath, OM

    Bi? I dunno. I am open to opportunities, but it’s not something that draws my attention. I don’t want to step on toes, just saying that I can appreciate that sexuality is nuanced and that I don’t squish into hetero without missing some complexities of who I am.

  18. 18
    martha

    I always think that everybody, or at least everybody female, is a little bit bi, but doesn’t talk about it because of the sexual repression of the last gazillion years. I’m confused by the apparent rancor over this issue.

  19. 19
    Blake Stacey

    I’m bisexual.

    Kaoru (#11):

    Good luck!

  20. 20
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I always think that everybody, or at least everybody female, is a little bit bi, but doesn’t talk about it because of the sexual repression of the last gazillion years. I’m confused by the apparent rancor over this issue.

    Why that qualifier?

  21. 21
    SallyStrange

    I’m bisexual! And as I’ve talked about it more with my boyfriend, he has admitted that not only has he had sexual encounters with other men, he continues to have feelings of sexual attraction towards men from time to time. He has concluded that he is bisexual too, even though I don’t see him acting on it as a realistic possibility. Still, it’s nice to see him owning it instead of feeling ashamed of fooling around with other men and boys.

  22. 22
    blondeintokyo

    I’m a bisexual polyamorus atheist dominant. :)

    My boyfriend is also bi and poly, and we’ve joked that when we are out and about, we look like a very typical couple- but we are anything but! Goes to show you that you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

  23. 23
    Simone

    I’m bisexual and femme. I have had three long-term, monogamous relationships, the first with a woman, the second with a genderqueer guy (ftm, no hormones) and have a child by my last partner, a cis-gendered man. I felt invisible as a queer when I lived in the city (Sydney, Australia), but have recently moved to a much smaller town and feel even more invisible than before.

  24. 24
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Bi, and tired of being invisible.

  25. 25
    Charlotte

    I’m bisexual!

    I’ll have something more to say when I can hold my eyes open long enough. Just didn’t want to let the day pass…

  26. 26
    Daz, when the wind's called Mariah I know a hawk from a handsaw

    I experimented, I suppose you could call it, a couple of times in my younger days. It didn’t make me want to go looking for more, but the right offer, from the right person… Yeah, I’d still be willing to try it again. Odd that I never actually thought of it, but I s’pose I am bi.

  27. 27
    Nentuaby

    Hi there. Bi dude being visible at y’all. :)

    The lack of bi visibility royally screwed me up in my teenage years. I just couldn’t process it. I had these feelings for guys, so I considered I might be gay. But no, boobies, obviously I’m straight! Therefore, what the fuck. I just could not work it into an explanatory framework– bisexuality was literally not even something I could conceptualize as a possibility.

    Hence, I ended up so sexually confused that I just shut down. I spent more than a decade of my life acting as if I had no sexuality whatsoever, and shying away from any relationship that might challenge that. It… Really sucked, to wax ineloquent.

    I am *very* glad things like this are happening now. Hopefully it’ll help some of the younger generation avoid being nearly so messed up.

  28. 28
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    I’m not bi. But this commercial gave me a good hearty laugh, because it plays on the sort of misconceptions you’re talking about here, so I thought I’d share it.

  29. 29
    Katie

    I’m a woman on the straight end if the spectrum of sexuality, living in a fairly liberal country where gay / lesbian people are generally accepted. Both my husband and I have raised our 10 year olds to see people as just people, gay, straight, it’s all good. Love is love.
    Recently though I have discovered I’ve left a small hole in their education on sexuality. We’ve talked about being gay, being straight and being lesbian, but not being Bi. How could I have forgotten about that? I mean, sexuality is a fluid thing. People change as they grow, they come to understand themselves a little better, (at least one hopes this is the case).
    Given my understanding and acceptance of my own sexuality and that of others I find it hard to explain why I have a blind spot about being Bi.
    Is it just a case of complacentcy or intellectual laziness I wonder? Or more that we make assumptions about the sexuality if others based on current relationships? I think it’s a bit if both, and it’s something I will have to better with, more thoughtful and less given to assumptions.

  30. 30
    Lessa

    I identify as lesbian (or queer, when I want to be defiant), although half of my sexual experience has been with men. I am currently dating an awesome bisexual girl. I think people are too uncomfortable with the idea that love/attraction/lust can be extended to many types of people

  31. 31
    Mary

    When I am walking down the street, and a beautiful person catches my eye – makes me turn my head and stare helplessly, in the grip of a brief but incredibly strong crush – that person is almost always female. Guys are cute, but they don’t turn my head.

    However, when it comes to actual sex, I almost always want a man. I’m not turned off by female anatomy, and it’s definitely fun to watch a girl squirm when you touch her just right, but it doesn’t do much for me. In bed, I want a dude.

    The in-between – kissing, fondling, etc.? Pretty much 50-50.

    So… does that make me bi? Or does it just make me a really weird straight girl? Does it make me sorta-bi? Does that exist?

    Does it matter?

    I love the idea of bisexuality visibility, because it’s a step closer to getting rid of the labels all together. Maybe it’s just a pipe dream, but I look forward to the day when you don’t have to identify as anything at all, because the gender of your partner is just not an issue.

  32. 32
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I also want to add, ‘Good luck, Kaoru!’

    I have mixed feelings about the commercial – it is sweet that it acknowledges queer attractions, and the complexity of sexuality, but the implied lying gets me. Sigh. Not that I didn’t laugh at first. It was the grabbing the shoe at the end that got me.

    As for Lessa – yes, you’re right. Very many people are uncomfortable with complicated sexuality.

    Take the JoAnn Loulan incident, for example. Definitely would have broken the internet if the internet had been 10 years ahead…

  33. 33
    Yellow Thursday

    I’m… complicated. I’ve spent most of my adult life in a monogamous relationship with one man (we are now married). However, I still maintain that if we hadn’t met, I could have just as easily ended up in a relationship with a woman as a man.

    I consider myself bisexual. My husband says I’m “bi-curious” (he’s the only one who knows I’m attracted to both men and women), since I’ve never actually had sex with a woman. But defining someone’s sexual orientation by their sexual experience would mean saying that someone who’s been raped by someone of the same sex is homosexual. Or that a virgin is asexual.

    I can be out on the internet, where I’m anonymous, but not in real life. My family is strongly Christian and wouldn’t accept someone of an “unnatural” sexual orientation. Plus, I work in a traditional field, so coming out as bi would be detrimental to my career. It was bad enough when I came out as an atheist – I wouldn’t want them to know I’m bi, too. But being married works in my favor, here, because everyone assumes I’m straight, and I let them.

  34. 34
    redwards

    Gah! I can’t believe I missed this! I identify as bi, because here down South, being out with a gaggle of kids and my nerdy husbeast is mind-blowing enough (“But you’re so normal!? You have a mortgage!? And a car payment!” People are weird.). But I am out about it, because at least the kids’ friends see a pretty normal family when they see us, and that adds to a little to their vision of who can be queer & what queer lives can look like. The poly- & kinky-thing I’m a little private about. It feels a little more personal, because it involves more than just my sexuality, but my partners as well, I think.

  35. 35
    martha

    Azkyroth wrote “Why that qualifier?” meaning, I think, “at least everyone female” is a little bit bi. I wrote that because in my (admittedly small) experience, guys seem an lot less fluid and more adamant about their sexual orientation. For women, well, a side effect of male dominated art & advertising is a blanket permission to admire the female body — nobody seems to care that the women are looking too. In books too, a reading woman can spend a lot of time happily & unhappily looking at women through male authors’ eyes. I don’t think men get quite the same degree of permission to lust after men. (OK, exception for DH Lawrence & Calvin Klein undwear ads.) Also in most cultures, there seems to be a lot of baggage attached to whether you are the – forgive me- poke-er or poke-ee. For men, that might be a barrier to sleeping with men. For women, it’s more of a barrier to – well – sleeping with men. (Um, I see how this might be different for a mostly-gay man who’s also interested in women- I’ve just never met anyone I knew was in this category.)

    This all isn’t meant to defend a position, just to describe what the world looks like from inside my brain. I’m endlessly curious about what things look like from inside other brains.

  36. 36
    Charlotte

    I totally agree with Crip Dyke. While the ad is funny and, as the author of the comment said, demonstrates the kind of thinking in Greta’s post, it also seems to reinforce another stereotype or misconception about bisexual people: that we cannot be monogamous.

    This is completely and utter false! Bisexuals are just as capable of monogamy as anyone else. I have been in loving and committed relationships with women and with men, and I am married to the love of my life who happens to be a man.

    Bisexuality, for me, does not mean that I will eventually stray due to being “deprived” of having sex with women. I love my husband with all my heart, and I am 100% committed to him and to our relationship, which does not include third parties of either sex. Bisexuality, to me, simply means that when I have been single and dating, I have been equally attracted to, and open to relationships with both men and women. Once the relationship is established, however, I do not feel as though I’m missing out on anything.

    Being married to a man does mean that I lean more toward heterosexuality, it just means that the individual person who I love and want to share my life with just happens to be male. Had Michael been Michelle, I would still be right where I am, only with a woman by my side.

    All that said, I understand that everyone has different needs, and that every relationship is unique. There are people of all sexualities who like to “swing”, even within committed relationships, because if the “swinging” is consensual, the commitment has not been broken. It’s just not something that my husband and I are interested in and, therefore, have no reason to consent to it. We have been together for more than ten years, and I have never even considered being unfaithful. I am perfectly happy and satisfied in my monogamous, opposite-sex marriage and have never felt that anything was missing from my sex life.

    But I am bisexual.

    So, yeah, like Crip Dyke, I enjoyed the ad until the end where the woman grabbed her shoe from inside a cupboard. That’s when I thought to myself, “Tsk… Aw, man…”

  37. 37
    Liam

    I think, while we’re at it, we really ought to consider the fact that there isn’t just bisexuality between straight and queer. While these really ARE forms or sub-categories of bisexuality, (the same way gray itself has many different shades of color and not just THE gray) we could draw attention to the hetero- or homo-flexible.

    I live with four women, two of which are in a relationship, and talking to them, I’ve realized that while they could date members of either sex, they usually sport a reference. Some prefer to date guys, and subsequently prefers the term heteroflexible, and others lean towards their own sex, thus homoflexible. One really has no weight on the matter, so she says she’s strictly bi.

    I’m not objecting to anything, really, just thought these terms could use some spreading around. I know most people are a bit iffy when it comes to making more labels, but I prefer to have something that can describe my position more clearly.

  38. 38
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    martha:

    Right. But that doesn’t imply that fewer men are bisexual, just that more of them are closeted, even from themselves. O.o

  39. 39
    Stevarious

    Well martha, your more than welcome to a peek into my head.

    I’ve never held any doubt, since I was 12 years old, that I was attracted to women. But that’s not the whole story.
    Since I was raised in a religious household in an extremely religious region, I had zero experience with anyone of any non-hetero orientation until I was 20, and like most religious people I was decidedly prejudiced towards ‘teh gayz’. This changed (drastically) when I moved into an apartment next door to a gay couple.
    They were easily some of the most open, friendly, and generous people I had ever met. They very freely discussed their views on homosexuality with me. Lisa was gay for as long as she could remember. She told me that she had never, ever been attracted to a man. She was estranged from her entire family because of this.
    Melissa was completely different. She claimed she was bisexual by nature but lesbian by choice. I don’t think I understood that statement until years later.
    At any rate, they were together raising a daughter from melissa’s marriage several years beforehand, and I had never met such a sweet, well-behaved girl. She wasn’t the emotional wreck that I had been taught to expect of a child of the gayz.
    Anyway, it was a huge eye-opening experience and my first steps toward atheism.
    But to my point. Years later, after my relationship with my ex-fiance ended, I (foolishly) decided that maybe I should try men. I (stupidly) thought that maybe the reason I was having so much trouble was because of some rather stereotypical ideas I had about women, and that maybe men would be more reasonable. Nothing ever came of it – it became readily apparent that though I was able to open my mind enough to appreciate how men could be attractive, I wasn’t the least bit sexually attracted to them.

    So I, at least, can honestly say that I’m definitely not bisexual, because I honestly made the effort to see if I was.

    I know its just my own personal anecdote, but I figured someone might be interested in it.

  40. 40
    Charlotte

    Liam:

    I hear exactly what you’re saying! So many shades….

    My husband has said that I’m closer to the “50 yard line” than any bisexual he has known. I got a laugh out of that. =)

  41. 41
    Charlotte

    As someone else mentioned, I feel differently about the whole kink thing as well. I don’t feel the need to be “out” about it, but I don’t care if other people are.

    For me, it’s not the same as being out as gay, lesbian, trans, or anything else that people don’t want to hide in public. When I dated women, I wanted to be able to go out and not have to hide that we were a couple. I wanted to hold hands, kiss, etc., so being “out” was important to me and served a purpose.

    Being out as kinky isn’t as important to me because I don’t want to be hogtied or spanked, for instance, in public. So telling people that I’m into BDSM doesn’t seem to serve any practical purpose. In fact, part of the thrill for me, with regard to the D/s aspect of my relationship, is in the subtle things that no one else knows about. For example, wearing sliver cuff-like bracelets and matching choker that, between my husband and me, would represent my submission, but that everyone else just sees as pretty jewelry. Or being at a party and responding to a certain gesture from him that means something specific to us (I’d like another beer, or something like that) but that no one else picks up on. It would lose a certain something for me if I were to say, “Hey, look at me being all submissive and stuff.”

    That said, I recognize and respect the fact that being “out” in this way is important to other people and that is fine. It’s just doesn’t float my own private boat. ;-)

  42. 42
    NathanDST

    Totally missed the day, but I’m bisexual (fluidly* so), polyamorous, BDSM switch.

    Shorter version: I’m greedy.

    *meaning that some days it’s closer to 50/50, others 70/30, or 60/40, or 90/10, or almost any combination except 100/0.

  43. 43
    KG

    I hadn’t seen the bi symbol you have at the head of the thread before. Very interesting topologically, because it’s the simplest way of making two curves in a 3D space inseparable without being linked (linked means you would have to pass one through the other to separate them, but in this case you can do that by passing the figure-of-eight through itself at the central crossing point).

    We now return you to the discussion of sexuality…

  44. 44
    Viscaria

    I can’t believe I missed Bisexuality Visibility Day! I tend to be much more aware of and attracted to men than women, I’ve really never met a woman that I could fall in love with, and yet after years and years of struggling to understand/ignore/justify my attractions to women I’m glad I finally decided to identify as bi.

    I still behave pretty much like a straight girl (except that me and my boyfriend incorporate a fair bit of girl-on-girl dirty talk in our loveplay–fun for everyone!) but being able to embrace the label “bisexual” has allowed me to accept my whole sexual experience, instead of dismissing and minimizing a part of it.

  45. 45
    Joolz

    I wish that no-one had to be anything to anybody. I spent most of my formative years not noticing if anyone was gay, straight, bi or whatever they wanted to be. I grew up around “theatrical” people so a man named Brian who was referred to as “she” was completely normal for me – and that normal has stayed with me forever.

    I find the whole straight/gay/bi thing bizarre because I really don’t care what other people I know do in bed together. If two men share a house then I don’t care and don’t need to know whether or not they suck each others’ cocks or have anal sex or are simply flatmates who sleep in seperate rooms, or maybe cuddle in the same room because they have abandonment issues. In the same way I don’t need to know whether or not a hetero couple have penis in vagina sex or prefer to pleasure each other using toys or tongues.

    Why people so obsessed by what other people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms/hallways/bathrooms/etc? I don’t care, and find it weird that anyone else does.

    I do understand that it is down to upbringing and I hope that at some point in the very near future that no-one will care who someone chooses to have a relationship with and everyone can take their current paramour to work events, and visits with parents, and, just everything.

    I will say that I class myself as straight (as we currently understand sexuality) because I have no real desire to have sex with another woman. I do, however, have an ongoing crush on Summer Glau ( when I mentioned this to my husband this evening his response was simply “Who wouldn’t?”) but I don’t want to have sex with her, I just like watching her move. I also have a crush on Josh Whedon because I love some of his writing, but mainly because he once said that if he had the chance of having any superpower of his choice he choose speaking and understanding every language in the world – I too would choose that superpower although it hadn’t occurred to me until he said it. I don’t, however, have a sexual crush on him – it’s more a cerebral crush.

    Because of this I will never understand why anyone wants to limit attraction to straight, homosexual or bi. Attraction can simply be anything that attracts.

    Julie

  46. 46
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Because of this I will never understand why anyone wants to limit attraction to straight, homosexual or bi. Attraction can simply be anything that attracts.

    Most people use “attraction” to mean “wanting to fuck someone” though. Which is a bit different from being impressed by, admiring, identifying with, or understanding them, though I think it works better when it incorporates those elements.

  47. 47
    Jules Cox

    Cripes, I want to be out! I’m bisexual, and my family doesn’t know. I am married, and it always surprises people when I tell them I’m bi. I want to be out to my family. I haven’t worked up the nerve to do so. I imagine the first question will be, “Why does it matter? Why bring it up? You married a man.” Because I’m in Texas. Dog help me.

  48. 48
    ccaldwell314

    Thank you for this. I have a HRC sticker on my desk at work, and one of my co-workers recently asked what it was. I explained what HRC is, and what they stand for. I’m female, married to a man, so his response was, “Wait… I thought you were married!” I told him that I was bisexual and he goes, “Huh… I thought maybe you used to be a lesbian… you know, cause of your hair” (I definitely look like most people’s idea of a lesbian).

    The more people we make aware of us, the more we can avoid situations like the one I just described. Despite his clumsiness in our exchange, he was genuinely interested and intrigued in my lifestyle.

  49. 49
    ccaldwell314

    @Jules Cox Are we the same person? Your story mirrors mine exactly, down to the state we live in.

  50. 50
    Charlotte

    “Because I’m in Texas.”

    I was born and raised in Texas, and lived there for 42 years before finally making my escape two and a half years ago. So, yeah, I totally get what you’re saying.

  51. 51
    Jules Cox

    @ccaldwell314 Could be – do you raise sheep and write sci/fi-fantasy erotica? Cuz I always wanted a doppleganger.

  52. 52
    Meagen

    Well, I may be married to a man and I may not have much experience with either gender, but I find women too attractive to be straight and I find men too attractive to be a lesbian. Geeky bisexual gamer here.

  53. 53
    DaisiesAndShit

    Aww… I forgot to be visible.

    Technically I identify as pansexual, but most of the time I simply tell people I’m bi just to save myself from having to explain.

    One notable exception – nothing I’ve found gets rid of proselytizers faster than proclaiming myself a pansexual polyamorous atheist. They may not know exactly what it means, but they seem to know they don’t want anything to do with it. ;)

  54. 54
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    While I say “bisexual” for convenience sake, I consider myself “pansexual” in that I have no qualms about gender – male, female, transgender, transsexual (post or pre-op,) intersex – doesn’t matter one iota what a person is.

    I’m also transgender, so yea.

  55. 55
    ringo

    What Katherine Lorraine said, I agree with every word.
    Though I’m FTM.

  56. 56
    DFS

    I’m male and have been exclusively gay for the past 15+ years though I do have some bi-curiosity. Visible Male bisexuality is virtually nonexistent. Female bisexuality is viewed far more as “normal” and expected.(even reflected by comments here)

    I have yet to find an outlet for my curiosity in a setting where I don’t have to be dishonest

  57. 57
    Nentuaby

    DaisiesAndShit, Katherine Lorraine:

    Hurm, you raise a point for me. I’m pansexual but say bi by default, because the gain in accuracy doesn’t seem to be worth the extra work of explaining gender theory 101 to everyone I come out with. I really should have used my proper identification here, but there I am up there just saying bi… Guess I’ve let the habit become too ingrained.

  58. 58
    Soccerlvr

    I just discovered this blog through Pharyngula. I’ve recently come to terms with my bi-sexuality and atheism and there is no one I feel I can come out to anytime soon. I’m a woman happily married to a wonderful man, but I just don’t think he’s ready for either news.
    I think being raised in a very strict Christian home, I suppressed my sexuality until now (I’m 28). I’m grateful for this blog, blogpost, and everyone who has shared their experiences. I don’t feel quite so alone.

  59. 59
    Patrick

    Bi-sexual here too, I can very much identify with the blog entry, I make the same thought-errors myself quite often.

    As an interesting aside, I have 4 siblings, 3 are straight and 1 is gay, I also have 2 (ex-Fundy, these days a bit more progressive) Christian parents. While my parents don’t agree with my gay-sibling’s sexual orientation, they deal with it. They find mine a little harder to grasp as they don’t understand the whole choice vs ‘born that way’ situation, my Dad just outright doesn’t accept that bisexuality exists. Thankfully I have an excellent relationship with them regardless!

  60. 60
    Musical Atheist

    I’ve identified as bisexual since I was 15 or 16 – I’m 29 now. I’m in a long-term, occasionally non-monogamous relationship with a man. But does anyone else have the following problem?

    Since I’ve been in a stable relationship with a man for the last 6 years, I feel kind of like I no longer have the right to be part of queer culture. I loved going to gay bars and clubs with my female lovers, and feeling at home, knowing that my girlfriend and I weren’t a spectacle. Now in a straight relationship, I feel a bit self-conscious and unjustified going to the same places, especially with my partner, even though I’m still attracted to women.

  61. 61
    Melody

    I can relate to Musical Atheist’s feelings and experiences, although I am monogamous and married to a man.

  62. 62
    Ed

    I think being bisexual has a lot to do with what goes on inside your head, more than just who’s in your bed. I’m bisexual, and though I am married to a straight woman who knows I’m bi, I have chosen to be monogamous. It was a choice I made. It wasn’t an easy one (in some ways), and yet, in order to have my wife remain in my life, that was a choice I knew I had to make. I don’t regret that in the slighest! Choose one thing and you often choose against something else. Life’s like that sometimes.

    I’m still as bisexual as before (inside my head it’s very interesting sometimes)! I see guys sometimes that really turn my head, and I love that feeling. Why shouldn’t I? It’s only natural! It doesn’t mean I don’t love my wife. It just means that I’m “queer!”

    Fortunately for me, my wife accepts all this! I show her the same respect. You do that for those you care about.

    Edgerman58

  63. 63
    Torie

    This post is awesome! I’m a bi woman in a relationship with a guy, and if I want any bisexual visibility whatsoever I have to literally bring it up, point it out to people, wear a bi pride shirt, go to pride events, etc.
    To some people, it might not matter if people know they’re bi. That’s fine, but to me, it matters. Don’t call me straight; I’m not straight. Don’t call me gay either. I’m not gay. But almost any monogamous bi person occupies an awkward place of near invisibility. Openly poly people probably have an easier time (though I’m not poly, so I can’t say for sure).

  1. 64
    One Year | Reasonable Conversation

    [...] I said it. There was a lot of buildup, but what tipped me over the edge was a post about Bisexuality Visibility Day on Greta Christina’s blog. I hope one day I might thank her in person for writing that and creating a community of readers [...]

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