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June 30, 2010

Archives: October 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 9:05 pm

I found this in my drafts folder under the title “akwardfunnycute”:

I was just thinking about how bi folks end up playing this kind of inverse-pronoun-game with each other. There’s this cute scene where Regina and I are sitting in the coffeehouse – on what may or may not be a date, but is certainly the first time we’ve hung out one-on-one – having this convoluted conversation where we’re both trying to obscure the genders of our respective partners. I think she’s gay and that she suspects I’m gay even though I’m not. And she probably thinks I’m gay and that I suspect she’s gay, even though she’s not. And, because we’re both queer and savvy, it’s obvious to both of us that we’re playing the pronoun game – but that just makes each of us MORE convinced that the other one is gay. Actually we’re BOTH doing it because, of course, the minute you let on that you have a partner or ex-partner who’s male – which we both do – you automatically get pegged as straight and the girl loses interest (or figures you’re not interested in her.)

I’m sick to death of getting read as straight. And I hate the fact that the only way to NOT get read as straight is to try harder to get read as gay – because there’s nothing even approaching a comparably concrete “bisexual” identity. Fuck, there isn’t even a comparable WORD – a slang term, like ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ instead of ‘homosexual’ – that establishes an identity not rooted in the word “sex”. And so I’m stuck with either bisexual, this weird, categorially confused, fucking-fixated, gender-binary-reinforcing moniker; queer, an ambiguous umbrella term that means more about my politics than about who I’m attracted to; or pansexual, which sounds like a bunch of naked hippies in a hot tub. And mostly, unless I noisily tag myself in with one of these reductive labels in conversation (awkward!), it doesn’t even occur to most people that I exist.

There is sort of enough of a vague identity or common traits that I can kinda sometimes sorta peg other bi folks, but I still mostly read them as either ‘Straight-Bi’ or ‘Gay-Bi’ – in other words a straight girl who sleeps with other girls or a lesbian who also sleeps with dudes. This is internalized biphobia on my part, but I know I’m not the only one. Ugh. This idea of bisexuality as either being “curious” or being half-assed gay; I’m over it. (Okay, there’s also the kind of neopagan earth mother “sensual goddess” bisexual stereotype but, again, naked hippies in a hot tub.) And bisexual boys have it even worse. There is really no space in our culture for mens’ sexualities to be more complex or ambiguous than: “Cock? YES!” or “Cock? NO. Ew. Gross. No.”

It sounds sort of ridiculous that I’m complaining about there not being a concrete stereotype of bisexuals. But there IS one. It’s this: Bisexuals aren’t real. Anybody claiming to be bisexual is faking it for attention. As much as being stereotyped sucks, being erased is also miserable. I would much rather people look at me and say, “Damn that girl is really bi,” than have the possibility not even occur to them. In day-to-day public life, I’m either forced to pass as straight or forced to pass as gay, because the middle ground doesn’t LOOK like anything.

It seems so politically passe to talk about the trials and tribulations of bisexuality in the face of all our efforts to deconstruct the Binary Gender Fallacy. And there are more subtle issues here around ‘passing’ and privilege and how that comes at the price of the obfuscation of your selfhood, that would be worth talking about later. But this simple, stupid bullshit is still affecting my life. Because here’s the thing: People assuming you’re straight, in addition to being invalidating and feeding my internalized biphobia and insecurities about my sexuality, makes it really hard to meet girls…

ETA: And don’t even get me started on the intersections between monogamy/polyamory and bisexual erasure. Jesus.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 6:05 am ETA: Gah! He’s talking about this thing exactly. Only, not really. He’s talking to a lesbian-identified bisexual woman who’s […]

    Pingback by Erasure (Not the Band) « Bloggity Blog Blog Blog… — July 2, 2010 @ 6:05 am | Reply


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