So, some would question how I can follow up a post about my queerness, with a post about bisexuality, but hear me out: I am not coming out the closet as bisexual again – no – I am talking about the very real instances of bisexual erasure and why that is actually a little bit of a problem to the queer community.
Like I said, I am not bisexual, but when I was in school, to test the waters and still try to stay hidden, I did come out as bisexual. It is potentially because I was still close to my then ex-girlfriend and the majority of my school was made up of boys. Full disclosure, and I’ve mentioned it before, I was privileged enough to go to a private school where the years were probably more 80% boys to 20% girls. The pretence didn’t last long and then I came out as a full blown homosexual.
It was the convenience and the ability to pass off any homosexual inclination I displayed as just part of my bisexuality, and a lot of people are guilty of doing that. It is a sort of middle ground, and then people move on and claim their homosexuality loud and proud. It is this practice that damages the validity of bisexuals. Whether you’re homosexual or heterosexual, you’ve probably turned to a bisexual person and tried to convince them that at some point, they’ll just come out as gay, and that no one can be 100% for both genders.
This is where we could talk about the Kinsey Scale, but also, we could just skip passed it and I’ll assume that if you’re reading my blog, you know about the Kinsey Scale. If you don’t, it’s basically a scale of how heterosexual or homosexual you can be, read about it and come back.
Because people either use bisexuality as a stepping stone to coming out, or as a lure for ogling eyes, it trivialises the very real experience of being bisexual. People will take issue because for some of your life you will present as heterosexual, and benefit from those privileges, whilst some of the time, and more often forgotten, you’ll present as homosexual and be burdened with our cross. Sometimes you get it easy, most of the time you get it hard.
It’s hard because we erase these people because they have the privilege of presenting as heterosexual sometimes. However, coming out is still difficult, and people still don’t treat bisexuals as sometimes heterosexual, they’re just homosexuals not yet out of the closet. We forget that they belong to our community, that within that little title of LGBTQIA there is a B, there’s always been a B and that B doesn’t stand for Beyoncé or Britney. When we talk about our history it’s always about the lesbians, the gays, the transgender people, and we just skip over bisexual people so easily.
I was young when I said I was bisexual. It was for ease and out of ignorance. Will younger people stop using it as a stepping stone? Perhaps, the world is somewhat more accepting in some circumstances. Will people start seeing bisexual people as valid? I hope so. It goes with the way that we are progressing internally as a community. As identities change and come to the forefront, we adopt a newer way of thinking.
For example, YouTuber Shane Dawson is bisexual. He is in a same sex relationship with Ryland Adams, but it doesn’t erase his bisexuality and he talks about it fairly often when people incorrectly say he is gay. Superstar and icon Janelle Monae came out as pansexual. No one has told here that she is just in the closet waiting to come out. For some reason, that identity is easier to grasp because it’s less specific. So why, oh why, do we try to convince bisexual people they are gays in waiting? Why do was not treat them the same?
By telling them they are just waiting to come out as homosexual, we are invalidating their identity and telling them they can’t be who they are telling you they are. Stop. Bi erasure from the conversation, future and history of the queer community is not progressive, it is regressive. Accept the love that we all have, and accept that the word “queer” still means strange, different, and we’re all different from the mainstream heterosexual society we are in.