Walking the Line

Double standards.As I’ve mentioned before, bisexual erasure is a thing I feel pretty strongly about. It sucks– bisexuals have been around forever, and yet we’re still subjected to eyerolls and disbelief when we come out. Because of this, I think visibility is important and the more bisexuals who stand up to be counted, the better.

Yet I refer to myself as “gay” half the time. Where’s the logic in that?

I’m not one to dwell too much on labels, but after many years of alternating between the two in conversation, I stopped to think about why. The answer is almost unsatisfyingly simple: I identify with both.

I am bisexual in that I am attracted to all sorts of folks, among whom are men, women, and non-binary individuals. My sexual history reflects that diversity, and though I can’t predict the future, I expect the next five years won’t look two different from the past.

Despite that, I am also gay. All but one of my serious relationships have been with men. I’m open to another relationship with a woman or non-binary person, but all the partners I’ve introduced to my family and colleagues have been men. In other words, I navigate the world as a gay man and my romantic experience largely reflects that identity.

Is it disingenuous for me to straddle that line and claim both identities? I don’t really know. I do think my sexuality is more complicated than a single word (something which I think is true for most people) but I’m going to choose the most appropriate word to convey the point I’m trying to make.

These distinctions are all arbitrary anyway.

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5 comments

    1. Yeah, I did see that! I sort of have mixed feelings about those studies. I’m a science guy by nature so I like the idea of quantifying everything but at the same time, there’s something sort of shitty about the fact that bisexuals are always singled out to “prove” their sexuality. It’s nice to have the validation, but at the same time it’s like, “Yeah, of course. That’s what we’ve been telling you for…ever.”

      Although the article is 100% correct about the bisexual puns. They are endless.

      1. Don’t disagree re: proving we exist. But a refreshingly open and accurate piece in a major publication will always be welcome! I feel much the same about my personal identification as you, but after reading that article, I’m considering how to come out as bi while living an otherwise straight life.

      2. Yeah, there’s no real easy way to do it. For me it usually comes out if I’m talking with a new friend about people we find attractive.”Yeah? She’s pretty cute, but I like her boyfriend better.”

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