So – why do we ignore them? Invalidate them? Erase them?
Think I’m wrong? How often have you heard it said, when a woman who last dated a man starts dating a woman “oh, so she’s a lesbian now?” Or run into the concept that if a man likes sex with men, he’s gay, period, and should really just admit it. Never mind how often you’ve heard it; how often have you thought it yourself?
Bisexuals are often banned from safe spaces if they are in an opposite-gender relationship. They aren’t “gay enough” or they’re traitors.
Society is slowly, ever so slowly, beginning to understand that gender is fluid. Hell, the term “genderfluid” is a thing now. And yet we, even amongst ourselves, want to continue to insist that bisexuals aren’t real. That you can be heterosexual or homosexual and nothing in between.
There is so much more space on the sexuality spectrum than the two poles, Poppets!
The new generation is getting it. They’re better at it than we are, I think. They at least recognize, if not 100% accept yet, pansexual (which before anyone asks, no, isn’t just a new age term for bisexual) and several variations of asexual. They call out bisexual erasure far better and more thoroughly than my generation – or the generation after mine – have so far.
But that doesn’t mean we’re hopeless, the generation before, with, and after me. We can learn new tricks, even as old dogs. Stop erasing the B from our alphabet. Stop belittling them as cheaters, as fake, as slumming with the queers. And yes, those are all things I have heard cast at my bisexual friends and family.
Society is evolving, expanding. There are more designations for sexuality and gender than ever before, as we recognize just how gloriously messy the whole male-female-sex thing is. There are even orientations and expressions that don’t have names or labels yet, which makes the Q more important than ever.
In light of this, we’re going to pretend the B doesn’t really exist? Isn’t real? The B that’s been there right along with the L, the G, and T from the beginning – we’re going to keep erasing them?
As I say so often, we’re better than that, Poppets. So let’s be better than that. Yes, you can come out as gay or lesbian after being in a heterosexual relationship. You can even come out after having had children and family. And – and you can also be bisexual. And in this relationship, with this person. Their gender doesn’t change your orientation.
It’s time we all remembered that.
Until next month, Poppets, take care of you – and each other.