Both Sides of the Fence

Sue George wrote about the “otherness” that pervades bisexuality. We’re the sexual minority, often unheard, glossed over, seen as the promiscuous, dirty side of homosexuality. Quite often you read about the lesbian community, the gay community, the transgender community, or the LGBTQ community that includes all of us. On very rare occasions do you see the term “bisexual community”, since, as such, we don’t quite have one. While inclusivity within the Rainbow is wonderful, many of the issues we deal with as bisexuals are distinctly different from those of other sexualities. Even within the bi-o-sphere, men and women are viewed differently. Women are hypersexualized, glamorized as “bi chicks”, eminently desirable as a gateway to fulfillment of that ol’ threesome fantasy. Bisexual men are vilified or seen as unattractive. To many in the gay and lesbian communities we’re seen as “straddling the fence”, unable to shake loose the bonds of heterosexuality. Rather than straddling it, however, we see both sides much more clearly.

I’ve been told many times not to expect to be “taken seriously” because of my bisexuality, and I’m sure many of you are familiar with that old myth, “bisexuals just don’t exist”. I think that attitude is due in large part to “strictly” homosexual people, both gay and lesbian, that use bisexuality as a stepping stone on their way to fully coming out. They are the ambivalent ones, but we carry the brunt of their insured and insecurity, thus making it harder for us to be seen as a real community. Having starlets using it as a ploy to gain more media attention doesn’t freaking help, either. And then there are women who see bisexuality as a way to garner attention from men for themselves. With both homosexual and heterosexuals using it as a phase, it’s no wonder bisexuals aren’t taken seriously.

So what to do about it? The only ones who can change this perspective are bisexuals. Break down the fence. Your sexuality is yours, not something that someone else decides. Don’t let others speak for us. Make your voice heard. Say it here, say it on your blog, say it anywhere. Whisper it quietly to yourself. It counts, even if you’re the only one to hear.


3 thoughts on “Both Sides of the Fence

  1. Bisexuality – Straddling a barb wire fence with both sides trying to push you back

    You’re coming out to your straight friends, and the you have to come out to your gay friends again and neither side will accept you. With up to 40% of the worlds population being at least bi-curious, you’re still the most alone person on earth. No readily apparent common denominators make for a poor community.

    Bi is the new gay.

  2. I have felt like this most of my life. I don’t understand why gay men and women have such disrespect for us. When I was 17 I dated an obviously, flamboyantly gay man- he was beautiful, and it was love at first sight. He said I was THE ONLY woman he’d ever been attracted to. Of course I looked like a 17 yr old boy. lol. No tits. Can I say that? Anyhow…. from then on, I saw everything different. I was a punk anyhow, so I already knew where I was headed… I accept people for WHO they are, NOT “what” they are.

    I have a lot of gay/straight/bi- and yes *gasp* on the fence friends… Almost every woman I know says they would *like* to be with a woman at least once. Why stop there??!

    It’s odd, because it is hard, and it does make you feel alone when people insult you for it, or for being unable to decide. Personally, that isn’t the problem for me. I feel if I fall in love with someone, it’s the PERSON, not the gender I fall in love with. I think most people understand that once you explain it— though you are right- why do we always have to expain- and most times- defend ourselves. Being a writer has helped me a lot too.

    And having a “fuck it..” attitude. Respectfully, you kind of have to have that, and be true to yourself. thanks for posting this, it does feel better knowing there are people who ‘get it’ and feel the same. My *fence* is there so I can lie naked on the couch, and not care. I don’t put up walls for people, and I don’t hide things. And I don’t go around sleeping with everyone, just because I can. lol. It’s nice, but it wears off. Kidding.

    thanks & kudos.

    June 2007.

  3. I’m a bisexual woman. I’m married and therefore most people assume that I’m straight. I’m happy to tell people, if the subject comes up (it doesn’t very often)and I’ve never really thought that bisexuality was a cause I needed to champion. Until today. Bisexuals get a lot of disrespect – “Pit stop on the road to gay” I think it was called on Sex in The City. People seem to assume that we are more promiscuous and/or vacillating between being gay or straight. Maybe it is time I challenged these perceptions more often.

    I sat having drinks with some local women today, who are neighbours and are the wives of friends of my husband. It was our daughter’s birthday BBQ today and we were having a clear up and a drink after her party, chatting about nothing much. One of them made a comment about so-called sexual deviants, meaning anyone who wasn’t straight. And I realised three things. My neighbours are bigots. They think I’m straight and also a bigot. And they would most likely shun me if they knew I was bisexaul. I didn’t really know what to do with that. So I thought I’d check out the blogosphere and see what other people thought. I like your blog and look forward to reading more of it.

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