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Alan Cumming: We Bisexuals “Have A Bad Rap”

Alan Cumming

I have a healthy sexual appetite and a healthy imagination. I still define myself as a bisexual even though I have chosen to be with [husband] Grant [Shaffer]. I’m sexually attracted to the female form even though I am with a man and I just feel that bisexuals have a bad rap.”

- Star of stage and television screen Alan Cumming discussing his sexual appetite via Instinct magazine.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Dec 17, 2013
Tagged: , , ,

  • 22 Comments
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      The bad thing about the word “bisexual” is that it’s a single word which can encompasse completely different types of men.

      For example, a man who is into women by about 5% is vastly different from a man who is into women by about 95%. Vastly different. And yet the single word “bisexual” attempts to impose a uniformity of definition on these men in such a way as to create the impression that they are the same.

      Fact is, these men live different lifestyles from each other, their sexual dynamics are completely different, and their aspirations in life are completely different. A man who is into women by about 95% will probably settle down with a wife and have children.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 7:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dev.C
      Dev.C

      I think it’s more rare to find someone who is into both sexes in equal amount.Generally speaking humans are prone to one sex over the other but reserve some form of attraction for the opposite of what is their preference. In my mind a bisexual is a straight person who occasionally has sex with the same sex, or a gay person who rarely has sex with the opposite sex.
      If some one falls right in the center it’s almost seems impossible for them to have a monogamous relationship, an open relationship would be more fitting. Similar to Allen Ginsberg and his mostly Heterosexual partner Peter Orlovsky, who occasionally had sex with each other, but mostly had sex with other sex partners; they were mainly together for some emotional companionship.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      The only “bad rap” I see as far as bisexuals are concerned is that far too often people come out as “bisexual”, but then, after a while admit that they are actually entirely gay. It ends up leaving the impression that “bi is just a stepping stone to gay”.

      I know there are actually some bisexual people out there, but I don’t categorize someone who really prefers their own sex, BUT can perform in a pinch with the opposite sex, as “bisexual”.

      If a guy jerks off only to images of men, not women, then he’s gay. If he has pics of either/or to jerk off, well then, I’d agree he’s bi.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 10:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @MikeE:

      True, or the reverse, you get a lot of famous Hollywood female celebs who come out as bisexual when they are dating or married to a man.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      All the effeminate queens call themselves bisexual these days…..still toxic….

      Dec 17, 2013 at 11:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • etseq
      etseq

      Well at least he married man and is an advocate for gay rights. He walks the walk – I wish more bisexuals would follow his lead. It would help dispel that “bad rap”

      Dec 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ZaneStuart
      ZaneStuart

      @balehead: But not all bisexuals are effeminate queens. Using “still toxic” is a bit effeminate queen.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      @balehead: Dude, you have a “cute puppy” as your avatar, you use terms like toxic and effeminate queens constantly.. you know, I think YOU just may have some serious psychological issues dealing with your own identity and sexuality.

      The only “toxic” queen here seems to be you.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pistolo
      Pistolo

      I honestly think bisexuals just get a bad wrap because only about 30% of them are willing to refer to themselves as “bisexual”.

      Also, a lot of people who come out as bisexual say “I think we’re all bisexual and society just teaches us to be one or the other”, I’m looking at you, Billy Joe Armstrong and Megan Mullaly. How anyone outside of the hetero-norm could be so bold as to claim their way is the natural state of being for everyone else is beyond me. Haven’t we had to contend with this enough from heterosexuals?

      Then there’s a whole crop of people who are like bi-ish, like they say *IF* they’re attracted *SOMEDAY* then they’ll go with it. Here’s looking at you, Josh Hutcherson and Zoe Saldana! For most of us, it’s not a stipulation of ifs and somedays. You’re not bi if you’re merely open to banging someone of the same sex under the condition you feel attracted to them.

      And finally there are people who argue we’re on a continuum which I actually think does bisexuality a great disservice. You’re essentially saying “I’m bi. Which means I’m 50% straight and 50% gay. Not like a 100% bisexual or anything. I’m just the space between straight and gay”.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      Please … he hasn’t touched a pussy in 20 years. He only likes saying “bisexual” to be provocative. I’ve met LOTS of fags, lots of straights, lots of confused.. but never met a Bi over about the age of 30.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      These comments exemplify exactly the bad rap Alan complained of. Some guys like guys, some guys like girls, some guys like both equally, some guys like one slightly more than the other, some guys like on a lot more than the other, etc. Get over it and stop giving people a hard time just because they don’t fit the definitions that you created for them.

      @Fitz: An idea: remove your head from your descending colon and go out more – there are lots of bi guys over 30.

      @Pistolo: I didn’t realize you were the arbiter of what bisexuality means. (Indeed, the clinical definition is much broader than the one you cobbled together.)

      Dec 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ppp111
      ppp111

      I think Alan is right to an extent that bisexuals, particularly men, get a bad rap by the straight and gay communities. I say you should just love whom you want to love. Life is too short to be hung up on too many labels.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ruhlmann
      Ruhlmann

      @jwrappaport: Exactly.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      Lets see, bisexuals, aren’t those boys who are in college who have had a couple of encounters with guys but still are very much straight and into girls, that is until they realize they are no longer into girls and never were but did em to appear str8t, prior to coming out as gay and never going near a va-jaja again. In my experience, true bisexuals don’t waste their time tying to make people believe they are bi, because they are too busy screwing guys and girls.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayTampaCowboy
      GayTampaCowboy

      The only “issue” i have with bisexuality is that the discussion always revolves around “sex” – that a bi man enjoys sex with men and women. Well, that’s all fine and good. There’s enough research out there to validate that there are millions of men and women who can (and do) enjoy sex with both genders.

      BUT, no pun intended, what about LOVE? In my opinion, having once been one of those guys who identified as bisexual because i came to enjoy same-sex intimacy within my marriage (yes, my wife and i at the time were swingers), i was VERY happy to wear the title of bisexual until one fateful day.

      The day i KISSED a sex partner during a swing session. He was a hot, cute, sexy “bi” guy (he later confided in me that he became quite infatuated with me after meeting my wife and I) and before that day, i had never “kissed” a male partner. It was all about hot-and-heavy bi/swinger sex.

      Something happend to me that night. That magic moment when sex turns to intimacy – that’s when i began to really change. Before then, i was quite content to “have my cake and eat it too.” I was married, had a child, we could swing – and i could continue being “str8″ to the outside world.

      But the day he kissed me – with passion – a passion i’d never felt with my wife or anyone else, I changed. Looking back on it, it was then that I began to accept the fact that i could only really be truely happy with a male life-partner.

      So, the moral of the story? Are there millions of bisexuals out there? Yep. Are there millions of people who can (and do) enjoy sex with both genders? Yep. But, when it comes to LOVE. The decision to enter into a singular, emotional, physical and spiritual connection with a person – I BELIEVE THAT EVERY HUMAN IS HARD-WIRED TO ONLY ONE GENDER. Yes, they can start with one gender and move to another (after lots of life experience and probably some therapy), but i belive when it comes to LOVE and LIFE COMMITTMENT – you can’t truely be “bi-sexual.”

      Just my personal belief.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • newecreator
      newecreator

      Being Bisexual myself, I see myself in a very broad spectrum of sexuality. It’s hard to be judged on what you love.

      Dec 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan1111
      Dan1111

      Ok, here’s what i don’t get. There are people here saying people can’t actually be bisexual. Well, how would you like it if someone came to you and said “Oh, hey, I don’t believe gay people are real, man can’t actually fall in love with another man.” Because that’s what you are saying about my sexuality. I have fallen in love with both man and woman and I’m really attracted to both.
      What I think that happens, is that bisexual people have such a bad rap, especially for men, that most men who found themselves in that position, they choose one sex and stick with it. If you are more flamboyant, you go with gay. If you are more butch, you stick to dating only woman and hope people never found out you are actually bi.
      Yes, some people can only be attracted to one sex, which ever they might be. Other people can be attracted to both. Or they are attracted to both, but only form a connection with one of them.
      And that is all ok. We can’t tell other people how to feel, that’s just plain wrong.

      One thing that really annoys me in the gay community is that some of the biggest homophobes are here. You complain about straight people, but make fun of trans people, think bisexuals ain’t real and make fun of everything that doesn’t fit your molds of sexuality. And them, when someone does the same to you, you bitch “oh my, poor me”. Well, stop doing that shit to other people.

      Dec 18, 2013 at 6:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jar
      jar

      If bisexuals have a bad rap, it is because they refuse to openly identify themselves. A recent Pew study found that only 28% of bi people are out to “all or most of the important people in their lives” and only 12% of bi men are out to this degree. Presumably, the percentage who are out at work and in social settings is even lower. The study also found that the great majority of bisexuals ultimately settle into long term relationships with members of the opposite sex. Why is this the case? A common justification for this phenomenon is that they face such hostility from the gay community (they tend to be fixated on the reaction of the gay community, but rarely mention the straight one) that they revert to straight relationships. Yes, blame the people who have taken the steps that they refuse to take by being out and creating a community for themselves.
      Many in the gay community, however, have long believed that their reticence is a reflection of their unwillingness to forfiet their heterosexual privilege. Until bisexuals are willing to take this step, they will continue to “get a bad rap.” They hold the power to change the course of public opinion, but it requires taking courageous steps. Once they are willing to give up their heterosexual privilege, they will enjoy greater acceptance. Will they learn nothing from our history?

      Dec 18, 2013 at 9:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KDub
      KDub

      Only gay guys who aren’t fully confident in their own sexuality have issues with bisexual men. He won’t leave you for a woman if you’re giving it to him right! Confidence cures biphobia.

      Dec 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      @GayTampaCowboy: Funny. When I’ve read your foolish comments before about bisexuality I thought I bet this guy is bisexual himself…

      And sure enough. You are.

      Dec 19, 2013 at 2:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      @Fitz: He was in a relationship with Saffron Burrows twenty years ago.

      But it really doesn’t matter how long ago he last had sex with a woman. It wouldn’t matter if he was still a virgin either. If he’s attracted to men and women he’s bisexual.

      Dec 19, 2013 at 2:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      Respect to Alan Cumming for maintaining his bisexual identity and not caving into monosexism.

      Dec 19, 2013 at 2:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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