Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  the gay gene

Bisexuality Is Politically Inconvenient For Both Gay Activists + Christian Fundamentalists

The notion of a “gay gene” disturbs me in two unhappily familiar ways. First, it reinforces the common and simplistic notion that people belong to one of two “teams.” Such thinking denies the experience of people like me and Jane and millions of others like us; it would be merely annoying if it weren’t for the hurt it can cause. Bi teenagers feel pressure to choose sides, bi adults hear from gays that they’re in denial, and much dialogue about sexuality is unnecessarily polarized. It’s politically very convenient for gay activists, Christian fundamentalists and social conservatives to put everything in “us versus them” terms, but sexuality is much more fluid than that. Second, it is just one more tiresome example of genetic absolutism—not that scientists subscribe to this, but everyone else seems to. To deny that environment, upbringing, friendship or chance have any significant role in shaping an individual’s development is simply pernicious.

—”Dick,” an actual bisexual adult male, hates it when you eliminate the middle center of a Venn Diagram [via; photo of The Real World's Mike Manning via]

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Aug 10, 2010
Tagged: ,

  • 59 Comments
    • CJ
      CJ

      “…but sexuality is much more fluid than that.”

      I agree. People are more complex than just creating 2 boxes and then demanding that you must to fit into one or the other.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yasuri Yamileth
      Yasuri Yamileth

      Who did the hatchet photoshop job on that image?! Some people don’t know when to say ENOUGH!

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      What exactly does “sexuality is fluid” mean? That a person’s sexual orientation can change? It absolutely does not change for most people. MAYBE there are a few people who change sexual orientation, but this has never been scientifically proven. Show us the scientific proof.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      @hephaestion:

      I assume “fluid” means people are attracted to different things at different times. Maybe for 2 months you are a hard gay and then maybe for a few weeks women can do the job (speaking from my perspective as a male who periodically has opposite sex desires). Also it can refer to people who were convinced they were straight, but then later realized that it wasn’t a fit for them and begin same sex relationships.

      This isn’t “choosing” anything btw (I am not quoting you, responding to the right wing talking point). You can “choose” to eat broccoli but that doesn’t change if you actually like broccoli. There is no reason to doubt that people’s sexual desires can shift and change (mainly because it is a frequent occurrence).

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Baxter
      Baxter

      @hephaestion: I’ve seen some interesting studies that suggest that men have a sexual orientation while women have a sexual preference.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      The “choice” of ones sexuality is no more of a “choice” than having blue or brown eyes..

      Enviroment and upbringing may factor in how one expresses said sexuality it does not change it……..

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anonymouse
      anonymouse

      WHY IS THE QUOTED FONT SO RIDICULOUSLY HUGE.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      @anonymouse:

      Just
      Be
      Glad
      They
      Stopped
      Doing
      This
      Crap
      !!!
      :-p

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Biff
      Biff

      @hephaestion:

      Actually, research evidence was introduced at Judge Walker’s Prop 8 trial that 40% of women who have been in a lesbian relationship and 10 % of men in gay relationships actually switch to straight. Many of those within those groups then also move back and forth between the sexes.

      Also, no one talks about sexuality over the lifetime. There is the term B.U.G. – which means “bi until graduation.” This is to explain the sexual fluidity/experimentation that goes on for people in there teens and early twenties – while hormones are raging and commitment to long-term relationships is lower.

      Then we get careers, some of us have children, and soon we’re finding that the economy and stability of a relationship, plus our hormonal production diminishes – and we become set in our ways.

      By the time we are in our 60′s, are we really worried about when we’re going to get laid next? Sure, seniors do have active sex lives, but how much less value do the elderly place on sex.

      Yet when we look at sexuality, age is never discussed.

      Can we bring these realities into the conversation?

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      @Biff:

      Good points biff. When I was a teenager, I had many girlfriends. Now that I’ve grown up, my desires are oriented towards men. People’s sexuality takes shape in different ways and how this shocks people is beyond me.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      The issue however is this…

      Bi’s are covered if gays get full rights. Those rights will protect Bi’s in same sex relationships

      If Bi’s are with somebody of the opposit sex, the anti-gay laws don’t effect them. If a bi man falls for a woman, they can get married legally anywhere in the country

      So in our fight for gay rights, the Bi’s get the full benefit of those rights won.

      What I get here in this post from Bi’s it seems is the whole “Boo Hoo, don’t understand me”. Yeah? Welcome to the club.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Biff
      Biff

      I do believe there is a false narrative both scientifically and in cultural discourse regarding sexuality. It is ethnocentric, based on the work of European sexologists who defined ‘homo’ sexual and then needed a latin opposite ‘hetero’ sexual.

      In defining ‘homo’ people – or ‘the other’ – scientists needed term that described the normal rest of the population. Giving the safe distance of ‘hetero’ sexual.

      “Bi” gets too mess and uncomfortable. “How can I tell the difference between them and me?”

      Yet ‘bi’ sexual was probably what most people who had sexual relationships with their own gender. Through the centuries, most probably had families with children and then had singular or occasional ‘homo’ encounters, then returned to their families.

      What was missing was the ability to build a loving, lasting relationship with someone of your own sex, and have that relationship be honored by one’s community.

      I just believe that some years in the future we’ll understand that we were giving the complexity of humanity short shrift by ignoring and dismissing the fluid range of human sexuality.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • orinthe
      orinthe

      The existence of bisexuality and/or fluid sexuality does not preclude (or even strongly suggest the lack of) a genetic origin or component. Certainly biphobia is a serious problem both inside and outside the gay community, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to attack or dismiss the scientific evidence on the origin of sexuality in general and male homosexuality in particular.

      That said, I do think we in the gay community have a tendency to emphasize the (probable, but not definitively proven) immutable+genetic nature of our sexuality overmuch. The fact that there is a lot of empirical evidence to suggest it (at least of male homosexuality)—combined with the convenient defense it provides legally and ethically—makes it very tempting to do so.

      Perhaps someday we’ll live in a world where we won’t persecute people who are different from ourselves regardless of whether or not those differences are inborn or chosen, but that sadly seems a long way off. While the gay community struggles for acceptance let’s remember that we must be wary of our own hypocrisy and also struggle for the elimination of prejudices within ourselves, be they racism, biphobia or anything else.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Sexual fluidity is also far more common in women then in men. Aside from being forced into straight marriages by social pressure, it’s one of the reasons why relatively many women come out as gay later in life. Maybe it has something to do with hormonal changes. But whatever the cause, it’s still not a conscious choice. Sexuality may change at some points in life, but noone can force such a change by willpower.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      @Cam: The only “boo hooing” I see here is from you. Your whole entire point makes no sense at all, and I suspect some of it has to do with jealousy. Your post is steaming with resentment: “in our fight for gay rights, the Bi’s get the full benefit of those rights won.” This comes across as a bad thing. It is a good thing that bisexuals would benefit.

      What exactly is the “issue.” That if bisexuals get into an opposite sex relationship they won’t face the same hardships as a same sex couple? What is the point of contention?

      Aug 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Robert from ATL, @Biff:

      I’d only add one thing to both of your well done posts. Bisexuality is still very much misunderstood. I think that when men especially admit same-sex sexual attraction, they’re forced into a box labeled “gay” instead of being allowed the sexual freedom to really explore who they are. That’s changing dramatically now, but back in the late 80′s and early 90′s, it seemed you had two choices, “gay” or “straight”.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jollysocks
      Jollysocks

      I was born gay, my first sexual attractions were towards men (like 5 years old) and I’ve never had a sexual attraction to a woman. I’m not here to debate that bisexuality exists, but the fact that is exists does not mean that gay and lesbians don’t exist(or straight people for that matter).

      It’s very easy to say we’re all on the Kinsey scale, but that obscures the fact that most of us are “hard-wired” and that we have to fight for our basic civil rights because there’s nothing we can do to change our sexual orientation.

      I have known numerous bisexuals (especially men) who have a gay fling or relationship, and once they’re back with the opposite sex, suddenly they stop identifying a bisexual. In all fairness, I know many who never stop identifying as bisexual and still remain fantastic allies to the cause even when they get married to someone of the opposite sex. However, I do find it strange that all the truly bisexual men I’ve known end up no longer identifying as that once they’re back with women (maybe they just don’t want to scare the shit out of their new wives).

      I don’t know if you can be “ex-bi” but you can’t be “ex-gay”. And that’s where I think a lot animosity from the gay community towards the bisexual community comes from. No one is saying it’s easy being bi, but as a gay man, I can’t change who I am and have to fight for my rights knowing that. And I don’t need this guy questioning the genetics of my sexuality while he’s looking for an explanation of his.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • missanthrope
      missanthrope

      @hephaestion:

      I always find it funny that people demand “proof” that sexuality is somehow fluid or at least not as clean cut as we were raised to be.

      Were is your proof that sexuality is some kind of stactic, stable property that doesn’t change or deviate from past behavior?

      Aug 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • missanthrope
      missanthrope

      @Baxter:

      Yes, and the person who conducted them (J. Michael Bailey) is homophobic and transphobic as a person can be.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • soakman
      soakman

      PS the closest scientific theory about a cause of homosexuality says there may be a genetic predisposition. That means there is plenty of leeway for additional outside influences.

      There is not necessarily ONE cause. But it is likely at least partially biological.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mykelb
      Mykelb

      @missanthrope: Perhaps from our own existences and lives. I have never been attracted to women for sex. I must be a 6 on the kinsey scale. As for my own experience with bi-sexual men, that was in the eighties and didn’t turn out well. They always seemed to want to have their cake and eat it too. Sorry, I wasn’t into polyamory, not with another man, but especially not with a woman. Most especially when the other woman didn’t know (which was almost always the case). I found that kind of behavior devious, ingenuous, and downright foul. So after a couple of those experiences, I just turned to Nancy Reagan and said NO!

      Aug 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mykelb
      Mykelb

      disingenuous, sorry

      Aug 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Biff
      Biff

      @Mykelb: You hint at another piece of the puzzle – the sexual partners of bisexual people.

      Straight men don’t freak out about having sex with a woman who’s had another woman’s pussy in her mouth than straight women freak out about having sex with a man who’s had a dick in his mouth.

      Straight women will turn on bi men, questioning their masculinity etc.

      Straight men may think it’s a turn on, yes, but more important, it isn’t the end of the world for them.

      And yes, there are “hetero” couples that do exist where one of the partners is bisexual and it’s not the end of the world and they make it work – even where the straight partner is a woman.

      But somehow, this gets twisted into a whole other level of abuse of women.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trevor
      Trevor

      @Robert from ATL

      I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH BOTH YOURS POSTS.

      I am a 25 year old sexual male. I am currently dating a beautiful woman, but I am still SO involved with the struggle for marriage equality. My girlfriend knows I am bisexual and I often tell her about the progress being made in several different countries.

      And yes, I chose sexual because I also agree that sexuality is fluid and changes and I believe in love, and love doesn’t really know sexes for me.

      BIPHOBIA is stupid and hypocritical. Get over it. The world is gray, not black or white.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trevor
      Trevor

      @Robert from ATL:

      I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH BOTH YOURS POSTS.

      I am a 25 year old sexual male. I am currently dating a beautiful woman, but I am still SO involved with the struggle for marriage equality. My girlfriend knows I am attracted to both sexes and I often tell her about the progress being made in several different countries on the subject of marriage equality and acceptance.

      And yes, I chose the word “sexual” because I also agree that sexuality is fluid and can change. I believe in love, and love doesn’t really know sexes for me.

      BIPHOBIA is stupid and hypocritical. Get over it. The world is gray, not black or white. Sure some people are wired more strongly one way that others, but for the most part that hazy middle part is biggest.

      Read more: http://www.queerty.com/bisexuality-is-politically-inconvenient-for-both-gay-activists-christian-fundamentalists-20100810/comment-page-1/#comment-334054#ixzz0wF5Fhyln

      Aug 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trevor
      Trevor

      woops, sorry. Thought I could erase the first one.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zory
      Zory

      I understand taking issue with people who say that everyone who claims to be bisexual is actually gay, questioning or transitioning to a place of comfort with their homosexuality but I don’t understand why so many people act as if this scenario is NEVER the case when SO MANY of us LIVED it.

      Most people I know who identify as gay say that they at one time identified as bi, even if they really weren’t.

      Why is acknowledging this fact so threatening and upsetting to so many people?

      Aug 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hilarious
      Hilarious

      “Notion of a gay gene.” What?

      There’s nothing wrong with scientific studies to find out what makes a person gay or bisexual.

      I really am not understanding the point of this article.

      Saying sexuality is fluid with no sort of specification paints everyone with the same broad brush of bisexuality, which is exactly what he’s arguing against people doing to him(saying pick a side).

      Sexuality is not fluid for everyone.

      All of this over-analyzing and theory is ridiculous. It’s really unnecessary and only serves to further complicate the issues we’re facing.

      If anything the notion that sexuality is fluid for everyone reinforces the idea that homosexuality is a choice and therefore makes it easier for bigots to create anti-gay legislation. If it’s a “choice” then we can simply choose not to be gay according to them. Well FYI to both bigots and bisexual theorists alike I didn’t choose to be gay and I am not at all sexually or romantically attracted to women in any capacity. And no that is not “bi-phobia” it’s reality.

      That said I also have to repeat that I have no idea why anyone would be against finding out what scientifically speaking makes a person gay. I also have yet to witness with my own eyes and ears an anti-bisexual movement in real life. I do however see plenty of bisexuals and gays making issue where there isn’t one with the new coined term “bi-phobia” and nonstop attack on anyone who disagrees with the idea that sexuality is fluid for everyone.

      If there happens to be anything specifically against bisexuals online please feel free to link it here. I’d love to read it just to see if there’s anything to at least prove it’s online existence. Until then I’m still a firm believer that the anti-bisexual arguments stem from people(straight, gay, and bisexual) who just like to argue about random topics for the sake of arguing.

      Normally these rants have no shred of proof one way or the other to back up any of the claims. Just a one-sided story about a friend of a friend or that one time when.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trevor
      Trevor

      @Hilarious:

      You may not have seen biphobia, but I have. Now that is not to say it is anywhere near as bad as pure homophobia around the world. But it does get annoying when for example my straight friends say I’m just going through a phase and my gay friends tell me I’m a fake and I should come out of the closet. Just let me be me and love who I want!

      I agree with you. Not everybody is in the hazy bi area, but not everybody is in the static area either. Also I think the article is talking about more than just gay/straight changes in sexuality when it talks about “fluidity.” Some people will flip flop from gay to straight, but others who are pretty much purely straight or gay will have changes in their sexuality as well, not necessarily having to do with the sex of their partner. Could be that later they are attracted to older people, or leather daddies. Whatever! But tastes change. I think that’s the point.

      Also, I find nothing wrong with science perhaps finding there is a gay gene so in that I disagree with this article. After all this is but one element of what makes the final package, the others being the environment and even possibly your will power, among many other factors. There are many people who possibly have the alcoholic gene or several other genes. I even read once that infidelity is in your genes. But this is nothing but a possible “trigger.” I think it takes a lot more than genes to completely shape you.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zach
      Zach

      Jesus. That picture makes the guy look like the offspring of the monster from Splice.

      I do feel for the true bisexuals out there. I came out at 24, and I had a tough time explaining my known sexual activity with women as experimentation, both to my friends and to my subsequent male partners. But I think that it was easier than if I had to say that I was actually attracted to both men and women, because people would wonder which ‘side’ I would ultimately pick.

      It’s tricky ground to negotiate, because as Hilarious observed, the idea that we don’t have to be attracted to men, or that our attraction is fleeting, is something that persistently damaged the push for equal rights. I remember someone making the argument that all the religious bigots were actually bisexual themselves, explaining why they thought that people could choose who they were sexually attracted to. I don’t agree with that argument – I think the dysfunction in most of these guys points to self-loathing originating in deeply ingrained homosexuality. But it points out the dangers in assuming everyone or almost everyone has anything approaching an equal attraction level to both sexes.

      Bottom line: I hope people resist the pressure to ‘choose’ a side if they’re honestly attracted to both sexes. Equally, if they later become attracted to another sex, either temporarily or exclusively, hopefully they won’t be shunned for it (I’ve noted quite the number of men in their late 40s/early 50s, freshly divorced, who suddenly feel to experiment for the first time since college). But I also guarantee that marriage equality will, in the long term, make social conditions better for bisexuals. After all, the goal is to make what gender a person is attracted to a non-issue, just another minor bit of information to remember about somebody. I know those railing against ‘heteronormativity’ will complain, but once we incorporate ourselves into the fabric, we’ll all be much better off.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD
      MMDD

      @Jollysocks: Very well put, Jollysocks.

      Aug 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      @Hilarious:

      Anyone who thinks that fluid sexuality amounts to “choosing” doesn’t even have the most basic understanding of the concept. You can’t change your sexual desires by will power. You can’t force yourself to like something you do not like. Your sexual desires are 100% natural.

      The whole ‘gay gene’ thing is something I care little about. What does it change? If your natural desire is towards the same gender than it is 100% natural.

      As for biphobia, I’ve seen it manifested by people saying they are not welcome in the equal rights movement because they have “straight privileged”, that they are in denial of being gay, they are attention seekers, or they are just really really slutty straight people who are so addicted to getting their dick sucked that they let guys do it. Turning bisexuals into “others” and saying stuff like that amounts to biphobic hatred in my book.

      For what it’s worth I consider myself gay (I say “consider” because without a doubt some people will flip their shit), a 5 on the kinsey scale. I’d say 95% of all my sexual and emotional desires are towards men and the other 5% is purely sexual desire for women. Last time I had sex with a women was 25 years ago and dated one even longer (yup, you are seeing my age).

      Aug 11, 2010 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      Also, I am not one of those people who think we should “get rid of labels.” We have a language for a reason and we use labels to communicate.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 12:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skzip888
      skzip888

      Bisexuals are their own thing; one person’s attraction to both sexes is just as non-negotiable as my rather exclusive attraction to my same sex. Let them develop their own stereotypes. That being said, if you get all gung-ho about marching in the parades and going to the bars, then turn around and tell fag-bashing jokes with your straight buddies when I’m not around, then don’t expect any sympathy from me.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 2:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick Farben
      Nick Farben

      “Some people are born to swim, others learn to swim.” – My Dad.

      For all the scepticism regarding bisexuality, perpetrators often forget that even when we discount it, we still do not end up with 2 distinct sexual orientations. There are transgendered, transexual, intersexed, asexual and more.

      Sexuality is complex. Culture, religion, upbringing et al can make it even more confusing. Humans, faced with so much choice and environmental factors have even evolved a myriad of skin colours, languages, food tastes; everything from physical traits to even petty tastes, so why not also sexual preference?

      Even among gay men, there is diversity. There are those who like femmes, Asians, watersports, muscle jocks, straight men, micro-penises, blondes, skinheads, leather, furries, you name it… there is no end to which the sexual preference diverge from even the gay ‘norm’.

      Is it really that hard to believe that the same person who likes to have sex with men may also want to have sex with women? Of all the variations in human choice and orientation, this surely is one of the least unbelievable.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 4:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • simple facts
      simple facts

      “BIPHOBIA is stupid and hypocritical. Get over it. The world is gray, not black or white. Sure some people are wired more strongly one way that others, but for the most part that hazy middle part is biggest.”

      Not true, most people are straight or gay, and there is nothing fluid about their sexuality.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 5:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • truthteller
      truthteller

      Fluidity, blah, blah, blah.

      Sexuality is only fluid for bisexual people. The rest are either gay, or heterosexual and that’s how they’ll stay, period.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 5:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gary B.
      Gary B.

      When I was of college age, I spent a lot of time at a liberal college and my memory was that a LOT of people at that point were considering themselves bisexual. When I talk to those people now, 20 years or so later, most of them made a choice and are either straight or gay. There are still some who are genuinely bi. Mostly I think of this early time of life as a process of discovery, especially if you’re open minded at all and not afraid of what you might discover.

      I tend to have two thoughts on the matter. One is that most people really are truly one way or the other, based on my experience, but I also think everyone has at least a little attraction to the other side, whatever that other side happens to be. Basically, I believe in the Kinsey scale, I just think most people are pretty far over on one side or the other.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 8:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Bisexuality is just as much an orientation as homosexuality. Therefore, if you are bisexual in orientation, it is just as innate as being exclusively homosexual or exclusively heterosexual in your orientation. Keep in mind that, by “orientation”, I am referring to the sexual thoughts and feelings that come AUTOMATICALLY.

      The problem with the word “bisexual” is that it suggests equal distribution. This is because the prefix “bi” means “divided into two halves”. The fact is most bisexually oriented people are not half-attracted to men and half-attracted to women. Most bisexually oriented people favor one gender over another.

      A lot of the bi-phobia stems from several factors based on the gender of the bisexually oriented person. There is an objection within the GLBT community to women who claim to be bisexual in order to “turn men on”. This is a highly offensive female marketing ploy which trivializes female sexuality in general.

      The other factor is that men who claim to be gay don’t like competition from women when it comes to picking up men. The gay-defined man needs assurance that the man he is trying to pick up will only want to go with a man, and not a woman.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 8:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD
      MMDD

      @Gary B.: Very well put, Gary, and I tend to agree with you. Anyone of monosexual orientation should be able to appreciate or feel some sort of attraction for someone outside their orientation (hence the gray area), although that attraction would be limited. As a Kinsey 6 gay man, I can appreciate certain things about certain females and find them sexually appealing to a degree, but I have no real desire to go there. This doesn’t discount the bisexual orientation of others, but it simply acknowledges the fact that the vast majority of people are wired to be either straight or gay.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 8:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      MMDD,

      I don’t agree with you. You need to remember that “straight” and “gay” are largely political terms. They are used mainly for political reasons rather than to describe actual orientation.

      “Straight” and “gay” are also recently invented. Invented words and meanings rarely are credible in discussions of human sexuality.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD
      MMDD

      @jason: Oh, bullcrap. I knew I was gay long before it became a “political term.” And “bisexual” is a recently invented term too, you know. If we’re going to throw out those terms with relation to discussions of human sexuality, then what do you have left?

      Aug 11, 2010 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trevor
      Trevor

      @simple facts: I think it is.

      Then again nobody knows for sure so it is right that you question it, but like many here I believe in the Kinsey Scale .

      Basically I believe MOST people are bi to SEVERAL degrees. Of course there are purely straight and gay people, but I don’t think they are the majority. I think most people are much closer to one or the other, but still lie in that big centre. The ones much close to one of the extremes, for example, appreciate having pretty friends near them of their same or opposite sex because they like looking at them aesthetically. My mom is one of these. She is more straight than anything, but she does admit she likes having pretty female friends and admires their beauty. But that’s it and she would never go beyond that or be interested in that. So there are these kind of straight people are still veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery slightly bisexual.

      Then you go along the continuum and find greater degrees of bisexuality including people like me who are willing to go further than that. Similarly near the other end you have gay people with sliiiiiiiiightly bisexual urges since they admire female beauty but would never want to pursue it.

      I also agree with the comment that said bisexuality is confusing because it implies equal interest in both and I think that is rarely ever the case in reality. I am more attracted to men than women, but some women like the woman I am seeing now do it for me SO much and I am so turned on by her that I will stay committed to her. But I NEVER denounce my homosexual side (though I don’t exactly tell her about any dudes I check out just cuz that would be rude!). But I always acknowledge to her and to my friends that I have both sides.

      Also, you can’t say free will doesn’t have some part in all this huge melting pot of genetics, environment and whatever else there is that makes us what we are. I personally wouldn’t want to CHOOSE what sexuality I am. I go with what my heart…and other organs tell me. But you can’t say it’s not a factor for a lot of people. The mind is an INCREDIBLY powerful organ and I think people can convince themselves to be a certain thing with the same amount of power or greater than that of genetics or environment. Think of people who overcome addiction. A lot of these people have the gene for alcoholism etc. and grew up in a home where that was normal, but they beat it.

      AGAIN, I do NOT think homosexuality is something that should be beaten… AT ALL. I am extremely proud of being able to see the beauty in the human being, period! But will power is a factor in sexuality. Sexuality is too complex to say it’s just made up by one thing.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trevor
      Trevor

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kinsey_Scale.gif

      BI THE WAY haha,

      here’s the Kinsey Scale so you guys and girls can check it out. I don’t believe everything about Kinsey’s studies but I do believe some things and I liked that he saw things as “gray.”

      And as you can see from his Scale, there was a whole lot more gray than anything else, even if some of that “gray” is closer to one of the extremes, but it’s still GRAY!

      =)

      Aug 11, 2010 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      Glad to see that just like straight men label other straight men as gay for life if they happen to have some fleeting thoughts every now and then about other men, if you are gay but have some thoughts about women you are a fraud and straight for life.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Robert from ATL: said..

      “@Cam: The only “boo hooing” I see here is from you. Your whole entire point makes no sense at all, and I suspect some of it has to do with jealousy. Your post is steaming with resentment: “in our fight for gay rights, the Bi’s get the full benefit of those rights won.” This comes across as a bad thing. It is a good thing that bisexuals would benefit. ”
      __________________________________

      Robert, your post is completely wrong. I actually have no problem with bisexuality, and when I said “Our” fight for rights, I mean GLBTQ rights. The “Boo Hooing” I’m referncing is the fact that gay rights have suddenly jumped forward at a fast pace this year, and yet what are we reading? ARticles attacking the notion of a gay gene, articles about how Bi’s say they are a thorn in the side of gay rights etc…”

      Rather than attacking my post by saying it makes no sense, please point out the section that you feel makes no sense. I said.

      1. Bi’s are covered if full rights are won.
      2. if a Bi person is in an opposit sex relationship, they are covered no matter the situation with gay rights.

      So there is no emnity here in our rights struggle, if full rights are achieved, Bi’s are covered no matter what sex they end up with. The complaints seem to be in the origional article. Bi’s are upset that people don’t understand them? John the club. Please, go try to give that line to any Trans friends you have (Though I doubt you have any) try to expalin to them how “Misunderstood” you are. I’m sure they would laugh in your face.

      Bottom line, if you are in an opposit sex relationship as a bisexual, then enjoy the rights you currently have. If you are in a same sex relationship then celebrate with the rest of us the momentous vicotry we just had in CA. Try to hold off the attacks for say…I don’t know a week at least huh?

      Aug 11, 2010 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      @Cam:

      Nice little backtrack. Not once did you reference the original except in your last sentence, which was an ad hominem attack rather than a challenge on the merits of the article. You started off your post with “the issue is this”, and yet you didn’t explain the issue and you still haven’t.

      As for “attack”, exactly what “attack” are you speaking of? That genetics just may not explain everything about a person? That isn’t an “attack” that is a basic fact. From what I gathered from the quote is a simple statement that not everybody in the world can fit inside of a neat little box. I think that is a good topic for discussion, and the posts here have shown that it’s been a lively one.

      I haven’t complained about being misunderstood, and I don’t why you are assuming that (along with assuming I am bisexual). I don’t what my knowing of a transgender person would have to do with anything, but for the record one of the organizers here in Atlanta for the IWW is transgender and she is a good comrade whom I communicate with frequently.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Robert from ATL:

      So Robert, in your first response you said “Your whole entire point makes no sense at all, and I suspect some of it has to do with jealousy.”

      I then said…”Rather than attacking my post by saying it makes no sense, please point out the section that you feel makes no sense.”

      You said my whole post made no sense, and yet rather than responding you keep doging and weaving. AS for my comment about Trans. I said pointed out that a Bi person should try to talk about how misunderstood they are to a trans person and see the reaction.

      But go on, not responding and trying to avoid the actual topic. It’s not a problem, just shows you have no answers to the actual post. You attacked me, called me jealous etc… for pointing out that Bi’s stood to benefit under full gay rights, and that if they were in an opposit sex relationship they already had rights. You have never explained the attack and still haven’t.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      We have to be careful who defines bisexuality just as much as who writes history.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      @Cam:

      Your post made no sense because you are reiterating a simple fact in an overall hostile post, and I was confused by your motivations by doing so.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      So many posters on this thread that we’ve never heard from before! And so *many* of them agree with each other or have minor quibbles so they can post obsessively! And they use almost identical tone, grammhar, and register!

      I wonder who it is???
      Just Assume Someone On Not.enough.medication might.write those posts.

      Aug 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Max the Communist
      Max the Communist

      @Cam
      @Robert

      “1. Bi’s are covered if full rights are won.
      2. if a Bi person is in an opposit sex relationship, they are covered no matter the situation with gay rights.”

      LGBTQ theorists who study the history of lesbian and gay activism often note that there are two aspects to fighting for lesbian and gay rights:

      1. The Legislative Laundry List: this is how fighting for same-sex civil and human rights protections are codified into law; it’s the repeal of DADT, the passing of ENDA, the repeal of DOMA, etc., etc., etc. If you can write it on a laundry list, it’s a legislative goal.

      2. The Cultural Work: this is creating the dialogue, media, art and education that transcends and discredits stereotypes and social constructions that disempower LGBTQ people. This work is important because harmful stereotypes block LGBTQ rights from getting passed into law.

      In other words, if there are people out there who think you are a sissy fag who gets his fudge packed at a bathhouse by 400 men every weekend and that you bareback and that you are a selfish, narcissistic AIDS-carrying swine who deserves to die, you need a group like GLAAD or PFLAG or some radical gay male deconstructive artists who will jump on any pundit or organization, like Peter LaBarbera’s “Americans Who Poop on the Truth About Homosexuality,” until the majority of Americans no longer believe the lies.

      Are bisexuals (pansexuals, queers) covered by LGBTQ rights legislation? As long as the “B” word is in said legislation, yes (just like including the “T”). At 47, I’m old enough to remember when proposed national and state legislation only included the words “gay” and “lesbian.” Enforcement of any law is often all about the fine print.

      Are bisexuals, etc., covered by lesbian and gay cultural work? I would say that only within the last decade have mainstream lesbian and gay organizations officially recognized that bisexuality is real and some people are really bisexual and belong to the LGBTQ. There’s still some discomfort and misinformation floating around in the general LGBTQ community about fluid sexuality and so, while the B is included, biphobia in mainstream America goes largely unchallenged because lesbians and gay men don’t know enough about bisexuality to do the cultural work of defeating biphobic stereotypes without putting their message of being gay at risk.

      While biphobia needs to be corrected in the LGBTQ community, in all fairness to lesbians and gay men, it’s up to bisexual, pansexual, and queer people to do the Cultural Work of defending fluid sexuality. How can you expect lesbians and gay men, who will never have attraction toward the opposite sex (or not enough to matter much), to defend a sexuality that they have no first hand experience of?

      It’s up to the bisexuals, pansexuals and queers with fluid sexuality to take the lead in fighting bisexual stereotypes in the mainstream. It’s up to bisexuals to come out, period, to defend fluid sexuality. All that we can ask of lesbians and gay men, so far as cultural work is concerned, is to be our allies and not feed into the biphobia of mainstream America.

      As far as Cam’s second point is concerned, I believe he is referring to heteroprivilege. There’s another word for heteroprivilege. It’s called STAYING IN THE CLOSET. Lesbians and gay men can also access heteroprivilege by STAYING IN THE CLOSET. If you are successful at STAYING IN THE CLOSET you can have all the heteroprivilege goodies you want, but homophobia in society will never change. It’s important to know that bisexuals in opposite-sex marriages, with children, have been fired from jobs just for coming out as bisexual at work. It’s important to know that bisexuals have been beaten up, even when they were visibly bisexual to their attackers through t-shirts, buttons, or signs. Bisexuals have been subjected to domestic violence and their batterer beat them up for coming out about their sexuality. Bisexuals will encounter heteroprivilege, but those privileges can always be revoked. Being bisexual is not a free ride to Heteroprivilege Town, gays and lesbians just seldom hear about the damage done to us, that’s all.

      Aug 12, 2010 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC
      WalkderDC

      @Robert from ATL:

      So you just come on here lash out and attack and then when Cam kept asking you just what point you were attacking, and what was incorrect about it multiple times you were not able to come up with a response. So you just wanted to come on here and scream I guess.

      Aug 12, 2010 at 7:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD
      MMDD

      @Max the Communist: “It’s up to the bisexuals, pansexuals and queers with fluid sexuality to take the lead in fighting bisexual stereotypes in the mainstream. It’s up to bisexuals to come out, period, to defend fluid sexuality. All that we can ask of lesbians and gay men, so far as cultural work is concerned, is to be our allies and not feed into the biphobia of mainstream America.”

      That’s one of the best points I’ve ever heard made in a thread about bisexuality. Like gays and lesbians, I think more bisexuals need to personalize their struggles and speak as individuals (like some have done on this thread) instead of making blanket statements like “Everyone is really bisexual if they’re being honest” or “Sexuality is fluid” or “Most people aren’t really straight or gay,” because those statements do nothing more than elevate their own sexuality while pissing off people of straight or gay orientation.

      Although pretty much every thread I’ve seen about bisexuality tends to get heated pretty quickly, at least we’re talking about the subject openly and honestly. Hopefully the dialogue will help all of us have a better understanding of each other and respect our differences.

      Aug 12, 2010 at 8:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Max the Communist
      Max the Communist

      @MMDD–thank you. I too become disturbed by the constant repetitions I see in blogs and editorials that “Everyone is bisexual,” “All sexuality is fluid,” and my favorite, “Women’s sexuality is fluid, not men’s.” Such totalizing statements do not allow for recognition of diversity in human sexuality and the people stating them are usually acting like experts on human sexuality, when in fact they just read that on someone else’s half-assed, poorly researched blog.

      I think defending fluid sexuality is an important step in the fight for LGBTQ equality and I think bis have to do that while honoring the diversity of ALL sexual orientations.

      I like coming out on the personal level–keep in mind, bisexuals who are doing this, that sometimes you meet, not with antipathy about your sexual orientation, but disbelief, which is a trickier element of biphobia to deal with. You may need to drag your disbelieving straight or gay friend to a bisexual support group just to get them to believe you are bisexual.

      Aug 12, 2010 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Max and MMD, Thank you!

      Aug 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “The notion of a ‘gay gene’ disturbs me in two unhappily familiar ways. First, it reinforces the common and simplistic notion that people belong to one of two ‘teams.’”

      No geneticist is claiming there is a gay gene (singular, not plural) as multiple genes may be responsible for determining sexual orientation, and not necessarily deterministically: genes encode the structure of proteins, and a change in structure may not deterministically set the outcome, only the probability of some outcome.

      Aug 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • a bi tranny
      a bi tranny

      I have personaly had sex with way too many ‘strait guys’ who are into penis for me to be of any opinion other than the majority (NOT EVERYONE) of men are bisexual. Also I have been with enough strait women with a boobie fetish to know most women are bisexual.
      Obviously I am bisexual. I have not found a man I could not seduce regardless of professed sexuality and very few women who I couldn’t seduce. Although I will admit women are a more dificult chalenge. Yes I am a complete slut but…..it has given me an oportunity to have sex with a cross section of our society and trust me, everyone and anyone can be seduced by anouther person regardless of sexuality if the person doing the seducing knows how to do it, how to play up to the others psyche’. To be seduced means somewhere in that brain is a part that wants to do it. You might not feel good about it after the fact but durring that time…they always cum.

      Anyways…
      I do not think that fluid sexuality is anything new. It is as obvious as the notches in my bedpost to me.

      Aug 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L
      L

      @hephaestion:

      Show me the scientific proof of God.

      Aug 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.