Bisexual

Bisexuals Cause Unnecessary, Unproductive Debate

Some think self-proclaimed bisexuals get the best of both worlds, but that’s hardly the case. In fact, this sexual social class often finds itself on the outskirts of queer circles, particularly by gay men: Most gays feel that bisexuality is a cop-out. They just don’t think it exists. When they are finally free from that closet, they are staunchly gay. They are free and liberated, and don’t want to accept any other label. Amity Pierce Buxton, who founded the Straight Spouse Network – a support group for individuals whose spouses have come out – remarks tell The Star Ledger:

Most gays feel that bisexuality is a cop-out. They just don’t think it exists. When they are finally free from that closet, they are staunchly gay. They are free and liberated, and don’t want to accept any other label.

The same article notes that openly bisexual people remain a rarity, with only 1.8% and 2.8% of men and women identifying as “bi”, respectively, while 2.3% of men and 1.3% of ladies who identify as gay. Yes, we understand it’s tempting to dismiss the seemingly sexual greedy but, as we’ve mentioned before, dismantling sexual binaries may be one of the best things we can do.

The comment came up with regard to the debate surrounding Michigan’s anti-bully laws. Opponents of those laws – which would ensure legal protections against homophobic bullying – argued that the state would be granting gays special privileges. We remarked that people have no problem erecting laws protecting their religious expression. This readiness arises from the multiplicity of religious expressions. Of this, we wrote:

It seems to us that people find spiritual protections preferable because there are more religions than socially recognized “sexualities”. This got us thinking: what if we lived in a world in which there were more than just the popularly conceived “straight” and “gay”? A world a la Sam Delany’s Trouble on Triton? What then?

People could hardly object to “protecting” multiple sexualities. If they did, they’d be shooting themselves in the foot: they would be explicitly “protecting” heterosexuality (which they are, but to a less noticeable extent).

If gays and lesbians were more accepting of bisexuality, perhaps we could expand the debate, rather than making it seem as game of zero-sum politics. By widening the playing field, gays would broaden the debate and, perhaps, strengthen our legitimacy in the eyes of those who hate us most.