Former MMA fighter and Sirius XM radio host Jason Ellis has just penned a powerful essay for the Advocate about the unique struggles he faces as a bisexual man who is married to a woman.
“My experiences with the LGBTQ community have been, up to now, almost exclusively sexual in nature. Hook-up sites. Sex clubs. Group sex with men. I’ve done it all–well, almost all,” he writes.
48-year-old Ellis, who hosts The Jason Ellis Show weekdays on the Sirius XM Radio, lives in Australia. He married his wife, Katie Gilbert, in 2017, one year after publicly coming out as bisexual.
“I’m married to a woman I love. I’m lucky enough to be able to have sex with men as well,” he writes. “I find diverse people of all genders sexy and attractive. But I don’t want my inclusion in the community to be just sexual. I want it to be deeper.”
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Ellis goes on to say that he longs to feel like a valued member of the LGBTQ community. After all, he writes, “B is the third letter listed!” But that hasn’t happened for him… yet.
I just don’t feel like I’m welcome in the community right now. When men I have sex with find out I’m married to a woman they tell me things like, “it’s just a phase,” and “you’ll be gay eventually.” They tell me bisexuality doesn’t exist. They tell me what I do and how I define myself don’t exist…
…I have a tough exterior. I fight MMA. I’m a skateboarder. I’m tattooed from head to toe. But if you get to know me you know I’m a sensitive man. And the rejection of me being a bisexual man by other LGBTQ people hurts.
Bisexual men do exist, but I feel like the community doesn’t believe it. Like most people in the community think the “B” in LGBTQ just shouldn’t be there, or is a placeholder until I finally tell “the truth.”
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Ellis’ feelings are nothing new, sadly. Numerous studies have found that bisexuals suffer higher rates of depression and substance abuse than other groups due to the double discrimination they face.
“Bisexual people face double discrimination in multiple settings,” researcher Ethan Mereish, an assistant professor at American University, said in 2017 while promoting his study on the mental health outcomes of bisexuals. “Bisexual people are often invisible, rejected, invalidated [and] stigmatized in the heterosexual community as well as the traditional LGBTQ communities.”
I find it perplexing. In the last decade we, and indeed society, have come to the understanding, if not the acceptance, that gender is a continuum. So why wouldn’t sexual expression and gender desire be on a parallel continuum?
…I would like to be part of the community. The ‘B’ was put there for a reason. And if you’re going to use it, then I ask the community to make more of an effort to find people like me and include us in the community and at your events.
Ellis concludes by imploring people that, if they’re going to include the “B” in LGBTQ, then they must start including the “B” in LGBTQ.
“Too many of us long to be in a community that will have us,” he writes. “Please be a little more welcoming, show us a little encouragement, and for fuck’s sake, believe me when I tell you I am equally attracted to men and women.”
Related: Bisexuals talk about the differences between dating men and women
Here’s an idea to consider Ellis, maybe those gay men you hook up with would prefer you tell them your bi and married to a woman BEFORE you use them for sex.
The last PEW report on bi men in America stated that 84% of bi men state they would never consider being in a same sex relationship and of the remaining 16% only 4% were currently in same sex relationships.
I agree that there are a lot of gay men who think that bi is a transitional thing, I’ve lost friends who have said the same thing to my husband (who is bi) and I certainly have absolutely no problem correcting them, but the bi male community isn’t exactly blameless in how they are perceived.
You really think the guys he’s hooking up with care about any of that? Hookups are 100% about getting your rocks off. They are using each other for the same purpose.
What is more, Ellis may feel like a more valued member of the community if he had more esteem for other members of the community. By his own admission, he has never been interested in dating or being in relationships with gay men, only in having sex with them. He only wants to engage with one-dimension of them, instead of them as whole people. Implicit in this attitude is the notion that gay men are not worthy of his love, and are only of value to him for sex. He wonders why he does not feel a deeper connection to the community, and perhaps it is because of his surface-level engagement with members of the community.
Except you didn’t read the article. He stated quite clearly “”“My experiences with the LGBTQ community have been, up to now, almost exclusively sexual in nature. Hook-up sites. Sex clubs. Group sex with men””
Is there really much of a “bi community” to salvage though? Inherently bi people identify as straight, gay, bi, pan, fluid, queer, I-don’t-believe-in-labels, or are closeted. They’re all over the place in where they are on the general spectrum, what they identify as and what their “lifestyles” reflect. While more and more younger people are starting to be dismissive towards identity. And more folks are starting to see “labels” like “gay”, “straight” and “bi” as having more to do with love, romantic affections, emotional devotion, relationship contentment and ambitions than having to do with sex or attractions. The issue is that we started placing way too much political and social emphasis on sexual behaviors, identities and this idea of “community” rather than focusing on people being honest and living their lives freely and expecting to be respected. Now, you have bunch of people trying really hard to either be embraced by whatever “community” or trying really hard to stay detached from whatever community, instead of just living their lives.
He can identify as he wishes and be as proud of that identity as he wishes. And I commend this guy for at least trying to be honest. But his focus should be more on pushing for honesty and pushing for people not to be embarrassed to express themselves authentically. Understanding the variations of people and everyone’s individual journeys is the next evolution. However, his statements are about identity and “community”. And frankly, that’s just passe. It makes him come off desperate to be liked and desperate for validation. Screw the damn “lgbtq community” crap.
Also, UlfRaynor, those numbers are probably a bit eschewed. They’re only polling a small percentage of people. And a lot of guys who have overall same-sex preferences or relationship ambitions are abandoning bi identities. They’re going with all the other stuff I mentioned (gay, queer, fluid, I-don’t-believe-in-labels). “Bi” is still something that is very much attached to hetero normalcy and hetero relationship ambitions. It also has the weight of hetero and homo expectations and the stain of things like internalized homophobia or only using a particularly type of person for sex. I don’t see that perspective changing. That’s where the “transitional” line of thinking comes from. Even if a dude never becomes fully inherently homo, if he has overall same-sex preferences, romantic love and relationship ambitions he will likely stop feeling much genuine attachment to “bi” beyond a certain span of his life. That’s partly why you rarely see guys (or women in fact) repping “bi pride” for 20+ years. There are many, many dudes who are not completely homo but are in same-sex relationships. I would guess that at least 30% of male relationships involves at least one partner who isn’t homo. It’s just a lot of those guys avoid a bi identity, avoid identity in general, or they don’t feel being inherently bi means that they can’t be seen as “gay”.
Donston, as I recall there were 3k bi men and 3k bi women for the poll, more than an adequate sampling, tho the poll was from 2015.
I do agree, there are a lot of bi men who will say they are gay, mostly just to avoid the flack or confusion they get from ignorant gay men. That said, they get equal flack and confusion from str8 people.
My husband is a perfect example, he was previously married to a woman (right out of highschool) had 2 kids with her. after 5 years their marriage ended when he returned home from an 8 month deployment (he was a marine) and found out she had been cheating on him.
Up until that time, even though he knew he was bi, he would have never considered being in a same sex relationship, that experience changed him, but even so, it still took him a couple of years of dating me before he could resolve his feelings for me with his perceived societal and familial expectations.
We were fortunate enough to get advice from friends who were a str8 couple who had undergone couples counseling and pushed us to do the same, it was the best thing we could have done and was very eye opening to both of us.
Years afterward though I started noticing him just accepting being called gay when people just assumed he was because of our relationship, it wasn’t until I started correcting people that he got the confidence to do the same and started defending himself and rejecting peoples projections.
My whole point, it isn’t just a one way street when it comes to the disillusionment between gay and bi men, there is plenty of reasons to call out both sides and that is the conversation the two communities should be having not this oppression olympic’s side show that Ellis is positing, painting gay men as the villain in his story.
But your perspective is just as old-fashion and whiny as a decent percentage of “bi pride” folks. For some “bi” is indeed a transitional identity. And some people do become fully homo or hetero as they get older. “Gay” doesn’t mean homosexual to a lot of people (and I mean a lot of people). Not everyone’s perspectives on identity align with yours. And the gender, romantic, sexual, affection, emotional investment, relationship spectrum is very individual, personal stuff. You don’t seem willing to acknowledge any of this. You just push identity, like the “bi pride” folks. “Queer theory” is starting to move on from basic debates about identity and sociology, and it’s acknowledging things like fluidity, the overall spectrum, the effects of sexual trauma, mental health. Never mind there being so many identities that people embrace nowadays for whatever reasons that they embrace them. Most of the “bi pride” stuff is stuck in the 90’s. And yes, it is indeed weighed down most by oppression Olympics. Finally, you can’t force people to want to be with folks that they don’t want to be with. Having some dimensions in your sexuality has little to do with the other parts of your orientation.
That, folks, is how it’s done. No denial. No ambiguity. Just honesty and “hey, if you have a problem with it, that’s your problem, not mine”.
Kudos to him!
The thing is that’s not really what he’s doing. First, he’s feeding into the “bi guy’ who marries a woman” stereotype of “men are for fetishes, sex, partying, money and drugs, and women are for love, family and commitment”. From my experience a decent amount of guys with that perspective have internalized homophobia, self-misandry, hetero normal paranoia, toxic masculinity, mental health issues that they haven’t legit faced. But if that’s his truth then that’s his truth. I will say that there’s a lot of gay/bi/queer/fluid/straight identifying dudes who feel the opposite way but won’t be real with themselves and others about it. They “like” women and like hooking up with women, but they don’t have any legit relationship interests in women and don’t have sustained love, affections and romantic connections with females. Yet, they talk in circles when explaining themselves and their orientation. We live in a hetero-normal world, and ultimately, women dominate identity and sexual politics. So, men who only really want to be with a female feel more free to be direct and harsh about that. But I at least commend him for being (or at least appearing to be) direct.
However, he’s not merely telling it like it is and keeping it pushing. He’s asking for widespread attention, acceptance and support, and he’s asking for the “bi” identity to be validated (despite every damn body one Twitter having bi identities). The constant “bi validation” whining is getting old, especially since identity has become such a vast thing and is something a lot of people have started to think of as secondary. Even most inherently bi people are just over it.
Looks like several different men. Don’t you just hate profiles like that! ;D
Wow, all of the usual right wing, anti-LGBT troll accounts really rushed to comment on this post.
You really need new material.
As with all human nature it occurs along a spectrum. Behavior can be extreme, but never binary. Sexuality and gender fall on a spectrum. I feel that trying to define individuals as gay or straight is not realistic. LGBTQ describe “Us” and is not definitive catagories. I do not think that a person is defined by their preference in sexual activity, nor is it by the gender that they identify as. I do feel that bisexual individuals are judged as being indecisive and just not ready to be gay or straight. I commend Jason Ellis for being candid about his sexual attractions. I also commend his wife for supporting him.
Total BS, you are saying that sexuality is a societal construct not an innate characteristic.
While I agree that for the most part gender is a societal construct, my homosexuality is not, nor does it exist on a spectrum, nor is it a preference.
If you are a cis person and you only have legit relationships with people of your opposite cis gender then your connection to the “queer community” is always going to be tenuous. That’s just a reality. But that’s why I place less emphasis on identity and sociology and feeling a part of a “community”. It’s why I focus more on honesty, self-understanding, mental health, doing what you really want to do, and the gender, romantic, sexual, affection, emotional investment, relationship spectrum. Focusing more on those things keeps people from being obsessed with feeling as if they’re a part of something and less obsessed with being accepted by whoever. Inherently bi people do have a slightly higher rate of depression and addiction. But that’s mainly because they’re slightly more likely to have dealt with sexual abuse or sexual traumas. And of course they contend with greater amounts of not knowing what they want and not feeling fulfilled. That’s not really a discrimination thing. But yes, we all need to be more honest with each other and more understanding of each other.
Us bisexuals need to live on our own island. This way everyone I would run in to would understand. Maybe we could re-purpose that Epstein island. Turn something bad in to good.
I’ve interacted with inherently bi/pan/fluid people who didn’t “get” me or my orientation. I’ve interacted with people who who entirely hetero or homo that did “get” me or at least tried to. “Bi” is such a wide-ranging thing as to honestly barely have much connective tissue. You have plenty of inherently bi/pan/fluid people who identify as straight, gay or merely queer. You have inherently bi people who live strictly hetero or homo lifestyles. You have inherently bi people who only have relationship ambitions and emotional investment towards one sex. You have people who are inherently hetero or homo but become more bi as they get older. You have inherently bi people who become more hetero or homo as they get older. It’s such a vast thing. And the experiences and motivational are so varied. That’s why I preach honesty, self-undestanding, not being ashamed your nuances and your preferences, and comprehending the overall spectrum. Your perspective is what I dislike most when it comes to the “bi movement”: perpetual victim-hood and whining about not belonging somewhere. Outside of night clubs and social media most people don’t care about whatever identity you embrace, if you embrace any. Make your own life.
However, if you’re talking strictly of bi-identifying men who wish to persistently indulge bi behaviors but are hetero-romantic and looking to only have a relationship commitment with a cis woman- then yeah, I kinda get the island ambition. That type of guy will never fit comfortably within the supposed “queer community” or the “straight world”. But even that strand of sociology isn’t hard to find nowadays, especially in the big cities.
Fugly MF with too much neck ink. Why don’t you all keep these assholes in a cage?????
Can’t you all do BETTER???
Typical sleazy bi guy. Only using guys for sex and married to a woman. Wish these guys would just go away for good.
I mean, it is what it is. There are plenty of guys out here who use women primarily for sex, ego, sociology and/or babies. However, their romantic passions, persistent affections, emotional investment, relationship contentment/comfort veer towards their sex. Some of those kind of guys are honest with themselves and others about that and some aren’t. But you ultimately can’t dictate how someone lives their lives, or what identities they embrace, and no one has control over where they are in the overall spectrum. Being bitter serves little purpose. All we can do is continue to promote honesty and freedom.
I appreciate him sharing his truth. However, he isn’t the problem. He is the product of gay culture at present. I read an article on this site awhile back that offered statistics of gay men on dating apps. A large majority of men just wanted a hookup with NSA. This guy is just taking advantage of what’s being offered. Can he be blamed? I think not.
It is interesting to read the comments who are mad that a guy “would only use _____ for sex.” That’s like being mad that cars have tires. Getting pissed off that a chair has legs, haha. People use each other for sex, regardless of gender or sexuality. Men do it. Women do it. Gays do it. Straights do it. Everyone is doing it (literally). I was a closeted Bi for about 10 years, during which time I “acted out” by indiscriminately having sex with an average of 150+ people per year. Craigslist (#rip), Grindr, various groups, invites by people who knew I’d be fun to have over with their new “friends.”
I didn’t ask for that life. I was always ashamed of it. But it was where I was. And apparently it’s pretty common for us. Including the depression that came with it.
I bring up that massive (and slightly horrifying, looking back) number of people to prove a point. Men, on every point of the spectrum, are perfectly capable of using other people for sex. Gays are probably the worst about it, so let’s avoid the high horse on that one. Women aren’t innocent, either. Far from it.
I never encouraged anyone to cheat on their SO, nor would I agree to hook up with them if it was obvious in any way whatsoever that they were even slightly conflicted about it. Same for hooking up with straight (either horny, curious, or closeted) men. It had to be fully their idea and no reason to think they were conflicted.
And, guess what? I could fill a couple of tour buses with the number of straight married men and women who blatantly used me for sex, mostly without the knowledge of their partner. (One in a million story: Guy I was hooking up with (porn star) for about a year finally convinced his wife to have a MFM threesome. He went on this elaborate charade about finding me, texted me exactly what to reply to him so she’d agree. I get there, realize that I had hooked up with her twice without him, that she had also been cheating on him with me. Had to spend the next couple of hours pretending like I didn’t know either of them, in spite of the fact that I clearly knew what they both enjoyed, haha).
While I may be one of the last people who should be giving relationship advice, it’s been my experience that the people who can’t fully communicate their actual emotional and sexual interests with their SO (whether that be gender, attractions, kinks, interests, curiosities, etc), are always one opportunity away from cheating in search of what they are really going to be happy with.
The keyword there is “opportunity.” Everything is always searching for it’s path, including human desires. When I finally came out to close friends and admitted my double lifestyle — making it clear I don’t talk about who I’m with, that became an “opportunity” for a few of them. One drunkenly tried to make out, two hardcore spooned me when we were sharing a bed, another grabbed and held my arm during a fireworks show, my roommate started sharing a blanket and cuddling with me during movies…pulled my hand to his erection, most of them show clear curiosities at joining orgies, on and on. One straight up aggressively tried to **** me while on a bad drug trip.
These are friends. Most of them are straight. Some are curious. Only one is openly bi. Several are in relationships. And while I haven’t (and wouldn’t) ruin those relationships, it’s further proof that the only thing separating desire and action is the opportunity for the two to coincide.
So if Ellis (or those like him) have found a marriage where open communication allows him to release desires that no one woman or man could do for him, then you should be happy for him, not judging. It’s way better than him sneaking off and blowing some dude in the car without her knowing. 😉
Welp, child cheese. Well said!
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