Am I Bi Enough?
Diary of a ‘crap lesbian’ part two…
Be honest, girls and boys, we’ve all done it. But where does it stop?
Here I am, your friendly neighbourhood queer lassie, recently out as bi, and feeling like a faker. I’m still getting used to calling myself bisexual, and wishing there was some kind of label repellent on the market (Kills all known strains of lesbianism dead), so I could start again. I would love to be granted tabula rasa, but that won’t happen, so I’m stuck faking it.
A quick glance at the bookshelves before me confirms it, too. We have ‘Nothing But The Girl, The Blatant Lesbian Image’, ‘The Girls – Sappho Goes To Hollywood’, ‘Best Lesbian Erotica’. These examples stare me in the face while countless others hide, shamefaced, in cupboards out of sight. My Google Alerts are set to such topics as same-sex marriage, my toy box contains little more than latex gloves and dental dams. In short – I’m still gay, to the casual observer, at least.
The thing is, no one gave me a guide book. I could do with a list of officially endorsed products worth purchasing to celebrate my bisexuality. How do they dress? Behave? Enquiring minds want to know. Don’t get me wrong – I know I’ve nothing prove – but I still feel slightly on the outside. The feeling of faking extends outside my sexuality, too – I can apply it to most areas of my life, socially, professionally, and otherwise. Worse still is the nagging feeling that one day I will be found out and ridiculed.
There is one thing, however, that lessens the pressure a little. I’ve recently been getting involved with a man. Our relationship is still at the stage where it isn’t one, unless you happen to be my best friend, in which case, we’re shacked up with a semi-, a Peugeot, and a Doberman. That’s girly mates for you, but more on that another time. So, it seems I’m gaining some bi street cred, but other than that, my forays into the Brave New World of bisexuality are far from profuse; I’m no kind of activist, and fairly scene shy, in layman’s terms, I don’t get out much.
On the back of this, I’m less than enthusiastic when I am repeatedly, and by various folks, told I must attend BiCon this year. I am considering attending, since it seems the Editor of this publication has A Plan and, I am told, what Jen wants, Jen gets. (News to me! – Jen) It is the fear of the faker, that is, the fear of exposure, that holds me back. Though, I can’t help asking myself, exposure of what, exactly?
I can imagine the scene – I enter a room full of fully fledged, card carrying, slightly the worse for a wear bisexuals, and glow red under the light of enquiry. Okay, I suppose I know that won’t happen, but this is the plight of the over thinker.
Let’s take a step back, for a moment to look at the notion of the faker a little more deeply. I don’t imagine for a moment that I am alone in suffering thusly, I’m sure even the most self-assured amongst us have felt the same at some point. Who defines us? Who is to say who we are or are not other than ourselves? Taking an example in context, one of my dearest friends has self-identified as bi since her mid teens, yet for various reasons, her sexual experience with members of her own sex extends no further than a little under-the-sweater action. Does she feel like a faker? Does she even care? I don’t question her identity, don’t think she’s faking it, so why can’t I apply this reasoning to myself? That, I feel is a question best addressed on the therapists couch.
My theory leaves a lot to be desired.
I’ve highlighted a couple of my problems above, but there are other issues I must contend with. What if, horror of horrors, I am asked my opinion on (insert name of dynamic bi academic here) …my response can only be ‘Who?’ Of course, I would be more of a faker were I to nod along, looking intellectual and chipping in occasionally with ‘Quite, quite, yah’, but that, as my nature of dismissing the extraneous dictates, is beside the point.
What if I am discovered to be not all I appear? Well, as a friend of mine so succinctly put it, ‘So long as we can still touch your boobs, your real friends won’t care.’ As heart-warming as that statement tries to be, it doesn’t quite manage to fill the void.
Back on the subject of BiCon, I have plenty more areas in which to hide my faker status. Am I poly? Into BDSM? Available? Under each of these headings I fall into the ‘kinda’ category. Can I decide for myself before wearing my labels with pride?
I think it was Polonius who said ‘This above all: To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.’ Yep, that’ll do me for now.