Understanding Bis

So, there I am, on the sofa with my boyfriend, watching Sugar Rush. I’m demonstrating my usual “watching TV and zoned out” look, brought on by the concoction of lesbian action and dysfunctional family drama. He turns round to me and says, “I’m never going to be enough for you am I?, You’re always going to need women aren’t you?” Evidently I need to do more to hide my inner horniness whilst watching this with him in future. Nonetheless, I hear your collective bisexual sigh. I hear you thinking, “ They don’t get us do they? They think we couldn’t be monogamous even if our life depended on it.” A-ha! You are mistaken! Because here is the crux of the matter, my boyfriend is bisexual! He should know better, surely?

I turned to face him, which was difficult because Kim, the lead character, is lying in bed staring at a sizeable strap-on dildo, (as per request of bisexual girlfriend – don’t start me on the media…). “Of course you’re enough”, I say, “I love you. Besides, what if I can’t give you what you want?” My thoughts wander to the possibilities of aforementioned dildo. “Oh well,” proclaims my bloke, “Cock, I can take it or leave it.” Nicely put I thought. He looks at me sorrowfully, “Anyway, I know I only want you, y’know, in my head, but I don’t know what’s going on in yours do I?” Here I was, thinking dating a fellow bisexual would make my life so much easier, but no, it’s actually just as much trouble. He doesn’t understand me any better than my previous relationships.

Fast forward to Pride weekend and a group of us are wearing our super-groovy, super-military “www.bisexualrecruitmentarmy.com” t-shirts (coming soon to a Top-Shop near you!). An old school friend spots me and rushes up to say hello; we exchange air-kisses and girly squeals. Then there is a pause, she registers our attire, promptly calls me a dirty bi and rushes off. Charming.

What, you may ask, do these two conversations have in common? Patience my young padawan, patience. A thread to this there is. It was, in fact, a third and entirely unrelated conversation that brought the two together. There are three bisexuals in a bar…. (it’s the new stand up routine for the 21st century – its cool, its PC, it has potential)… talking about the hot topic of the day, Romanian immigrants. The discussion brought up the idea that British citizens are so terrified of uncertainty, of possibly losing their Western privileges, they want to barricade themselves in, even if they were once persecuted immigrants themselves. The conclusion was that, in the end, the backlash against the Romanians is being driven by fear, which is, after all, our most basic survival instinct. I actually felt the light bulb burning my frontal cortex. So clear the truth is young Skywalker.

True, my boyfriend doesn’t understand my sexuality, but this is not what drives him. Like everyone, fear drives him. He fears losing the person he loves most, of being discarded. My old school friend probably doesn’t understand or respect bisexuality, but that isn’t what made her insult me. It was the fear of being tainted, the need to separate herself from something that, in her eyes, threatens to dilute gay culture and thus her identity. It is the same fear that causes some hetrosexual men to demonstrate homophobic machismo so prolifically when encountering gay culture.

Therein lies the dilemma for us as a community. We fear what we do not understand and we are not understood. Among us all, our sexualities are so fluid and wide-ranging that we can struggle to understand each other. How do we reach a point where bisexuality is understood by the masses? It is quite clear that in the current social climate we are attached to and supported by lesbian and gay associations mainly for PC purposes. There is a great need to network and promote awareness so that the lesbian and gay community no longer fear what harm we may do to their cause, no longer fear the unknown middle ground. How wonderful it would be if people no longer viewed sexuality as two poles apart, black or white, them or us, blind and scared of those lurking grey shadows. Maybe one day people will see sexuality for the beautiful array of colours and shades it really is, and we will truly be accepted for who we are. Maybe then I can watch Sugar Rush in peace.

Suzy