Can I reclaim a bisexual identity by painting over the world’s assumptions with the brush of my own truth?
Let’s talk — some more — about the B word.
If you’ll recall from last week, the comments section of an AfterEllen roundtable discussion about bisexuality got me thinking. I haven’t identified as bisexual in years and years — but is that truly because the label doesn’t fit? Or was the rejection of ‘bisexual’ just an attempt to avoid the stereotypes and misinformation I knew I would be saddled with?
AE commentators can tend to be a bit more civil than the rest of the world wide web, so at times, the resulting discussions are actually illuminating. As I started to engage with the other readers’ takes on bisexuality, I started to think more intensely about the labels I attach to myself.
At this point in my life, I’m a 5 on the Kinsey Scale. Before I had other language for it, I used to describe myself, on any given day, as 65-80% gay. And yet I don’t identify as bisexual. Why not?
#QuestionsForMen is trending on Twitter, and some men aren’t very happy about it. But the hashtag isn’t about misandry, and it’s not about hating men. It’s about the systematic oppression women experience growing up in a patriarchal society. So let us speak.
Have you heard of the #questionsformen hashtag on Twitter? It takes common experiences women share and flips them, asking for men to consider what their lives would be like if those were their experiences. For instance:
#questionsformen do you walk home with your keys placed in between your fingers? are you constantly looking over your shoulder?
Can I write about the people in my life without using them or stealing their agency?
So, there’s a dirty little secret about writing, particularly personal essays:
When you chronicle your experiences, and the people with whom you have shared or created those experiences, you are in many ways reducing those people to something less than human. To some degree, they become props, fodder, puppets that you can move across the stage of your own memory.
I used to have a friend who called me the Queer Stalker. In my closet years, I desperately consumed any and all pop culture I could find that had any queer in it at all. But one lovely byproduct of living an out life this year has been: I no longer love everything with lesbian content by default! And now that I think about it, I’ve got a few issues with some of the shows and content I clung to so hard back in the day. Let’s explore, shall we?
I never hated other queer people. But I was scared shitless, and that fear was a mean old voice inside my head.
Work craziness is eating up all my spare time this week. I’ll be back with regular posts next week; in the meantime, here’s something I wrote a couple of years ago, just as I was starting with my LGBT therapist, back when I was scared as could be. Oh my, how things can change!
I go to a party at a ranch out past the orchards. There are lesbians everywhere. The hosts (I don’t know them personally) are a married lesbian couple. Their property is beyond kitsch. It illustrates their love in ways that are almost too obvious. Like the giant iron sculpture, a heart, with “she said yes” etched onto it. There is a DJ. A single beat seems to thread the songs. As darkness falls, people start to dance. I watch them from my seat, hand on my beer, mosquitoes flocking to the meat of my left ankle like it’s Mecca.
A queer news roundup with only good news. Because that’s what Friday calls for.
It’s Friday. It’s been kind of a rough week. So I think it’s time to do a happy dance. Let’s shake off all of the bullshit and get happy for the weekend. Here’s some of the best (and some of the silliest) queer news from the week.
Michael Sam and Vito Cammisano are engaged, months after that adorable kiss sent conservatives into a hilarious tailspin (that link is a poem “inspired by Dr. Seuss” in which the esteemed author rhymed gayness and anus. It is GOLD). Anyway, congratulations, fellas! I don’t follow football but I am always 100% a fan of love.
At the same time, it feels strange to write about the Pretty Little Liars winter premiere, or Kristen Stewart’s new “gal pal,” when everyone is talking about yesterday’s events in Paris. And it feels strange to leave a record of my life experience on the internet, with a whole part of that experience missing, simply because I don’t know how to write about certain things in a meaningful way.