In addition to being the first day of Autumn and one of my favorite Sabbats since I was a child (even if I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time), today is also Celebrate Bisexuality Day.
Celebrate Bisexuality Day was first observed in 1999. Wendy Curry, Michael Page and Gigi Raven were all bisexual rights activists. The vision was to “put bisexuality on the map with its call to promote bi visibility and celebrate the wonderful diversity of bisexual lives.”
Bisexuality is often misunderstood, misjudged and grossly stereotyped. I remember going on a road trip with some friends when I was in high school. The driver and the front seat passenger started discussing homosexuality. The passenger’s comment was, “I don’t have a problem with anyone gay or straight, but bisexuals are just greedy and need to make up their minds.” (I might be paraphrasing a bit, but that was the gist.)
In the 15 years since that road trip, I have heard that bisexuals are just confused and haven’t yet “chosen” to be gay or straight.” I have heard that bisexuals are more promiscuous. I have heard that bisexuals are incapable of having a monogamous relationship.
Oh, and the most irritating is that bisexual women only do it to attract straight men. (Thank you pop culture!) This is not to say that those individuals don’t exist, but as Anna Pulley stated in her article on AlterNet, “We call these ladies beersexuals, and yes, they do exist, but not usually outside of college campuses or David Schwimmer parties.”
First off, like heterosexuality and homosexuality, bisexuality is not a choice. Bisexuals have been defined in many different ways, but one all-encompassing definition is that they are individuals who have “the potential to feel attracted to and to engage in sexual and/or romantic relationships with people of any sex or gender.”
The truth is that there are those who will go through a phase of identifying as “bisexual” before accepting themselves as gay or lesbian. And that’s okay. But that does not devalue the identification for those who are truly bisexual.
There are those who deem themselves “bicurious” because they are unsure of their sexuality. And that’s okay too. Some of those who identify as “bicurious” will later identify has straight, gay/lesbian or bi. Someone is not a bicurious solely because he or she lacks sexual experience with a member of the same sex. The term used in that way has always irritated the hell out of me. I’ve never heard anyone called gay-curious or straight-curious just because of a lack of experience.
As for monogamy? Silliness. There is monogamy and non-monogamy amongst all individuals regardless of sexual orientation. Are some bisexuals polyamorous? Of course. So are some heterosexuals and homosexuals. And the same holds true for monogamy. And quite honestly, why is anyone’s sex life any of anyone else’s business?
The point is that human beings are diverse and you cannot lump all bisexuals into a stereotype . . . the same as you can’t lump any other group of people into a stereotype.