Hetero Homo Bi Bi (Or Not)

“So, are you bisexual?” the question shot out of nowhere and caught her unaware.

“So, are you bisexual?” the question shot out of nowhere and caught her unaware. She felt the noise levels drop a few decibels as if people around her were suddenly tuning in to hear her response to what should have been a pretty innocuous question. She decided that she would not let the question make her feel uncomfortable and respond with the same sense of confidence that the other women in the room seemed to exude. Yet the tingling sensation wrecking her heart did not subside as if alerting her to the series of unfortunate events that often followed soon after the B question.

“Women” the word played on her mind in a loop like a stuck record – she always knew that she liked them. She also knew that she liked men and it had not taken her long to figure out her orientation. However, “coming out” was a whole different ball game altogether, and moments such as these often made her wonder why did she ever take that initiative in the first place. “No” she reminded herself again “there is nothing wrong with the question. I’m just being asked if I’m bisexual. Why should that be wrong at all? Maybe *she* just wants to know.”

But some wishful thoughts are not meant to be. The woman who originally asked her the question had chosen to not wait for her answer and had instead proceeded to rant on. “I personally feel that bisexuals are confused. I mean why does one need both at the same time? I just find them very unreliable.” In her short association with “the community”, she had heard these words from the non-bisexual clan in varying permutations and combinations. Yet, each time, the words stung afresh. She wanted to scream “I’m not confused. I might not even want both at the same time. I mean, it’s not like bisexuals are the only ones cheating. Everyone cheats! And knowing *your* track record (she pictured herself totally giving the woman *the look* as she said this line), you could write a book on your infamous escapades”. Instead she maintained stoic silence; her Cosmopolitan suddenly looked a lot more interesting compared to the woman who had foisted herself upon her.

The woman took her silence as a cue to carry on. “I’ve always seen these bisexual girls come and use *us* and then marry a man. So, for me bisexual girls are just for flings. I only get serious with *pure lesbians*.” And those were the last straws that broke our bisexual character’s back. She could have reasoned and provided rationale. She could cry herself hoarse and explain biphobia. But this wasn’t one of those times. This was the time to give it back in the only language that she thought the woman to understand. She inhaled deeply and turned her gaze on the woman who thankfully wasn’t aware of her fate to come. She contemplated dousing the woman’s smug face with her Cosmopolitan but quickly decided against it. Drinks were expensive at this party and she’d totally look uncool walking away with an empty glass.

So she paused, held her head at the cockiest angle, and then said “listen, I can barely stand you for three minutes of your talk. What makes you think that anyone wants a fling with you? I’m a *pure bisexual* and I have standards that you won’t be able to meet even with your six-inch heels. Now pick that jaw off the floor, I don’t want to trip on it on my way out”. And saying that, she walked right away amidst “pin droppiest silence” that one could get at a party. People had heard her. Loud and Clear. She hadn’t stepped out of the closet only to be bullied back into it by Elles, Gees and Tees. Definitely not within the first few months of her breaking the shackles to free herself. For the rest of the party, she stood alone with the crowd’s eyes keeping her constant company. She downed the remaining drink, decided against bailing out early, and walked up to the bar ordering another Cosmopolitan. As the bartender fixed her poison, she tapped her foot to Gloria Gayner belting “I will Survive” from the speakers overhead.

About the guest author

Shruta Mengle Rawat

Foodie. Story teller. Social researcher. Taurean. And a total Meena Kumari with a queer twist. Her super powers include completely understanding complex sitcom plots within three minutes into an episode and spinning yarns right through severe bouts of Mondayitis.