In between last month our world observed the eighteenth annual bisexual awareness week. On the 23rd of September Bisexual Visibility Day was celebrated. During this time, bisexuals and allies learn about the experiences of the community as well as what it means to be a bisexual.
To answer that question, what does it mean to be bisexual? Does it mean that I am confused? You see I’m one of those people who need his shit figured out. I don’t like it when I don’t find reason in something in my life. So, no, I am not confused of my sexuality. In fact, I am surer of being queer than some straight people are of being straight, and I can say this with conviction! Was I always this sure? No, not at all. I experienced such mental affliction I might fail to express in words. Truth be told, I came across this term, bisexual, very late in life. Before that, I thought I had to adhere to ‘one of the two’ orientations and I believed I was going mad. Yet, inside as well as outside the LGBT community I am shamed for coming out as a bisexual. Really, coming out saved me from all that affliction. To realize that I was valid lifted a very heavy burden off me.
Does it mean I wish to appear cool? I don’t know. . It’s just a sexual orientation. What I know is bisexual people are in constant threat of prejudice and rejection. What I know is my community is prone to serious mental disturbances and, sadly, unable to avail mental health facilities. What I know is when its members try resorting to mental health professionals, more often than not, they are ridiculed and asked to choose between being straight or gay – as if it is unimaginable to love more than one gender. What I also know is that the law and order of the country is doing little to change this predicament for us and, worse, they seldom even care to mention us. All this while the White House, last week, acknowledged the contributions and experiences of our counterparts in the US. So, no, none of us are trying to seem cool. But then again DC Comics recently declared that Wonder Woman is bisexual…so, I guess, we are justified in feeling cool.
Does it mean that I am not valid? Not valid? Why not? I didn’t choose to be attracted to more genders than one. I was born like this! I have always experienced attraction toward other persons besides women. Does that make me a freak? By no means! I’m as valid as anyone with a past, an idea and an ambition. Sadly, the law and order of this country doesn’t seem to recognize me – the debate revolves around ‘homosexuals and heterosexuals,’ which is another form of binary besides ‘man and woman.’ In fact, bisexual persons constitute a large section of our society. Due to the ostracisation they are prone to, sadly, they seldom choose to come out – leading, thus, to a large section of ‘invisible’ bisexual persons. We are, in truth, as valid as one gets.
Does it mean that I am attracted to men as well as women? For me, personally, yes. It does mean that I am attracted to some men as well as some women. Does that define bisexuality universally? No. Does that mean I am only attracted to men and women? No. You see bisexuality is mostly defined as romantic and/or sexual attraction toward two or more genders. This is one of many valid definitions of bisexuality. My preference is in defining bisexuality as attraction toward members of my own gender as well as members of other genders. Emotional intimacy, in my life, plays an equal role as physical intimacy. While experiences in bed are different with different genders, what leads to getting there is how well I connect with these people emotionally.
Does it mean I’m polyamorous? No. I ask you, is one not qualified to be polyamorous as a gay or straight individual? Polyamory is independent of sexual orientation. It’s a choice, and it’s a reasonable one. But monogamy works wonders for some people – gay, straight, bisexual or whatever.
Does it mean that I am gay? That’s an unreasonable one. When people ask me, ‘are you gay?’ I never say ‘No, I’m bisexual,’ I say, ‘Yes, I’m bisexual.’ There is nothing derogatory in being gay. Homosexuality, like bisexuality, is an innate characteristic in an individual. While one’s sexuality might be a great matter of pride to the person or a great part of that person’s life, it doesn’t define them. So, please, aid us in bringing an end to discrimination of LGBT people in workplaces and other public places. If you are reading this as a straight person, please empathise with us. Employers and lawmakers need to know that we are just as capable of yielding results as anyone. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t keep labels in the world at all! A person’s sexuality and gender bears no consequence in my life. But, then, these labels are very important. It needs to be known who are the ones suffering. Straight people aren’t discriminated for being themselves. Sadly, we are – homosexuals and bisexuals among the prime forms of sexuality – and mercilessly. Just like women are subjected to misogyny and chauvinism.
Does it mean, as a male-identifying bisexual, that I am girly? In all sincerity, I don’t care. Just as I don’t mind being compared to gay men I don’t mind being compared to women. What’s derogatory about being girly? I think girls are great! They make this world more pleasurable! A lot of strictly straight men are dandy, that doesn’t mean they may be shamed. It’s nobody’s business if a man or a woman or a gender queer acts in a way not typical of their gender. That’s a very outdated notion of gender. We are all valid, irrespective of how we behave. We are all worthy of love. Let’s celebrate women, let’s celebrate men and let’s celebrate people who don’t confirm to either of these. Let’s celebrate life already!
Does it mean that I am lucky because I can get married to a woman but maintain sexual relationships with men? No, not at all. It does mean I am unlucky though. It allows people to think that I can abide by the law by marrying a woman and ‘live happily ever after.’ But I don’t know if I can love a woman so much. I don’t know if I can love a man any less. If I know something it is that I never want to marry. Why? I just don’t, what do you care? But would you care to know – I would love to be a father. Not procreate but adopt a child. A daughter. I would love to watch her grow. I know I can be a much better father, to a daughter or a son, than most men out there. But here’s the sad news – the Establishment seems to tell you I’m deluded. Besides telling you that I am not valid in the country. Also warranting you to get abusive toward me because the law won’t protect me because apparently I am a criminal in our country.
And why am I a criminal exactly? There’s a funny story behind it. You see, last Friday I saw a charming man dancing at a party in my city. I couldn’t inhibit myself and I soon began flirting with him. It turned out I really liked him and he me. We shared a series of intellectual conversations before I asked him if he wanted to come home. And home did he want to come, that naughty man! There, after the boinking, this charmer looked straight into my eyes and told me he loved me! Would you care to know what followed this? I swear on my existence, fifteen people suffered fatal strokes in my neighborhood, another twenty suffered grave casualties, thirty families reported thefts at their homes, there were approximately twenty six road accidents in the city, eleven terrorists were marauding in different parts of our nation, the forecast suggested a tsunami could strike in a couple of days, animals ran amok outside the jungles attacking people in nearby villages, some country declared war on my nation and that was it! I felt so guilty about my actions, I screamed in front of The India Gate saying, “Please! Somebody from the law or the government, somebody tell me just what can I do to bring this grave affliction to a desperate end! Anything at all?”
“Of course,” said a voice. “All you have to do is have sex with a woman and bring all these casualties to a much needed end.”
“Have sex with a woman? Why – of course! That was all I had to do?”
“Oh, yes, just that. Uhm. . . just stop being gay.”
“Gay? But I’m not gay! I’m bisexual!”