Always A Bisexual

Are you still a bisexual?
My husband asks
Not with the intent to offend
Just an innocent question
And trust me it’s easy to tell
When it’s not innocent
Because then it becomes an interrogation
–An attempt to ferret out
The most scandalous bits
Glossing over the political details
Because that’s boring –
Followed by an invitation
To get a third into the bed
Under the garb of being progressive
Men just want to act out
Pornographic fantasies
Because two girls and one man
Is perhaps the most searched kind

Yes, I will always be a bisexual
Like you will always be heterosexual
Even though I am the one that
You cuddle
Have sex with
Have promised to
For as long as we both shall live
But that doesn’t mean
You will suddenly stop finding
Other women attractive
And it’s alright if you do

Yes, I will always be a bisexual
Like you will always be heterosexual
In that you won’t act out on your attraction
Towards another woman
And will respect us
For as long as we both shall live

Yes, I will always be a bisexual
Even though we are
Man and wife
And in love
And part of the heteronorm…
What is heteronorm, he asks
This, I say, pointing to the wedding pictures
Lining the walls of our home
The happy faces
Of families, his and mine
Congratulatory cards on the side table
Addressed to Mr and Mrs
The sigh of relief in his mother’s voice
And my father’s
The loan that we will easily get
For the property that we will buy together
Our children who will have straightforward answers
To what is your mum and dad’s names?
Because that’s what they have—mum and dad
Not mum and mum or dad and dad
Because such forms aren’t available yet

Heteronorm—that which is common
Norm—a word which does not follow ‘homo’
Homo—a word used in conjunction with ‘phobia’
Not pleasant
Not celebratory
Sometimes derogatory
Encompassing within itself
An othering
A divide
A struggle
Us versus them
Right versus wrong
Mainstream versus alternate
The ‘right way to live’ versus lifestyle choices
And despite all this

I will always be a bisexual
And sometimes
I will come across a woman
Who is smart
And beautiful
And kind
And funny
The kind of woman
I would ask out on a date
And spend the rest of my life with
If I was a single woman
Or it could be a man
You know either is possible

But, I don’t have a roving eye
Or a ravenous appetite
For the pleasures of the flesh
And I appreciate that you won’t
Be okay if I cheated on you with a woman
It means that you respect us
And despite your question ‘are you still a bisexual?’
I know that you view me independent of my sexual orientation
And that’s how, bit by bit
The homo/hetero divide will dissolve

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Shyama Laxman has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London. She writes mainly about gender, sexuality and LGBT issues. Her work has been published in The Quint, Huffington Post and ShethePeople.TV. She is currently working on her first novel.

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