Just thought I’d write out answers to some of the questions I get, create a dialogue, and end it with drinks.
I wrote a Bisexual Q&A. Kept it to myself in regards to social media because it’s my first time posting anything about how I identify. Plus I’m still learning the language of how I identify. I’m still choosing the words I need to use to categorize myself into the right group, box, circle, march, happy hour gathering.
Is it bisexual? Is that what I put down if, at some point, I wanted an online dating profile?
I do a stand-up joke where I tell the audience “I’m [smile] sexual [beat] so if you’re nice to me…” It always gets a laugh. I think it’s the facial expression I use to button the joke. I’m pretty sure the face I make in the ellipsis implies I’m “easy”. Which is me making fun of the stereotype that bisexuals are all promiscuous and that promiscuity, specifically in women, is negative.
When I told my family I had a girlfriend after years of having boyfriends, I used the word, “open.” Of course they were confused. “You know me, I’m just an open person. I like people. I’m open.” Bisexual seemed so specific, so label-y. But it does make sense for me. Expect is it binary? Does it exclude transgender and genderqueer people? When I identify as bisexual I think of it as fluid, as not attraction to cismales or cisfemales, but simply as attraction to genders that are like my own or different than my own. I’ve never dated or been intimate with anyone transgendered, transexual, or genderqueer,but that’s not to say I could never. But if I identify as bisexual, then does it exclude people? Or rather, do other people think it excludes people?
I know there are other words to use like pansexual and omnisexual and queer. There are so many words. But bisexual makes sense to me. It’s the word I’m choosing. And semantics aside, the bisexual community doesn’t enforce heteronormativity or exclude the trans community. But some people think it does and that the word holds exclusionary weight.
So I need a different word? Or do I just need more words? How many words do I need in order to identify myself in a way that doesn’t exclude due to the fact that I identity as an orientation that doesn’t exclude?
Where’s the box to check off “bisexual, pansexual, bi-queer, straight then curvy, jewish, white, ciswoman person?”
It’s pride month. And I have a girlfriend. So I’m thinking a lot about identity. I’m also watching a ton of ”It Gets Better” videos and reading coming out essays. They’re all very “feel good,” but also light fires under my identity neurosis.
Recently I reached out to my girlfriend about this over Gchat because Gchat is a great medium for serious dialogue that involves orientation panic.
Me: I’m watching coming out videos and having an identify crisis.
Me: Gay, straight, bi, queer? I’m bi? Right? Right?
Her: You’re bi, but dating me now. So you’re all gay : )
Me: Haha, no but for real I’m bi. I really truly identified as straight for so many years, but really I was pretty open but just …no women ever hit on me and I never make the first move, dating women wasn’t my wheelhouse, but that was fine because I really like guys too. I still do.
Her: Yeah. I know. You’re bi. You’re so bi.
Me: But I wouldn’t be opposed to trans or gender queer, doesn’t bi exclude that? I just like people. The right people for me, I mean.
Her: No. bi can mean all, but yeah maybe you should be Queer.
Me: I don’t know if I like the word Queer. Growing up it was so negative. Hmm.
Her: So just be straight. : )
Me: Haha. I’m straight with a curvy girlfriend line. Can I be strueer? I’m strueer!!
Her: Um. . .
Me: Can I make that a thing?! STRUEER!
Me: I need a WORD!
Her: Uh… .
Me: What am I? What are we??
Her: I don’t care what we are. As long as we’re together.
So I wrote a “Bisexual Q&A” because that’s how I identify. I wrote a Bisexual Q&A and I’m sharing it now because it’s pride month, and I’m proud it, and me, and the words I choose, and the language of my identity I’m still learning.
I hope you find the best words for you, and —most importantly— the best people.