Bisexuality Open Thread: I Took The Road Best Straddled

I don’t have to make a choice
I like girls and I like boys.

-Peaches

Some days the line i walk
turns out to be straight
other days the line tends to deviate
i’ve got no criteria for sex or race
i just want to hear your voice
i just want to see your face

-Ani DiFranco

So have you heard? About the dawning of a new hetero-flexible generation? Perhaps you have heard about The Bisexuals, perhaps on this very website. Perhaps you saw a television show during sweeps, or read things on the internet sometimes. It’s true, there are approx a billion bisexuals in the world now, yet many feel regularly dismissed, disregarded, ignored and disrespected.

Well, you’ll be happy to know that in 2008, new research found that bisexuality is not a transitional phase among women:

“Bisexuality in women appears to be a distinctive sexual orientation and not an experimental or transitional stage that some women adopt “on their way” to lesbianism, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. The study of 79 non-heterosexual women over 10 years found that bisexual women maintained a stable pattern of attraction to both sexes. In addition, the research appears to have debunked the stereotype that bisexual women are uninterested in or unable to commit to long-term monogamous relationships.”

BISEXUAL REVOLUTION PREMIERED AT OUTFEST THIS SUMMER

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A 2007 Cornell University study, which sampled more than 20,000 individuals in 80 communities across the U.S., found 14.4% of females surveyed were either lesbian or bisexual. In September 2005, the National Center for Health Statistics’ newest comprehensive study revealed that 14% of women between 18-29 have had at least once homosexual experience. Ten percent of women reported same-sex attraction, reflecting a three-percent jump from the Center’s 1992 study. Go back over a decade to a 1999 Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality study attributed 18-20% of it’s female subjects as having “been sexually intimate with someone of the same sex.” These numbers, of course, are dependent on what women will admit to doing or feeling, but compulsory heterosexuality is increasingly against the norm.

THESE PEOPLE ARE BISEXUAL, DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER

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In 2006, I was doing preliminary research for a non-fiction book project that aimed to make some sort of statement about this new generation of bisexual women. The book’s thesis was, roughly, that this time around, it’s gonna be different than it was with the first wave of so-called “bisexual chic,” which swept the nation in the mid-90’s. As much as we’d like to say it’s always been just about the heart and not the anatomy, and as politically correct and queer-friendly as it is to say so, let’s get real — people choose life partners based on a lot of factors that have nothing to do with the heart, like what your family wants and how much money a person makes. This time, with changing expectations in society, I predicted that more and more bisexual women would feel that they truly had the option to “follow the heart, not the anatomy.” As stigma and homophobia breaks down and women’s rights advance, bisexual women will be more and more visible in queer communities and will be open about their identity and proud.

‘ANYTHING THAT MOVES’ IS A BISEXUAL MAGAZINE THAT USED TO EXIST

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So, in the fall of 2006, I conducted a sort of highly unscientific, absurdly misspelled and statstically ignorant, yet massive, “survey” on the internet. Over 3,000 self-identified bisexuals filled out at least part of the survey and about 500 did the whole thing (it was lengthy). I spelled “marriage” wrong twice and used “it’s” instead of “its.”

806 respondents indicated where they identified on The Kinsey Scale”:

(1) – 7% – Heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
(2) – 30% – Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
(3) – 32% – Equally homosexual and heterosexual.
(4) 19% –  Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
(5) 11% –  Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual.
(6) 3% –  Homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual.

Other interesting findings [ETA: At 4pm on Saturday I added more statistics and clarified some of these statements due to the fact that some commenters were, much to my surprise honestly, reacting strongly/negatively to what I thought were not only encouraging results, but also, as aforementioned, irrelevant results as this study was not statistically sound or conducted by a professional body. Late adds are all in italics.]

+ 47% of respondents had been in serious relationships with both men and women and 35% with men only.

+ Regarding sexual experiences, 22% reported past hookups with bisexual women, 18% with gay women, 14% with straight women and 3% with transgendered persons. 53% said the majority of their sexual experiences had been with straight men.

+ 43% believe that sexual orientation is more fluid for a woman than for a man and 35% are unsure.

+ 20% said their current choice of partner was affected by laws against gay marriage.

+ 19% agreed to some degree with the statement “I’d prefer to be with a man to avoid homophobia and discrimination,” including 1.8% who strongly agreed. 74.4% of respondents disagreed, including 47.3% reporting that they strongly disagreed.

+ 59% of respondents disagreed with the statement “My family doesn’t care if I am with a man or a woman; they just want me to be happy.”

+ 59% agreed with the statement “lesbians don’t want to date bisexuals” and 11.4% agreed with the statement “men don’t want to date bisexual girls.”

A lot of the stereotypes about bisexuals stem from the incidental fact that most homosexuals identify as bisexual before coming out as 100% Fo’sho Homo for Reals, therefore boosting the rate of those who know a homo who used to identify as bi.

HAY WE’RE BISEXUAL WEIRDO

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55% agreed to some degree with the statement “I feel ostracized from both the straight and the lesbian worlds for my bisexuality.” It brings up an interesting paradox — many sense that straight culture and gay culture are distinctly different entities. Do you feel like you have to navigate between worlds, or that you have no choice, or that it’s all integrated where you’re from? What do you love/hate about being bisexual? What about that word? Bisexuality reinforces the idea of a gender binary and we’re kinda over that whole thang. Queer feels more inclusive (especially of transpeople) but the word doesn’t inspire universal affection? Do you have a bisexual girlfriend who you think is gonna cheat on you because she’s bisexual? Because if so bitch I will cut you.

GIVE US ALL THE GORY BISEXUAL DETAILS!

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2836 articles for us.

267 Comments

  1. + 20% said their current choice of partner was affected by laws against gay marriage.
    + 19% said they’d prefer a long-term relationship with a man to avoid homophobia and discrimination.

    *shoots self*

    More seriously, I totally believe that bisexuals can be as faithful / committed to long-term relationships as all the others, BUT the above fact demonstrates that a bisexual who is in a stable relationship with another woman has got to either like women more than men, or for some reason must have had less chances with men than with women.

    Because with a 50-50 chance / orientation, you are spared by all the homophobic troubles by ending up / settling down with a man.

    • Those results don’t demonstrate that…at all. Only that percentage of the respondents indicated that discrimination affected their choice of partner; therefore, the conclusions you just drew could not be applied to 100 percent of the sample.

      • You are right that those results do not demonstrate that ALL bisexual women think like that; BUT 1. Riese said the survey was not statistically sound and 2. I suspect there’s a HUGE amount of women for whom that reasoning is simply unconscious who wouldn’t show even in a statistically sound survey.

        • Okay okay, I am going to go with a different approach because I feel like I am going to start veering toward an argument about scientific approach in forming a hypothesis.

          So basically, my girlfriend’s family is very conservative, and they would very likely disown her if she told them that she was in a relationship with another girl. Most of her friends and coworkers don’t know either. Her making a commitment to me is most definitely not taking the easy path. She is also bisexual. Now, if I said that she chose to be with me instead of a man because ultimately she really just likes women better I would essentially undermining her identity. That is something that I would never do, especially since I dislike very much when people say, “But you were married!” when I tell them that I am a homosexual.

          • Ok, but I guess, unless she falls in love with a man and decides to stay with you nonetheless, the argument still sort of stands. And even if the above happened, we would still need to know how frequently something like this does happen.

            My first thought was “lucky you!”

          • So, I’m bisexual, and I’m with a girl, and I love her regardless of laws regarding marriage (especially since our roots are both in Iowa, so her meth-head father and all 13 of my catholic cousins can get wedding invitations, hooray). And I feel really not-discriminated against 99% of the time. She tells me I deserve to be with a guy ocaisionally and I sort of verbally bitch-slap her. If she was a guy then I would be with a guy. End of story.

          • Exactly this.

            I’m pretty much 50-50 bisexual (with allowances made for hot transgendered people on both sides). My chosen life partner is the pretty lady sitting at the computer next to me. There have been many places where this is a complete and utter pain in the ass, but really, I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s worth it.

          • I remember how when I was in the process of coming out, there was one guy who spent a lot more time in my thoughts that any girl, and I thought that meant I “leaned straight.” It was really just that I was more into him than anyone, and it would be the same if he were female. When I factored him out of the equation, I realized I liked men and women pretty much equally.

            Thanks for realizing that choosing ONE guy or girl doesn’t mean that you’re “choosing” to be more heterosexual or more lesbian. Even my own parents don’t understand this! They seem to think that if I “end up” with a guy, that means I’m straight, and if I “end up” with a girl, that means I’m gay. (They also seem to consider the former way more likely, for some reason. Ugh.)

          • THIS. I identify as a bi femme, but something I have been struggling with is that I am in love with a man. Other than the man I’m with, I see men as cute, but nothing really more than that. Maybe it’s b/c my heart is already taken by a man? I am also hugely sexually, and emotionally attracted to women as well. I like men, but am more attracted to women sexually. I’m prolly not helping this any…

          • i have that “but you where married??” shit to deal with too.. i try not to bring it up but it def confuses ppl.. so what if i got married.. big mistake on my part.. who would have thought i would have finally came out that i was gay while married (poor guy)..
            anyways i should have backed down from that court wedding 5 min beforehand when i freaked out and called my best friend and was like “omg i will never be with a chick again!” Theres your sign right! anyways i define as gay now.. but i guess the plus side of being married is i have the most amazing daughter because of it :)

            ok back to the bi talk.. well i feel a little hypocritical to say that bi girls make me nervous since that is what i defined myself as in highschool, but i think its because of past relationships.. i was seeing this bi chick who left me for a guy and told me that she couldnt be with me because i couldnt give her a kid.. I mean WTF there ARE other ways.. but whatever it hurt alot.. still hurts but ever since i havnt felt the same about bi’s..

          • Bisexuals can switch to take social advantages – kids, avoid social stigma as per situation, fulfill physical and emotional needs in varying circumstances.

    • Uhm, does love figure in your equation at all? It’s understandable to want to avoid homophobia, but feeling that way and then falling in love with a woman doesn’t mean you can’t get a man/or are more attracted to women.

        • I generally wouldn’t encourage anyone to put all of their eggs in one basket, particularly when that basket is a relationship. Relationships end, people break up, things don’t work out, and support systems like family, friends, community, religion, school and work are much more controllable. We’re all only human.

          I want to be able to say that (what i just said) and not have it mean that bisexuals are fickle or unreliable or about to break your heart, or have someone take that and jump to the conclusion below in bfc’s comment, that this 19/20% or so “leave, cheat, change their minds, constantly look for something “better” (aka man) who perpetuate the stereotypes and feelings so many lesbians have toward bisexuals. “ THAT IS A GIANT LEAP!!!!!

          I feel like we try to sweep these factors under the rug while fighting for bisexual rights, like the only way to win is to tell everyone that every single bisexual is completely immune to society’s pressure. I included that percentage because i Thought it was a good statistic, but also thought maybe we were capable of discussing that reality without making those kinds of leaps. I endeavor to suggest that it means nothing whatsoever w/r/t the character of bisexual women, and everything to do with the world they live in. We should all be fighting to change that world.

          • Well said, as always.

            Another thing to consider – we see so many bisexual women in relationships with men (and bisexual men in relationships with men, for that matter) because the same-sex dating pool is *so much smaller.*

          • Yeah, it’s already small enough when you’re in an area that doesn’t criminalise or demonise alternative sexualities. Imagine if you were in a more oppressive area? Or if you moved from somewhere more conservative, where you almost had to conform to avoid harm, to somewhere more open – except no one in the new “open” place takes you seriously!

          • The irony here is that I bet that 20% statistic exists also because more MEN are willing to date bisexual women than are women. Based on a lot of the angry comments I’ve been seeing here, lots of lesbians want nothing to do with bisexual girls. Straight men, on the other hand, seem to have no problem whatsoever with it. I haven’t conducted any formal surveys, but I have talked to many, many, MANY straight men about this subject and the general consensus seems to be that they are simply not intimidated by women and so would not care if their girlfriend desired other women, or wanted threesomes or whatever. I’ve even heard guys (many guys) say that they would not care that much if their girlfriend CHEATED on them with a woman. I know! What the fuck!

            Personally, I think straight men are being complete dipshits when they form these sorts of opinions (not to mention it is totally insulting that they would not feel threatened by their gf liking another girl simply because she doesn’t have a cock). But that’s the way it is–men are threatened by other men. They will punch you in the face if you’re a guy who sleeps with their girl, but invite you into the bedroom if you’re a girl who wants to do the same. It’s lame/gross, I know, and there are also plenty of enlightened men out there who think cheating is cheating and would be equally devastated to be left for someone else regardless of gender, but I’m talking about the majority of people.

            Lesbians are, it seems, much more intimidated by men–they feel competitive with them in a way that straight men do not reciprocate. I could go on and on and on here, but my main point was that I think a lot of bi phobia from WOMEN also helps drive bisexual girls to the other side. If more lesbians were open to the possibility of dating a bi girl, I think these statistics would change…

          • One last thing that I forgot to mention: I think a lot of men aren’t that intimidated by women because they don’t think that lesbianism is a real “thing” and that most women will all want cock in the end (especially if they’re with a guy in the present). So bisexual girls both challenge and affirm this stereotype in ways that people can’t even comprehend. What if you truly, absolutely, without a doubt, like both? people love to force others into dichotomies and bisexuals are living proof that we all exist in shades of gray. keep fighting ladies! just know that you have one diehard lesbian on your side :)

          • Anyone who’s done online dating can attest to how many fsf profiles include the phrase “I have a boyfriend but he doesn’t mind.” Which I find insulting, because while I don’t know these girls in person and those aren’t the kind of dates I’m interested in going on, it feels like their boyfriends think of girlsex as not real, and by discounting girlsex, discount their girlfriend’s sexuality as being a serious interest in both genders.

            Although I believe that it is TOTALLY possible to be bisexual but not be equally attracted to men and women; i.e. be sexually attracted to one gender, but primarily emotionally AND sexually attracted to another. Kinsey scale, darlings. So it is possible that the girls who include that statement on their profile are only sexually attracted to women, but not emotionally, I still feel a little sad every time that sentence pops up. It doesn’t seem as reflective of polyamory/open relationships as “I can have this on the side because it’s not real/not threatening.” It almost reminds me of how girl-on-girl porn is stocked with straight porn, but guy-on-guy porn is gay porn.

            This is a completely blind guess, and I’m really curious if anyone on AS has posted a statement like that on an online profile, and what it means to them.

            (x2 diehard lesbians)

          • actually i think you hit the nail on the head.

            It’s a fairly long survey, and I didn’t intend for it to become the focus of the conversation here (although sometimes i think god i need to do something with all this ‘data’ even though it was soooo poorly constructed, like worse than the DADT survey) buttt since it is, I might as well share more of these statistically unsound findings w/r/t what you just said about the reasoning behind that 20%, I’ll add:

            – 59% agreed to some degree with the statement “lesbians don’t want to date bisexuals.” 21.5% were neutral on that statement, and 19% disagreed. ONLY 2.5% OF PEOPLE DISAGREED STRONGLY WITH THE STATEMENT “LESBIANS DON’T WANT TO DATE BISEXUALS.”

            – 11.4% agreed to some degree with the statement “men don’t want to date bisexual girls” AND! 75% disagreed to some degree with that statement.

            So there you have it!

          • Wow thanks! Now all we have to do is go convince the guys that girl-on-girl sex is not something to take lightly, and convince the lesbians that bisexual girls are not naturally predisposed to leave them for dudes. Think this will EVER happen??

          • Why would straight men have any issues/insecurities regarding dating bisexual women? How often do you hear about bisexual women leaving their male partners for other women? Rarely. How often do you hear about bisexual women leaving their female partners for men? Frequently. Needless to say, this has a lot to do with heterosexual privilege, as opposed to higher levels of sexual satisfaction, which many lesbians fear is why a bisexual woman would leave them.

            This is why many lesbians have reservations about dating bisexual women, they don’t want to risk the humiliation of being left for a man. Think about it, on the way home from work you walk through a certain neighborhood, you hear from a friend that there was a shooting in the aforementioned neighborhood recently, you’ve only heard of that happening once, so you continue to walk through that neighborhood to get home, then later you hear from another friend that someone they know was attacked walking through said neighborhood, what do you do? Do you continue to walk through this seemingly dangerous neighborhood to get home, or do you find an alternative route home, one that makes you feel safer, based on the negative outcomes you’ve heard about?

            As you pointed out, most straight men don’t feel competitive towards lesbians in the way lesbians feel competitive towards straight men, because they’re attracted to them, they can’t see them as competition because they want to fuck them, whereas lesbians don’t want to fuck men and feel they have something to prove as many had their sexual orientation doubted throughout their lives in ways that people of other sexual orientations haven’t, they want to be taken seriously, it’s not surprising so many lesbians are insecure regarding dating bisexuals and fear being left for men when we live in a very male-dominated society and sex that doesn’t involve a penis isn’t seen as “real” sex, I think that’s possibly where this competitiveness towards straight men stems from. I mean sure, men have insecurities too, i.e. penis size, everyone is constantly being told “size matters” “bigger = better”, why would straight men see lesbians as competition when they don’t have penises? Other men with larger penises are who their female partners are going to leave them for, right? No, but that’s what they think. Conclusion: society is dick-obsessed.

            I’m sorry if my post didn’t make much sense, I’m sleepy, off to bed I go…

          • I love your post! But I think that heterosexual privilege can be much more attractive for women than dick. If a woman left me for a man, I wouldn’t think she left me for dick; I would think she left me to be safer and to stop having to deal with the homophobic shit.

          • I don’t think it’s entirely fair to say it’s 100% hetero privilege – as has been mentioned before, the dating poll of female-attracted men is going to be a lot bigger than the dating poll of female-attracted women.

          • @Barbara, of course heterosexual privilege is more attractive to women than dick, my point was that when a woman leaves her female partner for a man society (i.e. straight men) see that as an affirmation that she missed dick, they don’t automatically think “Oh, heterosexual privilege”, or “The heterosexual dating pool is larger than the lesbian one” and unfortunately lesbians often think this too, I think television/movie portrayals of queer women have a lot to answer for, especially since queer female characters don’t often outright leave their female partners for men, but cheat on them with men and later return to their female partners, a recent example of this being in The Kids Are All Right, what kind of message do you think these kind of portrayals convey? It’s certainly not about heterosexual privilege. Pandering to a straight male audience? Without doubt, however these negative portrayals of queer women definitely impact on how queer women are viewed within and outside of the LGBT community.

            Next time you can’t get a lesbian to date you, thank Lisa Cholodenko and IFC ;)

          • Just because you might “hear” about bisexual girls cheating on lesbians doesn’t mean it actually HAPPENS all that often. Statistically, bisexuals are MORE likely to be monogamous than either heterosexuals or homosexuals are.

            Maybe it’s an assumption based on experience, but it’s still an assumption, and it’s still misguided. I’ve never cheated on anyone, but I’m still assumed to be “likely to” based on my sexual orientation. That doesn’t make any more sense than the girl who rejected me on a dating site because I was an Aries, when my sign doesn’t match who I am at all.

            It also shows a particular lack of knowledge on the part of lesbians and gays when they assume that a bi person in an opposite-sex relationship is free from the oppression of heterosexual privilege. Not at all true. The very decision to feel as though one has to “pass” as straight shows that one is a victim of heterosexual privilege. I’m generally very open about my bisexuality, but if there’s a specific person who asks me about boys and I don’t feel comfortable enough with them to tell them I also like girls, then that shows that I am a victim of homophobia as much as a lesbian in that same situation is. It’s not like it’s a decision that’s easy to make. It’s very uncomfortable to be forced to “pass” for us, too.

            Also, while there’s heterosexual privilege there’s also monosexual privilege. And your post is FULL of monosexual privilege.

          • @Barbara: Or maybe she left you for a man because she liked that specific man? It’s biphobic to assume that a bisexual person who picks an opposite-sex relationship over a same-sex one is ALWAYS doing simply because s/he needs approval from straight society.

            In my case, my parents and friends and general social scene are all very accepting of homosexuality and bisexuality. Sure, I still deal with homophobia from time to time, but it’s not enough that it would keep me from getting into a relationship with a woman. The people in my life who are homophobic aren’t important enough to make me feel like I’d need to “pass” by choosing a man I don’t love over a woman I do.

            So if I decide to date a man, it’s because I love that man and want to be with him. It’s not because I’m afraid of or rejecting my queer identity in any way. Assuming that it MUST be because of heterosexual privilege is a really insulting assumption to make. Just like the idea that being bi means I’ll cheat on a girl with a guy – it may be true in some cases, but not all, and certainly not in mine.

  2. + 19% said they’d prefer a long-term relationship with a man to avoid homophobia and discrimination.

    The above finding is what’s causing all the problems. It’s that 19/20% or so that leave, cheat, change their minds, constantly look for something “better” (aka man) who perpetuate the stereotypes and feelings so many lesbians have toward bisexuals.

    I had a bi girl who for a whole year kept saying she’d almost, ALMOST want to be with me. but wanted to wait a while first in case a man came into her life because she couldn’t stand the rejection from her family and very straight friends. This girl published a poem about me in a lit mag, and would run half way across the room whenever I showed up. Yet her “societal” need for a man managed to trump every bit of passion and capacity for love inside her. Because of her and her ilk (the 19%), the next time a bi girl approaches me I will kindly wave bye-bye.

    • Soooo… these bi girls that you are rejecting. Could you send them my way? Thanks.

      Anyway, I bet at least 20% of all lesbians are assholes too, but are you going to stop dating them based on this? Just saying.

      Sorry about your ex.

      • 20% of everyone .. Think about ALL The crap things humanity does to the world, everything & everyone else in it, I don’t think it’s just cos these girls are bi, it jus human nature … It’s really unfair to say that bi people are less faithful or non committed to long term relationships..
        Surprise surprise I’m a dorty bi sexual- not completly out but gettin ther, it’s just Hard explain to everyone that no I do not want to hump everything that moves! I also once told a boy I was seeing that I was bisexual, he looked at me in horror and exclaimed ” u have a dick!!?!! ” I may also need to add I live in Ireland and joe public ain’t so educated when it comes to sexuality& that relationship ended that night! Lol

      • What this all really comes down to is that there are a lot of assholes / messed up people out there. And they are assholes/messed up for a wide variety of reasons.

        Their sexual orientation may have triggered some of those external problems, but I don’t think it increases or decreases the overall chances someone has of being a jerk.

        If someone cheats on you, they’re a cheater – gay, straight, or bi. That doesn’t mean all [sexual orientation] people are cheaters, though. It just means that one person was an asshole.

    • I don’t think those women cheat and change their minds constantly; on the contrary, they sort of rationally decide to be faithful to a man (gender doesn’t matter as they’re bisexual) rather than to a woman. It’s rational because it spares them of all the homophobic trouble.

      On the percentage, as I said above – even if it were statistically significant – it doesn’t take into account the number of women for whom that thinking is unconscious (who are convinced that they just like men more, of one single man more, without blaming this on societal / political factors).

    • If a survey was done in a pool of straight women, I’m sure a large percentage would say that they’d rather date a financially secure/rich man. And while there will be women who’ll always be on the look out for a richer/more successful man while in a relationship, that doesn’t mean all those women do that even if someone succesful had been one of their check boxes. Same goes in this case. Sorry about that girl, but not every one of that 19% is like that.

      In fact, I think the question was posed misleadingly. If the question were “would you leave a female partner for a man to avoid homosexuality” I don’t think it’d be 19%

      • I agree with you, the question is somewhat misleading. As a bisexual, of course I’d rather avoid homophobia whenever I can. You don’t expose yourself to hatred and violence just for funsies, you do it when you don’t have a choice (like when you’re in love with someone…).

        Now, there’s no way in Hell I’d walk away from someone I love just because a few morons out there think our relationship is wrong.

        • But what if you love two people? What if you “equally” like two people of different gender? Btw those few morons out there go from a substantial part of society to all of it depending on where you live (not to mention countries where it’s illegal, etc).

          I’m not saying it’s not possible – just that is difficult and unlikely.

          • Hello, 5 on the Kinsey Scale here! Which technically makes me bisexual, but it doesn’t feel like it most of the time…

            Anyway, Miss Barbara-
            What if you love two people who are both girls? What if you love two people who are both men? What do people ever do when they are forced to choose? Some bisexuals may indeed choose the man, just like some people will choose the man/woman with their family approves of, or who their friends like better. Some may decide to go with neither, as it is unfair to them to make them wait for you to make up your mind (me). There are many different reasons to choose someone, and it feels a bit unfair to hold all bisexuals accountable for what some do. We’re all not fickle man-hunters out to abuse lesbians, just like not all feminists are crazed harpy man-haters and all gay men are not lovably swishy and fashionable. We’re people.

          • Listen, I’m really sorry for all the nice bisexuals out there but when you go to the airport you are forced to long queues of boring gate controls just because once in a rare while there’s one or two guys who try to blow up planes. Is this fair? No, but that’s how it works. It’s hard to imagine an alternative solution. That’s what you get for being a bisexual and / or a frequent flyer.

          • I severely doubt I can change your mind, especially if you already have a negative experience in the area. One last thing, though- people cheat, and people hurt other people, just like people try to blow up planes. It may be easier to say ‘I just won’t date bisexuals’ or ‘We’ll detain all the Muslims’ in order to feel safer, but what does it get you in the end? Nothing. You can be cheated on by a lesbian just as easily (does the thought that it’d definitely be with a woman make it any better?). Either screen everyone and trust they’ll do what they promise to do, or don’t allow anyone to embark. Vilifying one specific group doesn’t make you smart, or less likely to get hurt, or a better person. It just makes you prejudiced. Sometimes, if you want to have a satisfying, fun, sexually charged plane ride, you have take a risk that security will slip up and it’ll explode.

            That was a really meandering and sleep-deprived metaphor. Hopefully it made sense anyway? D:

          • Hi! Guess who else is bisexual? ME. !!! I actually identify as ‘queer’ but for the purposes of this discussion let’s just go with the word under attack. Anyhow I KNOW RIGHT I RUN THIS WEBSITE IT’S SO WEIRD!!!! I didn’t even have time to really come out, because the fact that my first girlfriend had a manic episode and dealing with that openly overrode the fact that she was a girl so i sort of just had to come out by default — I MEAN TALK ABOUT FACTORS WORKING AGAINST ME, and you know what? I KEPT THE GIRL. Obvs there was a breakup but you know what, afterwards I kept dating girls. Then! (I KNOW THIS STORY GETS REALLY CRAZY!) bada bing bada boom here we are and I STARTED THIS WEBSITE! ACH!!! I KNOW RIGHT?

            Not just me, I’m not even the only bisexual donating copious amounts of time to changing the world every day via this website. Rachel and Crystal do it too! I mean, we’re always going to lose when the team wants to play “never have I ever” but I think that in general, we’re all winners. It happens.

          • What’s really bizarre to me about this is that EVERY straight woman I know has had a relationship in which her partner has cheated on her. And yet none of those women (seriously) turn that into a generalization about men. None of them say, “well, since a guy cheated on me, all men are cheaters and I won’t date men anymore.” Furthermore, if a woman made that generalization about her partner’s skin color or ethnicity instead of gender or sexual orientation, no one would hesitate to call her a bigot. It can be very convenient to scapegoat entire groups of people, but that doesn’t make it any more rational.

            In relationships, people cheat (period). Why precisely do some lesbians perceive being cheated on by a bisexual partner as a greater betrayal than being cheated on by a lesbian partner (or by a man in heterosexual relationships)? Here’s a thought: this isn’t actually about a tendency in bisexual women to cheat. It’s about a dated us-vs-them mentality regarding sexual orientation. A bisexual woman offends not when she should happen to choose a man over a woman; she offends by NOT choosing to be a lesbian to begin with. From this point of view her betrayal predates the actual relationship. If you are with someone who thinks that way, that’s a really uncomfortable situation to navigate.

            I met a woman online on a personals website who clearly stated in her profile that she didn’t want to date bisexual women. I identified myself as bisexual in my profile and yet she pursued me. We went on a date and seemed to have fun, although it was obvious that she was very guarded. Humorously and sadly, she admitted it was kind of disturbing to her that I look like Julianne Moore who she had just seen in The Kids are All Right. We played cat and mouse for about a month setting follow-up dates which she would then cancel. Based on this experience, I guess I could conclude that lesbian women don’t treat bisexual women as individuals, or very respectfully, but that wouldn’t be very rational of me, now would it?

          • Dina’s Corollary to Godwin’s Law: In the current sociopolitical climate, terrorists are the new Nazis.

          • “is the thought that I’d be cheated on with a woman any better?”

            YES much better to be honest. To me, being cheated on with a man is like competing for a job and seeing the job taken by the director’s nephew. Who was maybe a complete moron and was much less prepared, but just because he was born in that family, he got the job. It’s similar if a woman cheats on you with a guy “just because” he was born a guy. I think there’s also some feminism behind this, I mean the anger that society is not treating you like you deserve, and is discriminating on you just because of something you were born with. Maybe that’s another metaphor some will find offensive, I don’t know.

            Another reason lesbians get angry at bisexuals cheating on them, I think, is because there are a lot more men going after women than women going after women. If you only like women, that puts you in a weaker position than someone who likes both. So it’s like “ok, good for you, now you’re with a man, but so you’ve put in a position where it’s much harder for me to find another woman (than it was for you to find a man)”.

          • You got cheated on. Sorry ’bout cha. Put your big girl pants on and don’t take it out on an already marginalized group of women.

    • This is unfortunately a common scenario. This has happened to many lesbians and has happened to me. Pretty much the minute a woman tells me she has a boyfriend but still likes me, or outright states she is bisexual I have been gone. That being said, if a woman tells me she has been with a lot of men in the past(as I have) but now is totally into women, and doesn’t miss dick at all then I’m board.

      • See, the “I have a boyfriend” thing makes sense, because I’d have the same response to “I have a girlfriend.” (I mean, unless it’s all above the board and everyone’s cool with it, of course.)

    • I feel the need (as a bisexual woman) to comment on this but don’t really know how to respond…
      Personally I would way rather be with a woman but I still have feelings toward men occasionally. No matter who I am attracted to I am comfortable enough in my own skin that I wouldn’t let the opinion of anyone else determine my happiness.
      By writing off bisexuals completely, you are in a way doing the same thing that this girl did. It isn’t about anyone other than the two people who decide to be in a relationship. I understand that it is hard when you are not out yet but you see my point?

    • Sounds to me like the better response would be to stop dating insecure buttwipes, which sounds like it describes this individual you were involved with. Yes, she happened to be bisexual, but it was the insecure buttwipe behavior that you had a problem with.

    • She shouldn’t have treated you that way. I know how you feel, since my bisexual ex-girlfriend often made me feel like I wasn’t comparable to her ex-boyfriends. However, I am also bisexual and having had my heart broken by a woman, I try to be as sensitive as possible to others.

      I often feel pressured to be with women, actually, being the president of my schools QSA, and afraid of not appearing as a “legitimate queer.” If I ever date a man, he will have to be okay with my sexual orientation and an ally, if not bisexual himself. If I date a woman again, she will have to treat me better, and I will do the same for her.

      There’s a difference between playing both sides and playing someone. If this woman had been a lesbian, that wouldn’t have changed her comfort level with being out. She may still have not dated you, as nice as you could have been together.

  3. I was in a gay bar last night and this random guy who we started talking to tried to tell me and my best friend (who is bi) tthat there’s no such thing as bisexuality and that people just need to make up their minds. we wanted to hit him. a lot.

    • I had a BOSS do this to me once.

      I was with my girlfriend at the time, so she just assumed that I was a lesbian and would share her gay hairdresser’s inexplicable hatred for bisexuals. She was COMPLETELY WRONG.

    • my mom’s a lesbian and basically told me that she thought bisexuals were just greedy and that i needed to make up my mind and pick one or the other. i wanted to hit her SO MANY times in the face, but i couldn’t really hit my mom, so i just verbally bitch-slapped her instead. i’d never really thought that i’d come across someone who would think that way before, but now i’m super paranoid about getting shut down just because i refuse to “pick one”.

    • Where “interested in one gender” = only messages/replies to messages from one gender.

      A lot of bi women have no problem meeting men “in real life” but find it harder to connect with other queer women. My roommate is bi but only uses her okcupid profile to meet other women. I’ve also seem bi men who state specifically that they are only looking for men (or women) online.

    • That’s really simplistic. I mean, at the moment I am only looking on okcupid for “girls who like girls,” but that does not mean I have no interest in men. It’s because I only recently came out as bi and so, AT THE MOMENT, I’m more interested in dating women. I still find men attractive, though, I just don’t really want to be in a relationship with one right now.

      Also, I know a lot of bisexuals – male and female – who only list themselves as looking for the same sex for a certain time simply because they’re irritated at how the site seems to find them way more opposite-sex partners than same-sex ones.

      But in terms of just raw numbers of bisexuals whose profiles I’ve looked at, way more than not are looking for “guys and girls” than just guys or just girls. I’m not sure where they’re getting their numbers.

  4. I like both. Alone. Together. Therefore, I am bi. I have had several relationships over the years alone the same lines. There was less jealousy, frankly, than in most monogamous relationships I have had. I don’t advocate it for everyone. Obviously, it can be more complicated when all of you are having a bad day at the same time. I should note, I have never been interested in a relationship with two men, only another woman and a man; one of each. Best of all worlds. I almost feel like I should apologize.

  5. Bisexuals are awful, awful hermit crabs just waiting for a better shell to crawl into. And not only are you crabs, but you probably have crabs. You should be ashamed and hate yourself.

    (for anyone that has a hard time with sarcasm over the internetz, I’m totes JKing you guys)

  6. to me the word ‘bisexual’ definitely reinforces the gender binary, but it doesn’t make it invalid, just a rather specific definition of hetero-flexibility or queerness. therefore not an all-compassing label though it sometimes seems like one!

    • I don’t agree that bisexual is necessarily synonymous with “hetero-flexible,” because the latter term assumes that one is mostly heterosexual but open to doing stuff with the same sex.

      Whereas, a lot of bisexuals feel as though their attraction to both sexes is pretty 50/50, or they lean toward the same-sex.

  7. Pingback: BiFemLounge.Com » Bisexuality: Why are we so questioned, and where are all the bi men? – Creative Loafing Tampa (blog)

  8. i’ve been a kinsey 3 for as long as i can remember, and I don’t feel ostracised by either community. i feel the opposite, because i am part of both.

    As far as terminology goes, queer is less problematic, but i think also less socially acceptable.
    i can’t believe people would choose not to love someone because of homophobia and gay marriage laws! Why on erath would you ignore your feeligns for someone out of fear of an outdated system and ignorant assholes? Ugh.

    Oh, and Am3lya, i think she was kidding. I hate it too, when people seriously say that kind of thing, but based on the ‘because if so bitch i will cut you’ line, i’m pretty sure she was kdding.

  9. Just found out last night that my GF cheated on me with a dude, and I see this when I wake up…

    In other news, I’m bisexual, and I had a time where I wasn’t attracted to women at all, except one. I was straight + 1 in my mind, but my friends/peers were really stressed out about me not subscribing to a “real” sexuality and it was increasingly hard for them to not label me SOMETHING. I discussed this with a friend and she took to inventing a label, and she went around telling everyone I was (my gf’s name)-sexual. which in an uncensored form had a ring to it.

    What surprised me, was in the remarkably gay-friendly community made up by a high school of performing arts ( it’s exactly like fame, only gay-er) they felt so much pressure to put me in a box and “bisexual” just became a convenient throwaway term.

    Now that I’m older i’ve actually swung the otherway and am fully bisexual, with a stronger tendency toward women than men, I honestly do feel like both communities accept me better now, which is sort of sad I think. I didn’t expect not being labelled to scare every one so much. I had very few friends who decided “to hell with labels, you’re you and that’s that”, they were out that, but they were fare and few between, and deffinitely fewer than I expected.

  10. Seriously I am considering just deleting this entire thread based on the reaction to that 19% ‘statistic.’

    Some are acting like it’s the fault of the bisexuals for being affected by SOCIETY’S HOMOPHOBIA. There’s a lot of factors that go into picking a partner — a lot of girls wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing home a man who hadn’t gone to college, or who was a different religion — and yeah, as long as society is the way it is, some women will factor in whether or not their parents are going to shoot them in the face for bringing home a girl or if their choice of partner will result in losing their friends and losing their rights. Honestly, the fact that 19% OF A STATISTICALLY UNSOUND SAMPLE agree to some degree with the statement that their choice of partner would be affected by other peoples’ homophobia also means that 80% disagree with that statement — including a huge chunk of people who think their parents would NOT approve. That’s a lot of brave chicks.

    This thread exists because people asked me for it, they had something they wanted to talk about. I’m waiting to find out what that is.

    If you’re upset that it makes more sense to ‘choose’ a man than a woman in this world, blaming bisexuals isn’t the solution. What’s the solution? CHANGING THE WORLD.

    • Hell, my mom had a boyfriend in college that she didn’t bring home because he was black. (They didn’t work out for other reasons.) But then again she did end up marrying an atheist despite her parents’ Crazy Catholicism…

    • No one is blaming the bisexuals. As someone said below, you never know who you might be writing off, just because they’re bisexual, and the first to be damaged by this is the one who does the “writing off”. But it some contexts it can be really hard, sometimes impossible, to “give bisexuals another chance”; and this is a sad situation for everyone. CHANGING THE WORLD is really the only real solution. So let’s be quick.

    • “Seriously I am considering just deleting this entire thread based on the reaction to that 19% ‘statistic.’”

      Ok, let us assume that 19% is a good number. I was researching statistics on same-sex marriage and partnerships in Europe the other day, and I had a few interesting discoveries:

      1) marriage rates grow much faster for women than for men http://twitpic.com/2hoig0

      2) Female-to-Male marriage ratios are growing constantly: when marriage / partnerships are introduced, they start low (<1), then they grow over 1.5 after about 15 years http://twitpic.com/2hovku

      To me, all this means that women are indeed much more influenced than men in choosing the gender of their life partner by the level of acceptance of homosexual relationships, which I assume grows with time after marriage / partnerships are introduced.

      I think this is quite an evident result so it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

        • Growth rates are calculated on a yearly basis, as in:

          number of marriages of year n, minus number of marriages in year n-1; divided by number of marriages in year n-1.

          Another way to describe them is “number of new marriages for each marriage of the previous year”.

          The value in the chart is the average yearly growth rate for the years that same-sex marriage / partnership has been available.

          I have another couple of charts I didn’t twitpost, which clearly show that while male gay marriage has grown quite slowly, female gay marriage has skyrocketed! I can post in case anyone’s interested.

          • One of the recent EqualLove rallies here in Brisbane had an “illegal marriage” ceremony participated by 2 female couples and 1 male couple. The reverend said something about how it was so good to have guys get involved in things like these since it was kinda rare. So maybe the reason female gay marriages are so common is just because females are more likely to want marriage in the first place?

          • The data do not show that female marriages are common; nor that they are more common than male ones. In fact the first years after the introduction of partnership / marriage rights, male marriages are much more common.

            The data show that the tendency to get married for lesbians grows with time after partnership rights are introduced, much more than it grows for gay men. This cannot be due to a general female tendency to get married, otherwise it would have been there in the first place, right after introduction.

          • Forgive my dumb question, but are you saying the lesser a country is accepting the more likely you’ll come across bisexuals who don’t want longterm relationships with women?

          • “Forgive my dumb question, but are you saying the lesser a country is accepting the more likely you’ll come across bisexuals who don’t want longterm relationships with women?”

            Yes that’s exactly what I’m saying – and if you assume that countries become more accepting with time after rights are granted – that’s the idea supported by the data.

          • I have another chart that shows how the ratio of lesbian marriages to straight ones is also growing over the years. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1618395/LesbianToStraightMarriages_year.png

            This proves the difference between Female and Male gay marriage growth has nothing to do with a general female tendency to get married.

            To me, it proves the general female tendency (I mean higher for females than males) to get married with someone of whom society approves.

          • But isn’t the best person to be approved by society still a guy? If that really was their main goal, wouldn’t they just have married a guy?

          • In fact the vast majority of them still do – but at the same time they marry other women more and more often as societal attitudes change.

          • Could this have anything to do with latest research showing that more and more older women are going from heterosexuality to lesbianism (whether due to changing hormones or feeling less shackled by society or something), and people getting married later in life anyway?

          • Well, not really, the data don’t show particular links to changes in the age structure of marriage; but if I remember well that research you are quoting mentions how middle-aged women are no longer pressed by the “duty” of getting married to a man and have children; they feel that they’ve proven / given enough to society and that now they can finally start thinking for themselves or something. Which supports what I’ve been repeating in several different forms.

          • But I feel that even a lesbian would rather marry a guy or stay single all they’re life if they wanted society’s approval so badly. The difference is the bisexual person might actually be attracted to the male they marry.

  11. Pre-college I identified as bisexual, but that was during the heyday of the ’90s bi-craze, so obviously I was just being trendy. Then I went to college and,you know, learned stuff. Now personally, I’m a big fan of using the term queer, but I know for most folk w/o the background it’s just another word for homogay. (like my parents, bless their hearts) Queer for me just sort of playfully states “I’m game!” and problematizes the whole binary (or ternary).

    I think there are a lot of rewards and punishments in society that can push someone toward heteronormativity. But there are also pressures from the LGBT community. I think bi guys actually might have it a little harder on this one (heh heh). At least the bi ladies have some representation during sweeps(albeit horrid stereotypical representation) An example: My former roommate was a guy who people would often read as gay, but he identified as queer and for the first two years I knew him he dated women. He has since started dating guys more regularly and all of our friends (gay or allies) are like “phew, thank god DUDE has finally come out of the closet” and I’m like whaaaa? do we not respect this guy enough for him to be able to tell us honestly and truly his sexual identity/orientation (or lack thereof)??

    This was particular sensitive for me because I’m like, wait, do you guys think this about me too? ‘Cause I’m one of those people who on the street folks are like “oh hey look at that dude…wait no that’s a big dyke.” Lemme just say that when I go out I get more sirs than ma’ams, even at the gay coffee shop. So point is: I’m a pretty masculine person that everyone assumes is a lesbian. I used to correct people, but as I get older I’m just like, eh, it’s easier to let people put me in their little gay boxes (heh heh) and go on with my life. I think people will always be second guessing folk because we can’t actually get in people’s heads so we use this really crude measurements of people’s (theoretically) stable sexual identity that is tied to their gender presentation and whatever sexual conduct information we can gather. Both sides do it, we just have different norms for presentation.

    (ASIDE: Now that I think about it, if you said to me, quick! think of a bisexual I would imagine folks that conformed to the norms of their gender, but dated outside those norms. Damn you TV sweeps week representations/imagery! Get out of my head!)

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is society is still in this fucked up homophobic state where some people still have trouble finding room for their same sex attraction and can succumb to heteronormativity, but because of the embattled position of the gay community (re homophobic society) they can fiercely police boundaries and push people into the gay box.

    My hope is that after gays and lesbians are fully granted civil rights, eliminating one’s partner’s gender as a criteria for full citizenship the binary will be dealt a serious (not sexy) blow.

    ok, so clearly I have a lot of feelings about this (and apparently a lot of words too).

    • yes i agree with all of these things. i actually like the way the word ‘lesbian’ sounds and am fine with being in that box, it is how i identify ‘politically’ and ‘culturally,’ though biologically or whatnot i know that i am bisexual. also i hate the word ‘bisexual’ and i think that might be because of tila tequila, but also because it has the word ‘sex’ in it.

      i think guys definitely have it harder. it was weird for me growing up b/c i knew so many bi guys so it didn’t seem strange to me at all, even all the musicians we listened to at the time were bi — green day, nirvana, morrissey, REM — but i feel like now bi guys are totally invisible again.

      i prefer the term ‘queer’ because i feel like i like ‘queer’ people. this applies to all lesbians, but also to boys who look like girls, and also to transmen. whatever i’m attracted to, it’s just outside of the ‘norm.’ and i think that when gays & lesbians do obtain equal rights, we will be able to start breaking down those barriers because for a lot of people, gender is really not the highest-ranking factor, especially as more and more people become flexible about how they perceive their own gender and we break free of that binary. i do feel that i tip much more towards the lesbian side of the spectrum, but my past relationships with men were not lies, and they were not denials. i was genuinely attracted to them, at least sexually, even though i sort of dated a lot of boneheads who i wanted to hit over the head with a poetry book most of the time.

      once upon a time i didn’t feel comfortable in the gay community at all, like i had no right to be there and they would all resent me. i dated straight girls and bisexual girls. then i dated a lesbian girl who later became my best friend. she didn’t judge me for being bi, not for one second. she always made me feel loved and accepted my self-definitions without judgment. if she hadn’t done that, i never would’ve gotten to this point where i started this website. i just want people to think about that when they write off bisexual girls. you never know who you could be writing off.

      • >>i just want people to think about that when they write off bisexual girls. you never know who you could be writing off.>>

        Yeah, have a chat with my girlfriend about that. When we first met, she had her doubts about me due to my bisexuality. Nine and a half years later… here we are. :D

      • First, a massive ditto to you both.

        The main thing that this post made me think about more is community – I feel at home in the queer community, but when I think about it, I also feel like I need to be able to ‘defend’ myself at any moment, since I know that there are some folks who believe that I don’t belong here. That feeling’s existed for the past 14 years – as long as I’ve been involved in queer communities – and while I’d love for society to reach a point where I don’t feel that way, I’m not all that optimistic. Yay for the mini-communities of bi folks, though I really only had that in college, when running a bi discussion group. Still, though, there was an acceptance and ease that was fucking awesome.

        I’ve been in a relationship with a guy for 8 years, and I agree that my day-to-day experience w/ bigotry is v. different than that of my friends who’re with same-sex partners. I get a hell of a lot less shit than they do, and no matter how out I am about being bi, that doesn’t change the drive-by homophobia that they deal with.

        But even though there’s a lot of assumed-to-be-straight privilege that comes my way, I don’t feel at home in the straight community. At all. Their norms and general experiences aren’t mine, and I feel like an ex-pat in some ways when in majority-straight spaces (so, lots of the time). I can speak the language, and can even be mistaken for a native at first glance, but it’s just not my culture.

      • This is weird, because I would describe my sexual orientation in a similar way that you described yours, yet I identify as a lesbian. I’m not sure where the difference lies. Maybe in the fact that I I’m no longer interested in dating men and there is like basically no chance I will want to be with a man ever again in the future? And that this happened BECAUSE and AFTER I realized I was more attracted to women?

        I don’t know. But I also don’t understand what you say about the relation among all the cultural, political and biological dimensions. If you fell in love with a man and were together with him, would you still do what you do and call yourself a “political and cultural lesbian”? (?!?!) Personally, the world I live in is not so evolved as to accept / understand that – in fact I will soon move to a more civilized country (in two months), then we’ll see if my thinking changes. Maybe that’s where the difference lies, in the level of civilization of the worlds we live in.

        Basically I believe these are hard times for queer folks and we need equality so bad. Because with (social, political and cultural) equality no one would need to waste all this energy on labels, and when a woman likes you you can be sure that none of you will have to worry about rights and the reaction of society.

        Of course this will solve all the problems with binaries and stuff. Historically, people become more open, tolerant, and more used to trust other people, when all our basic needs are met, when everyone is deemed worthy of basic respect and dignity, and suffers no big, dysfunctional discrimination / deprivation. I just think we’re not there yet…

      • Sooo Riese what you’re saying is: Don’t write ’em off, when you could be getting ’em off? ;)

        No but seriously, when you said:

        “i prefer the term ‘queer’ because i feel like i like ‘queer’ people. this applies to all lesbians, but also to boys who look like girls, and also to transmen. whatever i’m attracted to, it’s just outside of the ‘norm.’”

        I was like YES! If I’m going to think you’re hot, you have to transgress or non-conform in some way. I think the term queer can capture that sort non-normative orientation to the world, regardless of one’s orientation/sexual partners. It is a acknowledgment of an oppressive, restrictive system and a challenge to it.

        This kind of gets at what you were saying about politically and culturally identifying as a lesbian. It is a particular orientation to the world which informs how you live your life.

        Now I do not intend to speak for Riese ’cause she’s got like a degree in words so she don’t need no help, but this also kind of gets to what Barbara was questioning when she said:

        “If you fell in love with a man and were together with him, would you still do what you do and call yourself a “political and cultural lesbian”?”

        In the 70’s some feminist women would identify politically as lesbians while being in relationships with men. It was tied to them being “women identified women” because lesbians have a political perspective/cultural experience that is unique (and usefully critical) of patriarchy/heterosexuality. Now I am not saying that this is Riese’s perspective, but just a historical example that came to mind.

        I think some of the roots of “queer” and the ideas behind it come from this radical lesbian feminism, but it takes one step beyond just sexuality and draws attention to the ways in which other inequalities such as class and race (which were not being adequately addressed in 70s feminism) are intimately connected to patriarchy and heterosexist society. So it can be more transgressive in its challenge to all of these social constructions and the acknowledgment that one cannot rank or separate out these oppressions. In this way it provides a much bigger tent for those who share this perspective. So for me, anyone one can be queer, regardless of their identity or their sexual partners.

        Mkay, I hope that made sense.

  12. My thoughts as a bi-lesbian are more like can’t I just like one gender? just one. It would be less complicated. I know I prefer sex with women. I know that is certain, but I totally have man crushes. And I don’t know what to do with them. And it’s totally not fair to act on them for the guys. It’s like come on brain/heart pick a direction and just go with it.

    • I disagree. In a solid relationship, why would you NOT act on your man feelings. There are guys I know who have had no problem accepting who and what I am _ and never believing they were going to, or wanted to, “convert” me, or “save” me. In fact, in honest discussion, these guys not only didn’t feel threatened, they admitted it turned them on that I was attracted to and involved with other women. We aren’t talking about “types” here, we are talking about people. Real people. They aren’t cookie-cutter productions. They have different levels of intensity, of acceptance, tolerance. I happen to be happily “bi.” That means I have slept with, and will continue to sleep with, and have had, and will continue to have, relationships with BOTH women and men. I like them for different reasons. And, honestly, after my first threesome with another girl and a guy, I decided I REALLY liked that, too. Color me slut, if you want. But I am a happy one.

  13. I feel out of place in both communities at certain times. Either because I’m too gay or not gay enough. Then you have to listen to people like the commenters above making generalizations about bisexuals – how we would choose a man over a woman. I also listen to a lot of people who say bisexuality doesn’t exist. Mostly I’m happy with myself but people can be very uncomfortable with me, like I’m some kind of sexuality monster because I’m not gay and I’m not straight. I wish I was some kind of sexuality monster! It’d probably get me more play

    • The following is an actual conversation I once had with a teacher who just sort of said weird things at lunchtime:

      Mr. H: They should just make an island just for gay peaople… we could like give them Hawaii or something…

      Me: Bad idea, Mr. H, first, there are too many of us, we would need Australia, maybe all of africa, and then I would be descriminated against beacause i just wasn’t “gay enough” just like I’m not straight enough here.

      You have to admit, it’s pretty likely.

  14. I’m bisexual, but for a long time up until recently I wonderd if I was hiding fom myself by saying that, and I was actually gay. I wish that I could say I was gay because saying, “I’m gay,” is so much easier than saying, “Well I’m bisexual and right now I’m going into a phase of liking men a lot more but last month girls were my preference; I’m not a 50/50 person,” and explaining my thoughts and feelings about sexuality to any stranger that inquires, which is what I feel compelled to do.
    But I’m young and actually not that interested in sex, and the furthest I’ve gone sexually was with a guy, but the more meaningful moments have been with a girl.
    The main thing about other people being bisexual and other people’s perceptions of bisexuality that I hate is that I have a bisexual female friend whose boyfriend doesn’t consider it to be cheating if she goes with a girl and HE’S ALLOWED TO WATCH OR JOIN IN. Someone else could probably put into better words why I find this attitude infuriating, but it has a lot to do with the common male attitude towards girl/girl behaviour in bisexuality in that it’s fine and not a threat at all. Hello, if your girlfriend is bisexual, it should be a threat if she’s kissing a girl in your monogamous relationship. [Hell, if your girlfriend is straight and kissing a girl in your monogamous relationship you might want to be concerned about it.]
    And on the other hand, I have another female friend who has had a boyfriend who became completely paranoid about her bisexuality, considered everyone to be a threat including her friends, and got hideously possessive. It made the relationship miserable, and I was only a spectator.
    Anyway, long post is long, incoherent, and possibly not in-depth enough to explain all my thoughts on this subject – it’s just like having a conversation, this.

    • Fascinating, but exactly the conflict I went through _ until I decided there wasn’t anything wrong with me. Only I then took it further: If he wasn’t threatened watching, maybe I should be? Maybe I was just entertainment, and all he wanted was the two of us together. But then, what did I really want? Then I was truly confused. But A GUY, and note that, A GUY, made more sense talking me through it than anyone else I have ever known. He was older than me. He definitely was smarter than me. And I knew he really liked me. His point: When you masturbate, you fantasize. But that’s OK; you aren’t really cheating on anyone even though you are thinking about someone else in very explicit terms. When you have sex, sometimes you fantasize about someone else. And that’s OK because you aren’t telling anyone. Isn’t that a type of cheating, or, at least, dishonesty? Isn’t it better just to be honest about who you are and what you want sexually? It was deeper than that, but it worked for me.

    • Ehh, as long as everyone’s consenting that’s fine. If the guy’s happy watching his girlfriend making out with a girl and both the girls are into it, that’s their business.

  15. I’m sorry. There’s just nothing that’s going to sway me. For most of my gay life I was so tolerant of bi girls. I dated only them. Heard so many times how they’d never felt this way about a girl before and I made them question things, blah blah blech, and ultimately, while no one cheated, they just could never go through with it, like the crazy “almost” girl I described above.

    I used to be so open minded,so understanding that sexuality is confusing, society fucked up, the battle between the conscious and unconscious lethal, but now i’m done. Like done good, well, and cooked.

    Cheers to all those real, true, brave bisexuals out there who defy what others expect and have always expected of them. I’m sure you’ll make someone happy. It just won’t be me. Because I’ll always wonder and always question. I gave it a shot for years only to be left depleted of self confidence, of trust, and boundaries. I’ll be your friend and braid your hair. I just won’t date you.

  16. I think this whole outdated equation of bisexuality = indecision * promiscuity is fueled more by semantics than experience.

    In other words:

    Bisexual = One who identifies as both sexes, or one who is responsive to both sexes.

    So, bisexuality is a form of duality. And as most good liberal arts degree carrying persons on this site are aware: Western Thought Seldom Accepts Duality.

    So, I actually think that part of the major issue of “bisexuality,” is the terminology itself.

    Then this discomfort with the issue of bisexuality is further enhanced by the “Girls Gone Wild” imagery/experience from all those times we’ve been grabbed by a two beer queer, potentially as a wild story for her prospective male mating partners; but, while…ookey…at the same time it’s kind of awesome when even the straightest girls feel safe actively exploring their sexuality.

    In the meantime, try replacing bisexual with a different term and see if it illicits the same responses. For example, when I came out to people as gay, they didn’t believe me because I was too “pretty;” when I came out to people as bisexual, I was encouraged to play one field or the other for simplicity’s sake; when I started identifying as queer, generally people were too confused to tell me how I was supposed to feel about or express myself. And that’s how I like it.

      • Well that is an interesting question. I wish I knew more about it. Language is definitely a powerful force in organizing our understandings/perceptions of life/reality. COUGHCOUGH Levi-Strauss COUGH Structuralism COUGHCOUGH.

        I do know however that through international NGOs we are spreading our cultural definitions and understandings of sexuality (amongst other things) to other countries and cultures, often under the mantle of “science”.

  17. I was not sexually active till my early 20s. I’m really not sure how to break myself down on the kinsey scale because I simply don’t have enough experience with men or women to determine that. The fact that I’m honest and will admit to having dated men is ALWAYS an impediment when I meet a girl I like. This is particularly frustrating for me because: a) I know many women who define themselves as lesbians who have far more sexual experience with men than I do and b) I’m not interested in dating men AT ALL right now.

    I also don’t ever feel that “bisexual” is the right word to describe myself. For years, I thought of myself as asexual. I don’t think that’s true now but I also don’t feel like I am generally attracted to men and women. It’s more accurate to say that I’m not generally attracted to any gender and that, when I am attracted to a person, gender doesn’t seem to play a significant factor. I can be attracted to a man or to a woman but that’s not the same thing as saying that I’m attracted to both men and women. I don’t know if that makes sense.

  18. Lisssten ladies! I really feel that the only way to resolve this debate is to post pictures of naked bisexuals. naked bisexuals.

    It’s getting a bit serious up in here, we should all get naked and make out to break the tension.

    I will rule the world one day.

      • Yes, in a way…

        I would blame part of it on our need to feel some sort of belonging. Every group that is inclusive or different in its own ways has to exclude something else. Everyone of us is both in- and exclusive.
        I personally don’t like the bi-bashing in the lesbian community, and I have friends who say they hate bi people just in general, just because, when at the same time they want to be accepted as homosexual people. (I don’t even know if I’d feel differently about the subject if I hadn’t been out as bi for quite some time)

        I have been trying to make this not sound harsh, but somehow it always seems like I’m judging. I’m trying really not to judge when I say that for me it seems natural that even we as gay people, who think of ourselves as tolerant and open-minded, feel the need to exclude and to separate ourselves, and that that, too, can create an aversion towards bisexual people.

        In the big picture, still not helping.

        • OH YES PLEASE

          [this reminds me of how I love being an artist. one night I could do an installation piece getting queer women to lick sweet toppings off my skin, and the next night I could dance to a burlesque song declaring the world to “BRING ON THE MEN”.]

          • I definitely think the licking part has possibilities. Very tasty possibilities … Where IS the rabbit …

    • I came in here to say exactly this. I’m baffled by how many people don’t understand how I could make sex/gender one of the *least* important factors in my attraction to you. Male, female, neither, both, whatever – if I like you I like you!

      Even though I’ve been actively volunteering/participating in the queer community for the past couple of years now I still get some level of prejudice/disbelief because I’m dating a guy. Well I’m *sorry* I grew up in a conservative homophobic country that didn’t approve of *any* sort of relationship, and I’m sorry that the first relationship I happened to get into as soon as I left for a more open country was with a guy! And that my closest attempt at a relationship with a girl is turning into a dramatic mess! Not all of us are lucky enough to be able to act on our desires, y’know. We all had to start *somewhere*.

      Queer, pansexual, homosapien-sexual; love is love.

  19. I don’t date black people. I mean, I used to, you know? I was totally tolerant and open minded, and even though I had been told that they would probs cheat on me with another black person, I was willing to give them a chance, because I’m just that open minded. So then I dated this black guy and he cheated on me with a black girl. So now I don’t date anyone who is black, because everyone black is a cheater. I mean, that’s just how it is, and no one can sway me. Sorry.

    /metaphor

    Really though, I honestly can’t believe how much biphobia there is in the gay community. Bisexuals are people too (I mean, they’re obvs not real people, but whatever). Some of them will be shitty and cheat on a girl with another girl. Some wil be shitty and cheat on a girl with a guy. Some lesbians will cheat on a girl with another girl. Some straight guys will cheat on a girl with another girl. Cheating happens. It sucks, but it happens. That doesn’t mean that every insert-orientation-here you date is going to cheat on you, it just means that a single person (or possibly several someones, if you happen to date a string of shitty people) did. And limiting your options of who to date based on how they identify because of one (or several) bad people means that you’re probably missing out, and that you could never end up dating someone you could fall in love with, just because they happen to be bi.

    For anyone that cares, I’m gay. I only date girls, I only have sex with girls, I only want girls. I’m a six on the Kinsey scale (even though I’m really not a fan, since it doesn’t account for asexuality or pansexuality or whatever). But I’ve dated bi women. Some of them have cheated on me. Some of the lesbian woman I’ve dated have cheated on me, too. But I’m not going to declare myself straight or just live in self-imposed isolation because some people are shitty individuals. Not everyone is, and I’d like to give myself the chance to find someone who won’t cheat, who loves me, and live happily ever after with her–whether she identifies as bi, pans, gay, queer, or whatever the hell else you can come up with.

    • It’s not a phobia. It’s just my own personal experience and you’re not going to get anywhere by mocking it. Every person has a right to relate to the world according to their relationship with it. I’m only mirroring what’s been reflected back at me.

      And yes, if in fact you’re been in a scenario where you’ve dated only black people and they keep backing out because it’s their firm belief that they should be with another black person, then you have every right to reject all black people from here on out. Not as friends or co-workers or acquaintances etc. But as lovers. Why should you keep putting yourself in situations where your pride and self-esteem are consistently diminished? Yes, there might be someone who comes along who is actually legitimate and willing to go the distance. But how can you be certain? How can you have a strong sense of stability within it? I’ve just been hurt too many times. Unfortunately a few self centered and cowardly individuals have ruined it for the lot. I’m sorry that the more stable bisexuals have to deal with it, but that is your cross to bear. Just as it is my cross to bear the never-ending turmoil of not knowing if a woman is true and sincere in her feelings and not having the choice to find someone who will mire me in a relationship more suited to the heterosexual norm.

        • Ha! I love how for years and years I was the most understanding and inclusive person around. Then suddenly when I decide to have some self respect and place healthy boundaries around myself to avoid persistent UNHEALTHY emotional complications, I become a bigot. It’s a personal choice. Fine, I MAY miss out on some lovely people (which is the thought I had that first got me involved with all of them), but what I’m happy, no ecstatic about, is how I’ll no longer have to deal with all the strife and pain and insincerity from all those not so lovely people. So far I’ve been 5-0. I’ll think I’ll try a non bisexual next time round, thanks very much.

          • This logic just makes no sense to me. Because like I mentioned in my original comment–if a lesbian cheats on you (or if several do) are you just going to pretend to be straight? Or be celibate (not that there’s anything wrong with celibacy)?

            I just don’t understand why someone would think “well fuck, an entire group of people is just terrible!” because a few people are stupid.

            And I apologize, but it sounds very much like biphobia to me, and, I’m sure, others. You’re scared to date a bi girl because of what others have done to you in the past. And, you know how homophobia tends to be a blanket term for anyone who dislikes gays, whether or not they are actually afraid of them? Same thing applies here.

          • It’s not about cheating. Nobody ever cheated on me. Actually one did, and she was a lesbian! My point wasn’t this.

            What happens between me and most of these bi girls is that I tend to be the first girl they ever consider being with. And it’s not like they’re teenagers discovering their sexuality. They’ve all been in their mid to late 20s, and all had slept with several women before me. The crazy “almost” girl had slept with TEN chicks before me. They pursue me, make promises, say things that can only lend themselves to the notion one would have upon considering a serious relationship with someone. Then, for really no other reason but their inability to be in an open out lesbian relationship, they pull back.

            It’s an incessant push and pull and literally drives a person nutso after a while.

            And FYI, all these ladies continue to this day to try to communicate with me, call me, desire my friendship and attention. They want the attention, want the love, they even want to make out and have sex, but hold out for what they consider better.

            I had one girl who pulled this shit and the minute I moved on and showed interest in another girl, she went ballistic with jealousy and kept calling me day and night to get back that attention.
            Another one, crazy “almost” girl ran off to another city, then proceeded to write blogs every day about our relationship but hid the fact that I was a girl.
            Another one, whom I dated for 6 months managed to hide the fact that she had a boyfriend the entire time (for disguise purposes of course).

            Crazy girl btw did a similar thing to another chick. Once I lost interest, more so because she said she wanted a dude, it wasn’t a month before she started dating another girl. You hear me folks? A girl. Whom she lead on for 2 months and dumped because, you guessed it, she really wanted a man. Wonder how long it’ll be before she finds another girl whom she’ll be confused with, if lavished with enough attention.

            It’s not a matter of cheating. It’s not a matter of me feeling inferior to a man. In fact I feel closer to men sometimes, I like them, nothing against them. And I have nothing against bi girls. Be bi. Be bi all you want. You have no choice. I get it. Just remember that a certain percentage of your community (not all of you) is seriously fucked up and incapable of seeing how they treat the feelings of people in another community, which is with a total disregard for, dare I say the preciousness of trust and commitment and sincerity, and christ just a plain old understanding that you do not take advantage of other people in order to figure your own shit out!!!

          • I think actually basically what bfc is doing is saying something that probably a lot of people feel, but don’t want to say out loud. It’s biphobia without a doubt, but it’s also honest and seems to come from a place where she just doesn’t want to get hurt. We all build walls like this, I always want to run into a wall when a friend tells me they’re not dating Capricorns anymore or something ridiculous like that. I’m sure you have a friend who might admit in privacy that they just “aren’t into black people/jewish people/asians/”fat girls” and even though it’s a totally gross thing to say, you don’t freak out, and I think that what bfc is doing is just saying it out loud. And, to that end, I also think that if the right person came along who just so happened to be bisexual [it’s actually not a thing i’m often asked when i go out with lesbians, as most people don’t think ex-boyfriends are evidence of bisexuality since so many lesbians do date men at some point in their life before they came out or realized they were gay or for really any reason at all], it wouldn’t matter anymore that they were bisexual. I think when it’s the right person, no matter what anyone here says, words like that don’t matter.

          • Late to the comments I guess, but wanted to put in my two cents. I think it is indeed your choice on who you want to date. Some people say they will are not attracted to people of certain ethnicity. I guess I understand that if people say it’s because they are not physically attracted to how a given race/ethnicity looks. But I do have a small problem when people do not date a certain race/ethnicity based on prejudice. That’s a big difference to me. And to me, biphobia is based on prejudices.

            What bothers me personally (and it doesn’t bother me too much since this is the internet) is this sort of blanket statement/ sentiment that all bisexuals are dumb bitches who can’t make up their mind because that is your past experience with specific people. I also feel like bisexuals are often given too little credit. If she decidse to date a man over a woman, the biphobic woman will think it’s because she’s wishy-washy and ultimately wants dick and to be in a safe relationship. How about the girl decided that she and the guy matched each other better personality-wise? and had the better potential to grow old together? Long term relationships are just not all about sex.

            Also, just a note re bfc’s horrible bi exes: just because these girls were in their mid-20s and have slept with a lot of girls in the past, does not mean they have figured themselves out – it’s obvious these girls have not come to terms with their sexuality. People come to terms with their sexuality at different times, depending on a myriad of factors, right? Maybe for them, societal pressure is just too much at that given time. And maybe, you could also try to take a look at yourself (I don’t want this to sound accusatory at all) at who you are attracted to and are attracting. Sorry to sound all “Dr Drew,” but he (and therapists) often ask persons who seem to date crappy people to take a look inside and investigate what is it about you that is causing you to be attracted to nonsense people and for them to be attracted to you. It’s neither a good or bad thing. Just life. And introspection.

            Of course this may not even apply to you because I don’t know your dating history at all. Just wanted to give you all something more to think about.

            Wow, didn’t know I had so many feelings re this.

  20. you know, when i first read “Just try not to cheat on me with a dude while I go get you a sandwich,” i giggled. then i frowned.

    because there IS a very inherent truth behind that arcane paranoia of lesbians who, to some degree or another, have to compete with both sexes…

    my girlfriend even pronounced that if i cheated on her with a guy, it would be a 1000x worse than with a girl.

    i get it. but it seems so very very regressive…

  21. Haven’t read it yet, but let me just say, Riese, I applaud you for this post and hopefully more to come on the subject. From a bisexual chick to another bisexual chick, I say, damn it’s time to let bisexuality out of the closet! From straight people to lesbians, I have faced so much ignorance during the 10 years I’ve been out as a bisexual….everyone wants me to define myself as either gay or straight. If I’m with a guy, I’m straight, if I’m with a girl I’m gay. The lesbians that I know have more prejudice against bisexuals than the straights, so I face a double-closet. I’m seen as a whore, as a traitor to the femminist cause….like, wtF? /rantover

  22. I’ve gotten into discussions about my bisexuality on this website before. Mostly about how I currently find myself attracted to women exclusively. However, I know that it is possible for me to be attracted to men and my logic has been that if I were to call myself a lesbian instead of a bisexual then one day fall in love with a man I would somehow harm the lesbian community. As though being a lesbian grants you some kind of untouchable integrity, whereas everyone knows bisexuals are indecisive sluts, what’s one more.

    After reading all the bi-phobic comments, I kinda wanna just stand up and proudly call myself a bisexual whether I ever sleep with a man again or not just to be a proud healthy member of a community that is poisoned by bad press, misconception, and generalizations. Sound familiar?

  23. So um, this doesn’t really advance the conversation at all but I just wanted to say that two weeks ago, about two hours into Friday the 13th, I was stopped by the po’ and consequently arrested.

    It’s a long and lame story but apparently when you get arrested, they ask you if you’re a hetero, a homo or a bi and as I sat handcuffed in the back of the car, I lied and said I was bi because even in my drunken stupor I had decided that bisexuals were grossly underrepresented (thanks AS) and that I should do my part to help the cause.

    Then they took me to jail to hang out with all the crackheads and hookers.

    True story.

      • Long version: Someone had just gotten into an accident on the freeway where it splits from the 101 to the 10 and the police had just arrived and were starting to set up flares. All three of us in the car saw one set of flares and thought we were supposed to avoid using that one lane but what we didn’t know was that they had planned to block off the whole freeway. They flagged me down. I explained to them the confusion. They told me to back up, said they smelled alcohol, had me get out and do all the field sobriety tests, concluded I was under the influence and took me in.

        Short version: DUI

        Lessons Learned: Avoid flares. Don’t agree to the field breathalyzer.

        Just kidding, kids! The lesson is to not drink and drive. Yep.

  24. I remember when the founders of ANYTHING THAT MOVES came to speak to BAHGL Pride, my high school’s GSA back in the day. The mag was in full swing at the time. They were a married couple-a man and a woman-and they still “identified” as bi. That blew my teenage mind, and by that I mean, I thought it was AWESOME and so evolved.

    I also remember when Riese conducted her “highly unscientific” survey. I was probs the first person to fill it out. I miss the book! Oh the book proposal on the Rosie Cruise!

    Bottom line? I dream of a label-free present in the future.

  25. I never dump a lover for another man or woman. I dump them because they’re too needy and clingy and suffering from separation anxiety. I know the desire to hug and cling to each other as “2 against the world.”

    Peeps who are exciting are so, because they get excited by life and the world.
    I also dump short term lovers because they are boring.

    Birds of a feather…
    Z. Lee

    PS: I’m not a hottie, I look ordinary w/ an ordinary body.

  26. I was just reading an old Autostraddle post which lead to this article called “Why Are People So Afraid of Bisexuals?”

    excerpt:

    Every now and then, I hear some bisexual person grousing that we are kept to the back of the LGBT bus. I just can’t work up the dudgeon; a lot of gay and lesbian people struggled and even died so that I might have the freedom to be true to myself. That’s why, in the end, I prefer to identify as “queer”; that puts us all in the same boat, our identifying characteristic being not who we sleep with or what mix of genitalia and gender identity we possess, but the simple fact that we are not the majority, and face obstacles because of it.

    http://bit.ly/bisexualslutfacemcgee

  27. I’m bisexual and I have only felt discrimination from the lesbian community and never from the straight community at all. Lesbians have called me to my face a “cum bucket”, “dirty”, and a “slut”.

      • Yeah, I thought it was comical and sad also. Funny thing is that I’ve never had sex with men, so the insult was that much more bewildering. It makes me sad when people, especially other queer women, don’t give me the chance to show them how fabulous I can be. I guess it’s no big loss if they’re willing to brush me off so quickly, right?

        BTW, crayons are epic, especially those boxes that have 100+ colors and built in sharpeners. Yes, I babysit 3-year-olds.

  28. Yup yup, you’ll still have 81% of the queer community who won’t think you’re a “cum bucket”.

    Also, 100 crayons AND built in sharpeners, you say? Jealous of those 3 yr olds!

  29. You know what?

    I dislike all these labels and scales and incessant categorisation.

    I feel that there is an evolution occurring. This is never a smooth ride and always an incremental process.

    Nonetheless, if you decide to succumb to the rubric that exists currently you’ll never change anything.

    We are all people, a slight differentiation in anatomy and social conditioning is all the divides the genders. Thus, gender (as it is generally perceived) is a construct.

    I simply choose to ignore this construct and live my life unencumbered.

    It’s fun. you should try it on for size and see what happens.

    p.s. I totally completed that survey.

  30. I think folks need to separate the personal from the political. And I don’t just mean about bisexuality, but in general…stop telling people who they ought to be open to dating and how they ought to conduct their relationships. Period. People should date people who are right for them, not base it on expectations from the community.

    Not everyone is available for you to date. I understand. I do. As someone who only experiences attraction towards women, my dating pool is restricted to like 5% of the population. So I consider it a needle-in-a-haystack miracle that I found a woman
    1) with an enduring attraction to women
    2) that wanted a monogamous relationship
    3) who found me attractive
    4) that I found attractive

    Of course, I had to drive 3,000 miles just to meet her. But you know, not every girl comes to you on a silver platter.

    And of course, if you aren’t all the four things I listed doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.

    When I was dating I seemed to mostly attract girls who were questioning. But I think that had something to do with my genderqueer butch self. I mean, straight girls thought I was cute and enjoyed that I had job and a car and liked to pay for dinner. But then realized I wasn’t a boy. So, I think that was just confusing for them. Because I’d take the masculine role…but totally freak when I see a spider and cry at the end of Set It Off.

    I think some girls see a butch dyke and think it’s going to be just like dating a guy…as if they could just get passed my sex. And they think that’s bisexuality. But it’s not.

    Of course, all bisexuals aren’t confused like that. I have known bisexuals who actually have had whole relationships with women. But they understand that there’s a difference and that actually a person’s sex and gender identity is part of who they are. It isn’t something to get passed. Just like a person’s sexual orientation isn’t something to get passed.

    I had to accept the reality that I was some sort of magnet for girls who were confused either about their sexuality or my gender. I had to try to figure out how to stop from getting in that situation because it really wasn’t good for me. I just can’t get down with the notion that people should be open to relationships for the sake of others–pain, risk and consequences to themselves be damned.

    On the flipside, there are lesbians that would never find me attractive because I’m butch. I just ask that they not marginalize butch gender expression…but I don’t expect them to be attracted to butches if they’re not.

    • Um.. THANK YOU. You hit it!

      Though in my case I’m not butch. So they’ve never had that excuse there.

      And yeah, what Riese said. I’m being honest. I’m being really brutally honest.

      I don’t dismiss your guys’ sexuality. I know bisexuality is real. In fact, I think it’s a more natural human state than homo or heterosexuality.
      I’m just sick and tired of being hurt and won’t date “confused” bi girls anymore. Maybe if I met a none confused one, and she REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY proved to me that she wasn’t confused, I might change my mind. But right now, I’m enjoying the calm and stability in my life.

      • Did I hit it? I don’t know. I never explicitly excluded bisexuals from the women I would date. But I did start looking for women who had at least 1 prior serious relationship with a woman (that was my criteria for “enduring attraction to women” which doesn’t mean exclusive) and was out about it.

        That also meant that I wasn’t looking for closeted or inexperienced lesbians either. Having dealt with my own coming out and several others, I just wanted a relationship that didn’t include a coming out.

        I know what you’re trying to protect yourself from, but to be honest, I don’t think excluding bisexual women is the best way to do it. I would just advise you to look for women who have actually had the kind of relationship you are looking for. That would include some bisexual women and it would exclude some lesbians…but mostly it would exclude any questioning women. The point is finding someone who wants the same thing you do now.

        • I think the problem isn’t that you are stating a preference in who you date for your own good, I think the problem is the generalization you made in making the decision.

          And I do feel you- my first gf was very much someone who was experimenting, I got burned and I’d bet all my belongings she never dates women again.

          But the conclusion to draw, as GrrlRomeo pointed out, isn’t that you shouldn’t date bisexuals. That’s a very broad ban like saying I got food poisoning once so now I never eat Chinese food (please no one mistake this analogy for comparing women to food) instead of thinking “Well, I’ll check the health department reports on area take out places and find one that keeps its buffet at the right temperature.”

          It requires more work, but it’s worth it to not miss out on kung pao chicken. It requires more work to say “Before I get involved with a bisexual woman, I want to discuss where she is at and her history and make sure she is comfortable with her sexuality and ready for an out proud lady-lovin’ relationship.” But it opens up more possibilities for you in the end.

          can anyone tell I am starving?

          Sincere wishes for a happy healthy relationship coming your way!

    • ” I just can’t get down with the notion that people should be open to relationships for the sake of others–pain, risk and consequences to themselves be damned.”

      Seriously. This was so perfectly said.

  31. Okay so while I don’t think it would be appropriate to engage in conversations with people who can’t even acknowledge the validity of my sexuality, I realize this is an open thread, and that it’s meant for conversation. Therefore, I’m going to try and keep this short / civil.

    I’m a 20y-o bisexual girl. I’ve identified that way for about six years now, and I’m out to most family and friends. I struggled exactly the same way most of you did, and I have the same stereotypical stories to tell (fell in love with my best friend and freaked out, etc).

    The way I see it, I shouldn’t even have to justify who I am or find legitimate evidence to prove it. Turns out I do, and while some LGBTs find the usual “why doesn’t anybody like bisexuals” rant annoying, it usually proves necessary.

    If I experience the need to interact with my community, actively fight for its rights and get the word out there (eg telling my 83y-o -priest- great uncle I might introduce him to a *girlfriend* some day), I think it pretty much means I’m *not* a barsexual. I’m not doing it for fun (because it really isn’t). If it gets so bad that I have to spend most of my alone time on a foreign website to feel normal and sane, that alone should tell you that I’m not playing.

    I might not understand the custom perfectly yet I don’t think dating should be a political statement or anything of the sort. You should date whoever you ultimately want to be with, and this, in a perfect world, would be the sole criterion involved.

    However, I want to be clear: judging and forever shunning people based on their identity makes you a bigot, plain and simple.

  32. in the last few years i’ve come to realize that i identify as a bisexual. i have for years, it’s just taken me several more years to process that and admit it openly. i’m not even completely out about it yet either: i don’t hide it, but i have not openly told family. i do not think my parents would care, though my father might be a little weirded out. ultimately i really think they just want me to be happy. some friends know this about me, and have no problems with it. regardless, i’ve found that the reception is mixed. many guys seem threatened by it, and many girls seem… i don’t know, put off? some straight girls just assume i only want one thing from them, and some lesbians i’ve had interaction with just assume i’m forever fickle. however, i try to give everybody a fairly clean slate going into anything, friendship or more, allowing them the benefit of the doubt that they will not judge me should this be something they learn about me. i think generally though, a lot of people want to be able to slap an easy to consume label on everything, as if the world is consistently black and white. you must make a choice. it’s possible that bisexuals are perceived as slutty unicorns (i completely LOVED your response to a question on tumblr that used that phrase) because people think we simply cannot make a choice between men and women, we just want it all, when that has never been the case. i personally refuse to put a fence up when it comes to finding a suitable companion, because as i’ve found over the years i’m fully capable of falling in love with either a man or a woman on the same level as one another. i’m a rather hopeless romantic, so i still believe somewhere deep down inside that there’s someone out there who is going to compliment me as a better half, and vice versa. i do not personally wish to exclude the possibility of that being someone of the same sex simply because society doesn’t find it acceptable. it could be a man or a woman. dear world: deal with it. i have.

  33. Newbie bere So I’m 22 and pansexual (god that name leaves a bad taste in my mouth) who self identifys as queer. My first ever relationship was/is with a guy who I fell madly in love with. We’ve been dating for a bit over 2 years We are contemplating marriage at some point. but every few months I try to convince him to let to possibly take a break to have a relationship with a girl because I know I need it we agree to not break it off until I find someone. The problem is that I still haven’t found anyone willing to give me a chance. This brings up to major problems for me one being that If i don’t find a relationship now/soon I’ll never have the chance and two that I’m not willing to let my loverboy enter into a long-term relationship knowing full well that at least from my my standpoint the physical part of the relationship is starting to die slowly as the emotional part is growing that much stronger. I’m too damn noble for my own good and I want to do all I can’t to ensure I’m not slighting anyone.
    /end intro problems/

    Heres a very ranty poem I wrote a while ago there may be some stuff you may not recognize but I didn’t think that it would be as good without those sections

    On Identity

    Alone constantly buffeted by seas of identity
    transversing boundaries constantly
    Unable to find a place to fit in YOUR boxes Meant to Define MY IDENTITY
    because of Your inherent prejudice
    You are unwilling to accept my cries of injustice
    You say I’m too white I have the power quit complaining
    My skin gives the assumption of privilege
    When in reality I have no power or privilege
    I am the other
    Unable to find a place to fit in YOUR boxes Meant to Define MY IDENTITY
    Your eyes see me as
    Too female to partake in rituals that shape my Jewishness
    Too Queer to be straight
    Too Straight to be seen as a “real” part of the queer community
    Too white to be seen as someone willing to challenge white privilege
    I am the other
    Unable to find a place to fit in YOUR boxes Meant to Define MY IDENTITY
    My existence is a challenge to the patriarchy
    My wish My hope my dream to spend my life with and marry two partners of opposite genders
    this dream is a challenge to YOUR mainstream societal understanding
    I am an anomaly
    I wish to have a relationship that society can’t even NAME
    I am something YOU can’t UNDERSTAND
    BECAUSE I DON’T FIT IN TO YOUR LITTLE BOXES
    SO LET ME EXPLAIN IT
    I AM A TEFILIN WRAPPING TZIT-TIZT WEARING PROGRESSIVE JEW
    I AM A BI-AMOROUS PANSEXUAL WOMAN
    I AM DAMN PROUD OF WHO I AM
    I AM STEPPING OUT OF THE CLOSET OF BEING TAKEN AT FACE VALUE
    I AM SPEAKING UP THOSE OF US WHO ARE UNABLE TO BE BLATANT BECAUSE OF OUR INHERENT FLUIDITY
    I AM THE OTHER BECAUSE YOUR DEFINITIONS OF HOW THINGS SHOULD BE DON’T WORK FOR ME
    I AM SICK OF YOUR BOXES TRYING TO QUANTIFY MY IDENTITY
    BECAUSE IT DOESN’T WORK

    /Rant over/

    • You sound like me from 2 years ago! Same situation – 22, pansexual, first ever relationship is with a guy who I love enough to possibly marry (well, except that he’s not fond of marriage as a concept) but we’ve had many discussions over how I can explore the queer side of me. thank God for open relationships/polyamoury! But like you I also am finding it hard to find someone to give me a chance, because of everything you (and a zillion other people on here) stated.

      It’s taken me two years to find a girl who showed interest (and ironically she’s an old friend/hookup of my boyfriend’s!) and even that was short-lived due to various drama. Gragh. Hopefully things go MUCH EASIER for you. <3

  34. I have a boyfriend who cried for several hours when I came out to him, even though it was obvious.
    I have ten straight guy friends who are “always falling in love with lesbians” and “love lesbians” and love to get together and talk about their lesbian exes. Some of them are very threatened by their losses, while others have moved on.
    They love me because I am bisexual. I can be so free with my straight queer-loving guy friends because they think what I do is wonderful. They all have the gayest music collections.
    If I talk about Belle Epoque lesbians, or Gertrude Stein’s cows, or sex shops or girls I have crushes on with my friends who are girls, gay or bi or straight, they often get very suspicious of me. Sometimes they cry in restaurants. Sometimes they give me stink eye. Sometimes they stop speaking to me — (oh this has happened on so many occasions and I have never had a girlfriend). Sometimes they try to dance up on me in da club, even though we are friends and I don’t want to make out with them. I still have a boyfriend.
    My therapist says I have invented most of their biphobia. I agree with her. I think I am terrified of women.
    For me, it’s NOT just “about the heart.” Men and women are different, and there are a million different subsets between them, too. There are roles I play with men that are admittedly different with women.
    A lot of bisexuals seem to hate this estimation, but I agree with Alice on the L Word when she said, “Straight guys are so easy.” I long for women and am tormented by them because I absolutely cannot understand them; I surround myself with queergirl-loving boys because they are simple and easy to read. (Many hetero girls do not feel this way and I guess that is why straight men continue to be so exclusively appealing to them.)

    This thread is beautiful and triggering all in one.

  35. I commend Riese and Autostraddle for putting the discourse out there about bisexuality. It’s needed…Greatly! And you can never have too many bi-related posts.
    ——————————-

    You know…There are few things in my adult life that turns me into an absolute hot emo mess…Admitting to myself that I really was bi is one of them.

    When I came out as bi in my late teens, I received little to no support from all sides. Although the constant fights with my straight relatives and friends over my sexuality were painful, I found the biphobia and abuse from the lesbian community (who I foolishly believed would embrace me) in addition to the lack of a strong and tight bi community (that wasn’t made up of married folks just looking to get laid) downright unbearable. And then there were the nasty stereotypes…they got on my nerves more than anything. Either way, I ended up in back the closet again…For many years.

    During that time, I lived as a straight woman and figured the whole bi thing was a phase I avoided women like the plague and had planned on marrying a guy, 2.5 kids and the whole bit…It would’ve been the biggest mistake of my life, as I wanted marriage for all the wrong reasons. The universe is a funny thing though, because I ended up falling very hard for another woman. Instead of taking it all in and enjoying the experience of crushing on someone, it turned out to be a hot, hot, mess! Mainly because I had to face up to the truth and really didn’t want to…The truth was that the whole bi thing *wasn’t* a phase.

    I think I would’ve embraced being a lesbian much easier than being bi. I feared the stigmatization, the isolation and all the drama that came with being out and bi and if it wasn’t for hearing of Lisa Diamond’s book and the study on sexual fluidity, I would have thought I was insane!

    Coming out again @ the age of 31, I met many people who went through similar issues as I…People who are ashamed to be bi because of the stigmatization and stereotypes. Those who choose to identify as gay or straight because of the bad rap the “b” word has gotten. Those who struggle with being out and bi…Many of them are even friends of mine. The stories, combined with my own experience, were great inspiration towards me putting out a website to empower and connect bisexuals throughout the world as well as educate others about bisexuality.

    Admittedly, coming out a second time was much better than the first…I’m older and stronger than I was way back when…So I am able to make peace with who I am. And although biphobia is alive and well (as I learned at this year’s pride parade), there are more people coming out as bi/queer/pan/etc. as well as an increase in allies who are open and receptive to the idea that bisexuality exists.

    I look forward to the day where bisexuality is respected and viewed as legitimate.

    • @ Barbara.

      Your belief system is astonishing.

      This demonstrates how futile categorisation is.

      I really wish I could be bothered to draw and post a venn diagram that graphically represented my point, but you are not worth the time.

    • Not necessarily. They may think so, but they can’t know.

      It really depends on the bisexual woman. Some have 50/50 attractions; others don’t. Some bisexual women feel more comfortable with men to avoid homophobia; others feel more comfortable with women because it is an affirmation of their queerness.

      There are different perks with each. I absolutely loved the lack of gender roles in my last relationship; my ex and I made up the rules as we went along. I could give her flowers without worrying that her masculinity would be threatened. We did a lot of queer activism together. However, she was not out to her parents, and it sucked having to avoid touching and pretend to be just friends.
      With my ex-boyfriend, it was nice to not worry about displaying affection (nothing overtly sexual) in front of families. It was nice to look forward to meeting his parents. It was nice to have the door opened for me.

      The thing is, my first and only love (so far!) was a woman. I would have never given her up for a man, for all the privilege in the world, because she smelled like the air after the rain. She made hilarious puns and hiccuped constantly and looked adorable in my jackets. She pushed her glasses up her nose when pensive, was shyer than me yet a very assertive kisser, and create beautiful artwork. She drew me comics. I know I can’t have her back, but I will take the validation of my sexual orientation back please. Some people are predominantly hetero, but I’m about 50/50. If you read the story “Stephanied” by Eve Ensler, you will see what I mean.

      All these tears and love poems have to mean something, right? I don’t know the gender of the next person I will fall for, but I can tell you this.

      Love isn’t safe, so why would I solely seek out the “safer”
      option?

  36. Can we stop saying “transpeople” as though that’s a thing? There’s trans women who are lesbian or bisexual or queer IDed, who really oughtn’t be singled out as this Other Thing different from cis women who are lesbian or bisexual or queer IDed. And there are also people who identify outside of the gender binary. But these aren’t (necessarily ever) the same thing and “transpeople” is this kind of weird, vague term that sort of lumps them together in a way that’s not really okay and sort of erases the gender of both those groups of people. (Also trans is an adjective and there should be a space in between it and whatever it’s modifying.)

    • I agree with your assessment…I never got the whole “gender binary” argument because from what I assume, transgender men and women identify as either male or female so that would still put them in a binary so to speak…It’s not like they’re some “other” entities.

      In addition, there are lesbian and straight cisgendered people involved with trans women and men all the time so I can’t get why it’s assumed that bisexuality is super restrictive.

  37. One thing that does has slightly irked me in the past is two individual bisexuals I know were quite ‘holier-than-thou’ in that they think that because they identify as bisexual, they are somehow more enlightened than those who don’t, as they are about ‘the person not the gender’. Anyhow, one of these women has on her Fb profile ‘To be happy is to love someone no matter their gender’. It was just kinda like ummm ok, for you, maybe. But that’s not for everyone.

  38. 55% agreed to some degree with the statement “I feel ostracized from both the straight and the lesbian worlds for my bisexuality.”

    This is the very reason that I have been a long time lurker on Auto and other (primarily) gay sites. As awesome as many of the articles, links, and ridiculous “Real L Word” recaps has been, I have always been concerned that some of the backlash I have encountered from the gay community IRL would spill into my cyberlife.

    It has taken me many years, but over time I have become more and more resolute and confident in my identity and who I am. On the eve of my 30th bday, I am proud to consider myself:

    1) First and foremost, a human being.
    2) Secondly, someone with shloads of self-respect and respect for others.
    3) Thirdly, someone who is highly empathic and capable of loving endlessly.
    4) And lastly, someone who is attracted to men and women, regardless of orientation or gender status.

    Having been in a number of long-term relationships (and infatuations) with members of both sexes and a variety of orientations, this is what comes natural to me. This is what feels normal. I am in a (very) long-term relationship now with a male partner, going on 8 years, but that does not mean that my attraction to women ceases to exist. Quite the contrary…knowing that my partner acknowledges this side of me and understands it is really awesome.

    I do take issue with the “bisexual chic” phenomenon, particularly as it has been manifested in terms of faux girl on girl action primarily for the entertainment value and satisfaction of straight men. I have gotten flak from both genders as to my criticisms of the largely Girls Gone Wild style behavior that has become so commonplace and almost expected in the hetero normative world, while at the same time entirely shunning gay sex as gross and unnatural. I find this disconcerting on two grounds, primarily 1) as a feminist and 2) as a whataeverthehellyouwanttocallit oriented woman. Bisexuality has become a marketing tool for many celebrities, and it comes across as a vapid, desperate tool for attention…leaving those of us who truly identify along those lines wondering “Well, where the hell do we go from here?”

    I have found great acceptance in certain subcultures, primarily among the fetish/bdsm scene where the community is very open and embraces attraction along the entire spectrum, but often times feel uncomfortable among my LGT brethren. Among the fet community, the pansexual label gets tossed around quite a bit, but in the end it just bugs me because dammit…

    Can’t we all just get along and quit spending so much time trying to put everyone into neat and tidy categories? The LGBT community needs to be just that – a community. We have very big battles to fight in the legal and cultural arenas, and without a united voice, our splintered attempts will fragment the community and dash our dreams and idealism.

    Love who you love, and apologize to no one.

    And to those polyamorous bi-girls, I tip my hat to you!

    /goes back into hiding

    • i agree i think we all need to be united. I think a lot of homophobia stems from sexism and fear of the unknown, which is why we kinda try and represent an ‘outsider’ voice and a feminist voice as much as we do a ‘gay’ voice. I think it’s all interrelated and those concepts are relevant to everyone in the GLBTQAIetc community. Anyhow, thanks for sharing your story!

  39. This article was my introduction to this site and this community and wow! Riese, thank you for throwing this one out there and for the initial survey that started this whole thing. I’m pretty sure I replied to that survey myself way back when and personally, I’m always thrilled any time I come across people seeking honest answers no matter how scientific or unscientific the process ends up being. I believe that is how we learn.

    I think over all most of the discussion here has been pretty positive even if I don’t agree with every point of view completely. I love the fact that people seemed able to talk without anyone getting all ridiculous when they disagreed. A lot of places the discussion would have devolved to nasty name calling and temper tantrums to put a two year old to shame. Not to mention that a lot of you are just funny as shit.

    Something that might be worth considering in regards to the results of that survey or any survey is where people are at in regard to their own experience when they answer. I’m sure that some of my answers would be different now than what they were at the time, not because of dishonesty in responding, but because my experiences are different. My perceptions of self and others have changed, and my exploration of my sexuality is at a different place on the path than it was at that time. Hell, my exploration of my spirituality and every other damn thing is at a different place than it was last year let alone several years ago. What I’m trying to say…probably with limited success…is that some of the answers you’ll get to questions about such a personal thing are going to reflect people at all stages of understanding and accepting that part of themselves/their lives/experiences.

    I think that there have been many valid points made along with the numerous posts here and I really don’t think it’s just a matter of any one of those things that gives rise to the choices and perceptions that are made or exist either within the community or society as a whole. It’s all of those things and undoubtedly more than we’ve touched on. Honest open discourse on it brings us all closer to understanding and being able to work together for our rights as a community and happiness as human beings.

    I think in BFC’s case many people are missing something important. It’s a completely personal choice who you date and why. We’re not talking about awarding a job based on best person for the job here folks. We’re talking about who the woman chooses to date. We don’t have to agree with the reasons because they’re her reasons. She’s not saying she wants nothing to do with bisexuals at all, but that she doesn’t want to date them based on her experiences and perceptions. That’s not really any more or less valid than saying you don’t want to date someone because they are or aren’t anything else because it’s a personal choice. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. It is what it is. She may find her choice changes or she may not. I tend to agree that I think the common problem with her past girlfriends were more about character flaws than sexuality, but I’m also not seeing the point in arguing too hard. Again, it’s a personal choice. For my money if someone didn’t want to date me for whatever reason right out of the gate then I’ve never really wanted to waste a lot of energy trying to overcome their issues. There are other people out there who have turned out being interested in me who I may have been interested in and dating them has always sounded like a lot less with the banging my head against a wall.

    All that said, where’s my sandwich and the nekkid pictures of girls wrapped in string?

  40. + i think it’s heartening how many different flavors of queer ladies (and the occasional lad) we have on autostraddle. it’s nice to see!

    + weirdly, i haven’t observed any biphobia within my community on a personal level (that i can think of at the moment?), so i always just kind of hoped/assumed it’s dissolving or something. perhaps my friends (mostly gay/queer ladies) are particularly enlightened or particularly quiet.

  41. While I certainly understand the avoidance of LGBT community and related things like this site given the shit response many of you have dealt with over and over, but it makes me so sad to hear. That people have avoided commenting even on THIS site (Autostraddle! they love everyone!) lest they be accused of not being gay enough or whatevs.

    I see where biphobia comes from (a number of things most of which have already been mentioned here and the rest of which you all don’t need me to list), I understand the source without excusing it. But if we’re going to change it, you guys can’t avoid holding your heads up high and stepping into the community. Push down the door if people don’t open it for you- just as important as queers coming out to change minds of straight people, we need to SEE and KNOW you awesome bi ladies to make people address and change their thinking.

    And I agree, your situation sucks extra hard because you are left fighting on two fronts with fewer allies and anyone who plays Risk knows that ain’t easy. But it’s gotta change and who else to make it happen?

    And those Ls and Qs or whatever other letters, we need to speak up too. Next time you hear a friend bi-bashing, don’t stay quiet. Don’t tolerate intolerance anywhere, least of all amongst our own community.

    As someone mentioned earlier, with people looking down even more on bisexuals there is more pressure to stay in the closet or come out for a lesbian. It’s no help to the image of lesbians to have girls who would probably identify as bisexual if it were more accepted come out as lesbians, date women and then fall in love with a man. To others that will just make lesbianism look like a phase. Embracing all varieties of queerness helps us all.

  42. I actually have a straight friend that warned me not to date bisexual girls “because they’ll just break your heart”. I’m dating a really incredible bisexual girl right now. I’m not anymore afraid of her breaking my heart than I would be afraid of a straight up gay girl breaking it.

  43. Jumpin’ in months later, I feel like I’d like to clarify something about why straight guys aren’t as threatened by bi girls as lesbians are.

    Case 1: My wonderful, loving and supportive boyfriend. Last year, I realized that my attraction to girls was “not a joke” (my words) when I fell head over heels with a classmate of mine. I told my boyfriend (only after telling my lezzie BFF about it) immediately, and he dealt with it. Luckily (for him), my object of desire was 110% hetero and politely blew me off before never speaking/acknowledging me again. I’m still with wonderful boyfriend a year later, and our plans to get married, have kids, be SUPER HAPPY FOREVER are still a-go, despite my girl-craziness.

    Here’s why he decided to support me because I liked a girl and not another guy – it’s not PERSONAL. His ego was intact, and my comfort with my sexuality translates to comfort with LIFE so he’s reaped the benefits because I like girls. No, not because of threesomes (I’m against them; I’m insanely jealous so I wouldn’t want to share ever). But because if I liked another guy, he’d be questioning what he was lacking or what this other guy “had” that he didn’t. Since it was a girl, he interpreted it that this girl had physical and sexual qualities he could never have AND THAT IT’S NOT HIS FAULT.

    So. Take that into account – it’s not that my BF thinks my attraction to girls is not real (he’s the only man I’ve ever been attracted and I’ll ever be with, whereas I’ve liked soooo many girls). He knows that he can’t compete with women so he will not stress about protecting his ego by punching out every girl friend I have.

    He also knows that the only way I’d ever leave him is if I found a woman who was worth losing a marriage over. I’m not looking at guys anymore, and I doubt there’s a woman out there who’s worth losing him, so I’ve accepted that I’ll be monogamous with a man for the rest of my queer-bending life because, honestly to get someone of his calibre on my first shot at dating is nothing to take for granted.

  44. Right, and about the other issue here about L’s not treating B’s lightly – I’m anxiously excited about going to my first lesbian bar because one of my other bi friends said that the lesbians (read “butches”) at this particular club are incredibly rude and resentful towards femmey bis because we apparently can’t be taken seriously.

  45. I get more stick for “making my mind up” than I do having a girlfriend by the straight community (not that anyone should get stick for having a girlfriend!) Sometimes the person I’m attracted to is male sometimes they’re female. My current partner is a girl and I love her very much.

  46. I’m new to this community and new to being “out” as somewhere on the bi spectrum. I’ve been afraid to be out to the LGBTQ community because of people like the person above who paints all people with the same brush of her own imposed labels. I just want to thank Riese for writing this and making me, as a person who is learning to be comfortable with their own queerness, feel welcome here. I also want to thank all of the commenters who shine above the naysayers in this community. I already get enough hate for being female and disabled, I don’t really need to give a rats ass what some biphobic stranger thinks about me without having ever met me first.

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