Yes, that’s a cis-gendered man you see sitting next to me on the subway and, yes, he just kissed the palm of my hand.
No, we’re not “heterosexuals”.
We’re the invisible, sometimes maligned, and often dismissed bisexuals (Quick aside: don’t binaries suck? So limiting).
I hit puberty in the middle of America in the last quarter of the last century where there were no bisexuals. There were queers and faggots and they were in serious trouble in that town.
But there was this thing that happened from my throat to my warm bits when I’d sit with the Spiegel’s catalog and look at the ladies’ lingerie. Something about the soft curve of flesh that would dip and disappear into the unforgiving edges of those 60’s bras really got me going. Am I really the only teenage girl in the midwest who began masturbating to the lingerie section of catalogs? Impossible.
It’s June and that means Pride and Pride can be a very complicated thing when one doesn’t fit nicely into Column A or Column B.
I don’t find my orientation complicated. Anymore.
I’ve always been drawn romantically and sexually to certain people regardless of their sex or gender or taste in literature (just kidding about that last one; loving Jodi Piccoult is a deal-breaker). I find drag kings, butch dykes, and short-haired or, better, bald women, irresistible. While a swishy, fabulous man who can turn heads and a phrase makes my heart stop. And then there’s the whole fierce and glorious terrain in between which this world is so much poorer for not embracing.
But first I had to escape the smothering confines of Small Town USA and after that the tightening constraints of a smallish city to come into my own as a sex-positive bisexual woman.
We are a funny bunch, we humans. With our superbly tuned pattern-seeking computers tucked into the six inches between our ears, we make instantaneous assumptions based on the flimsiest of evidence. Two people of different sexes holding hands? Heteros. Two people of the same sex wanting to hold hands but making sure the coast is clear first? Homos. See? Easy as pie.
And in that nano-second of judgment, the bisexual disappears.
Circumstances in my life are such that it’s been quite some time since I had the chance to make love with another woman. That doesn’t change my orientation. But who I’m with seems to be the determining factor in assessing which way my wind blows and that, I believe, is at the core of bisexual invisibility.
Which begs the question: who’s damned business is it anyway?
Seriously, are we really a bunch of third-graders choosing sides for a game of kickball? There are times when I feel like I’m surrounded by hordes of Column A and Column B people shouting pick a side! In a world that is brimming over with real problems the idea that so many people spend any of their precious and limited time worrying about who other people are attracted to is mind-boggling.
A major plus of being north of the age of 60 is that I don’t care who thinks I’m undecided (I’m not) or promiscuous (I am) or lying or confused or attention-seeking or any of the other dismissive epithets I’ve had tossed at me over the years.
I know who I am and who I like being with, biblically and otherwise.
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