Would you come out as bi?
By susan mernit on May 11, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
When the singer Pink came out as bisexual last week and I read the news, I was sitting in my home office with A, working on edit plans for a client. “This is amazing,” I said to him. “Pink said she’s into guys—and girls.”
“That’s cool,” he replied, working on his database research.
“No, really, “ I said. “I mean,there must be a lot more people in their teens and twenties in, says, Kansas City, MO, who will tell their friends they’re bi because people they look up to are.”
“Uh-huh,” he said. (That database).
“I mean, look at Lindsay Lohan—she’s clearly not gay, but she fell in love with a woman and was with her for a year—that showed a lot of people bisexuality is something different!”
A looked up. “Who’s Lindsay Lohan?” he said. (Guaranteed, all dialog is verbatim.)
So, okay, A is no pop culture maven, but I was undeterred. “Seriously, don’t you think things are changing and coming out as bi now is less of a big deal than it was a few years ago?”
A frowned. “Nope,” he said. “ In some circles, maybe, but gays don’t always like bis and straight people don’t always get it, they think maybe you’re really gay—and don’t want to admit it.”
I asked some of my friends, some bisexual, some not, if their sexuality was in the closet with friends and family.
“My mom has no idea I’m bi,” said one friend, Amette. “She knows I am polyamorous and that I’ve been seeing Paul for two years, but she has no idea I also see women. I see her so seldomly, it just doesn’t seem worth it.”
My other friend, Margo, is much more out there. “Oh yeah, everyone knows I’m bisexual,” she said. “I told my siblings years ago, and I’ve dated both men and women, it’s no big deal.”
The big question, for everyone I talked to, wasn’t whether you told friends and family you were bi, but how you mentioned it—or didn’t—to dates and partners.
“I like guys, but I dated women almost exclusively for quite a while before I met my husband,” my friend Lucy told me. “Thing was, when we got together, I just didn’t mention it. But when I brought it up a while later, he wasn’t bothered, just surprised.”
Another friend, Theresa, finds the issue much more complicated. She says it’s not only an issue of sexuality, but of monogamy. “If you’re with someone, and you’re a committed couple, what you did before, with anyone of any gender, is off the table,” she explains. “Does sharing you are bi make your partner less worried you are going to want to stray, or more?”
Jerre, another friend, is straight up about her sexuality because she only wants to date people who are also bi. For Jerre, she’d have a problem being close with someone who didn’t understand gender and sexuality as fluid. “It’s the person, not the equipment,” she said. “If my partner doesn’t get that, we are in big trouble.”
So, assuming that being open (or fluid) about your sexuality is more acceptable these days, why is it that so few women seem to be cool with coming out as bi to their sweeties, friends and family?
When I asked one fellow CE friend her views, she said “I have come to associate bisexuality with either confusion (from having known too many people who have claimed they were bi because they couldn't face the fact that they were gay) or embellishment (from people who claim they are bi to make themselves appear more interesting).”
Not very encouraging to oversharing, eh?
Daisybones, a blogger commenting on MamaPop, writes “I'm thrilled with any bisexual anyone who comes out publicly. We are still invisible. And apparently creepy. And now the angst has left the building and I shall add to the tiny chorus of MamaPop readers who would totally make out with Pink.”
So, wouldja? Did’ja?
Reasons to come out as bi
- You ARE bi
- You want people to know this about you
- It will make dating people so much simpler
- Who cares, anyway?
- Bi is a political statement
Reasons not to
- You’re not sure you are bi
- You don't want family to know
- It will make dating people so much more complicated
- Everyone will care
- My sex life is private, thank you.
So, what’s your view, you all? We have some proclaimed bisexual BlogHers, some quietly out BlogHers, and some in the closet BlogHers. What’s your take on all this?
Is being out cool in your world, or is there is stigma? And if you are dating, how does this all play out for you?
Related posts from around the blogosphere:
CNN: Comedian Margaret Cho identifies as queer
"I identify as queer. I've had a lot of same-sex relationships in my life, and I guess it would be bisexual, butto me it's more appropriate to say I am queer. I am also attracted to transgender persons, and bisexual doesn't cover it. I feel like being queer is my politics, it's my life; it's the community I do the most political work in, for the gay, lesbian and the transgender community."
Mamapop: Daisybone's comments
"Why do we clap and applaud gay people's coming out but bisexuals who do so are all trendy drama queens who make out with chicks to get their boyfriends off?
I'm thrilled with any bisexual anyone who comes out publicly. We are still invisible. And apparently creepy. And now the angst has left the building and I shall add to the tiny chorus of MamaPop readers who would totally make out with Pink.'
Waking Vixen: Sex worker gets outed by police
"How can sex workers protect themselves when their work is so stigmatized?"
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