“Bisexuality is a choice,” he said.
A choice? How?
Do gay men choose to be attracted to men? Do lesbians choose to be attracted to women? If you asked them, I’m sure the majority would say, “No, I was born this way” or, “No, this isn’t a choice.” And I believe it isn’t. Why would anyone choose to be a minority? A minority often not respected by the whole, a minority struggling for rights and respect and acknowledgement. No, if anything there is nothing to gain (especially not in this day and age) from being gay, bi, lesbian, etc.
Bisexuality isn’t a way for me to be “gay, but less gay” than others, nor is it way for me to have a broader catalogue of selection, and it certainly isn't a way for me to be a slut and over-indulge in the carnal pleasures of life (in fact, I’m a strange combination of asexual and bisexual, mainly because I’m content without dating/relationships and do not actively seek them). I can’t give a reason for bisexuality, but to me it’s merely attraction to both men and women. The same way a heterosexual is attracted to the opposite sex and the same way a homosexual is attracted to the same sex. Perhaps it’s different for others. Perhaps other bisexuals chose to be the way they are, but I sure as hell didn’t. I’m just attracted to both men and women. I can’t explain how or why, but I am. Why can’t people just accept and acknowledge that?
Of course, I’m not expecting everyone to accept and acknowledge the fact that bisexuals exist. My parents… well, specifically my mom, is the kind of person I’d expect this sort of shallow thinking from. She’s convinced that the only two lesbians she knows—who are a couple—are just playing some sort of game and aren’t really into one another and are looking for husbands even though they live together and are raising a son… Yeah, shallow thinking. I wasn’t expecting much from her granted where and how she was raised (I’ll save the topic of my family for another post).
My parents, together, weren’t too accepting of me when I came out to them. I couldn’t really read them at the time and we never talked about it after that night. I was too surprised/shocked to bother with wondering about what they really thought and they were too confused. Why? Because I had said the word “bisexual”. They spent the majority of the time trying to figure out why I “was repulsed by men” (their words, not mine. I like men!) and it didn’t take me long to realize they didn’t believe bisexuality existed. I felt cornered with nowhere to go—at a loss—and there was no way I was going to tell them I was borderline asexual. I knew coming out to my parents needed to be handled swiftly and simply and I wasn’t going to complicate matters and prolong the event.
I haven’t really run into this topic again until coming to Duke. My roommate even explained to me her difficulty in grasping bisexuality when we discussed it and I’m not too sure she even believes that bisexuals exist. I sometimes wonder what she really thinks I am, but I don’t really care much. And then again, this hit me at the first BDU meeting, when Stranger-I-Didn’t-Know was asking those attending what they identified as. She asked if there were gays, lesbians, and transsexuals, (and probably more, but my memory is terrible) attending the meeting, leaving out bisexual. And then asked later, “Those who didn’t raise their hands, what do you identify as?” And then, it happened again this final time when a gay male friend of mine was talking to my roommate about homosexuality. His tirade about how “bisexuality was a choice”…
I don’t know. Maybe I’m looking too hard into this. It’s easier to notice (and perhaps extrapolate) prejudice when you fall into the minority. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe others see the same opposition around and I should just ignore it. I’m not mad about their opinions and disbelief, just perplexed by it and curious as to whether other bisexuals have experienced the same thing; people constantly disregarding their sexuality. Whatever the case, I am what I am. I’m bisexual (for lack of a better blanket term); bisexuals do exist.