The idea that bisexuals are attracted to only two genders is an incredibly common stereotype of all bisexuals. Many people assume that the "bi" aspect of the word "bisexuality" implies a gender binary, and that those who identify as bisexual are only attracted to males and females.
I married a wonderful man. I had babies. I love him dearly, and I adore my life. To all the world I am a straight woman. I live with the privilege of that assumption. And by allowing that assumption to stand, I also allow ignorance to stand. Not anymore.
It's almost a "chicken or the egg" question: Does society and the LGBT community at large need to become more accepting before bisexuals come out en masse, or do bisexuals need to come out before more acceptance is possible?
Unfortunately for Ivo, ignorance regarding bisexuals may have contributed to his deportation hearings. Ivo tells me that he was interrogated by USCIS on his sexual orientation as officers sought to prove his marriage valid since he had been reported as homosexual.
I'm a middle-aged white male college student. Happily, authentically, monogamously married to a person of another gender for over 20 years with a teenage child. And I am queer. Bisexual, to be precise.
If we count people who are in the closet or "discordant," then sure, that boosts our numbers, but to what end? Why do we need to know how many of us there are? Is the implication that if there are more of us, then we are more deserving of rights?
Dr. Gary Gates has reported that 50 percent of people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual identify as bisexual. He's also reported that 3.5 percent of the U.S. adult population identifies as LGB. Detractors seem to feel that the latter percentage is too low and the former too high.
We have a responsibility to make young bisexuals feel normal, accepted and loved. We have to be the voice at the end of what can be a trying tunnel of confusion, discrimination and pain. By being more vocal, we can be the support so many younger people are searching for.
We cannot, as a community, be part of erasing a vital and thriving part of our movement and history. In the same fashion, simply throwing a "B" into the acronym LGBT isn't enough-- we have to celebrate, educate, and support bisexual people.
I'm here to call on my fellow bi people to step up and set good examples of openness, compassion, and tolerance. Ask folks with whom you disagree to have coffee with you; have guided discussions; have face-to-face, low-key chats; get to know your enemy, frenemy, or others.
I had often heard of collective amnesia, voter apathy, and electoral ignorance, but I had never bought into them as unshakable truisms. Yet now here it was staring me in the face -- in a presidential year. And in part, I was now facing a personal type of amnesia, as well.
As he has done each year since taking office, President Obama has included bisexual activists in his annual LGBT Pride Reception, taking place Friday, June 15. I had the opportunity to speak with some of this year's bi guests to learn how they are gearing up for their trip.
What has been accomplished in the 20-plus years that BiNet USA and other such groups have existed? What has lasted in terms of bi visibility and validation since activists quietly or loudly asserted their right to be themselves?
Consumers -- bi and otherwise -- vote with their money, wittingly or not: support a pizza chain or hamburger giant whose food you like but whose mogul funds anti-gay efforts, and you've supported your enemy.
If you're religious to the point you refuse evolution as a concept, this is not the play for you. But for the rest of the world, Coming is that bitch-slap that will shock you and leave its impression after you leave.