Bisexual actress Evan Rachel Wood got married to a man the other day. Afterwards, a Twitter follower tweeted at her:
@evanrachelwood question, honestly not trying to be an ass. Just trying to understand. Does this mean u r not bi anymore?how is that work?
— Maryann O'Neill (@Basilme) November 1, 2012
Wood tweeted back:
No. It just means i am not single anymore ;) @basilme
— Evan Rachel Wood (@evanrachelwood) November 1, 2012
Bisexual Oscar winner Anna Paquin got married to a man recently. She said:
I am a happily married woman and I married a man. I don't think that negates [my bisexuality]. Some people find it odd that you can identify with a sexual orientation that is not straight and yet be married to someone of the opposite sex. They're like, "Obviously it's not real if you're married to a dude". That's not my problem. I'm like, "Okay, if that's how you feel, there's nothing I can do about it". I'm just living my life.
It's interesting that bisexuals -- in particular, bisexual women -- are facing this issue of having their bisexuality questioned because they are in relationships. Are bisexuals required to be single in order to truly say that we are bi? Why can't a bisexual celebrity, or any other bisexual person, get married or be in a relationship? If a heterosexual person gets married, I can't imagine anyone tweeting to ask if they're still straight. Why would they? What would one have to do with the other? But for some reason, bisexuality is cast in a different light. It's seen, at least by Wood's follower, as something you do rather than something you are.
That brings me to my latest curiosity: What's the deal with the ex-gay movement, and why do they ignore bisexuality? Note: I do not want them to pay attention to bisexuals. In fact, I wish they would stop paying attention to gays! They need to leave my community alone and go find something else to focus on, like, oh, I don't know, global poverty, workers' rights or climate change -- anything but the harassment and mental abuse of gay people, thanks! But isn't it strange that you never read about an ex-bi movement, or bi conversion therapy, or gripping stories from ex-bisexuals who have been "saved" from a life of bi-fabulousness? I haven't seen anything on this. A Google search proved fruitless.
During a recent conversation on Facebook, a friend of a friend suggested that the ex-gay folks define bisexuals as those who are in polyamorous relationships and have a male and female partner at the same time. This would be a dual-gender poly triad. So I guess converting the bisexual person(s) in the triad would require engineering some pretty serious breakup drama. Can you imagine the processing? Not to mention the fact that with three people involved (as opposed to the usual one or two), there's probably already been a lot of relationship negotiation, identity development work, etc., which potentially means a more stable sense of self and community, which would be harder to convert away from. That's not to say that poly relationships are inherently more stable or mature than monogamous ones, but it may be that they take a lot more work. So really this is a labor issue. Why throw away all that time and effort to become an ex-bi (assuming that you're bi in the ex-gay definition of the word)? You've worked hard to be bi, so you may as well stay that way! I'm guessing the ex-gays have already thought this through, and that's why they don't bother trying to convert bi folks.
And as for bisexuals who don't fit that definition (which would be any bisexual person who is single, monogamous or poly but not in a dual-gender triad), well, I guess we're just lucky to be avoiding the glare of the ex-gay spotlight! This brings me back to my original point: Just like people of any other orientation, a bisexual person is someone who says he or she is bisexual, like Evan Rachel Wood, Anna Paquin and bisexuals who may or may not fit the ex-gay definition posited by my friend's friend. We're not bi because of whom we date or marry; we're bi because that's how we identify. 'Nuff said.
Now let's all get to work converting those ex-gay converters into pro-gay allies!