As a bisexual cis-gender white man, I often comment on the issue of “bi-visibility.”
The fact that I live my life today presenting primarily as a GAY man is driven in large part by the resistance I experience from gay men in my community when I self-identify as bisexual. I would go so far as to say that I experience more resistance and bisexual stereotyping from gay men than I do from heterosexuals of either sex.
At this point in my life journey, I do prefer the emotional and physical companionship of cis-gender men, but I am by no means “vagina-phobic,” as many of the gay men I associate with appear to be. I remain emotionally committed to my former wife, and I do have an intellectual and physical appreciation of the female form and the female spirit.
There is a common misconception that “being bisexual” is a transitional state somewhere between “being straight” and “being gay.” The reality is that “being bisexual” is its own legitimate identity… not “sitting on the fence,” nor “being greedy” (an awful assertion), nor “in the [gay] closet.” All of these terrible tropes deny the wonderous and wonderful diversity of sexual identities of which humans are capable. In an effort to simplify the innate complexity of human sexuality, many retreat to some version of a binary reality… a person is “this” or “that” but never “either” or “neither.”
Since coming out to myself as bisexual when I was in my late teens, I have tried to make myself as visible as possible, by presenting myself authentically and initiating thoughtful conversations with peers and strangers about the nature of human sexuality and the amazing diversity available to us. Too often, our available options are limited by cultural norms that tend to attempt to make all “non-standard” identities invisible. That’s why I try so hard to BE VISIBLE when living my life.
Much of the so-called “phobia” associated with queer identities has more to do with fear of the unknown than any true phobic response to a specific individual or classification.
By making the unknown known, we move incrementally forward in shared understanding and appreciation of our differences, and we move away from the fearful responses that separate us and compromise our equitable existence among the human family.
Be authentic. Be visible. Be present.