Recently, I’ve been reading several posts from other bloggers, friends on Facebook, and on several other websites, about the topic of bisexuality. In almost all of these cases, there seems to be a huge conundrum over whether or not these men and women feel like they always have to validate themselves to the people around them. Saddest of all, is the struggle to feel accepted, both with friends and family, and within their own group. It breaks my heart to see so many people have to deal with those who say bisexuality doesn’t exist, leading them to question their own identity.
I read an article last night about subtle ways different groups control the way you think, without you even realizing it’s happening. I won’t go into full detail, but I’ll sum up some of the key points for the sake of this post. Every group, whether political, religious, social, or for a particular interest, or for people who share a particular trait, even kids’ little ‘clubs’, they must first make you feel like you belong with their group, before they convince you to accept whatever it is that they believe in. However, because our minds are built to contain a limited amount of information, regarding how our world works, we simply accept the simple answers given to us, so long as those answers seem to work. You see this most often with religious groups, but you may be surprised to know that people in these groups aren’t even fully aware of what it is they stand for, so they stand for whatever it is they’re told to fight for. Because that’s easier for them.
whew… that was a bit difficult to articulate.
So, as to how this applies to our main topic. Because our beliefs are taught to us by those we look up to, they are always veering to either one extreme or the other. Even when we look for proof, to convince us something is true, we’ll react in one of two ways: see how the results will support one of those extreme answers, or deny the legitimacy of those answers until they support our own extremes. For those of us who struggle to convince others of their bisexual identities, this is extremely hard to do. All the evidence people look at is who the person is with at the time. Is this ‘bisexual’ person actually yearning to satisfy their sexual desires with both genders, or do they tend to be more biased towards one in particular?
The first thing you end up asking is: what’s the correct answer? Well, that’s where things get interesting, my friend. When you realize every answer supports an extreme, you begin to see how no answer is the correct one. Not in the grand scheme of things, at least. When it comes to identity, the only correct answer is the one answer for yourself, not for your group as a whole. Am I bisexual? No, I’m not. Do I think all bisexuals are lying? I think a lot of them could be, but I don’t believe all of them are. Is it a phase? Probably for many of them, but not all of them. Is it possible that all bisexuals are actually either gay or straight? I doubt it, but your question seems to imply that every bisexual needs to be sleeping with both men and women, simultaneously, to be considered bisexual under your definition.
That brings us to another interesting aspect of sexuality, which is the topic of relationships. Coming back to extremes, it seems the general thought process is: if he’s dating the same gender, he must actually be gay. If she’s dating the opposite gender, she must actually be straight. Does no one really see the flaw in that logic?(Not necessarily you, dear reader, but you probably know who I’m referring to) The standards for being in a relationship are very well established, and have certainly been made sacred by religious communities. When two people truly care about each other, it’s taboo to deviate from that. Even on a biological level, when we find a mate, our bodies release testosterone when another potential mate shows interest, forcing us do what we can to prevent the other mate from any kind of courtship, creating this ‘ownership’ mentality within ourselves. This behaviour can continue on, even after the relationship has ended.
Since we established a social structure that limits one mate to each person, it becomes easy to distinguish the identity of that person based on whom they are with. There’s still a fundamentally large difference between whom you are attracted to, and who you’re in love with. Yet, sex has been strongly attributed with love for so long, people believe they must be one in the same. Religion seems to be the prime supporter of that idea, and in truth, most people who deny bisexuality exists are those same religious people. Now, I’m not saying that the answer to freedom of identity is for all of us to drop religion and become poly-amorous(though, I’m not saying it’s not the answer, either. Remember: extremes), but we need to understand: as long as people continue to hate people who possess qualities that they, themselves, do not have, the struggle will continue.
I was once told, a long time ago, that none of us can really change the world, but we can change the world for ourselves. It doesn’t matter if your definition of bisexuality is the same as anyone else’s. If you can reach into someone’s pants, and be happy with whatever you find, you’re bisexual. And by all means, go ahead and play with it, since your hand is already there…
Are you still unsure about whether you really do like what you find? That’s ok, it’s up to you to decide, and no one else. Even if you’re not sure right now, if you still identify as bisexual, then until you decide you identify differently, you’re still bisexual. If you tell me you’re bisexual, then I believe you, and I accept who you are.
How about you? What do you identify as? It doesn’t have to be bisexual, but I’m interested to know more about you. Do you struggle with your identity? Do you ever feel like you don’t belong? Are you still not sure? Talk to me in the comments below.