The Queer Issue: You're Doing It Wrong

Bisexuals

You Need to Come Out to Your Friends and Spouses—Now

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Robert Ullman

The Queer Issue: You're Doing It Wrong

I'm not bi-phobic—in fact, I love bisexual people so much, I wish there were more of them.

I do find some bisexuals scary, particularly the ones who are always accusing me of being bi-phobic. But I find some gay people scary too, and no one has ever accused me of being homophobic. (Well, no one recently.)

But let's unpack—for Pride Week!—why I'm constantly being accused of bi-phobia, particularly by bisexual men. And it's basically this: I'm unwilling to pretend that what is, isn't.

Here's one thing that is: Many adult gays and lesbians identified as bi for a few shining moments during our adolescences and coming-out processes. (We wanted to let our friends down easy; we didn't want our families to think we'd gone over the dark side entirely.) This can lead adult gays and lesbians—myself included—to doubt the professed sexual identities of bisexual teenagers.

When I meet a bisexual teenage boy, for instance, I sometimes think to myself, "Yeah, I was too at your age." That doesn't mean the kid standing in front of me couldn't possibly be bisexual (I wasn't, he might be!), or that I don't believe bisexuality exists (bisexuals exist, and most of them seem to have my e-mail address), only that my life experience makes it difficult for me to accept a bisexual teenage boy's professed sexual identity at face value. (And to those who insist that my inability to accept someone's professed sexual identity without question makes me a bigot: Ted Haggard, George Rekers, and Larry Craig all identify as straight. You believe them? Or are you a bigot?)

I don't berate bi-identified teenage boys, I don't tell them they're not really bi, and I don't cruise around bi neighborhoods looking for young bi guys to beat up. But I do know that a bi-identified 36-year-old is likelier to be bisexual than a bi-identified 16-year-old, and I resent being asked to pretend not to know it.

And here's another thing that is: Most adult bisexuals, for whatever reason, wind up in opposite-sex relationships. And most comfortably disappear into presumed heterosexuality (including all three of my biggest bisexual antagonists—what are the odds?!).

Now I don't think it's necessarily misleading or deceitful for a bisexual guy in a long-term opposite-sex relationship to round himself down to straight, if that's what he wants to do, so long as he's out to his partner. But judging from the e-mails I get from bisexual men at Savage Love (from the ones after my advice, not my hide), and all the men-seeking-men ads on Craigslist posted by men who are married to women (we used to call those guys "married men"—ah, progress!), there are a lot of bisexuals out there who aren't out to their partners. An excerpt from a sadly typical bi Savage Love letter:

I am a 30-year-old bi male recently engaged to a wonderful woman. I have never told my fiancée about my bi past, and didn't think it was a big deal because I am more attracted to women, and was only in one male/male relationship... but now that we're engaged, I am feeling guilty for keeping this quiet. Is it too late? Should I stay quiet?? I don't want to lose her.

I hope that bi guy has the decency to come out to his fiancée before the wedding, because she deserves better. And so does he. The closet is awful and I wouldn't wish its miseries on anyone. Hiding the truth about your sexuality from someone you love is painful and exhausting... which is why I stopped doing it myself when I was a teenager.

Not only would it be great if more bisexuals were out to their partners, it would be great if more bisexuals in opposite-sex relationships were out to their friends, families, and coworkers. More out bisexuals would mean less of that bisexual invisibility that bisexuals are always complaining about. If more bisexuals were out, more straight people would know they actually know and love sexual minorities, which would lead to less anti-LGBT bigotry generally, which would be better for everyone.

But people get to make their own choices, and lots of bisexuals choose not to be out. While I'm willing to recognize that the reluctance of many bisexuals to be out may be a reaction to the hostility they face from non-bisexuals, gay and straight, bisexuals need to recognize that their being closeted is a huge contributing factor to the hostility they face.

Bisexual activists like to complain that they're the most oppressed because (1) it's a contest, and (2) it's a good excuse. If they can argue—and unfortunately, they can—that lots of gay people are mean to them (some gay people don't want to date them, some gay people doubt they exist) and straight people are mean to them (some straight people don't want to date them, some straight people doubt they exist), then bisexual people aren't to blame for the bisexual closet. Everyone else is.

And they have a point—but it's a self-serving, self-defeating point. Yes, lots of people judge and condemn and fear bisexuals. If those were good reasons to stay closeted, no gay or lesbian person would ever come out. And if bisexuals did come out in greater numbers, they could rule... well, not the world, but they could rule the parallel LGBT universe.

Earlier this year, a researcher at the Williams Institute at the University of California released the results of a study that attempted to estimate the LGBT population of the United States. Some of the numbers that "Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar" came up with were disputed—just 3.5 percent of the population is LGBT? There are only nine million LGBT people in the United States total?—but the most interesting finding was that there are more bisexual adults (1.8 percent of the population) than gay and lesbian adults combined (1.7 percent of the population).

I'm sorry, bisexual activists, but you're doing it all wrong. Instead of berating me for my alleged bi-phobia—and if I'm the enemy, you're in real trouble—berate your closeted compatriots. If they all came out tomorrow, you could put an end to bi-phobia, take over the LGBT movement, and kick my ass out of it. recommended

 

Comments (278) RSS

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”I read your special report.I just wanted to thank you for putting that on the internet.I feel better and I know I have a roller coaster ride though hell. I know I will be stronger once I pass hell and turn into a stronger person. Thank you again.You are a good man to help people after what you went through.Maybe one day I can help people like you have helped me…Thanking great zalilu for helping reunite with my family again,i can just forget all that you have done for me.Contact greatzalilu@gmail.com
Posted by shelley88 on April 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM · Report this
277
This article seems to have a shit-ton of comments on it already, so sorry I didn't read them all but rohnjaymiller^ seems to have the jist of my opinion, and I do believe my situation to be an irregular one. I was a consistently straight male for most of my younger life, however, near the end of my adolescence I had two very intimate moments with men while I was on some pretty potent psylosibic mushrooms that I enjoyed very much. At first I thought it was just the drugs, but its been 3 years now and I have recently had strong romantic feelings for a man I met recently. That being said, had to conclude that I was at least a part bisexual. I'm long out of high-school and the phase of caring what others think about me, but I am viewed by pretty much everyone I know to be straight. I am lucky enough to have friends and family that I'm certain wouldn't give a rat's ass if I was gay or not,but as the fact remains that I am typically drawn to a woman's physique, it seems a bit much to commit myself to coming out to everyone. like rohnjaymiller said: " My point of view is help everyone as much as they want to be helped to come out, if you can. And be visible as a bisexual man."

I don't feel like I need to be labeled just because I'm someone who just so happens to have a different set of of preferences than the norm. I can't even imagine what prosecution and harassment that some LGBT must have been, and some, are still going through, but I think the MOST important thing to keep in mind is that you love who you love. One of the most fundamental parts of being humans is that we are all different, and that is one of the greatest and most beautiful things about us.
Posted by Threeye8finger on April 16, 2014 at 5:04 AM · Report this
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Dan: I told my wife on our first date that I was bisexual and had been in a three year relationship with a man a few years before. And this was 1987 pal, back when AIDS was a presumed death sentence. Bisexual men are more common than people know, and yes, we owe it to our partners to be honest, regardless of our sexual identities. You of all people should understand all the shame that men are wrapped up in fighting to find their gay/bi/trans/queer identities. My point of view is help everyone as much as they want to be helped to come out, if you can. And be visible as a bisexual man.
Posted by rohnjaymiller on April 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM · Report this
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There's only one study which came even close to proving there's such a thing as male bisexuality, Cerny (2011). But even it showed that self-identified bisexual men, when presented footages of various types of porn material (straight, lesbian, gay male, and male-centered bisexual), liked the gay male stimulus best; the one they liked least was, by far, the lesbian stimulus, favoured by the sample's straight men. The results were the same in both objective measures of their physiological reactions and in a self-report that followed the experiment. In effect, considering the size of their reactions to each of the stimulus and their respective standard-deviations, it may well have been the case that there was not a single "bi" men in the sample who preferred the purely-female stimuli (namely, the lesbian footage) over the purely-male, gay-sex stimuli.

Still, every single "bi" male poster who commented on this thread kept harping on about how, romantically, sexually, or both, they liked women way over men, forever. The only bi men who lean for other men appear only in their anecdotes. What are the chances?

Are the "bi" male posters shaping their rhetoric just so they can prove a point - that, unlike what some say, they really aren't half-closeted gay men? Or, as some of the gay bloggers have denounced, are they engaging in the quintessentially "bi"-male sport of bragging about the women they've had in gay spaces, to show themselves superior to true queer people?
Posted by antibi guy on February 19, 2014 at 1:54 PM · Report this
274
Speaking of Bisexuals, most women nowadays are Gay And Bi today.
Posted by Certainly True on December 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
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I believe sexuality is a spectrum. I identify as mostly straight, sometimes use the term "heteroflexible." My romantic relationships are almost always with women, I see myself ending up with a woman, but I have sexual attraction to men as well, that I choose to indulge well because I can. It's my choice.
Posted by Spencer Savage on November 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM · Report this
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Internet or a Wi-Fi area and need to access the Web. Using your cell phone, you can access the Web on your computer by turning your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot and connecting it to your computer. hotspot software
Posted by ambreen on September 11, 2013 at 4:33 AM · Report this
271
I think the biggest problem of all is our insistence on labels. We promiscuous, hairless apes are sexual. Heterosexual and homosexual make perfectly good adjectives but lousy nouns. Why? Because you have to choose. And calling yourself bisexual relegates you to no man's (or woman's) land. If you think about it, bisexual makes no sense. Either you're in bed with a man or a woman (okay it could be both at the same time, but you get my point). To me the saddest thing about having to categorize yourself, is the need to choose one primary partner. And, yeah, with or without disclosure you can choose one and dally with the other, but what about true intimacy? You know, the kind of intimacy you have with whichever sex you've chosen to live with? How can you have two "you complete me" relationships, one with a woman and one with a man? And I mean relationships that allow the time to "be" with each other? That's the part of being bisexual that is so difficult to live with.
Posted by Rusty LP on August 22, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
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I'm nearly 72, have 3 grown kids, married 3 times and live with my current wife of 30 years. I am 'somewhere' on the Kinsey Scale but that figure has varied over my lifetime. My favorite scene is with my wife and one of her lovers. This happens infrequently but we seem to do very well with the occasional variation. I further identify with being emotionally hetero and more physically bisexual. I also am voyeuristic and love watching her and her lover(s), As lurid as these activities might sound, they only happen once or twice a year. The rest of the time we are with each other sexually, emotionally, still romantically and love living together. I don't think there is any one particular template for being sexually queer. If I'm down on something - or someone - I need to be looking closely at my judgment.
Posted by basslover on August 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
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Dan, I for one agree with you.

I was in the closet as a bisexual man for many years, and I agree that the closet is quite draining and painful.

Over the past 4 years, I have slowly been coming out to friends and family - and each time I feel better about myself.

What is difficult about being bisexual is that it is so easy to be lazy and not come out if you are in an opposite sex relationship. Gay folks just don't have this luxury.

In this sense, bisexual erasure is often self-induced. We might as well call it bisexual self-erasure.

I am happy to report that I was out to my last long term female partner and many of our close friends and family.
Posted by UncleMoose on May 1, 2013 at 5:35 PM · Report this
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Aargh! What's with the foisted labels?

In my youth, I fooled around with guys, then girls, then both. I settled down with a woman for nine years; we had a kid; and we divorced for nonsexual reasons. Then, single again, I fooled around with men and with women. I found one I liked a lot who happened to be a gay man; we raised our kid; after a few decades, when we could, we got married; by that time, however, I had been libido-less for several years because of a medical condition.

If I still had testosterone, I'd probably still be looking at hotties, of any sex, and fantasizing about them in my private moments. As it is, I'm a pleasant handsome elderly gentleman who charms (and semi-flirts with) those who welcome such social attentions, be they male, female, or undetermined; and I come home to my loving husband and chaste bed every night.

I do not identify as hetero-, homo-, bi-, or a-sexual; those labels convey about as much information as labeling a can of vegetable soup by one ingredient. It reminds me of the days when a person was labeled "Negro" if they had "one drop of Negro blood". Aren't we past that now? Shouldn't we be?

Even when linguistic terms are meager for describing a salad, linguistic practice need not be.
Posted by PaulC on March 29, 2013 at 9:28 AM · Report this
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I would love to come out as bisexual but fear all the crap I'd have to deal with. I'm 47, in an opposite sex relationship, and not out to my partner. And yes I'm a guy. I guess I figure that I'm more attracted to women than men, am happy in my relationship and would not cheat so why go through the difficulties of coming out?
Posted by Jimmi on October 2, 2012 at 5:16 PM · Report this
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I don't really identify with the term bisexual but that's what my sexuality would boil down to for most people. "Queer" works better as a label for me personally. I have identified as straight for 35 years and coming out of the closet this late in life is... interesting. I accept that I will have to both fight elements of a heterosexual society that marginalizes me and elements of a homosexual society that does the same thing. Oh well, c'est la vie. I'm still early in the process of coming out but I intend to claim my place under the rainbow and to hell with anyone, gay or straight, who doesn't like it.
Posted by NQ on August 31, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
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Despite the fact the article is true, his article is also extremely rude and naive. Yes, bisexuals should come out of "the other side of the closet". But I hate the way he is so oblivious and narrow minded in making it seem like it's a piece of cake. Bisexuals have to deal with ALL bigotry: from the homos, as well as the heteros. We get blasphemized by EVERYONE. I have personally received bigotry from close friends, just due to their naivety.
To basically say "Just come out and all will be well" is extremely asinine, presumptive, and nasty in a way: you can not just come out to people who have so much hatred and stereotypes engrained in them. I really wish people would be more open minded and not as idiotically presumptuous as Dan. -Don't get me wrong; I love Dan's points about life. But this one was absolutely naive.
Posted by salty on August 11, 2012 at 11:18 PM · Report this
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Despite the fact the article is true, his article is also extremely rude and naive. Yes, bisexuals should come out of "the other side of the closet". But I hate the way he is so oblivious and narrow minded in making it seem like it's a piece of cake. Bisexuals have to deal with ALL bigotry: from the homos, as well as the heteros. We get blasphemized by EVERYONE. I have personally received bigotry from close friends, just due to their naivety.
To basically say "Just come out and all will be well" is extremely asinine, presumptive, and nasty in a way: you can not just come out to people who have so much hatred and stereotypes engrained in them. I really wish people would be more open minded and not as idiotically presumptuous as Dan. -Don't get me wrong; I love Dan's points about life. But this one was absolutely naive.
Posted by salty on August 11, 2012 at 11:15 PM · Report this
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Psh. Dan I love the you, I really do... but the problem is that some of us are still being told that we are just "confused" and you are alienating others.

And could we at least entertain the fact that maybe some bisexuals have been forced in to accepting straight/gay relationships because of how society treats them?

I am 32, by the way and gay people tell me I need to come out of the closet and straight people tell me I should stop being a "whore".

>>"How dare you bisexuals get upset with gays and lesbians for not allowing ourselves to be used as sex toys for your amusement."

Fuck you. There are some people who want to be in relationships, but -gasp- just like any other relationship sometimes they JUST DON'T WORK. Grow the fuck up.
Additionally, individuals who don't want a monogamous relationship AREN'T just bi, they are straight, gay, lesbian, and trans as well. You know, because it couldn't possibly have been something that you did to them to make them not that in to you any more. -roll-
Posted by libertykitten on June 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
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Re: http://flexuality.wordpress.com/take-the… @ 172

The test might be confusing to those who love or fuck just people of one gender, but it proofs me right: From 10 out of 10 points on the scala I have exatly 0 (yes, zero!) points in being gay and 0 points on being straight. Instead I have 9/10 in being ambisexual, 7/10 flexamorous which means that I´m right, I´m indeed a bisexual woman (and out as such to anyone who metters to me/in my life*) ... and that I´m also slightly more into fucking someone than loving :D

* You simply can´t be out to everyone, unless you have "BI" tattoed on your forehead, because the default setting in our society is set to "one-gender-attraction-only".
Posted by Red she said! on June 29, 2012 at 5:36 AM · Report this
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I used to call myself gay, but I felt like I was lying to myself and everybody else. Adopting a "gay" identity was just stepping stone on the way to bisexual. I would have saved myself a lot of misery had I never believed nonsense such as Dan's.

And Dan, Ted Haggard has psychological afflictions that most humans don't--including self-professed bisexuals. Your comparison is an insult. Why do you refuse to reconsider your perspective on bisexuality at its fundamental core?
Posted by MrHabbaBabba23 on June 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
260
Sorry, issues with creating the account led to that posting twice.
Posted by Phoenix0879 on June 21, 2012 at 5:19 AM · Report this
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Dan, attitudes like yours wherein you automatically doubt a teenager who says they they are bisexual caused me to live a closeted life as a gay man for almost a decade. I struggled with bullying at school and there was no way I would make myself a greater target by coming out. Then I finally got to spread my wings and go to college. At the tender age of 18 I started to come out as bisexual. Everywhere I turned I met the same response: "Ugh, that's gross", "you can't like both, you have to pick one or the other", "You'll come out as ga eventually" and so on.

Since the news spread like wildfire that I liked guys, I embraced it. I identified as gay, for almost a decade. I exchanged one closet for another, all because of attitudes like yours. Externally I was a happy, gay college kid. Inside I was in turmoil. I was living a lie for the benefit of others, wasn't that what coming out was supposed to stop? It took almost a decade and a personal epiphany for me to throw that aside, to ignore the expectations of others and to come out again. To this day, I still face discrimination. "You sleep with guys, then you're gay", "You'll come out properly one day", "You're just in denial" and so on.

Today I'm an openly bisexual man and I am honest before I begin any relationship and I can tell you, it has closed a great many doors (and beds). I can understand why some keep it a secret - being honest has lost me many potential relationships, because many still harbour attitudes related to yours: that one day, I'll decide I'm gay (or straight) and leave them. Or that I'll cheat on them. Or that I want a open relationship...

So yes, you're welcome to your opinions, you even have the right to air them. But have you considered it may not be the right thing to exercise that right? All words like yours do is make vulnerable and impressionable young bisexual men and women feel pressured upon to act in a certain way, to be something they're not. Is harming potentially young people really worth you saying what's on your mind?
More...
Posted by Phoenix0879 on June 21, 2012 at 5:18 AM · Report this
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Dan, attitudes like yours wherein you automatically doubt a teenager who says they they are bisexual caused me to live a closeted life as a gay man for almost a decade. I struggled with bullying at school and there was no way I would make myself a greater target by coming out. Then I finally got to spread my wings and go to college. At the tender age of 18 I started to come out as bisexual. Everywhere I turned I met the same response: "Ugh, that's gross", "you can't like both, you have to pick one or the other", "You'll come out as ga eventually" and so on.

Since the news spread like wildfire that I liked guys, I embraced it. I identified as gay, for almost a decade. I exchanged one closet for another, all because of attitudes like yours. Externally I was a happy, gay college kid. Inside I was in turmoil. I was living a lie for the benefit of others, wasn't that what coming out was supposed to stop? It took almost a decade and a personal epiphany for me to throw that aside, to ignore the expectations of others and to come out again. To this day, I still face discrimination. "You sleep with guys, then you're gay", "You'll come out properly one day", "You're just in denial" and so on.

Today I'm an openly bisexual man and I am honest before I begin any relationship and I can tell you, it has closed a great many doors (and beds). I can understand why some keep it a secret - being honest has lost me many potential relationships, because many still harbour attitudes related to yours: that one day, I'll decide I'm gay (or straight) and leave them. Or that I'll cheat on them. Or that I want a open relationship...

So yes, you're welcome to your opinions, you even have the right to air them. But have you considered it may not be the right thing to exercise that right? All words like yours do is make vulnerable and impressionable young bisexual men and women feel pressured upon to act in a certain way, to be something they're not. Is harming potentially young people really worth you saying what's on your mind?
More...
Posted by Phoenix0879 on June 21, 2012 at 5:15 AM · Report this
257
Bisexual men often end up with the opposite gender. The New Rosenthal study found 3 in same sex relationships, 9 in opposite sex relationships, and 19 single bi men. The issue here is complex. I have always emotionally preferred women especially bi women. But have found a couple of awesome gay men that I could partner with. But also consider this:
1) I never felt a sense of belonging in the gay community anytime I dated women I lost gay friends in my twenties. And I often didn't exist amoung the gayz.
2) there are actually more women out there than gay men ( I only date men who break the Kinsey scale -like Kinsey 9 - so gay they are practically women.)
3) I have more often than not been monogomous with both M & F. But dating bi girls has meant I could be very out in our partnership much more so than dating a gay guy or a straight girl, both tend to get jealous and threatened - actually it has been workable sometimes - but with bi women it is all cool, and it is of course difficult to find bi guys period much less find ones interested in partnering LTR

There are also a lot of other factors, social pressures, loss of identity, the fact that it is harder to bed women than men (which makes me want to keep them). But in the end it is often an emotional choice.

Plus the three bi guys I know in same sex relationships are complete BOTTOMS, I am a top and vaginal sex is far superior. Though I miss the wonderful invention of the penis at times.

Posted by Hermes on June 13, 2012 at 1:30 AM · Report this
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Bisexuals always claim its a numbers game hence why they tend to end up with partners of the opposite sex. I call bullshit. Most of them end up with people of the opposite sex due to their cowardice. They have no problem fucking people of the same sex but once its time to get serious and settle down and introduce their partner to family its always with a member of the opposite sex. How dare you bisexuals get upset with gays and lesbians for not allowing ourselves to be used as sex toys for your amusement. If it's so much a numbers game like so many of you claim then why not just stick to fucking and having relationships with members of the opposite sex and leave the gays and lesbians to those who GENUINELY desire relationships with them.
Posted by raven_brenden on June 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
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Is behavior the same as identity?

I understand why you think that people who are Bi should "come out" and declare their "bi-ness" even when they are in a monogamous relationship. I get that the more people meet people who they didn't know were bi, the more accepted and less stigmatized bisexuality becomes. On the other hand, I believe everyone has a right to privacy in their sex life. So no one is required to disclose their history or their desires to anyone they do not wish to (certainly not to any one they don't planning on engaging in sex with). Once someone is in a relationship and they are monogamous, it doesn't matter who they were previously attracted to or had been with. They are with this person now. Why is it important to say "I used to be with ....", or "under different circumstances, I could be with..."?

I mean, I'm attracted to redheads. I like redheads with freckles, without freckles, with green eyes, blue eyes or brown eyes. I like them with long hair, short hair, wavy and straight hair. My wife is a brunette. I'm not asking that she dye her hair and I don't want to be with any one else right now. In order to validate the gingers do I have to disclose my attraction? In every case? to everyone?

Ok, weak example but you get my point. My attraction to redheads is not part of my identity (and yes, I have been with one or two) but does my past behavior mean I have to disclose now, even when it has no bearing on my present situation? As a wise man once said, "it's a relationship, not a deposition". Therefore, I don't think it's important to for me to disclose useless I want to. Yes, I will still fight for ginger rights and call people out who discriminate or dog them but I don't have to put an "I heart Gingers" bumper sticker on my car. I'm not in the closet about it and I'm not ashamed, I just don't talk about it to everyone and I don't think I should have to.

Maybe Bi in a Red State
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Posted by N a Red State on May 21, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
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Is behavior the same as identity?

I understand why you think that people who are Bi should "come out" and declare their "bi-ness" even when they are in a monogamous relationship. I get that the more people meet people who they didn't know were bi, the more accepted and less stigmatized bisexuality becomes. On the other hand, I believe everyone has a right to privacy in their sex life. So no one is required to disclose their history or their desires to anyone they do not wish to (certainly not to any one they don't planning on engaging in sex with). Once someone is in a relationship and they are monogamous, it doesn't matter who they were previously attracted to or had been with. They are with this person now. Why is it important to say "I used to be with ....", or "under different circumstances, I could be with..."?

I mean, I'm attracted to redheads. I like redheads with freckles, without freckles, with green eyes, blue eyes or brown eyes. I like them with long hair, short hair, wavy and straight hair. My wife is a brunette. I'm not asking that she dye her hair and I don't want to be with any one else right now. In order to validate the gingers do I have to disclose my attraction? In every case? to everyone?

Ok, weak example but you get my point. My attraction to redheads is not part of my identity (and yes, I have been with one or two) but does my past behavior mean I have to disclose now, even when it has no bearing on my present situation? As a wise man once said, "it's a relationship, not a deposition". Therefore, I don't think it's important to for me to disclose useless I want to. Yes, I will still fight for ginger rights and call people out who discriminate or dog them but I don't have to put an "I heart Gingers" bumper sticker on my car. I'm not in the closet about it and I'm not ashamed, I just don't talk about it to everyone and I don't think I should have to.

Maybe Bi in a Red State
More...
Posted by Dollfan on May 21, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
253
Before I came out as Bi, I was straight. Therefore, according to Dan's logic, straight people don't really exist. It's just a phase for them until they come out as bi, apparently.
Posted by Noirling on March 25, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
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My bi husband and I fell in love with each other in 1993, and in 2010, he told me he was now all gay. I do believe he was bi, and it changed in his early 40s.

For anyone else in a relationship with someone who is bi or gay, the Straight Spouse Network (www.straightspouse.org) is a great resource. There are also many Yahoo groups for straight spouses, married bi/gay men and women, and couples in Mixed Orientation Marriages.
Posted by FourDaughters on March 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
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To me, this essentially reads as "I'm not biphobic... but I buy into all of the misconceptions of your typical biphobe. Furthermore, I'm going to criticize closeted bisexuals despite the fact that I just projected the very attitudes that make them hesitant to come out of the closet. While I'm at it, I'll paint bisexual activists with the same brush- as whiny, and responsible for the issues the face. And we all know that bisexual kids are usually just testing the water to being gay." (This last bit might have bugged me the most- it's a valid point that sexuality isn't really solidified in most teenagers, but Savage says "a bi-identified 36-year-old is likelier to be bisexual than a bi-identified 16-year-old"- sure, but that goes for a self-proclaimed gay,straight, or asexual 16 year old as well. Why single out bis and perpetuate the idea that we're flaky? And as others have highlighted, using bisexuals who end up in long-term hetero relationships is tired and doesn't hold water. Firstly, we're BIsexual- we're allowed to do that. Secondly, it's statistics, people; I would LOVE to have more and longer term same-sex relationships, believe me, but the fact is the opportunities just don't come up as often. I'm out of the closet- Savage makes a good point in how important it is to just come out- but countering biphobia is going to take more than that, and if it takes being a "scary" bisexual and calling people out on their bullshit, so be it).
Posted by Penny_Farthing on March 17, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
250
The 50/50 issue is a bit tired. In the end it is about identity. But just so you know I have had 25 female partners and 19 male partners and am very safe sexually. I love vaginal sex but hate anal sex of any kind which makes me very unpopular amongst the gays - especially the twink boys who I am attracted to. I tend to fall in love with girls but still had a long term relationship with a guy I loved. I look over my past and all of this has been so spontaneous I could not imagine living the life I had lived. "Straight leaning" really means you fall in love more with the opposite gender. "Gay leaning" you tend to fall in live with the same gender. What makes me 50/50 is the romantic pull towards girls is so strong but this equalized by the fact that same sex relationships have often been very convenient. I tell gay guys about my tendency towards girls before we get to involved but also tell them that I sustained a year and a half relationship with a guy. My bi friends who are gay leaning have sex with women occasionally (usually their female friends) but are most of the time chasing after cock. I know 2 bi guys in LTRs with gay men - so yes bi guys commit to same sex relationships as well.
Posted by Hermes on March 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
249
Dan Savage has been biphobic and practices bisexual erasure and has for years, and based on this article and other comments he's said about bisexuals and practicing bisexual erasure he still continues to be a bigot.
Posted by JamesNYC2122 on February 22, 2012 at 5:35 AM · Report this
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Dan, although I appreciate that you may have evolved over 20 years on the subject, I am bisexual male and biphobic and homophobic. Any person who lives in a heterosexist culture internalizes homo and bi phobia I believe. But I have also such mistrust of gay criticism over my life I realize that I am actually gay-phobic. I have avoided many gay circles because I have been deeply hurt in the gay community, I am working on it. I have dated mostly bisexual women because they are the most liberating relationships - we share the same brain and desires - I don't do so to appear "straight". Let's do everything we can to change things for the better. And the first step is for us all to admit our internalized homophobic biphobic and gay phobic behaviors and thinking to create a better world for all Queer people.
Posted by Hermes on February 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
247
There's nothing new to see here. Dan Savage has been biphobic for decades and is still biphobic and practices bisexual erasure.
Posted by Nightwood888 on February 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM · Report this
246
I think as a society we make too much of things and blow things out of proportion. Historically, we have mostly been bi sexual. and what does it matter if it is a phase or a life style as long as we are happy with who and what we are?
Posted by Maggieluvs on February 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
245
This article by Robyn Ochs outlines biphobia pretty well. http://www.robynochs.com/writing/essays/…

I am sad to say that this statement by you, Dan Savage, has hurt my feelings and I feel a little betrayed. I wanted you to be an ally and the voice of freedom from oppression. What if your son DJ identifies as bisexual? Will you deny and belittle him? Tell him it's "a phase" (hmm those words sounds a little familiar) I don't mean to hit you where it hurts or use your son but it concerns me that you can toss bisexual freedom from oppression to the wind when you are such a wonderful and powerful influence on the queer community. You are belittling yourself by taking on such a small scope.

Part of being bi is the fact that you might fall for a person of the opposite gender. Statistically there is actually a pretty high chance you might, after all the majority of the population dates people of the opposite sex.

So by falling into these relationships bisexuals aren't hiding or betraying you. On the contrary they are expressing their freedom to share their life with the person they most love. Isn't this what we all want?
Posted by Trista on February 8, 2012 at 12:08 AM · Report this
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This article by Robyn Ochs outlines biphobia pretty well. http://www.robynochs.com/writing/essays/…

I am sad to say that this statement by you, Dan Savage, has hurt my feelings and I feel a little betrayed. I wanted you to be an ally and the voice of freedom from oppression. What if your son DJ identifies as bisexual? I don't mean to hit you where it hurts or use your son but it concerns me that you can toss bisexual freedom from oppression to the wind when you are such a wonderful and powerful influence on the queer community.

Part of being bi is the fact that you might fall for a person of the opposite gender. Statistically there is actually a pretty high chance you might, after all the majority of the population dates people of the opposite sex.

So by falling into these relationships bisexuals aren't hiding or betraying you. On the contrary they are expressing their freedom to share their life with the person they most love. Isn't this what we all want?
Posted by Trista on February 8, 2012 at 12:04 AM · Report this
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@RobOlympia, I have nothing against bisexual males or females.
Posted by Mister G on February 4, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
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Mister G-Keep your biphobia and bisexual erasure to yourself. Only people who are biphobic like Mr. Savage and biphobic gay men and straight people just show how they're bigots, and don't understand human sexuality at all.
Posted by RobOlympiaWA on February 3, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
241
Yes, David, I know, I know. Europe is so much better than we are.
Posted by Mister G on January 30, 2012 at 4:01 AM · Report this
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@239 Mr. G-Only in the United States do biphobic gay men and straight people believe what you claim to be true.

This is not to say that most straight people are somehow biphobic or practice bisexual erasure, there are even some gay men who are not biphobic unlike Dan Savage has shown himself to be for years and decades and even at the present time.

Bisexuality exists in men and always has, here in Europe we actually understand bisexuality and have for hundreds of years. No wonder why a lot of Americans are so sexually repressed and have issues with human sexuality.
Posted by DavidItaly on January 29, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
239
Okay, children, there is rhetoric and then there is instinct. They are frequently at odds, because instinct tends to say things that rhetortic hates.

"Bisexual."

The only reason anyone pays any attention to "bisexuality" is the same-sex component. In our collective rat brains, it's "homosexuality lite."

At least for girls, whose bisexuality is hot, as long as they are under 25, not fat, hairy, or verbose, and make movies. Males? The minute you suck dick, you're a homo. That's what our rat brains say, whether you like it or not.

Posted by Mister G on January 25, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
Troy from IN 238
Dan, you want to convince us you aren't biphobic, the next time someone asks you if bis exist say "yes" and leave it at that. We hate it when you always say "yes, but. . . "
Posted by Troy from IN http://bipaganman.tumblr.com/ on January 19, 2012 at 5:39 AM · Report this
237
Dan is still biphobic and always has been, as are a lot of gay men who are bigoted and don't even try to understand bisexuality yet are the first to scream "homophobia!" at straight people who they all think hate them.

The anti-bi thing reflects an insecurity in gay men about their sexuality. And I'm gay. It's like homophobia in straight guys...if they're insecure in their sexuality, they fear gay people. Same thing.
Posted by David9856201 on January 15, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
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I am a bisexual man currently in an opposite sex relationship. I was out to my employer for example she said "You are a liar and a coward and don't deserve any respect." most of the men working there were gay. I was out in my graduate school 5 incidents of harassment including 2 gay faculty, 1 gay student, 1 lesbian, and a straight girl. I was out to my bisexual girl friend ( in fact all of my sexual relationships ever!) her gay therapist told her if "he is bisexual he is gay and in the closet and you should not be involved with him." and she "should stop messing around with women and go get married" - but not to me. I was out to my another employer working with a child, I heard through the grape vine that they thought I was a pervert and feared for their child, but they did not mind have a bisexual girl as employer. Just how SAFE is it to be out of the closet as a bisexual man? I have a whole long list of crap to tell and MOST of it has come from gay men. I am glad I have some very supportive gay friends but I need ALL the support I can get - and bisexual women do too.
Posted by Hermes on January 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
235
*Yawn* As usual the typical biphobia, bisexual erasure, and bigotry from Dan Savage that we all know and have come to expect from him. Dan does not represent all white gay men and most GWM, LGBT people, and heterosexuals know he's nothing but a drama queen and conceited asshole whose 'It gets better' pet project of self promotion is pointless when he says biphobic things, practices bisexual erasure, is transphobic, misogynistic, and is racist.
Posted by LeatherBoy on December 15, 2011 at 1:59 PM · Report this
234
With all due respect, how the hell is it MY problem that people who aren't really bi pretend to be? You projecting your experience of pretending to be bi on everyone is the reason why nobody takes me seriously. The mainstream LGBT movement has totally alienated me as a bisexual transman. I'm so over fighting for gay rights when cis gay men and lesbians couldn't care any less about mine.
Posted by MBKM on December 12, 2011 at 1:16 PM · Report this
233
Until Dan stops the martyr and professional victim routine about how he is so picked on by the bi community and how he has never been wrong on this issue and people need to just accept his words as infallible, I won't accept him as an activist. I'm sorry. He is a shock writer and a humorist and if he can't be more responsible, then he should leave it at that. Because I do really worry about the impact he has on bi youth.
Posted by CraigSeaTown on November 5, 2011 at 2:01 PM · Report this
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Hey, Dan! Thanks for the article. You know, it's cool that you know bisexuality exists. It really makes me feel better about that time you told a lesbian with a bisexual girlfriend to "get yourself an actual lesbian girlfriend," or how you say repeatedly that you have trouble believing that kids are actually bisexual when they tell you they are.

But Dan, I get it. I do. People in their teens? A lot of times, they don't know jack shit about their sexuality yet. But gee, I wonder what you would say if I said we should tell kids who come out as gay and lesbian--nah, guys, come back to me in ten years when you're sure. Is that how you want their friends and family to respond?

Probably not, Dan. Probably, you would want them to say, "I love you no matter who you love."

And that should be your response--whether the kid is saying they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, trans, or anything else. Because what's the worst case scenario? You've affirmed a kid's right to love whoever they want? Sure, maybe they decide later they only love boys, or girls, or marsupials. But by initially affirming their right to love whoever they want, and explore their sexuality, you've helped them understand that it's OK to do that.

Whereas your article is basically justifying a parent's right to say "You don't know anything, come back in ten years." And that's not really the kind of affirming support I want my kid to get. I think it'll probably be much less help than telling them it's ok.

You don't have to say "Yes, I agree, you're a bisexual." Your opinion on the validity of their sexuality is not required, nor is it probably wanted, based on your reaction to Rick Santorum telling you what he thinks of the validity of others' homosexuality. But you can love and support them, and to be honest, this post pretty much makes bisexuals want you to punch you in the face, because you don't seem to be a fan of doing that so much as you seem to want to judge them, and tell them how they are really feeling.
More...
Posted by wonkettle on November 5, 2011 at 3:03 AM · Report this
231
Lady Day, you haven't said anything that the other posters haven't said. Congrats, you're a tape recorder. Good day!!
Posted by jackson5 on November 3, 2011 at 10:15 PM · Report this
230
Dan's recent admission that bi men exist-all while for decades Dan claimed that bisexual men don't exist at all and supported the homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic Dr. J. Michael Bailey- was tainted with grandstanding and whining about "bi activists." But of course, he's also OK to do that, since he's SUCH a good advocate against teen bullying. Never mind how much he bullies in his own columns, a self promotional video campaign done for an MTV reality TV show makes it all better, right?
Posted by RobSFO on November 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM · Report this
229
Of course you're not going to see yourself as being biphobic, bigoted, or practicing bisexual erasure.

The bigot never thinks his bigotry is wrong and has every opinion, personal viewpoint, and study at hand to prove him right.

Congratulations Jackson5, like Dan Savage you're also a biphobic gay man, and you also practice bisexual erasure, and promote bigotry and ignorance about an entire sexuality within the GLBT community.

All while refusing to actually learn about bisexuality and getting into a pissing match with people who actually are bisexual, not ignorant about their own sexuality, and who understand that everything on the Kinsey Scale between 0-straight and 6-gay/lesbian is what bisexuality is, that you don't have to be a 3 on the scale to be a true bisexual, and that a person who is a 3 on the scale is no more or less bisexual than someone who is a 5, and Kinsey himself wrote this in his studies about human sexuality.
Posted by Lady Day on November 3, 2011 at 8:57 PM · Report this
228
Robyn Ochs is entitled to her opinion but I disagree, and am not "biphobic" for doing so. Thank you very much. :-)
Posted by jackson5 on October 31, 2011 at 10:02 PM · Report this
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I also am seeing biphobia in posts by Jackson5, and the entire rant by Dan Savage is nothing but biphobia but that's how Dan feels about us bisexuals.

Rob is correct, you don't have to be 50/50 in order to be a "true bisexual". I'm not 50/50 and I'm still bisexual and just as bisexual as someone who is 50/50.

Here's a quote from Robyn Ochs about what bisexuality is and her definition includes people who are not 50/50.

"I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted - romantically and/or sexually - to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree."

You really should study human sexuality and bisexuality more before writing even more ignorant posts about an entire sexuality that you know nothing about.

Your knowledge of human sexuality seems very, very limited. You seem to be one of those guys who forms his opinions from a few observations. You need to think outside the box.
Posted by KellyCapitolHill on October 31, 2011 at 4:58 PM · Report this
226
"LMAO Jackson5 is a typical biphobic gay man".

This cute little term "biphobic" is the real source of humor here.

"Anyone that's sexually attracted to both men and women is a "true bisexual" and you don't have to be 50/50, have sex with both genders, or be equally sexually and romantically attracted to both genders in order to be a "true bisexual".

Says you. Who made you the authority?
Posted by jackson5 on October 27, 2011 at 12:06 AM · Report this
225
LMAO Jackson5 is a typical biphobic gay man.

Anyone that's sexually attracted to both men and women is a "true bisexual" and you don't have to be 50/50, have sex with both genders, or be equally sexually and romantically attracted to both genders in order to be a "true bisexual".

I have bisexual male friends who have told me how they are 70-80% into men and 20-30% into women and they are just as much of a "true bisexual" as someone who is 50/50, and they are actual Kinsey 4's and 5's.

I've had times in my life where for years I was very into the same gender like those men I just described, times where for years I was equal, and even periods of my life where I was more into the opposite gender. I fall on multiple parts of the Kinsey scale so I don't really have a number on it.
Posted by RobOlympiaWA on October 26, 2011 at 11:56 PM · Report this
224
"Sexuality is not based on relationships or emotional attractions. It's based on who you're actually sexually attracted to. Bisexuals are sexually attracted to both genders and it doesn't have to be equal or 50/50, gay men like myself and Jackson5 are only sexually attracted to men. Fact!"

No, that is your (say it with me) O-PIN-ION, one that does not make any sense because you insinuate that getting aroused in order to willingly have sex with someone does not equal sexual attraction to them when in fact it does, you just happen to not identify emotionally with the experience, hence the necessity of considering both emotional and physical when determining whether one is gay, bi or straight, etc. You sound to me like someone who is gay with an extreme, rather than low, moderate or high preference for the same sex, and sensibly, identifies as gay, even though you are categorically bisexual (though not a TRUE bisexual as they are 50/50), and CAN if you wanted to, claim that title. IMO, if we're not talking about true bisexuality, then it doesn't really count.
Posted by jackson5 on October 25, 2011 at 12:24 AM · Report this
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Jackson5 you sound like me I'm a Kinsey 6 and gay but when I was younger I had sex with a few women and they just showed me that I'm gay and not sexually attracted to women at all which I basically knew all along.

Men like us are NOT sexually attracted to women at all even if we have had sex with them so we're not Kinsey 5's who actually are bisexual and who do unlike us, actually have sexual attraction to women.

Sexuality is not based on relationships or emotional attractions. It's based on who you're actually sexually attracted to. Bisexuals are sexually attracted to both genders and it doesn't have to be equal or 50/50, gay men like myself and Jackson5 are only sexually attracted to men. Fact!

As a gay man I have had close friendships with women but I don't fall in love with them like I do with men, and I'm not sexually attracted to women at all.
Posted by DrewNYC212 on October 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM · Report this
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"Dan who tends to speculate on the sexualities of barely legals".

Keywords: "barely legals" who often don't know what the hell they are..or what they're talking about. For the record, I as a gay man, would also be skeptical if a teen said that they were straight, gay or lesbian.

"Dan Savage basically just made a bigoted biphobic statement equating young men who claim bisexual identification with old closeted Republicans who make bigoted homophobic statements".

Only a fool would not see how you took what Dan stated out of context and twisted in every which way. Your premise that a double standard should be applied here is what's causing your confusion. Deal with that first.
Posted by HowWrongYouAre on October 13, 2011 at 9:12 PM · Report this
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Dan Savage said:

"(And to those who insist that my inability to accept someone's professed sexual identity without question makes me a bigot: Ted Haggard, George Rekers, and Larry Craig all identify as straight. You believe them? Or are you a bigot?)"

Except that all those men you listed were caught publicly in same sex encounters. The teenage young men you refer to however deserve the benefit of the doubt, oh Dan who tends to speculate on the sexualities of barely legals.

Dan Savage basically just made a bigoted biphobic statement equating young men who claim bisexual identification with old closeted Republicans who make bigoted homophobic statements.

Posted by soached on October 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM · Report this
220
RENAME THIS ARTICLE TO "HIPSTER LOVE"
Posted by COOLER THEN YOU BEFORE IT WAS COOL on October 12, 2011 at 1:12 PM · Report this
219
"like Jackson5 wrote they're not sexually attracted to women at all".

Where did I write that? Your entire analysis of my post is skewed since I didn't write that.

"Jackson5-It doesn't matter what someone self identifies as, if they're sexually attracted to both men and women- as you don't need to fall in love or want relationships with both genders to be bisexual, then they're bisexual even if they want to claim that they're somehow "gay" or "straight".

You don't have to tell me that identification does not necessarily mean anything. I could have sworn that that is a point I made in my last post. Conversely, it could mean everything. I'm sure many trans would agree. Secondly, why should I or anyone else defer to your criteria of bisexuality, homosexuality etc? Every definition of sexual orientation that I've read does NOT omit the emotional attraction. Moreover, sexual attraction cannot always be taken at face value. Fact!
Posted by jackson5 on October 10, 2011 at 11:40 PM · Report this
218
Well said Hermes I agree with you.
Posted by RobSFO on October 10, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
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Jackson5-It doesn't matter what someone self identifies as, if they're sexually attracted to both men and women- as you don't need to fall in love or want relationships with both genders to be bisexual, then they're bisexual even if they want to claim that they're somehow "gay" or "straight".

On the other hand we've all known of gay men who are closeted or in complete denial of their sexuality who call themselves "straight" and some of them have girlfriends and wives and while they have relationships with women and even an emotional connection with a woman that doesn't make them heterosexual at all despite their self labeling of "straight" when they're actually gay men.
Posted by SeattleGrrrrrl on October 10, 2011 at 3:23 PM · Report this
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Actual Kinsey 5's are bisexual like Hermes said.

Based on what Jackson5 wrote about himself he'd be a Kinsey 6 since he wrote about while despite having sexual experiences with women he's not sexually attracted to women at all. This would make him a Kinsey 6. What he described can happen with gay men. I know gay men who told me how when they were younger and either as teenagers or young adults they did not know about their sexuality then and had their first sexual experiences with women and by having sex with women it made them learn that they are gay and that like Jackson5 wrote they're not sexually attracted to women at all.

There are also a lot of gay men who are or were married to women and had sex with their wives and this doesn't make them bisexual or even a Kinsey 5 since they're gay men and not sexually attracted to women at all.
Posted by RobSFO on October 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM · Report this
215
Failure to affirm does not equal discrimination.
Open-mindedness, ability to perform sexually, curiosity, experimentation or other incidental lusts do not equal bisexuality. I am a "5" that has banged two girls out of curiosity. Big deal! There is nothing else they can do for me as sexual orientation is about relationships and ideals, not orgasms, the latter of which is often guided by a mysterious part of our nature that need not be affirmed - accepted but not celebrated. Yes, that means that there are many non-existent bisexuals, not because bisexuality doesn't exist but because not everyone choosing that identification, should be choosing it. In my opinion, some people's muddled/loose definition of bisexuality is the Achilles heel of this entire issue. So many get emotional and hysterical, but simply put, if there are any qualitative/quantitative differences about one's desire for the sexes, he or she probably is not bisexual. On a side note: it's it ironic (while on the subject of discrimination) that many self-proclaimed bisexuals do in fact discriminate between the sexes in one way or the other? I hope what I stated illustrates how this issue is not simply about declaring the existence or non-existence bisexuality, but rather arguing the legitimacy of some people's choosing of that label. Not all so-called biphobes or people who express less than full celebration of someone's declaration of bisexuality are "gold star" or "straight as an arrow". Again, a Kinsey "5" here with no internalized biphobia, just a lot of introspection.
Posted by jackson5 on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM · Report this
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As far as the Kinsey one or two or three we are out too and actually it is a bit more difficult because of staight female homo-anxiety but I have found that a great deal of that homoanxiety biphobia is from gay men telling them we don't exist, we are really gay. So I have had a few painful break ups because of this. The Bi now, gay later etc. Bullshit is actually harmful but it does hold as truth for the Kinsey 5, who get tired of gay harassment and finally go gay completely (but fuck their fag hags privately and discretely from time to time). There is really bisexual harassment and discrimination both in LgBT and the straight world and it is not always known how hard that is.
Posted by Hermes on September 22, 2011 at 4:40 AM · Report this
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Dan I am not one to hold a grudge but there have been some bisexual male misunderstandings I have read in your column since the early 1990's. My friends would tell me I would read and I would be angry. The truth is I came out at 19 and when I came out it was not celebrated by my young gay and lesbian peers. I was ridiculed and excluded by many. The good thing was a bisexual woman and I then dated and we were out together and hooked up with other boys and girls and girls girls girls and boy, and boy, boy and girl etc. So I ended up having a very envious college sex life. But even after this it really has always been tough when bi and single. I do hope that other men and women come out as well. We could be all having so much more fun. Now at 39, I am at grieving point as to just how hard it has been and decided gee just because I can pass as straight with my bi girl friend maybe I should be helping make it a safe place for other bisexual men and women. So we are organizing but of course the young ones stay for a moment get affirmed and then run off to have sex. Because bi activism is actually a little boring compared to the gay scene or even the straight scene, and in the end it is older men and women eating cookies and socializing about our bi lives and then returning to our day jobs. I know so many bi men in marriages who I wish would simply post their orientation (in some way) on facebook or whatever remembering how hard it was at one time and consider young people. Because when I was young no gay person really got it except one, a performance artist who said he was gay but knowing I was upset and alone revealed that he was bisexual but chose to go with men exclusively. So I felt affirmed for once. And Though I went in the opposite direction because I kept falling in love with women the one man I fell in live with is a life long friend and never want to erase my bisexual past or present. I look forward to a future when it is easier for men and women to be out on the bi side.
More...
Posted by Hermes on September 22, 2011 at 4:22 AM · Report this
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"@210-Boogie It's not the fault of us bisexuals that you were closeted and chickenshit and knew that you're gay yet didn't come out and lied about your actual sexuality instead of just saying how you're gay".

Did he say that it was bisexuals' fault? Stop being hysterical.

"No not all bisexuals do or even want to, or always can hide as "heterosexuals". It's like
someone who is a gay man or lesbian, hiding as a heterosexual it does not work. There are bisexuals who only fall in love with the same gender and are more sexually attracted to the
same gender, or who have same gender partners and they certainly did not have a "choice" in
their sexual partner and pretending to be Hetero isn't an option for them".

That's so funny to me. If you're truly bisexual, why WOULDN'T you have the ABILITY to completely and happily assimilate into either a gay or straight identity? It seems that some people want those Kinsey 2's and 5's to be counted as bisexual on a technicality. Though in reality they should just be considered homo or hetero flexible. More often than not, for those falling into that group, there is no stable orientation towards both genders - usually just some type of sexual partialism, or intermittent or subtle attraction that may not even be that sexual in nature to the gender other than the primary gender. Being a "5" myself, I CAN identify as bisexual is I wanted to, but I choose not to, and don't feel that anyone else should either.
And I'm willing to bet that many of the "bisexual" activists criticizing Dan here have an actual experience similar to that of mine - being a 5 that is, but like many in this "GLBT" community, have a penchant for drama. I guess with there being so many advances made in gay civil rights, people are getting bored, and need a "new" battle to fight to add some excitement to their lives. Yawn!! Incidentally, I will also bet that only a few, if any at all, of Kinsey 1's ever bitch about so-called biphobia. Marinate on why that is.

"Persecution of bisexuals is just as bad as homophobia and persecution of gay men and lesbians is. Do you actually think that just because gays and lesbians are not being persecuted that this somehow means that discrimination against bisexuals doesn't happen? Or that bisexuals somehow have it "Easier" than gays and lesbians do and that no real discrimination happens against us"?

What kind of discrimination? Seems to me that outside relationship issues, there is no discrimination of bisexuality per se in the way that matters - legally.

"If we eradicated bisexuals from gay men’s sexual, romantic, and relationship lives, who would be left"?

Gay men? Just a wild guess.
More...
Posted by jackson5 on September 21, 2011 at 5:38 AM · Report this
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@210-Boogie It's not the fault of us bisexuals that you were closeted and chickenshit and knew that you're gay yet didn't come out and lied about your actual sexuality instead of just saying how you're gay.

Way to be completely biphobic and support that idiot Dan Savage's biphobic viewpoints boogie.

You're rewriting history as various religions and societies have persecuted bisexual men just
as much as they have persecuted homosexual men. Most homosexual men just married women and pretended to be heterosexual which is what you're claiming that most or all bisexual men do, in fact there are A LOT of gay men who still do this and even you at one time pretended to actually be attracted to women and even gay men can easily hide as Heterosexuals at any time and can have the "heterosexual privileges" that you claim that bisexuals can somehow magically have all the time.

No not all bisexuals do or even want to, or always can hide as "heterosexuals". It's like
someone who is a gay man or lesbian, hiding as a heterosexual it does not work. There are bisexuals who only fall in love with the same gender and are more sexually attracted to the
same gender, or who have same gender partners and they certainly did not have a "choice" in
their sexual partner and pretending to be Hetero isn't an option for them.

Meanwhile you have tons of closeted/down low gay men and lesbians who know fully well that they're gay or lesbian and then marry the opposite gender.

Persecution of bisexuals is just as bad as homophobia and persecution of gay men and lesbians is. Do you actually think that just because gays and lesbians are not being persecuted that this somehow means that discrimination against bisexuals doesn't happen? Or that bisexuals somehow have it "Easier" than gays and lesbians do and that no real discrimination happens against us? What a joke you are. Oscar Wilde was bisexual and open about it and persecuted and there have been other bisexuals through history who have been persecuted as well.

Savage says that ‘bisexuals’ should date their own kind. This is saying they are a separate
category of people from gays and lesbians and should leave those pure homos alone and stay with their own.

I think it is a) Horrendous to the form of fascist and promoting segregation and

b) laughable, because, even boogie admits that being gay means you are going to come into
contact at some point or other with ‘bisexuals’.

If we eradicated bisexuals from gay men’s sexual, romantic, and relationship lives, who would be left?

You're a gay man so I did sort of expect you to be whiny and victimy like some can be but
just because you're gay it doesn't mean that you're completely excluded from all things
"heterosexual" as you put it.

If you're closeted and not out or in your case angry at the time you spent closeted and lying
about your sexuality I can see how you'd actually believe this. I know gay men who came out in the 70s and 80s who have total acceptance and respect from their friends and family, they have children, they have a husband, a house, and they're legally married. Can't get much more of an imitation of heterosexuality than that.

@Hermes-Who are some of the bisexual men that create art besides the ones that we know about like Robert Mapplethorpe and Salvador Dali?
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Posted by It doesn't get better if you're Bisexual or Trans on September 16, 2011 at 9:15 PM · Report this
210
Dan, I love you. You always say what I'm thinking but much better than I would say it. I used to identify as bi because it felt safer somehow. I wasn't conscious of my internalized homophobia but it certainly felt comforting to feel like I still have one foot in the "normal" heterosexual world as opposed to being a complete and total homo. Now because of my personal experience, I can't help but wonder when a guy tells me he's bi. AND I fucking hate it when bi people bitch about their supposed oppression. Come on, unlike us homos bisexuals have a choice about what kind of life they lead, therefore they can enjoy heterosexual priviledge any time they like. Not to mention most societies through history have been fairly tolerant of discreet bisexuality while terrorizing homosexuals. I would never seriously date a bisexual because I want to be with someone who knows what it's like to be completely gay and completely excluded (for life) from all the things straight people take for granted. A bi guy - whether he's really bi or a gay posing as bi - wouldn't do it for me at all. Let them date other bi guys since there is supposedly more of them anyway.
Posted by boogie on September 15, 2011 at 7:04 PM · Report this
209
I aggree with the above statement straight women are really worse than gay men on the issue of dating. But it gets worse when they have gay friends. Luckily I dated a lot if bi and bi curious girls. But really it is very hard, not just my penis. In my 20's it was easier because so sex crazy I would spontaneously flirt and date all the time. But this is why the bisexuals should seperate from LGBT and Straight so we can meet each other and date each other.
Posted by Hermes on September 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM · Report this
208
Yes there is biphobia in Dan, but he has some great points! I want bisexual men especially to come out. I am in the art world and a famous female photographer said to me "bisexuals don't exist". It was absurd I was out for 19 years, so I did something unethical and outed men in the art world. Yes unpolite, wrong. But guess what it is really hard being one of the few out bisexuals, told you don't exist, and have fellow bisexuals hide in the closet. If you are bisexual man or woman try to reach out to form connections and community it is needed now.
Posted by Hermes on September 13, 2011 at 9:00 AM · Report this
207
Travlynrn-So I guess when a teenager or young adult says that he/she is gay/lesbian or even heterosexual we shouldn't believe them either. ;) Many people who once identified as gay/lesbian and straight/hetero turn out to be bisexual.

Still what Savage is doing by telling bisexual teens/young adults that they don't exist and that they're just going to probably eventually come out as lesbian/gay is completely hypocritical for someone who supposedly is supposed to care about GLBT teens and young adults. Savage has not changed how he's biphobic and practices bisexual erasure at all even if he wants to claim he has.

That's nice that ALL of your gay male friends supposedly first thought they were bisexual or were chickenshit and stayed closeted when they knew they were gay men but I know gay men who have been out since they were 12 and even as teenagers and this was in the 70s and early 80s.

I do agree with you about how I tire of people of ANY sexual orientation even gay/lesbian who are deeply closeted complain about how people who aren't heterosexual are second class citizens and treated like pariahs by everyone and not accepted, etc. yet these people aren't out at all!
Posted by Nightwood88 on August 26, 2011 at 11:27 PM · Report this
206
I think Dan Savage has it right with this article. I think the idea of bisexuals coming out of the closet would make us seem less obscure, and therefore more accepted by the gay & straight communities. I don't know about you guys, but I've had more problems with being accepted by the GAY community, personally. If we were more of a presence, the whole concept of bisexuality couldn't be ignored, demonized, not believed to be real, etc. And, if you don't want to come out of the closet and/or don't think it's necessary, hey...that's your prerogative , of course....just don't bitch about not being accepted. Same concept as.....if you don't vote, don't bitch about the government.

As far as Dan Savage's stating he's more likely to believe a 36-year-old bi-identified person than a 16-year-old boy....well...c'mon....so would most people. I've been neck-deep in the gay community since I was 12-years-old and EVERY single one of my male gay friends said they were bisexual before coming out as gay. Is it a generalization? Yes. Are there ACTUAL 16-year-old boys who are bisexual? Sure. But generalizations are in place because they're commonplace occurrences; and every single one of us ushers a generalization right along at some point or another, no matter HOW PC people (especially in the great white Pacific Northwest) try to pretend they are.

In summary, Dan Savage...you did it right.
Posted by travlynrn on August 26, 2011 at 5:43 AM · Report this
205
Great points. I've been out for years, and was always out to my partner, but it's still something that is greeted with skepticism because I'm married to a man. I am determined to be visible and proud though. I attend SSM rallys here in Australia and write about stuff...latest piece is about being bi.

www.insiderose.com :)
Posted by Rosiepants on August 17, 2011 at 11:15 PM · Report this
204
Like usual Dan Savage is showing how he's biphobic, practices bisexual erasure, and wants to shift the blame for gay and lesbian youth and adults who stay closeted onto bisexuals.

There's nothing new here from Dan Savage as he's been writing this biphobic nonsense for decades and he's made a carrer out of being biphobic and transphobic. Furthermore he does not speak for gay men or for the larger gay male "community" or the GLBT "community". Nobody was surprised when it was revealed that Dan Savage started his whole "It gets better" project not because he wants to help GLBT youth/adults-as is evident from this essay here where he claims how bisexual youth and young adults don't exist and are just going to come out as gay/lesbian- but just for self promotion, money, fame, and a reality TV show on MTV.

@202 BrianKC-Then as a gay man you must know how A LOT of gay men cheat on each other, love to cause drama, love to lie, and love to use men just for sex. ;)

A lot of bisexual men don't want to get involved with gay men who are just going to use them for sex and not actually want a relationship. Bisexual women don't want to get involved with Lesbians who are just going to use them for sex and who don't actually want a relationship at all and constantly ask the bisexual woman "Now when are you going to start accepting that you're lesbian?"

I read 109's reply, there's nothing wrong with him. He's honest about what he wants from his sexual partners and not everyone that's bisexual or even gay wants to have sex with their friends.

Most bisexual men and women are out about their sexuality already and there are even a lot of gay men who have the attitude of "The fact that I'm gay is MY business and the business of my sexual partners and nobody else's at all!".

I do agree with 109 about how being groped by men at bars or dance clubs is annoying and rude. I know gay men who don't even like that shit. The guys that do it think they're being hot or sexy and I'm not a prude but it's not something I like and I have never done it to someone else.
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Posted by DavidinOlympia74 on August 15, 2011 at 5:31 PM · Report this
203
Hola, Dan. I am a 17 year old bisexual female. Make no mistake, I am Bi, capital B. I'm not out, and the reason is because I'm terrified of being told it's a phase. Which is what you implied. I admit that it is may be a part of the coming out process for some people, and that's too bad because it does make adults less likely to believe that some teenagers are actually bi.

At the end of the article, you are telling bi people to come out- but earlier you wrote that when a teen self identifies as bisexual, you don't believe them. Maybe you meant that we should wait till we're twenty then throw a Pride Party?

And no, biphobia won't be demolished if everyone comes out.

Thank you for the attempt, Dan. But you haven't convinced me to tell people.
Posted by MelindaDB46 on August 15, 2011 at 5:23 PM · Report this
202
@63 YES! i could not have said this any better! you hit the nail on the head with "Only one bi man I know has ever come out to his girlfriends. On the other hand, all bi men I know tell all their male lovers that they're bi, and it does feel like they're saying "so don't expect a relationship with me, I only have those with women."" wow.

the lame argument from bi's that they are not being "accepted" is really kind of whining bullshit. fuck whoever you want. be in a relationship with whoever you want. BUT, just because i, as a gay man, don't want to fuck around with a bi man (who may or may not be in a relationship with a woman) on his terms only, doesn't mean i don't "accept" him. it just means that i'm not going to invest my time, energy and emotion into casual sex which will probably not go anywhere and just end up making me feel used. now tell me, who's not respecting who?

before you put your bitch wings on and jump my ass for posting my opinion, go back and read #109 for perspective...
Posted by brianinkc on August 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM · Report this
201
If one more person shakes their head at me and pretends that I don't exist . . .

Listen. I am sixteen years old. I am female. I identify as pansexual.

A lot of people say that pansexuality and bisexuality are similar. I can see that. Maybe that's why this irks me so freaking much.

Listen, Dan Savage. I have a mother who has one job. And her job is to smile and shake her head in disbelief at everything serious that comes out of my mouth. When I told her I didn't believe in God, she laughed. When I told her I needed a therapist, she shrugged and smiled. When she walked in on me with matches in my skin, she shook her head with a grin like it was a phase. I haven't come out to her because, much like you apparently have, she would slap on a knowing smile and tell me that I'll get over it eventually.

I don't care if it is a fucking phase, Mr. Savage.

Because the last thing I need- no, the last thing any "different" teenager needs -is for someone to shake their head and tell them that "Oh, I was there once in my life, too". That doesn't help. All it does is tell me that I'm wrong and that I /will/ change.

Being told that I /will/ change by a gay icon is worse than being told that I need to change by some homophobic sign-toting fuckass on a street corner.

Who knows. Maybe I'll decide I like girls when I'm old and wise. Maybe I'll decide I like boys. Maybe I'll decide I like genderqueers. Maybe I'll just my a shit-ton of cats. Who knows.

You don't.

Don't pretend like you do.
Posted by UmbrellaSkylight on August 5, 2011 at 1:19 AM · Report this
200
The paper mentionned above is in Biological Psychology, already available online as uncorrected proof but accepted paper.
Posted by prurq on July 29, 2011 at 7:41 AM · Report this
199
News! News!

Sexual arousal patterns of bisexual men revisited
In press as of July 29th 2011
A.M. Rosenthal, D. Sylva, A. Safron and J.M. Bailey

They say:
"We examined sexual arousal patterns of highly selected bisexual men. • On average, they had bisexual subjective and genital sexual arousal patterns"

Let's see if this paper gets as much publicity as the infamous 2005 one (publicized by the even more infamous Times' Article),with the same amount of critical distance in the mainstream (i.e., none). Then we will know if bisexual erasure is real.
Posted by prurq on July 29, 2011 at 7:39 AM · Report this
198
NEWS ! NEWS !
Sexual arousal patterns of bisexual men revisited
Biological Psychology
Article in Press,
A.M. Rosenthal, D. Sylva, A. Safron and J.M. Bailey

"We examined sexual arousal patterns of highly selected bisexual men. • On average, they had bisexual subjective and genital sexual arousal patterns."

Let's see if this study has as much attention as the 2005 Rieger et al's study... Then we will see if there is bisexual erasure or not.
Posted by prurq on July 29, 2011 at 7:30 AM · Report this
197
Ugh more Biphobia from Dan Savage.

I stopped caring or having anything to do with Dan Savage when you read shit like this that's passed off as "advice" and "truth" by Dan Savage who is very vocal about how he's biphobic and does not understand bisexuality at all.

Dan is also very Transphobic and my Trans friends do not like him at all.

Dan Savage is super transphobic, as has been noted on more than one occasion. He’s also biphobic. And an all around general asshole. I can forgive him for that last thing, but transphobia and biphobia are not okay.
Posted by PDXScottPDX on July 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM · Report this
196
Ugh more Biphobia from Dan Savage.

I stopped caring or having anything to do with Dan Savage when you read shit like this that's passed off as "advice" and "truth" by Dan Savage who is very vocal about how he's biphobic and does not understand bisexuality at all.

Dan is also very Transphobic and my Trans friends do not like him at all.

Dan Savage is super transphobic, as has been noted on more than one occasion. He’s also biphobic. And an all around general asshole. I can forgive him for that last thing, but transphobia and biphobia are not okay.
Posted by ScottPDX on July 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this
195
You're hitting the wrong target Dan. Place the blame where it really lies : people who aren't bi.

If every person in the world was GGG then bi people would be able to come out without issues. As it is we get hassle from both the straight and gay communities.

Straight women are probably worst for this. I have been told repeatedly that I'm 'really gay' (I'm not, in fact I generally prefer women), that they couldn't date me because I'd been with a man (so what?), because I'd obviously be too kinky for them (I'm not) and that I should hide my identity to increase the likelihood of dates.

Neither does it help that the last guy who I was really attracted to on initial sight didn't conform to many of the gay subcultures but immediately discounted me as being a 'dirty bi'. This was at a Pride event..

Why is it so hard for people to accept that my sexual identity is important to me, even if I am a monogamous bi man who isn't looking for a lot of partner swapping or orgies?

There's lots of ways of being bi. Everyone should grow the fuck up and actually *ask* people what sort of relationship and sex they want rather than making unwarranted assumptions.
Posted by UKGuy on July 20, 2011 at 5:24 PM · Report this
Fortunate 194
Ant, thanks for the reply. I will respond just to this one comment because, as you said, this could go on and on.

You said, "I'm just not sure why you're surprised that it rubs people the wrong way."

For two reasons. One is that I don't get why someone would want to pressure someone to date people they simply weren't interested in. What ever my reasons, I am not comfortable with the idea of dating a bi guy. Others may be able to pressure me into actually doing it so as not to be labeled anti bi or bi-phobic of some such term, but that isn't going to make me any less uncomfortable with it. You can pressure a change in behaviour, but not in feelings.

And who wants to date a guy who is not comfortable dating them but is only doing it because everyone is going to get on his case otherwise or call him bi-phobic or whatever? I would think people would be happy to have those who would not be comfortable dating them self select themselves out of their dating pool.

The other reason is because I don't think that most people would give nearly the same reaction if it were different criteria.

If someone of a particular religion decides they only want to get involved with people of the same religion no one really seems to care. I have never heard of anyone pressuring a Catholic to date a Muslim or an atheist because not wanting to do so is somehow wrong.

I have a Jewish friend who decided that he wanted that cultural and religious common ground and so decided to only date Jewish guys. I'm not Jewish, but his decision to date Jewish guys never rubbed me the wrong way. I get why he would want to limit his dating to guys like that.

Honestly, there are many guys who wouldn't want to date me for what ever reason. They only want to date someone of the same religion and that isn't me. They really only like to go for blonds and I have black hair.

People like what they like and want what they want and when that isn't me I don't get upset about it. I just accept that this isn't the person for me.

After all, the majority of guys are straight, and so wouldn't want to date me. Should I get upset and suggest that all straight guys should be open to the possibility of dating a gay guy? What if he misses that one, particular, gay guy who would do it for him? But if he likes women and wants to stick with women why shouldn't he? If he is bi and wants to stick to women why shouldn't he? And if I am gay and want to stick with gay guys why shouldn't I?

I just think that in most other respects we all understand that we are not entitled to be found attractive by everyone else, or to be able to date everyone else, when it comes to other details and criteria. In most other respects we all seem to understand that not everyone is going to be into us for any number of reasons. But this one reason rubs some the wrong way when the others, generally, do not.

So that's why I am surprised. Or I should say I don't get. I can't say I am really surprised by it but I don't understand it.

I mean, let me ask you this honestly. If I had characteristics that you found attractive, but I was not comfortable dating bi guys, would you still want to date me? If not then what difference does it make? And if so, why? Because I don't get why someone would want to, and as an extension I don't get why someone would be rubbed the wrong way if they didn't want to.

Maybe I'm just too pragmatic when being on the other end of it. If someone isn't into me I have always been of the attitude that there are other fish in the sea and never really got too upset about it. Why always seemed irrelevant. If they aren't into it then it isn't meant to be.
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Posted by Fortunate on July 20, 2011 at 10:09 AM · Report this
193
Quote: "and now I am with someone I am very compatible with and, with a little luck, will be with for life. We have that common ground, and one of the common ground things is we share the same sexual orientation. ... Being more specific about what I want may have resulted in it taking longer to find the right guy, but the wait was worth it."

Well, I agree: it's all about common ground, isn't it? I'm glad to hear that you found someone right for you. I'm all for being more specific in what you want when you're looking for a life partner. It's just that I oppose the practice of ruling out entire demographic groups absolutely, simply because there are always exceptions, even on the issue of common ground.

If you had said instead that you were strongly drawn to other gay men, but might reconsider a bi man if everything else about the relationship seemed right (however unlikely that may seem to you), it would be a completely different conversation. But it's your choice, of course; I'm just not sure why you're surprised that it rubs people the wrong way.

I won't respond to everything you said 'cause this could go on forever (though it would probably make a really interesting conversation in person). But to answer this question:

Quote: "That's great if you can do that, but how you get to know them enough to decide if they are compatible without going on a date or two I don't understand."

I can usually read enough in the initial conversation, before it even gets to the exchanging of phone numbers. Of course this wouldn't work if a stranger walked straight up to me and asked me out, but that scenario is rare for me... and I'd still want to talk first.

Quote: "But then I have to wonder, would the people you eliminate for some characteristic say the same thing about your process of elimination that bisexuals are saying about mine? What is the difference?"

I don't know what anybody I've turned down would have to say. But I do know what's going on in my head.

I'm just really good at reading people in terms of compatibility. And despite Woody Allen's quip about bisexuality doubling your chances of getting a date, I've figured out over time (the hard way) that I'm truly compatible with very few people. But the experience of it is intuituve: when it's not the right match, it's like I can see the end of the relationship before it even begins. So why begin?

I have some dealbreakers, yes, but none of them are broad demographic categories (race, gender, sexual orientation, height, profession, etc.).

A lot of this sensibility came from being part of several minorities. When it comes to common ground, culture and bias, I've had to learn to read people very quickly and reasonably accurately as a matter of survival. The multiple minorities thing also means I don't have the luxury of ruling out people who aren't part of all the same demographic groups.

It's been necessary to be open to the exceptions: the gay man who understands bisexuality, the white woman who's in tune with black culture, etc. and I think I'm better off for it. That said, I too eventually found a long term partner with who I do have a lot of common ground, in both the obvious ways, and sublte ways.

Anyway, to summarize, in answer to your "what's the difference?", we seem to draw the lines differently. To use psychological lingo, I'm using traits instead of types.
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Posted by Ant on July 19, 2011 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Fortunate 192
Ant, Thanks for the comments:

Quote: "But "being out" only counts for so much. As a black man, most of my people are "out" about our heritage whether we want to be or not. I'm sure my presence has changed many people's perceptions of black people for the good. Yet we still face lots of prejudice, much of which is based on people's pre-existing biases."

I understand this, but I do think there is a bit of a difference with being gay. If you are black you are typically born into and raised with a black family. If you are friends with people they have become friends with you knowing you are black already, and if someone has an issue with you being black they are going to stay outside of your circle of friends and family to begin with.

If you are gay or bisexual, or asexual or transgendered, your family isn't going to be like you, and may have anti whatever attitudes about you without knowing you are one of "those" people. Same with friends. You may have friends who think they don't like non straight people.

Coming out as gay or bisexual or other not immediately identifiable sexual minority severely challenges these people who are already in your life but don't realize this fact about you. And that is where change comes. I mean, even Dick Chaney has come out in favor of same sex marriage because his daughter is a lesbian.

Being black doesn't have that kind of impact because not only do people already know without it having to be told to them, but your family is most likely already like you and don't need a change of attitude. But since being gay or bi happens across the spectrum and can pop up in any family it can really have an impact when you come out that way.

Quote:"By the way, I'd never suggest that you ignore your own life experience, especially in choosing who to date. But a big part of being non-prejudiced lies in having the humility to recognize just how limited one's own experience is, and therefore leaving a lot of space open for the unknown. "

Well, thank you for that at least. It seems that many people are suggesting that people like me should simply date people we don't want to in order to avoid being labeled as prejudiced, which doesn't make much sense to me in the long run.

I know my experiences have limitations. But I think that when it come to who a person feels comfortable dating that it is one of those areas where pressure to do what isn't comfortable should not be put on them. After all, would you want to really date someone who actually isn't comfortable dating you but is doing it just because they are afraid of being called prejudiced? I think dating is one of those few areas where people should be allowed their choices without criticism.

Quote: "So I'm just saying why not screen out the bi men who don't want LTRs with other guys, rather than bi men altogether?"

Well, I did that once. Not that I knew he was bi when I started to date him, he told me he was gay. But after he admitted he was bi we still went out, and we made plans for our futures together, and then he decided after several years that he really didn't want to be with a guy for the rest of his life.

But also, that isn't the only reason I don't date bi guys. The common ground issue is just as big of a thing for me.

Quote: "Ironically, you probably already know some of us but mistakenly think that we're gay. And by screening us in this way, you have unintentionally become one of the main reasons why many of us end up with women, as well as becoming a deterrent to more bisexual men coming out."

Well, I know several who are out. As I said in a prior post, they all ended up with women. It is possible I have some acquaintances I don't know are bi, but of my friends we pretty much talk about this stuff and I know who identifies as bi or gay. If any of them are lying I can't say.

But I don't accept responsibility for bi guys not being out or not dating men just because I personally don't date them. We all like to think we have great influence on others, but I know I don't have that kind of power over any other individual. There are gay guys who have no problem with dating bi guys. And there are other bi guys. There are men out there for bi guys to date. I'm just not one of them.

Quote: "I'm not sure if the kids thing is that big of a factor for many of us--it sure isn't amongst the bisexuals I know (who are generally out)."

Well, I am not saying it is a universal, but of the bi guys I know, almost all have children.

Quote: "You said "you have to date a lot of people and screen out those who aren't compatible", whereas I instead screen out those who aren't compatible first, and consequently, date VERY FEW people, which helps me find good partners without having to go on a lot of crappy first and second dates that don't go anywhere. "

That's great if you can do that, but how you get to know them enough to decide if they are compatible without going on a date or two I don't understand.

Unless you are basically doing what I am doing, and deciding on some specific characteristics or attributes you don't care for and automatically eliminating them from consideration for dating. Perhaps you just have a longer list of attributes you don't care for and so eliminate a higher number of people. But then I have to wonder, would the people you eliminate for some characteristic say the same thing about your process of elimination that bisexuals are saying about mine? What is the difference?

Quote: "But if I'd decided that I would only date other bisexuals, I would have missed out on a previous boyfriend, who was a wonderful gay man who also happened to "get it". Which would have been sad because it was a great relationship,"

Well, I am glad that you had a good experience from that. But I can say there are a couple of people I wish I hadn't dated. The first bisexual guy I dated we were together for over three years, and in the end I felt like he wasted three years of my dating life. Not because he was bi, but because he was a liar and made promises he didn't keep. But just saying, I don't have the, "every relationship helps us grow" attitude. That one just made me very mistrustful of people in general for a long time.

The only good thing was that by not keeping his promises he probably prevented a bigger disappointment down the road, and now I am with someone I am very compatible with and, with a little luck, will be with for life. We have that common ground, and one of the common ground things is we share the same sexual orientation. For us that is important. If it isn't for other people then that's great. But for me it is and it has worked out. Being more specific about what I want may have resulted in it taking longer to find the right guy, but the wait was worth it.
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Posted by Fortunate on July 11, 2011 at 8:38 AM · Report this
191
Well, sorry I didn't tattoo BI on my forehead, Dan, but if anyone DOES ask, I DO tell. However, since I'm with a woman - together nearly 12 years, married about half of them - people assume I'm lesbian. In practical terms, I suppose what we have (my wife is bi, too) is a 'lesbian' relationship because we're happily monogamous (yeah, I know, hard to believe, isn't it? But true.)

And y'know what? I don't give a rat's ass whether you believe I'm bi or not, because, as I understand it, you're not interested in women in any way and you're married, too. Of all the things in the world to worry about, that's way, way down on the list.

So - I love your work, been reading it for years, and as one old Rogers Park denizen to another I really enjoyed your autobiography. Plus I think you're a card-carrying hero for the It Gets Better project. But on the bisexuality issue, I think you're mistaken.
Posted by Lee Rowan on July 8, 2011 at 10:34 PM · Report this
190
Thank you. This topic is strong on my mind. I don't beleive labeling is important, but I do think one should be proud of who they are, how they feel, and this includes who they are into. I beleive many are afraid to come out because of the stereotype that bi's are sluts who can not commit, and once they do commit they are no longer bi but must go under the title of gay or hedero. This is a shame. Your feelings do not shut off when you commit. Being open about my sexuality is the only reason my relationship is so good, I am not sneaking around hiding feelings. I would love to find a proud bisexual community. If there is any knowledge of this I would love to hear about it. One can not be accepted until they accept themselves.
Posted by Robzy on July 8, 2011 at 12:24 PM · Report this
189
@172 (JamesNYC2122)

QUOTE: "These other terms will just confuse people more about bisexuality and they don't do any good and are used by people who have internalized biphobia so they can avoid coming out as bisexual or telling people that they're actually bisexual."

I appreciate your concern about internalized biphobia, but I think you've misunderstood the point of the site. He isn't suggesting that we ditch the term "bisexual" and identify with these terms instead. He's just pointing out that we're a diverse group and he's proposing a model for recognizing that diversity. If anything, it's more akin to the Kinsey Scale or the Klein Orientation Grid, but using types instead of traits.

So, yes, most of the 12 types are forms of bisexuality. He didn't break down Hetero- homo- or asexuality into multiple types because his site is focused on understanding bisexuality in particular. This is also why the typing system doesn't cover trans, intersex, genderqueer, fetishes, etc.

Although bisexual unity is important, we also need to point out to the general public that there are many many different kinds of bisexual attraction, identity, and behaviour. A lot of biphobia is based on people's experience with one sub-group--e.g. closeted married men--which they falsely generalize to bisexuals as a whole.

Type models can be very useful for identifying diversity that might otherwise be ignored or misunderstood. For example, his test can highlight bisexual tendencies in those who might otherwise identify as gay or straight.

While there is some small danger that it will misused, such as by diluting the concept of bisexuality, I see no reason to take such a pessimistic view of the model or the outcomes. Judging by the comments on his site, most readers see the value in his work. Maybe you need to give us more credit.
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Posted by Ant on July 8, 2011 at 8:05 AM · Report this
188
@170 (Fortunate): ...continued...

QUOTE: "And while I have dated some emotionally unavailable bi men I never said that all bi men were emotionally unavailable. There are other reasons they often end up in opposite sex relationships. The main one seems to be to have kids"

To clarify, by "emotionally unavailable", I meant unavailable to you because you are male and not female. So I'm just saying why not screen out the bi men who don't want LTRs with other guys, rather than bi men altogether? Maybe you haven't met many us, but
we are around.

Ironically, you probably already know some of us but mistakenly think that we're gay. And by screening us in this way, you have unintentionally become one of the main reasons why many of us end up with women, as well as becoming a deterrent to more bisexual men coming out.

There's still a lack of understanding between bisexuals and monosexuals in terms of why we might end up with a male or female partner, and what that means. I find there's often an implicit assumption that we decide one day that "I want to be with a woman more than a man", and then go out and find one. Whereas many, perhaps most bisexuals think more in terms of "I want to be with a person" and then see who they end up with. I'm not sure if the kids thing is that big of a factor for many of us--it sure isn't amongst the bisexuals I know (who are generally out).

QUOTE: "But if you want to recognize it or not, it is a numbers game. ... Focusing on the pools of people where you think you are more likely to find what you want only makes sense."

Well, if that works for you, stick with it. But for me, it really isn't a numbers game at all--our dating styles are totally opposite. You said "you have to date a lot of people and screen out those who aren't compatible", whereas I instead screen out those who aren't
compatible first, and consequently, date VERY FEW people, which helps me find good partners without having to go on a lot of crappy first and second dates that don't go anywhere.

I guess I have a knack for intuiting basic compatibility very quickly, before even asking/being asked out. It helps that I'm quite clear on my needs in a partner. And those needs are fairly specific, but based more on values, points of view and core interests. Since I can get a sense of these things pretty fast, screening based on demographics becomes pointless.

For example, it's important to me that my partner "get" where I'm coming from as a bisexual. My current partner is bi, which makes it easy. But if I'd decided that I would only date other bisexuals, I would have missed out on a previous boyfriend, who was a wonderful gay man who also happened to "get it". Which would have been sad because it was a great relationship, and although we're no longer a couple, he's still very much part of my life.
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Posted by Ant on July 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM · Report this
187
@170 (Fortunate): Thanks for responding.

QUOTE: "if more bisexual people don't come out then people have their own perceptions to go on and if those are limited then that is what they have."

I partially agree with this point. Yes, of course we would benefit greatly if more of us were out to more people; much of bisexual activism is already focused on self-acceptance and coming out safely.

But "being out" only counts for so much. As a black man, most of my people are "out" about our heritage whether we want to be or not. I'm sure my presence has changed many people's perceptions of black people for the good. Yet we still face lots of prejudice, much of which is based on people's pre-exisiting biases. Dan claims to be neutral, but still comes off as having a strong anti-bisexual bias--I think the "you're doing it wrong" slant of his article is pretty condescending--which is why we're always challenging him.

By the way, I'd never suggest that you ignore your own life experience, especially in choosing who to date. But a big part of being non-prejudiced lies in having the humility to recognize just how limited one's own experience is, and therefore leaving a lot of space open for the unknown.
Posted by Ant on July 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM · Report this
186
So, Dan, if a 16 year old kid says he is gay, do you say, "Well, let's wait and see. In a few years, after you've had a few boyfriends, we'll talk." No, you don't.

You admit to your own prejudices and shortcomings, which is admirable. You accept that you are reluctant to believe when a young person identifies as bisexual. That's good. That's the first step to addressing the problem.

I find it amusing that in the same article where you talk about how bisexuals need to come out (which we totally do) you affirm that you scoff at any person under 36 who does so.

I don't think you're a hateful person. I think you are a person who refuses to accept that what you say and do affects people--especially young people.

Yes, in the inner monologue of our own heads, we may doubt and dispute what Larry Craig says about his orientation. But the difference is you do it in a widely read blog.

Do you really, seriously not think that a 16 y/o kid who is grappling with the confusion of his bisexual orientation can't read your words and come to think that if Dan Savage says he's probably not bi, then he must not be and he should just get over it? Don't you get the sort of turmoil you condemn him to?

Incidentally, I have never told my partner that I wish I was screwing a girl while he was doing me. Perhaps the problem isn't that you dated bisexuals, perhaps it was that you dated assholes?

Posted by Chewtoy on July 6, 2011 at 4:54 AM · Report this
185
You know, when the it gets better project came out- I seriously though that wow, finally a movement that speaks for all folks of all sexualities. None of that bi- hating bullshit you often get.

The more I went into your comments though? Your videos?

Shit man- it seems like you should re-name the whole It Gets Better thing to " It only gets better for privileged, cis-gendered white dudes who should only come out as gay because anything else is horrid and there for invoking beezlebub"

I judge Dan Savage on his Cissexed/ albeist/ biphobic/ transphobic/ utter erasure of anyone who falls out of the binary/ racist and sexist statements, responses and speeches. If he wants to be a good ally, he should fucking act like one.

Several of his articles have appropriated black men and women, denied the existence of asexuality, invalidated bisexuals continuously in his blogs and open letter even to suggest "forced outings", said how bisexual men don't exist and said how bisexual men shouldn't date gay men, suggested that transgendered people would make for bad parents because they are transgendered and the list goes on.

His whole argument is revolving. If a bisexual person falls in love with someone who is the same gender as them then they are lesbian/gay, and therefore it was just a phase. If the person falls in love with the opposite sex then they drift away from the gay community and were also going through a phase. His whole argument is just off. Coming to terms with the fact that you are bisexual is confusing enough as it is, and to not get support from either the straight or gay community is frustrating.

If you read all the columns, speeches and statements he's made over the years- his hypocrisy is prevalent. All you have to do is a simple search, not too difficult :)

He's on the side of white, cissexed, privileged people- as a queer African American bisexual trans person he's only invalidated us and has invalidated anyone who falls out of his binary.

Also, it's called ranting when people call him out on reinforcing said discrimination? Please, check your privilege. It's pathetic. We have good reason to hold him accountable for his shit.
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Posted by It doesn't get better if you're Bisexual or Trans on July 5, 2011 at 11:30 AM · Report this
184
#182-I still remember how even still today we have ignorant gay men like yourself and Dan Savage, and heterosexuals telling us bisexuals things like, "You're really just gay/lesbian!"

Bisexuality isn't a box, it's a spectrum. Some lean more to the gay side, and others lean more to the straight side; or some are in the middle. It's fucking bullshit that we as bisexuals and even Trans people have to put up with hate from the straight community. It's more fucked up when we get it from people WITHIN the LGBT community. The B and the T are not fucking SILENT, stop acting like we are Dan Savage.

Dan Savage has said that bisexuality is some high school thing that you grow out of. I identified as bisexual in middle school, in high school started identifying as gay for many years, and at age 24 went back to calling myself bisexual again. Why? Because of douchebags like this. I was afraid to tell people that I liked more than one gender and then not being taken seriously.

So, gays and lesbians can challenge our existence as bisexuals? Why can't we challenge theirs? Yes it is true that a lot of people who do identify as gay or lesbian are really actually bisexual and many do eventually come out as being bisexual.

"You're gay? Are you sure?  Be honest, didn't you just pick a side because being bisexual was too hard for you?"
Posted by 88FolsomWolf88 on July 5, 2011 at 11:15 AM · Report this
183
@182 SOTS-I'm SOTS (Sick of this shit) too that people such as yourself like to claim that bisexuals somehow made a PR mess ourselves when Dan Savage himself and you are posting such biphobic tripe and false information about bisexuals.

I'm a gay man and unlike yourself and others who are posting here I don't have issues with bisexuals, and there's nothing wrong with being bisexual and it is a good thing despite what some people here Mr. Savage included are saying.

Dan's such a snake oil salesman. I'd bet you anything if he hadn't been born gay he'd be a right wing preacher himself, because he has the perfect self-aggrandizing arrogant I-can-do-no-wrong personality for it. I'd honestly have more respect for him if he just out and out said his real opinion about bisexuals and how he does not like bisexuals (which is evident from his previous columns) instead of wheedling and "oh no, of course not this, of course not that... I'm still perfect... it's all the fault of the bisexuals for not coming out... bisexual teens and youth are really gay/lesbian, and you're all just going to come out as gay eventually..." Shut the hell up Dan. You have the charm of a used car dealer, thanks, I get it, now please go away. It's clear that if you're bisexual or even trans "It doesn't get better" as far as Dan Savage and his mindless self promotion go.
Posted by Stasis In Darkness on July 5, 2011 at 10:37 AM · Report this
182
I can't help but remember the days of "I've never actually done it, but I want to leave my options open/I have the potential to" and "as a bisexual, I'm entitled to both a man and a woman".

Dear bis: It's not Dan's job to clean up after the PR mess you made for yourself. Nor is it anybody's job to date you in spite of their own experiences. If you want to do something about your image, take some of that energy you spend whining about everybody else not doing all the work for you, and spend it doing the PR work for yourselves.
Posted by SOTS on July 4, 2011 at 7:26 AM · Report this
181
178 and 179, I challenge you to point out what was bigoted about what I said. I certainly don't deny the existence of bisexuality or bisexuals' right to pursue happiness. But pointing out that I would rather avoid being with someone who goes off about wanting to eat pussy while my dick is in his ass is not bigotry. (Ignore that last comment if you're reading this, Shia Labeouf or Hugh Laurie, I don't mean you!) If you want to do that, go find yourself another bi guy, or a gay guy into bis, of whom there are plenty. By the way, we all have to learn (gays, bis, lesbians, transsexuals) to let people have their dislikes without screaming bigotry at every occasion. I certainly doubt I'd like either of your unimaginative, humorless, or metaphorically challenged asses; that does not mean I am bigoted against you.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 3, 2011 at 5:18 PM · Report this
180
*Yawn* Oh look more biphobia and bisexual erasure from none other than Miss Dan Savage, she knows nothing about bisexuality or variations in human sexuality and it shows.

Nothing new to see here. She's a drama queen media whore whose 15 mins of fame are long gone here in Seattle we wish that he and his annoying husband would STFU and stay at home in their McMansion in their rich suburb.

Dan Savage has not ever been elected as the voice of all LGBT people. Remember he started out as a vicious skank answering peoples questions about sex with hostility and hate.

He is speaking for himself ONLY.
Posted by BrianInSF on July 3, 2011 at 1:36 AM · Report this
179
I'm a gay man and I've been out for decades and I'm ashamed and embarrassed at how bigoted some of my fellow gay men are when it comes to bisexuals and bisexuality. Who are you to tell someone that they're not bisexual or that an entire sexuality and community of people does not exist? How would you know since you're homosexual and not bisexual? Why are you so hypocritical and you'll say that mostly everything pretaining to gay men is somehow "good" but anything with bisexual men somehow isn't?

To all of the men here who claim that there's no such thing as bisexuality, that bisexual men are always really gay men, or that bisexual men should be avoided:

You're no better than Conservative Republicans, how some Christians (the born again type), and you're bigoted just like these people are towards us gay/bisexual/queer men.

It's 2011 and you're fellow queer men. One would hope that you're not a tired old queen who talks out of his ass about something she knows nothing about when it comes to bisexuality.

There's nothing wrong with being bisexual. To the bisexual men reading this ignore the haters replying to this blog. Not all gay men are bigoted like a few of them are here. Many of us gay men love bisexual men and I've met many gay men who are more into bisexual men and only have lasting long term relationships and date them.
Posted by PDXXXDavid on July 3, 2011 at 1:25 AM · Report this
178
@175 and 176 Cockyballsup-I'm a gay man and even I don't like hanging around or being around other gay men like yourself who don't like bisexuals.

There's nothing wrong with being bisexual and based on your comments I guess you don't like Lesbian women or bisexual women either since they would try to pick up women and talk about women's bodies when in a GLBT bar or dance club.

Next time there's a Pride event or a GLBT parade or a GLBT organization wants your support don't do anything since you're a hypocrite and give all of us gay men who are fine with bisexuals a bad name.
Posted by BrianInSF on July 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM · Report this
177
Cockyballsup-That's OK I doubt that most bisexual men (including myself) even want anything to do with gay men like yourself and that includes friendship as well.

I'm bisexual and I'm friends with gay men and my gay male friends and partners/lovers/boyfriends don't care if I talk about how a woman is hot or what I've done with women sexually as they find the whole "ewwwwww a woman!" attitude that some gay men have to be silly and immature.

Bisexuality is not a "fetish" it's an actual sexual orientation and it's just as valid as being a gay man is even if you want to claim that it's not.

It also takes maturity and confidence to come out as bisexual and be out despite people like yourself and Dan Savage telling you things like "Oh you'll eventually realize that you're gay and come out as gay when you're older..."

You're also ignoring the fact that A LOT of bisexuals once identified as gay or lesbian either as teenagers or adults, and then later come out as being bisexual when they learn that they actually are bisexual and that they are not gay or lesbian.

Thanks for proving how gay men like yourself and Dan Savage are biphobic.
Posted by JamesNYC2122 on July 2, 2011 at 7:47 PM · Report this
176
By the way, one point that has perhaps not been emphasized is that many young gay people start off trying to convince themselves they are bi because of external or internalized homophobia.

In these cases, it takes a certain maturity and and confidence to get past this and accept one's gay identity, which is why bi->gay "conversion" is so common. Dan is surely catching a lot of flack for pointing out the fact of these conversions, I have to say.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 2, 2011 at 7:14 PM · Report this
175
Rather than cry discrimination, bisexuals should perhaps think a little bit on why they are not welcomed with open arms into friendship with gay guys. Most of the time it is not discrimination. But when we are hanging out or going out with our gay (or straight female) buddies, we really don't want to listen to someone in the group bringing up pussy or titties, or pointing out or trying to pick up a sexy girl. It is kind of a downer, much like a guy supporting the wrong team in a group of rabid baseball fans. Ditto for a relationship with a bi guy - what gay guy really wants to listen to his partner's fantasies involving females? To most gay guys bisexuality is really just "a fetish too far," disqualifying you from being relationship material, not anything discriminatory.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 2, 2011 at 7:02 PM · Report this
174
I am open when appropriate. My kids have always known since my son has two Moms and a "borrowed" dad...In fact I just spent an hour or so last week explaining to my "mother in law" (a 75 year old African American woman who was once a Black Panther but who cannot correctly name sexual positions a/o body parts)about my 8 year relationship with my son's other mom and why, when, where, who and what it entailed...she asked a lot of probing questions but eventually she just bluntly said she "couldn't do that shit." Now she is open minded and is doing her best to get used to the idea of gay marriage (which I have assured her will be legal before she dies) but she desperately wanted to understand why "the gays" wanted to get married...haha she just says like she sees it as only old folks can do without seeming bigotted...I've set her straight and she has seen the light. Being out has a time and a place--I don't hide but I do wait until I feel it makes a difference.
Posted by blr1966 on July 2, 2011 at 5:56 PM · Report this
173
I love the idea that our relationships with people of the opposite gender are what pull us away from queer communities. My girlfriend is heterosexual and she's way more of an ally to GLBT people and to bisexuals than Dan Savage ever will be.

OR. Maybe it's having our identities constantly called into question. Maybe it's being constantly told that we are really straight/really gay/confused/going through a phase/greedy/a special little snowflake from shit for brains like Dan Savage that make us feel alienated and silenced in a community that is supposed to be supportive.

We have better people to represent us than Dan Savage, we have better gay and even Straight allies who fight tooth and nail for us and have never partaken in discriminatory dialogue unlike Dan Savage. He's not one of them. We have other people who are actually bisexual who know the issues that we face that Dan Savage is completely clueless about.

As an adult who has suffered from clinical depression, I used to use Dan Savage's "It gets better" project to help me. I'm bisexual, and now I realize that Dan Savage is a fucking hypocrite.

Go fuck yourself Dan you clearly show how you don't give two shits about GLBT youth let alone bisexual youth when you write shit like this yet you'll go on TV and pretend to care about us and even use us as a way to get a reality TV show on MTV, press coverage, and self promotion.
Posted by Nightwood888 on July 1, 2011 at 10:14 PM · Report this
172
@167 Ant-I've seen that site before.

The supposed "doctor" with his 12 types of sexuality there are many of those types that are just other terms for being bisexual like homoflexible, heteroflexible, pansexual, poly, flexamorous, etc.

There are no breakdowns of Heterosexuality or of lesbianism in women or homosexuality in men so why the extra pointless categories for bisexuality?

These other terms will just confuse people more about bisexuality and they don't do any good and are used by people who have internalized biphobia so they can avoid coming out as bisexual or telling people that they're actually bisexual.

@170 Fortunate-Most gay men I've met and encountered in my life are queens or feminine even if they like to think that they're masculine. This includes Dan Savage who at least admits that he's a queen and feminine.

I've even had gay male friends tell me how most gay men are feminine yet if a hetero person says this they're branded as homophobic even though there is some truth to it.

Just because you yourself don't know any bisexuals who are in same gender relationships does not mean that we do not exist.

I agree with what Ant said about how you and Savage are painting bisexuals with a broad brush.

Have you read the comments by other bisexuals on this page who say how they're in opposite gender relationships? I'm a male bisexual and I'm in a relationship with a man.

Like it or not Dan Savage is putting down bisexual identified teens and young adults, and he's put down bisexual adults in the past which other people have quoted him on many times.

I agree with what 165 Ant said, you should be screening out men who aren't going to be avaible to you emotionally or who just want sex.

I do this with gay men, not that I don't enjoy safe casual sex once in a rare while but I tell the gay men who I have sex with that if they just want sex only to be honest and tell me.

I can't tell you the large number of gay men I've met who just want sex and nothing else and they basically have a revolving door in their bedroom and have had sex with 100's or even 1,000's of men and they're not even close to 40 or even 50.

Here's a good idea for Dan Savage and other gay men who think they know it all about bisexuality: If you're not bisexual you don't get to determine who is and who is not even if they are a teenager or young adult, and you don't get to tell us what to do.

There have actually been other bisexual activists in the past who have said how it's very imporatant for us bisexuals to come out, stay out, and be out about our sexuality but they were tactful and not biphobic like Dan Savage. These fellow bisexual activists did not trash bisexual youth like Dan Savage does or claim that most bisexual teens/youth will someday identify as gay/lesbian again like Savage did in the above rant with bisexual erasure mixed in, and these actually know what it means to be bisexual since they actually are bisexual and they know that there are many ways to be bisexual unlike Dan Savage does.

More...
Posted by JamesNYC2122 on July 1, 2011 at 9:59 PM · Report this
171
ok, ok, I'm bi-sexual, where can I buy the t-shirt?
Posted by jaansdornea on July 1, 2011 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Fortunate 170
@165 - I appreciate what you have to say, but ultimately I think that one of the things that Dan says is very valid. That if more bisexual people don't come out then people have their own perceptions to go on and if those are limited then that is what they have.

If what I see and what I experience isn't accurate it is still what I see and experience. If there are bisexual people out there who think it is skewed or inaccurate then the way to correct that in me and other people who may have skewed perceptions is to come out and identify yourselves.

I do find it interesting that some people have claimed that Dan doesn't push gay people to come out the same way, because Dan can be almost mean to anyone over 20 who is gay and not out. He pushes everyone who can do so safely to come out, so in this he is treating bisexuals the same as he treats gay people.

But honestly, my experiences are what they are.

And while I have dated some emotionally unavailable bi men I never said that all bi men were emotionally unavailable. There are other reasons they often end up in opposite sex relationships. The main one seems to be to have kids. And I fully understand that. It is perfectly reasonable.

I also think that many end up that way simply because it is easier to maintain a relationship with you have societal approval to support it. Same sex couples always face additional stresses just for being same sex couples in a predominantly opposite sex couple world where your relationship isn't just not supported, but often actively opposed.

But if you want to recognize it or not, it is a numbers game. You date until you find the right person for you. Sometimes you have to date a lot of people before you find the right one. Focusing on the pools of people where you think you are more likely to find what you want only makes sense.

Is it possible I could have found someone who was an exception? Sure. But it never happened and, I hope, isn't something I have to personally deal with again.
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Posted by Fortunate on July 1, 2011 at 8:05 AM · Report this
169
Dan, I suggest you print out @14's comment and put it on the wall right above Ann Landers' desk and reread it before writing about bisexuals, or women.
Posted by saccade on July 1, 2011 at 12:05 AM · Report this
168
@130 (Ricardo) said:

"Dan's point is that there are many 16 year-old kids who, like he did, identify as bi when they're really gay. That's why you have to take their professed sexual identity with a grain of salt. That doesn't mean you have to deny it out loud, but Dan specifically says he doesn't."

Personally, I take *everybody's* professed sexuality with a grain of salt, and for good reason. The problem is that Dan is specifically targeting those who profess bisexuality.

I'm not sure if Dan's claims of silent deniability are true, but many gays and lesbians do deny it out loud, and Dan seems to defend this practice. If he thinks that this is the wrong way to go, it would be helpful if he would come out and say so.
Posted by Ant on June 30, 2011 at 10:02 PM · Report this
167
...and here's a shortcut to the section about sexual types:

flexuality.wordpress.com/category/sexual…

The site was put together by an MD. In his system, he breaks down the bi/straight/gay spectrum into 12 types, based on desires, motivations and patterns of behavior. There's also a test you can use to determine your own type(s):

flexuality.wordpress.com/take-the-test/

Although it's theoretical, I think he has a good handle on the full range of bisexuality. At least, better than a certain other sex expert...
Posted by Ant on June 30, 2011 at 9:30 PM · Report this
166
Anyone interested in understanding the varying flavors of bisexuality (that means YOU, Dan), should take a look at this site:

flexuality.wordpress.com

In particular, it discusses how some bisexuals form emotional attachments with multiple genders, while others don't. Best to know which type(s) your date falls under. If more gays, lesbians, and straights understood this, they might be less afraid of us (Fear is bad. Understanding is good!)
Posted by Ant on June 30, 2011 at 9:14 PM · Report this
165
@122/125 aka Fortunate

Since you're having trouble understanding what the fuss is about, let me clear it up.

The reason for the strong backlash against Dan is that many of us are responding not just to this article but Dan's long history of negative comments about bisexuality, some of which have been reposted here.

That said, both points he made in the article are far more biased that you seem to realize.

For one, although it may be true that some youths who identify as bi later realize that they're gay, the reverse is also true: some youths identify as gay and later realize that they're bi. By deliberately and persistently ignoring the second factor, Dan is implying that it's okay to take people (especially youths) who come out as bisexual less seriously than people who come out as gay or lesbian. That is wrong, and it is biphobic.

On the second point (about bisexuals ending up in opposite-sex relationships, which both you and he suggest is due to some kind of fundamental emotional unavailability), both you and Dan need to understand that bisexuality comes in so many different stripes and flavors that you shouldn't be painting us with a broad brush.

Instead of playing a "numbers game" and screening out bisexuals because you think they'll be emotionally unavailable, you would be better served by screening out guys who are emotionally unavailable regardless of their sexuality. Focus on the real issue.

But then, I've never seen dating as a numbers game at all. My way has been to be clear on what qualities are most important in a partner and worry less about what demographic they fall under. Sure, some groups are more likely to be compatible with me than others, but I don't see the point ruling out emotionally available bisexual men while being open to date gay men (many of whom may be emotionally UNavailable, if for different reasons).

Finally, I don't think anyone minds if you're more drawn to gay men based on a sense of common ground and shared experience. As a bisexual man, I'm more drawn to other bisexuals for the same reason. But there are always exceptions.

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Posted by Ant on June 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM · Report this
164
I've noticed that most people who opt for the internalized homophobic/biphobic label of being "Just sexual" or even "pansexual" are complete closet queens and on the down low, and they're ashamed of their sexuality as well.

They're not doing any good or being visible about being bisexual or gay and helping other people who are closeted and/or struggling with their sexuality by staying closeted and pretending to be "straight" or passing as "gay", or claiming that they're "just sexual" and that's putting it lightly.

Everyone who is bisexual but finds it convenient to pass as being "gay" or "straight", "queer", "pansexual", or "just sexual" is passing up the opportunity to help another bisexual person who has no idea that they aren't really so alone.

As for Dan Savage he's been biphobic and practiced bisexual erasure for decades and this article is not any sort of improvement and it just shows how little he actually knows about human sexuality, bisexuality, and he's completely wrong about both and he should not be telling most or any bisexual teens that eventually they're going to come out as being gay. It's just as bad and as hypocritical as those "ex gay" programs that tell bisexuals, lesbians, and gays that they're really hetero or that they're hetero and confused about their sexuality but it's coming from a Dan Savage a gay man who knows nothing about bisexuality or human sexuality at all.
Posted by Ryan5238 on June 30, 2011 at 2:29 PM · Report this
163
Few seem to understand that Bi does not mean "slut", "confused", or "too cool to be straight." I am bi, out, and i am passionate about my relationships, whatever category people put them in. put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Posted by girlylola on June 29, 2011 at 10:22 PM · Report this
162
I haven't read much of Dan's stuff before, and I'm starting to see why. If this is an improvement... yeesh.

A couple of points:
a) Human sexuality can be very fluid. Yes, many bi teenagers will eventually identify as gay. Yes, some of them are currently in denial about being exclusively attracted to their own gender. But not every bi teen who will grow up to be gay is lying to themself /now/. Having one's preferences change over time does not invalidate the original preferences. And you don't know which are in denial, which will "grow out" of bisexuality, and which will identify as bi for the rest of their lives, so get your grubby paws off their identities. Even if you don't say anything, trust me, kids can tell when you're not being supportive.

b) As far as I can tell from my vantage, the bisexual closet is a rather different experience than the homosexual closet, and it's really not fair to compare them. I came out to my own parents on at least three different occasions - not because they were in denial, or trying to "round" me up or down, but because I tend to be very private about my private life and I don't date much, and it honestly tends to slip their minds that their daughter is not only a straight ally to the LGBT community, as they are. The homosexual closet does not follow one around, trying to reclaim its victim, the way the bisexual closet does. So go ahead, berate us for not being "brave" enough to come out to our friends and family. Many of us have. It doesn't last past the first time they see us with an opposite-sex romantic interest. I can tell folks I'm bi (or in my case, pan) until I'm blue in the face, and I will not be able to effectively come out of the closet until the people who are supposed to be my allies and compatriots stop trying to rebuild the closet around me.
More...
Posted by BramblePatch on June 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM · Report this
161
So if I'm bisexual, but in a long-term same sex relationship, then I'm actually just gay? Really? *sigh* I thought I had it all figured out by now, I had come to terms with my sexuality, embraced it, loved it.

Well, I guess it's back to the drawing board. Any tips on how to be a lesbian? I've just spent so many years as bi I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be like now... such a shame I've been living a lie all these years. I'll make sure to call all the men from my past and tell them what we had was definitely fake--because hey, it turns out I'm a lesbian!

Except there is one problem: I'm not sleeping with a bunch of women. Only one woman. So maybe I should just say I'm Jill-sexual, because from what I gather, sexuality is only defined in terms of who you are sleeping with currently. So there. I'm coming out. I'm Jill-sexual. Happy?
Posted by CassieLemon on June 29, 2011 at 2:11 PM · Report this
160
@157 RyanS-Just because your bisexual male friends seem hetero that does not mean that they actually are.

I'm a bisexual man in a relationship with another bisexual man and people assume that we're gay until we tell them otherwise.

@154 nissa-Dan's "It gets better" project is completely hypocritical when he writes stuff like this trashing bisexual youth and adults. Dan also started his whole "It gets better" project not to actually help GLBT youth but for money, fame, self promotion, and an MTV reality TV show.

At least you're calling Dan Savage out as being biphobic since he is.

Posted by BlueMonday on June 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM · Report this
159
One huge advantage of straight privilege is that straight people don't seem to give each other any static for being straight, or the "wrong kind" of straight. Our LGBT2s&W counterparts, however, seem to spend a phenomenal amount of time at each other's categorical throats. If this thread is any guide then nearly every LGBT2s&W life seems to be like a Bizarro World game: if your foot even touches the line then then the home crowd screams FOUL! and OFFSIDE! and CHEATER!

We may be moving to a weirdass new reality where the straights are more calm and cool with LGBT2s&W identities than the LGBT2s&W folks are with each other's. And that's scary stuff.
Posted by seeker6079 on June 29, 2011 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Cherry Pirate 158
I will never tell my family I'm Bi. Some friends know, and especially my 6.5 year g/f knows. But it nearly came up at a particularly accepting workplace a few times. Each time it does, I can't help but think it's better not to set myself up for that endless conversation and suspicion about how gay or straight you really are. And while there is the difficulty of being gay and judged immoral, there's the peculiar difficulty in bringing up bisexuality in that there doesn't seem to be any confirming quality associated with it other than drunk college girls who do it for attention. And if you end up with a partner from the substantially larger hetero end of the scale, then you're not helping yourself any. At some point, people will indirectly try to coax some kind of proof, which leads to the problem that, short of laying out uncomfortably personal elements of your life, none exists. Even if you do manage to give a porn history or detail past sexual encounters or whatever, there's a large portion of the population who thinks that bisexuals are just horny people or some equivalent to sexual act BPD patients where fucking replaces razors (my mother amongst them). In the LGBT community, there's the other extreme where they think you are just gay because your transition period muddled the already murky pool of young Bis.

So if you come out, you can't prove it. If you can prove it, people think it's something else. And if you surmount both those hurdles, all that pain and suffering doesn't really change anything anyways because there's no obvious political issue associated with bi-sexuality
Posted by Cherry Pirate on June 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
157
I'm finding most of this contrary to my own experience. As a man in a committed relationship with another man for 30 years, a large number of my male friends identify as bisexual. However, a significant number of self-declared "bi" friends seem to be entirely heterosexual. It could be that they choose the bi label because, as sexual labels go, it's the most inclusive.

The big challenge is labelling. It's time that we viewed human sexual behaviour expressing a range of options based on emotional and physical need, that can change over time or based on situation. Instead of creating labels and stats like "X% of men are bisexual," we should consider statements like, "men tend to engage in same-sex sexual behaviour X% of the time." How we frame sexual behaviour has a significant impact on how we view ourselves and how others see us. It's time we stopped putting ourselves and other people into boxes. When we do, a compulsion to label ourselves as gay or straight or bi will no longer be needed.

We see the term "sexual preference" all the time, but few seem to understand its meaning. Human beings are driven to share sexual experience. Body parts and shapes are significant factors, along with unknown degress of hard-wiring and conditioning. Fear of same-sex behaviour seems to be entirely based on religious myth, after all. Putting ourselves into labelled boxes reinforces those myths. We are drawn to share sexual experience with others based on a large number of factors we shouldn't put in permanent boxes so readily.

I agree that absolute disclosure with life partners provides an critical foundation for relationship to avoid future drama. Who would want a life partner who would fear or reject part of our life experience?
Posted by RyanS on June 29, 2011 at 11:27 AM · Report this
156
If bisexual people are not also polyamorous or some identity which involves being with more than one person, then they are only going to end up dating one person. Whether that person is male, female, trans, genderqueer or someone else, they aren't going to be expressive of a bisexual person's identity. A bisexual person who is with someone that makes them appear heterosexual is not automatically disappearing into the heterosexual world.

I am a gay man. I identified as bisexual until about two years ago. It took a lot of thinking and a bit of dating to understand that I wasn't. That was my own special case, and came from circumstances that are unique to my life. Some people are actually confused and are trying to work things out, but many people are not.

Also, you used bisexuality as a means to make it easier on your friends? Did no one tell you that you were greedy? Immoral? Did they not take it as an excuse to try and 'convince' you one way or the other? Did they not tell you to just make up your mind? Did people give you any peace at all? If so, then you were quite lucky.

Bisexual people get turned out of their homes the same as any queer person, and just because they are also attracted to members of the 'opposite sex' doesn't mean that closed-minded people think of them as any less deviant.
Posted by Greenwick on June 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM · Report this
155
What's even worse is that isn't even the symbol for bisexuality. That's the one for swingers. This is the correct bi symbol- http://www.clker.com/clipart-43487.html
Posted by cupcakes and shiraz on June 29, 2011 at 6:30 AM · Report this
154
Dan, you are a hero for starting the It Gets Better Project. It has saved and it it will save a lot of lives. On the topic of bisexuals, I think you’re getting better but I think you’re still a bully. I have to say that this column, which really made me angry at first, may actually do some good but I’m going to call you out on a few things.

The graphic in this column is bi-phobic. A circle with a line through a symbol for bisexuals? Ok, maybe you didn't choose it, but it's there and it set me off right away and added to the ‘Oh, Dan is off on another anti-bisexual rant again’. It’s not a good way to start, neither is saying "I'm not bi-phobic" because really, that's the first sign that you are.

You make some good points in this column. Certainly coming out as bi is the first step to getting rid of bi invisibility. I'm lucky to have lived in mostly major cities where I've been around lots of out bisexuals. I've been out as bi for more than half of my life. I figured it out in college where two of my good friends identified as bi. It was easy for me to figure out my sexual orientation. I know it's not easy for everyone. I never had a ‘maybe I’m really a lesbian’ period. At 18, I knew I liked men and women and I still do at 40.

Yes, you’re right that people should come out to their partners. I don’t think that’s limited to bisexuals. A lot of us are out to our partners and families about being bisexual. I am. My partners are bi. Everyone knows everyone else is bi and they are out about it.

We don’t all necessarily ‘disappear into presumed heterosexuality’ if we end up in long-term relationships between men and women. Some of us are out and loud and fighting for gay marriage and trying to end anti-gay bullying right along side you, Dan. And you should at least recognize that, if not thank us.

The biggest problem I have with this column is that I find the tone to be condescending. The positive thing I hope that will come from this is that you'll light a fire under the butts of people who may not be out as bi. If you accomplish getting people to come out, then that’s more important than pissing some of us off along the way.
More...
Posted by nisaa on June 28, 2011 at 10:59 PM · Report this
153
What Dan Savage is doing by writing these biphobic "articles" and practicing bisexual erasure and then claiming that he's somehow not biphobic is hypocritical and just as bad as actual hate groups like the Westboro Baptist church and Rick Santorum are.

Dan just does not want to own up and admit to how he is biphobic and does practice bisexual erasure.

I've seen the excellent bisexual documentary "Bi the way" where Dan says on camera how he believes that bisexual men don't exist because of the highly flawed study by the eugenicist Dr. J. Michael Bailey who is all for finding out that sexuality is genetic so parents can abort any future child of theirs who has been discovered to have a non-heterosexual sexuality while in utero.

Seriously why would you even support a study like that or claim it as being true when you know that it's false and you should have done your research on the scientist behind it before opening your big mouth and saying in print and on camera, "Male bisexuality does not exist! This study proves it!"
Posted by Lady Day on June 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM · Report this
152
@151-ScienceLizard you're telling Dan to contradict himself by telling bisexual teenagers that it's great that they're bisexual but how it's also good if they stop identifying as bisexual and identify as gay/lesbian which is bisexual erasure and biphobia.

This is just telling Dan to do more of the same biphobia and bisexual erasure that he's still doing and has done for decades.

I do agree with the bisexual woman who posted above you who said how Dan shouldn't practice bisexual erasure towards teenagers or young adults, or even adults or anyone at all and then declare that all bisexuals simply must come out and be out constantly.

I know gay men and lesbians who are way more closeted than myself and other bisexuals are but Dan says nothing about gay men or lesbians who are closeted and not out.
Posted by JamesT42 on June 28, 2011 at 1:48 PM · Report this
151
First, you are quite right it would be easier to be out as a bisexual person if more bisexual people were out. Put like that, it seems obvious.
I'm glad you think it would be better for the community as a whole, and I agree. That said, I can also see the counter-arguments that *some* of what perturbs certain homophobes is the not-knowing-how-to-act and bi people threaten that staus quo even more than gays or lesbians. In the long run, we're probably all better off if those ideas are shook up, but there may well be more social awkwardness in the interm.

I'll make you a deal. I'll try to be "out" more, if you respect the agency of teenagers. I will never forget the first pride parade I went to- we met an otherwise charming gay couple that, after hearing I was bi, said "oh don't worry, you'll make up your mind eventually". I was 16. I had made up my mind. I liked both. I still do. What's difficult to understand there?

C'mon. It's not like all teenagers don't face enough patronizing behavior and sometimes discrimination, no need to add to it. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
And if you see your former self in someone, I'd think that's all the more reason to treat him with compassion and understanding for how he sees the world at the time... not force how you assume he will see the world in a few years time. Tell them it's great they're bi, and it'll also be great if how they identify varies with time, as it did for you.
Posted by sciencelizard on June 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM · Report this
150
I identify as bisexual, but I am in a same-sex marriage, so probably the assumption is that I'm a lesbian in spite of my having mostly dated men previously. Since neither of us would be cool with an open relationship and we have really low risk factors for divorce the odds of me ever having sex with a man again are effectively null. For all practical purposes, I've rounded up to lesbian.

Maybe it's because of where I live, maybe it's because I'm married, maybe it's because my friends and acquaintances could not give less of a fuck, but my sexuality never comes up in conversation. Ever. I'd talk about it, but not since high school has it seemed to be relevant. As others have mentioned, the only people who it seems really would care are the Choicers and I have no interest in fanning the flames of their nutcaseness with my marriage.

Short of introducing myself like a 12-step participant "Hi, I'm Rachel and I'm a bi-sexual," or having all my clothes silk-screened with my sexuality I can't imagine how I would be visibly bisexual.

Since you yourself sometimes talk about how rounding your sexuality is sometimes both sensible and useful, you should accept that when someone tells you that they are bi, that they are. You can't reasonably have it both ways. Simultaneously telling people that you don't believe they are bi and telling everyone who is bi to come out doesn't work. Maybe those 16 yr old self-identified bi boys who write to you are 90% gay. That's enough for you to round them up to gay to prove your point, but bisexuals aren't just the middle line, the people who are 50% hetero and 50% homo. Bisexuality just means having an attraction to both women and men, how much and how often you bat for each team isn't part of the definition.

So, Dan, unless they are simultaneously claiming that they are bi and that they think one gender's genetalia is gross, let them keep their label.
More...
Posted by Rach on June 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM · Report this
149
I identify as bisexual, but I am in a same-sex marriage, so probably the assumption is that I'm a lesbian in spite of my having mostly dated men previously. Since neither of us would be cool with an open relationship and we have really low risk factors for divorce the odds of me ever having sex with a man again are effectively null. For all practical purposes, I've rounded up to lesbian.

Maybe it's because of where I live, maybe it's because I'm married, maybe it's because my friends and acquaintances could not give less of a fuck, but my sexuality never comes up in conversation. Ever. I'd talk about it, but not since high school has it seemed to be relevant. As others have mentioned, the only people who it seems really would care are the Choicers and I have no interest in fanning the flames of their nutcaseness with my marriage.

Short of introducing myself like a 12-step participant "Hi, I'm Rachel and I'm a bi-sexual," or having all my clothes silk-screened with my sexuality I can't imagine how I would be visibly bisexual.

Since you yourself sometimes talk about how rounding your sexuality is sometimes both sensible and useful, you should accept that when someone tells you that they are bi, that they are. You can't reasonably have it both ways. Simultaneously telling people that you don't believe they are bi and telling everyone who is bi to come out doesn't work. Maybe those 16 yr old self-identified bi boys who write to you are 90% gay. That's enough for you to round them up to gay to prove your point, but bisexuals aren't just the middle line, the people who are 50% hetero and 50% homo. Bisexuality just means having an attraction to both women and men, how much and how often you bat for each team isn't part of the definition.

So, Dan, unless they are simultaneously claiming that they are bi and that they think one gender's genetalia is gross, let them keep their label.
More...
Posted by Rach on June 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM · Report this
148
You know Dan, here's a crazy thought... maybe sexuality is a bit more fluid than you thought. Maybe those teenage guys you're talking about who say they're bisexual really are bisexual. And maybe as their hormones change when they get older, some of them will end up straight or gay. That doesn't mean they're wrong now or not bi now... just that sometimes things change. So maybe you should be accepting at face value what someone's telling you unless you have actual reason to doubt them.

And I want to be clear: I've got quite a number of openly bi friends, and of them a VERY significant percentage has been verbally attacked by people telling them to "pick a side." And it's usually been by gay or lesbian folks, which is rather horrific hypocrisy. If I yelled at you for not choosing the societally appropriate sexuality, Dan, what would you say? What would you feel? Why then do so many feel it's appropriate to do the same to the bi folks?

You're not just called biphobic for deciding that bi youth are wrong when they tell you their sexuality because you know that it's just a phase they'll grow out of. You're also called it for telling them to pick a side, as though that were actually a choice. So how about you stop telling vulnerable bi youth they're just going through a phase, and stop telling them that their sexuality is wrong and they should instead pick a side, and maybe you'll find they come out around you a lot more.

After all, maybe you're not really gay Dan. Maybe it's just a phase. In a few years, you'll realize you were bi all along. Clearly you should pick a different sexuality, right?
Posted by Just_A_Random_Person on June 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM · Report this
147
@146-Ratfish thanks for proving everyone's point that Dan Savage is biphobic and does practice bisexual erasure even if he claims he does not.

Posted by JamesT42 on June 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM · Report this
146
Dan,
I'm willing to accept that you may have gotten over bi-phobia, but it *is* there in your past. At my very first Pride Festival in Seattle, I wandered over to Volunteer Park from the parade in a cloud of happy community feeling, to hear you, on stage with microphone, telling bisexuals that they needed to get off the fence. Bit of a buzz-kill, there. I was a big fan before that, but it was a couple of years before I felt like reading your column again.
Posted by ratfish on June 28, 2011 at 7:42 AM · Report this
145
Since some of you are tallying up the bi commenters' relationship status as some sort of scientific data, I feel compelled to note:

- I'm 36, and have identified as bi since my teens.
- I've been in a long term relationship with a lesbian for 10 years. I've never wondered whether I was really a lesbian. I'm bi. I correct people if they assume I'm straight or gay.
- I've dated men, but I still identified as bi/queer.
- Cheers to the people who realize that sexual identity is complicated and not just a single axis of who you're sexually attracted to. (I'm actually more sexually attracted to men, but I'm in love with my partner).
- Please google the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid -- sexual identity is not just about who you have sex with.

Posted by Bi_in_SF on June 28, 2011 at 12:02 AM · Report this
144
Since some of you are tallying up the bi commenters' relationship status as some sort of scientific data, I feel compelled to note:

- I'm 36, and have identified as bi since my teens.
- I've been in a long term relationship with a lesbian for 10 years. I've never wondered whether I was really a lesbian. I'm bi. I correct people if they assume I'm straight or gay.
- I've dated men, but I still identified as bi/queer.
- Cheers to the people who realize that sexual identity is complicated and not just a single axis of who you're sexually attracted to. (I'm actually more sexually attracted to men, but I'm in love with my partner).
- Please google the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid -- sexual identity is not just about who you have sex with.

Posted by Bi_in_SF on June 27, 2011 at 11:59 PM · Report this
143
In my late 20s, I fell in love with a more-gay-than-straight man. It was the hottest, most nurturing relationship of my life. Our community of feminist-fairy gay men were much more supportive of the relationship than the largely derisive dyke "community" I tried to connect with at the time and be out to as a bisexual woman.

Those wonderful gay men became extended family to us and told me that "Stonewall meant being able to love the person you love, regardless of gender combo." By contrast, gay women told me I was "fucking the enemy" and straight women just thought I must be confused.

What I learned then was that gender identity was not enough commonality to build friendships on, (OH hi, what do you do? I'm gay) while true support WAS, and it came to me from places I didn't expect.

I have always found it perplexing how intent many gay people are to cling to one end of kinsey's scale or the other like their lives depended on it.

Frankly, as I near 60, I don't see much draw to labeling myself in any specific way. It's never proved particularly useful to me. What being bi means to me is to be able to love the PERSON I'm attracted to.
Posted by lovetheoneyourewith on June 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM · Report this
142
This is a great article. Being openly bi myself, I do get a reaction to that which is probably different for gays and lesbians. I don't know, I'm bi. And I am a 41 year-old woman. I know what I like, in women and men. Really, for me it is about the person. I am in a relationship, and my male partner knows I am bi. I'm STILL bi, even though I am in love with a man (I know, it's a shock!). But back to the point -- if bi people don't come out, they will continue to be looked upon with suspicion. But no one can know about our experiences if we don't tell them!!!
Posted by Dr.B on June 27, 2011 at 10:30 PM · Report this
141
Meg2110-Is it true that a lot of lesbian women are very hostile and biphobic towards bisexual women (unless of course they find the bisexual woman sexually attractive)?

I have bisexual female friends and they've told me this about lesbians being this way towards bisexual women. Then they've also been around lesbians who thought that they wouldn't get HIV from a lesbian woman but they somehow would from a bisexual woman because she has sex with men and they're stuck in the 80s with their bigoted attitudes.

FYI-You don't have to fall in love with both genders in order to be bisexual. I'm a man and I've never had a girlfriend or a LTR with a woman but just some one night stands with a few women who I met while they were on vacation. I haven't had sex with a woman in about a decade but I'm still sexually attracted to women and I'm still bisexual.

I personally have not gotten any flack from most gay men over being bisexual, and most gay men have been completely understanding and supportive of me as a bisexual unlike wealthy gay white men in the media such as Dan Savage, Michael Musto, and Andrew Sullivan who all practice bisexual erasure and have claimed that male bisexuals don't exist. My gay male friends don't even like these men and ignore them and what they say.

However I have read comments online from very old bigoted gay men who actually cited Dan Savage and his opinions as factual reasons for why they believe that bisexual men don't exist. I figure these old queens are just idiots and I ignore them and it's akin to a white person still having 1950s views on Segregation or other racist attitudes that are outdated and untrue.
Posted by BondageLeatherWolf on June 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM · Report this
140
Jake 123- you made my point for me. People are too hostile to listen. For the record I am a Lesbian, I have in 20+ years only had real relationships with women. I am pretty much using men just for sex because when you sleep with a guy and don't call in the morning, most men think they've won the lottery. Women aren't like that. Long term, I am that way myself, but right now, I have a sick father, my mom died in March, and I've got to get my son ready for college next year. My plate is very full and I don't have time for people who expect things from me that I don't have it in me to give.
Posted by meg2110 on June 27, 2011 at 8:02 PM · Report this
139
Dan, do you have any idea what it's like to be rejected by the people who are supposed to be "your people"? It is DEVASTATING for many bi teenagers to try to seek solace within the gay community and then be dismissed as confused, lying, homophobic, or trying to be "trendy". Thanks for being a shining example of how some gay people refuse to help it "get better" for them.

Just face it - this is a topic that you're ignorant about and you need to educate yourself. I went to Pride for the first time this weekend and I didn't go in other years because I was afraid of being dismissed by biphobic (because you are) people like you. This year I said "screw it" and went with my boyfriend. He's straight. He got a "Bi Ally" sticker and was happy to wear it. Having little contact with the GLBT community, he finds it almost unbelievable that gay people would be this obnoxious and dismissive towards bi people. He used to read your column, but he read some of your biphobic comments and quit reading it. I didn't show them to him or tell him to quit reading. He found them and made that decision on his own.

You can catch up with the gay people who have no issues with bi people, or you can be a hypocrite who will look worse and worse as the years go by and your opinions become rarer and more embarrassing. It's up to you.

- Marauder
Posted by Marauder on June 27, 2011 at 7:54 PM · Report this
138
All I see in this shitty excuse for a factual article by a piss poor hypocritical A-Gay who shouldn't be claiming to be fighting for GLBT equality or involved in Pride Parades or any sort of spokesperson/media whore for GLBT people is an excuse by a biphobic gay man who has consistently shown for decades that he does not like bisexuals, does not know anything about bisexuality or human sexuality, and only wants an excuse to treat bisexuals like shit and spread false information about us masquerading as "advice".

Dan Savage is still biphobic and hasn't changed at all even if he wants to pretend that he has.

Dan Savage has done this countless times before with Trans people spreading false info about Transmen and Transwomen calling them "guys with pies", "trannies", and "shemales" which Transpeople consider to be major slurs and then pulls out of his ass the excuse "But some of my best friends are Trans!" that nobody believes.
Posted by thbgkd4 on June 27, 2011 at 6:58 PM · Report this
137
To those like #105 who still declaim that bisexuality doesn't exist, I have a question for you: Who am I lying to? My legally married wife of 15 years, or my committed boyfriend of five years? Clearly I can't love and feel physically attracted to both of them, since bisexuality doesn't exist, so please let me know which of these two relationships is fraudulent.

Or, you know, you could stop being so ignorant. That would also work.
Posted by DexX http://www.bi-alliance.org/ on June 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM · Report this
136
For bisexuals and even Trans people it does not "Get better" with Dan Savage around spreading his biphobic/transphobic lies and bigotry as "fact" in his silly "advice" column that everyone in Seattle is tired of and they're tired of Dan Savage being a silly drama queen and media whore while living in a McMansion with his husband and kid in a wealthy suburb.
Posted by SeattleGrrrrrl on June 27, 2011 at 6:27 PM · Report this
135
It's NOT the fault of us actual bisexuals that there are closet queen chickenshit teenagers and adults who are actually gay and/or lesbian and know it and claim that they're bisexual when they're not at all and they know that they're gay/lesbian.

Notice how Dan does not say that these gay men and lesbians who falsely say that they're bisexual (like he once did), are bad yet he attacks us bisexuals and says how a bisexual identity for a teenager or young adult is one that somehow is lacking or that the teenager really isn't sure of his sexuality and will just eventually come out as being a gay man.

Dan, I don't believe that you're somehow not biphobic because you have been in the past and have practiced bisexual erasure in the past too.

If people reading these replies need proof of this watch the bisexual documentary "Bi the way"
where Dan says on camera and in his own words how he does not believe in male bisexuality at all. You can also find the wonderful things that Dan's said about bisexual men and women in the past and how he does not like us by searching on google for "Dan Savage, biphobic".
Posted by Ducan Miller on June 27, 2011 at 6:11 PM · Report this
134
I have a new definition of chutzpah: reminding bi folks why they should stay in the closet (specifically, because of biphobic assholes like Dan Savage who complain that being asked to not be a biphobic asshole is being told to pretend he doesn't know what he knows... AKA, the "I'm just telling it like it is!" defense) and then telling the same bi folks in the same column that they should come out of the closet for their own good.

Dan Savage, it will get better faster if you'd stop making things worse.
Posted by Linka on June 27, 2011 at 4:21 PM · Report this
133
I have a new definition of chutzpah: reminding bi folks why they should stay in the closet (specifically, because of biphobic assholes like Dan Savage who complain that being asked to not be a biphobic asshole is being told to pretend he doesn't know what he knows... AKA, the "I'm just telling it like it is!" defense) and then telling the same bi folks in the same column that they should come out of the closet for their own good.

Dan Savage, maybe it gets better BUT YOU MAKE THINGS WORSE.
Posted by Linka on June 27, 2011 at 4:17 PM · Report this
132
While I do agree with Dan that more bisexuals should come out of the closetl I think assuming that someone who is in a married hetero relationship has given up on being bi is a bit of a stretch. I'm bi. I am in a hetero marriage. And its because I love my husband and can't imagine life without him. I have never at any point made a decision to stop finding people I find attractive attractive. That's like when the hetero people I know feel guilty for thinking a waiter or waitress is cute because they're married. What? You're married, you're not in a bubble. People will continue to be attractive. You made vows to be honest and loyal to your partner. You didn't make vows to walk around the world blindfolded. Everything about relationships is about being honest with yourself and the other people involved.
Posted by Goldberry on June 27, 2011 at 2:50 PM · Report this
131
I feel like I "get" where Dan is coming from. He's addressing people like me, who were more openly bi or gay earlier in our lives, but don't readily identify as bi now that we "pass" as hetero marrieds. I encounter a lot of homophobia from straight people, and I never know quite how to handle it. Sometimes I "come out" to them, and that either makes them change their rhetoric, peg me as an outsider, or reject me, but it a big relief. And sometimes, I listen to their rhetoric and decide it's just too hostile.

The key to a lot of this, to me, is the setting. When I'm in openly gay or gay friendly environments, I don't hesitate to identify as "bi." But I encounter gay friendly settings less and less as I age.

Clearly, it's not a good set-up to be in the closet. It's painful and uncomfortable whether you're gay or bi or whatever. And maybe there would be a positive effect if straight people (or never considereds) had any idea how varied the sexuality of those around them really was. God bless those trail blazers! To be honest, I don't think I will be one of them.
Posted by hiddenbilife on June 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM · Report this
130
@ 123 "That's total BS that a kid that's 16 or a teenager is less likely to identify as bisexual his entire life. I'm in my early 50s now and I have identified and been out as bisexual since I was 16"

Dan's point is that there are many 16 year-old kids who, like he did, identify as bi when they're really gay. That's why you have to take their professed sexual identity with a grain of salt. That doesn't mean you have to deny it out loud, but Dan specifically says he doesn't. And it's most definitely not biphobic to state this obvious fact, it's realistic.

You turned out to be pretty in tune with your sexual desires, and that's great, but 16 is an awkward age, and not everyone will have their identity sorted as clearly as you did. So you can't call it "total" BS.
Posted by Ricardo on June 27, 2011 at 1:24 PM · Report this
129
As a 30mumble year old bi-chick, I just sort of figure no one wants to hear about my sex life. Since, you know, I'm LTR'd (not open) and family'd up... and not dating.

If I were dating or sleeping with various people, sure, I'd introduce the least scary of them, but since I'm sleeping with the same person, and have been for years... Does anyone REALLY wanna hear about "But I like men AND women, but, but, but I do, I do, I do!" Ain't got nuthin to prove / I find myself disinclined to inspire others to have to go wash out their brains.

I just don't see what my being Bi has to do with anything pertinent for my friends and family. Mmmmm Yummy observations, and sex ed for my kiddo, not withstanding... who on earth wants to hear about my sexual predilections? (Granted, I'm sure my son would rather avoid ever hearing 'his mom' and 'sex' in the same sentence... but he has to suffer through.)

Does my husband know? Of course. That's first date info. I have no idea (outside of my son, poor kid, who had to blush and heave dramatically rolled eyes skyward through the birds'n'bees'n'stds with me) how many other people do. I also have no idea how many people know I like novels, snowboarding, or perching on inappropriate places.
Posted by evas on June 27, 2011 at 12:46 PM · Report this
128
As a 30mumble year old bi-chick, I just sort of figure no one wants to hear about my sex life. Since, you know, I'm LTR'd (not open) and family'd up... and not dating.

If I were dating or sleeping with various people, sure, I'd introduce the least scary of them, but since I'm sleeping with the same person, and have been for years... Does anyone REALLY wanna hear about "But I like men AND women, but, but, but I do, I do, I do!" Ain't got nuthin to prove / I find myself disinclined to inspire others to have to go wash out their brains.

I just don't see what my being Bi has to do with anything pertinent for my friends and family. Mmmmm Yummy observations, and sex ed for my kiddo, not withstanding... who on earth wants to hear about my sexual predilections? (Granted, I'm sure my son would rather avoid ever hearing 'his mom' and 'sex' in the same sentence... but he has to suffer through.)

Does my husband know? Of course. That's first date info. I have no idea (outside of my son, poor kid, who had to blush and heave dramatically rolled eyes skyward through the birds'n'bees'n'stds with me) how many other people do. I also have no idea how many people know I like novels, snowboarding, or perching on inappropriate places.
Posted by evas on June 27, 2011 at 12:43 PM · Report this
127
To Mr. Savage:
As someone present at your speech at ALA last Friday, I was moved by your words and commitment to making life better for LGBT youth. In fact, I feel most comfortable about my sexuality around fellow librarians of my age.
However, I really hate people judging me for being bi and not openly flaunting it. As a teen in Portland, Oregon, I loved our Pride parade and the most popular kids in my school were gay or lesbian. The day I discovered I was bi, it felt calm and relaxing like "Ah, that makes sense." But I was shut out of the scene because I didn't want to choose one way or another. To this day, I find men, women, and in-between to be attractive but am still looked upon suspiciously for not being more decisive and vocal about my sexuality.
Thus, as someone who is responsible for providing information to others, I ask that you also make it clear that it is not necessary to stretch your comfort limits to be an accepted member of the LGBT community. Some of us have loved ones who would have to suffer consequences on our behalf, are simply not suited to be vocal activists, or have personal reasons that have nothing to do with being afraid. I do heartily support your work and am grateful for all that LGBT activists have done for others, but think on this: I come from an ethnic culture where there is no formal native word for 'kiss'. The mere fact that anyone has a semblance of sexuality, be it straight or queer, is something that they're still adjusting to.
Posted by WentToALA on June 27, 2011 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Fortunate 126
Jake, Sure there may be some folks who get assumed to be gay who aren't. But of all the people I KNOW are bi, who have told me they are bi, they are ALL in opposite sex relationships, and again, in this very thread the vast majority are in opposite sex relationships.

Again, I didn't say it never happens, only that it isn't the norm, and so the odds are against the gay guy looking for a long term relationship with a bi guy. Not because the bi guy is more likely to cheat, or can't decide on one person. Only because when they do decide on one person for a serious thing it is most often a woman.

I'm happy for you and your friends. You must be the great enclave of bi folks in same sex relationships. If there were some way to identify bi people who are actually willing to be in a long term relationship with someone of the same gender it wouldn't be an issue. But the odds are better if you are gay and with a gay guy.

Posted by Fortunate on June 27, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Fortunate 125
@123 Good for you, but that only matters if me (or Dan) said no kid who identifies as bi continues to all their life. This is what I mean when I said I don't think some of you are actually reading what is being written. Since I didn't say that no kid who identifies as bi continues to do so their whole lives, the fact that you did doesn't contradict anything I said.

So recognizing the odds and playing them to my advantage is bi-phobic? Fine. It is also smart under certain circumstances.
Posted by Fortunate on June 27, 2011 at 11:57 AM · Report this
124
122 (un) fortunate-Also just because you do not personally know any bisexuals who are in same gender relationships that does not mean that they don't exist.

I'm partnered to a bisexual man and I have been for two decades now.

We know other couples who are assumed to be "gay" because they're both men and either both men or one man is bisexual.

I've even met Female/Female couples where both women are bisexual or one woman is bisexual and the other is a lesbian.
Posted by Jake532685 on June 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM · Report this
123
Dan may have identified as bisexual but that does not mean that he actually ever was or has been bisexual, he was just a closeted gay man.

@116 Emaline-stop being a Dan Savage fangirl he's biphobic and if you've read this essay or what he's said about us bisexuals in the past which other people have reposted, it is clear as day.

@119 meg2110-You're bisexual. If you're a 5 on the Kinsey scale that makes you bisexual since if you really were Lesbian you'd be a 6 and not sexually attracted to men at all. The only dykes I've ever met who did have sex with men were the ones that were deeply closeted and married to men who they'd put out for.

@122 (un)Fortunate-That's OK I don't want to date biphobic gay men like yourself and I doubt most bisexual men do either.

That's total BS that a kid that's 16 or a teenager is less likely to identify as bisexual his entire life. I'm in my early 50s now and I have identified and been out as bisexual since I was 16.
Posted by Jake532685 on June 27, 2011 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Fortunate 122
Well, I am probably going to get slammed too, but I have to agree with almost everything that Dan said. In fact I am reading some of these comments and have to wonder if some of you actually read the same article. This part is particularly one that I don't think many have read carefully:

"I don't berate bi-identified teenage boys, I don't tell them they're not really bi, and I don't cruise around bi neighborhoods looking for young bi guys to beat up. But I do know that a bi-identified 36-year-old is likelier to be bisexual than a bi-identified 16-year-old, and I resent being asked to pretend not to know it."

Many are characterizing it as if he said he tells kids who identify as Bi that they really aren't, or that he claims that most people who identify as bi turn out not to be.

He didn't say either of these things. He is acknowledging that a 16 year old who calls himself bi is less likely to continue to do that all his life then someone who is older who identifies as bi.

He is right. That doesn't mean that all bi kids aren't really bi, or even that most bi kids aren't really bi.

It only is an acknowledgment that there are kids who identify as bi who later come to the realization that they are gay, and that this percentage tends to be higher with kids then adults.

He didn't say he questions bi kids who identify as such to him if they really are bi. Nor is he saying that most people who identify as bi aren't really bi.

The other thing I find interesting is people arguing with his assessment that most bi people end up in long term opposite sex relationships. I can say that I don't know any bi identified people from my college days who are in same sex relationships today.

In this comments thread alone look at those identifying their orientation and their relationship and see, of those who identified as bi and who indicated the gender of the person they are involved with, I found 2 who were involved with both genders, 3 who were involved with the same gender (and that includes one who actually identified as lesbian, but bi curious), and 16 who were in opposite gender relationships.

I know, not scientific, and I may have missed a couple on one side or the other, but really, this reflects my own experiences.

Here is the thing. I don't care if you are gay, bi, or straight... unless I am dating you. Then it does matter.

When I was young I dated a few bi guys (two I didn't know right away because they didn't tell me they were bi right away, they originally said they were gay). Of those I have kept in touch with ALL are now in opposite gender relationships.

As I got older most of the bi guys I met were of the "I am physically attracted to men, but I'm only emotionally attracted to women" type.

Once I got past the screwing around and not really serious about settling down period of my life and decided I did want something more serious it became clear that finding someone for a long term relationship is a numbers game. You have to date a lot of people and screen out those who aren't compatible. And sometimes you have to preemptively screen out people with whom the odds are against you. It didn't take long to figure out that with bi guys the odds were against me.

That doesn't mean that there are not bi guys out there who will settle down with another guy, but odds are you have to go through more bi guys to find that then gay guys.

So I stopped dating bi guys. Also I always felt there as a distinct difference experiential with dating bi guys. Some lack of a common ground. As so many bi people in this thread have pointed out, the experience of being bi and being gay are not the same thing.

If that makes me bi-phobic then so be it. But I don't accept that to be non phobic that means I have to date someone I don't want to. I don't consider a straight guy homophobic just because he doesn't want to date another guy. I just call him straight.

I'm a gay guy who actively finds the state of being gay an attractive quality. Knowing a guy is gay just turns me on more and makes me more attracted to him. I may find a straight guy physically attractive, but I don't find any desire to get involved with one, and I don't have any desire to get involved with bi guys either.

Sure, the sex is the same, but relationships can, and typically are, be about more then sex.
More...
Posted by Fortunate on June 27, 2011 at 11:29 AM · Report this
121
Dan admits that he was bisexual, at one point in his life. Then his identity changed. What's wrong with that? Nothing.

He also argues that most bisexuals end up in opposite sex relationships. True or not, what's wrong with that? Nothing.

Then he argues that more bisexuals should come out, but not complain about the lousy treatment that we get from everyone else, gay or straight. So while he provides the example of a gay movement fighting for its rights as something to emulate, he contradicts himself by saying bisexuals should keep quiet about the crap that they get. Coming out has not been the only reason for the successes of the gay rights movement; the work of thousands of dedicated activists, arguing and yelling and marching and demonstrating against discrimination is what has brought about change. I'm surprised to see such a simplistic argument from someone that I regarded as more sophisticated than that.
Posted by bisexual_hell_yeah on June 27, 2011 at 11:09 AM · Report this
120
Dan admits that he was bisexual, at one point in his life. Then his identity changed. What's wrong with that? Nothing.

He also argues that most bisexuals end up in opposite sex relationships. True or not, what's wrong with that? Nothing.

Then he argues that more bisexuals should come out, but not complain about the lousy treatment that we get from everyone else, gay or straight. So while he provides the example of a gay movement fighting for its rights as something to emulate, he contradicts himself by saying bisexuals should keep quiet about the crap that they get. Coming out has not been the only reason for the successes of the gay rights movement; the work of thousands of dedicated activists, arguing and yelling and marching and demonstrating against discrimination is what has brought about change. I'm surprised to see such a simplistic argument from someone that I regarded as more sophisticated than that.
Posted by Lisa_bi_girl on June 27, 2011 at 11:07 AM · Report this
119
I don't think I could. I am a hard 5 on the Kinsey scale, and identifying as bi would make me undatable to Lesbians.
I have never been in a LTR with a man, BUT in between them, I have dated guys. Lesbians are hard, and that really came into focus a couple years ago when I was divorcing my wife and there were property issues and (worse) custody issues with our son. I tried online dating went on a date and an hour in she said that I lived in a nice town and maybe she should sell her condo and look around. I thought "what the fuck is wrong with you, it's a first date!" took her back to the train asap and never answered a call from her again. That was it for me. Recently I was asked out by a guy I know from work and I went. Dinner and sex, and no discussion of joint checking or adopting a cat. It is just what I want right now. I will never have the emotional connection with a man, but I don't think I am ready for one with a woman.
Posted by meg2110 on June 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM · Report this
118
Perhaps the ugliest truth of all is how many of us could not possible care less who is doing who anymore - or who did who two years before we met. Ugh, I am just sick of everyone complaining that they are not appreciated or respected enough when they insist I must know who they are fucking and are so hyper-defensive they feel the need to also tell me how I must feel about it when, hey, all I did was ask is to pass the salt.

@Dan Savage - all of the above having been expressed, I can sort of understand why bi-sexuals might think you are bi-phob because honestly I am confused about your having explained to more then one male caller/mailer that just because he likes to engage in the occasional encounter with another man that he is not gay and NOT bi-sexual either. He just has a little, uhm, penis fetish is all. Really??

I have been over this a dozen times in my head and I still don't get what is wrong with asking them to understand that - lucky them - they have a little room in their sexuality for both sexes? Why AREN'T they bi-sexual? I mean I didn't feel as though you were coming from a place of telling them it is okay to be 'a little bit country and a little bit rock'n'roll', but rather giving them this plausible deniability that they are completely hetro with a harmless little affinity for penises on the side. I don't recall you reenforcing that they need to come clean about this predilection to all their lovers. So understandably I am a little confused as to how to handle it if I had a boyfriend I thought was interested in the same sex.
Posted by kismet on June 27, 2011 at 10:39 AM · Report this
117
Perhaps the ugliest truth of all is how many of us could not possible care less who is doing who anymore - or who did who two years before we met. Ugh, I am just sick of everyone complaining that they are not appreciated or respected enough when they insist I must know who they are fucking and are so hyper-defensive they feel the need to also tell me how I must feel about it when, hey, all I did was ask is to pass the salt.

@Dan Savage - all of the above having been expressed, I can sort of understand why bi-sexuals might think you are bi-phob because honestly I am confused about your having explained to more then one male caller/mailer that just because he likes to engage in the occasional encounter with another man that he is not gay and NOT bi-sexual either. He just has a little, uhm, penis fetish is all. Really??

I have been over this a dozen times in my head and I still don't get what is wrong with asking them to understand that - lucky them - they have a little room in their sexuality for both sexes? Why AREN'T they bi-sexual? I mean I didn't feel as though you were coming from a place of telling them it is okay to be 'a little bit country and a little bit rock'n'roll', but rather giving them this plausible deniability that they are completely hetro with a harmless little affinity for penises on the side. I don't recall you reenforcing that they need to come clean about this predilection to all their lovers. So understandably I am a little confused as to how to handle it if I had a boyfriend I thought was interested in the same sex.
Posted by kismet on June 27, 2011 at 10:35 AM · Report this
116
Man, how many people here are biphobic?

Also, #7 you've got some severe problems, and are an ass.

Also, I'm a bi/pansexual girl, and I love Dan Savage. I don't think he is biphobic.
Posted by Emaline on June 27, 2011 at 10:16 AM · Report this
115
oh dan savage. i get where you are coming from - sorta. yes, when you are young, it's easy to use the cloak of bisexuality as an easy catchall; it allows you to explore but also to back into the safety of being all "normal." the plausible deniability of bisexuality eases a lot of the sting. i get that you see it that way.

and in later years, when relationships seem to solidify and stabilize, it's still easy to see a person in a boy/girl partnering as "straight and a person in a boy/boy or girl/girl one as "gay." it's an easy binary; a monogamous bisexual person just gets shuttled into one side or the other, and with all the baggage that surrounds the b-word, really, why bother trying to identify with it anyway? it's such a maude-awful mess.

so sure, if you still have a problem with "bisexual," i'll take the bigger mouthful. "heteroromancic/homoerotic." there, it's a bit more accurate anyway; more romantically and intellectually attracted to men, but more physically attracted to women. but that's not even it, because it's the personality more than anything, that attracts me. body aesthetics are a part of it yes, as well as internalized social roles and my own quirks and particularities - and the ever present "can this person put up with my stuff? will i put up with theirs? can we inspire and grow and push and pull and make something better than just the two of us?" that kind of thing goes above and beyond gender lines and names and social mores. for me, anyway. there are so many deliciously gray areas in and among the polarities; human sexuality can be fluid, and putting boundaries in there with names and words and labels just mucks up the works.
Posted by mergatroid in megacity on June 27, 2011 at 10:10 AM · Report this
114
Interesting. I'm a straight reader who never got why everyone called Dan bi-phobic until I read through these comments. Little bit of crazy train backlash but also some valid points--and then there's the reader citing some of Dan's past columns (yikes).

It can be hard to step out of the mental groove created by old assumptions but starting with "I'm not bi-phobic, *but*"...probably not the best way to gain perspective.
Posted by Dieder on June 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM · Report this
113
@105, you're a dumbass.
Posted by Smell on June 27, 2011 at 10:03 AM · Report this
112
I've tried coming out as bi - and I was laughed at and ignored by the LGBT community. They don't believe me.

Bi people don't have a good coming-out narrative. Coming out as gay is so dramatic -- "Hey! I'm actually opposite from what you thought I was! Look, I'm dating someone from the opposite sex!" When you come out as bi, usually you don't radically alter your relationship structure, because you've already found something that works (or doesn't work). There's no "true love" story that maps exactly to your sexuality -- so you're bi, does that mean you have to have one of each to be happy?

So, I'm mostly out, but I usually don't mention anything when I'm in mixed gay-straight company because I'm tired of explaining or being avoided by gay people. Avoided. By perfectly nice people who suddenly see me as a predator or a poser or a voyeur or whatever.

So, yeah, maybe more of us should be out, but what do we get? There's already a gay rights movement, and gay people like to tell us that we're not oppressed enough for a whole movement. We don't get a dramatic coming-out party. We don't automatically get a shiny new love interest.

"You can pass." Yep, I can pass. And you'll just have to deal with it if I'm in your bar because that's where I feel comfortable, well, right up until I told you I was bi.
Posted by RachelT on June 27, 2011 at 9:42 AM · Report this
111
so many good comments. i must follow up with yet another 'type': i personally know a guy who likes his 'straight' label. He let's everyone know he is straight, however, he doesn't like vagina. He loves women. He likes to get into relationships with them, but then can't follow through. He LOVES cock. He prefers transsexual women, but will enjoy males now and again. Something I've noticed however, is that regardless who the individual is that his attention is on, its almost NEVER about the whole person, and only about the cock. I've often thought he should be in a relationship with a disembodied penis. It would bring him the most satisfaction and happines. He won't bond or develop emotional ties or connctions to a male, however. He can only emotionally bond with females. Strangest thing I've ever witnessed, but being his best friend I simply can't judge. He is a great person, and I sympathize. I can't imagine the life he faces, the challenges. Is he bi? I don't think that can be said for sure. In my opinion, no. Bisexual implies the ability, and desire to have SEX with both genders. If you can only have sex with one type of genitalia, that takes you out of the bisexual loop. I think new terminology must always be coined. If you can only bond and date one gender, and have sex with the other gender, then what should one call you? other than human?
Posted by skyeambrose on June 27, 2011 at 9:41 AM · Report this
110
I think many people stay in the closet about being Bi because of the sneering and jeering from both the straight & gay communities. We're seen as staying on the fence and not taking a stand/choice either way. We're seen as dabbling with our own and others sexuality and gender choices. If we get involved with anyone on either side of the Kinsey lines we're sometimes told we have to make a choice to be straight or gay or our potential partners will leave. People on the outside of our heads and hearts don't understand how we can flirt or date with BOTH gals and guys, and foist that confusion into derision that "we just don't know what we want". We're even occasionally seen as perverts, or have others think that admitting to being Bi automatically means we're up for *anything* in the bedroom = 3somes, BDSM, Poly, Light & Heavy kink.... And we're very seldom allowed to just be ourselves- attracted to both sexes, and maybe with a preference towards dating one over the other (or not), monogamous or whatever. I've become *VERY* careful about ever admitting this part of myself to anyone in the past several years for all of the above reasons. And become very successful about quashing this part of myself for all of the above reasons as well and “playing it straight” / “passing”. And this is as close as I've come to an 'outing myself' message in a long time. Take it or leave it.
Posted by Lorelei on June 27, 2011 at 9:37 AM · Report this
109
As a bi-guy, I like girls (bi-girls are best)-as far as relationships&love go. Hooking up with very selective straight men on the condition that women are involved is great but honesty so rare it only happens once in a few years. Does that make me "bi"?
Otherwise I don't like just sex with men, especially gay men. I also don't appreciate gay men trying to touch me at pride. You give a little support and they try and rape you with their hands. I would never touch a woman like that. How many times do I have to explain to my gay friends I don't like them in a sexual way, and it will never happen-I'm just being gay positive, and like their friendship. Respect my boundaries!
Regardless I have no interest in "coming out" to anyone I'm not sexually involved with. I like oral sex, do I need to profess that to my parents? I don't identify with my sexuality, I just like sex. It's nobody's business unless they're potential partners. I don't want to hold hands with another man in public. I'm not that bi but if he has a girlfriend I might be down to fuck them both.
Posted by sbot22 on June 27, 2011 at 9:32 AM · Report this
108
Alternate titles include:
"The Classic Biphobic Defense"
"How to Alienate your Bisexual Readership in Just One Article!"
and
"I'm not Biphobic, You All Are Just Whiny Bitches Without Any Actual Problems"
Posted by ohflattery on June 27, 2011 at 9:32 AM · Report this
107
For me, being out as bi was easy: I identified as gay for years and dated women years before I found myself attracted to men. So describing myself as bi was never me rounding, it was me accepting that I was no longer attracted just to women. It actually turned out to be harder than accepting I was gay; the change for me was what was hard.

I'm in an opposite-sex relationship now, but my fiance is perfectly aware (and completely comfortable) that I've dated women, loved women, and slept with women. Hell, we check out chicks together.

That said, I still agree with a lot of what Dan has to say here. Unless we're vocal about who we are, we're invisible. And until people within the queer community can see that we're here and we're still queer, it's easy to assume that the identity is a cover-up. When people meet me and discover I'm engaged to a guy, they have no reason to suspect I'm not straight until I start talking about how incredibly hot Alyson Hannigan is. But if I was with a woman, it'd be easy to assume I was gay until I started talking about how hot Neil Patrick Harris is.

Yes, it's uncomfortable and hurtful when people within the queer community tell me things like that it's "trendy" to be bi. But just as much as it's my responsibility to help my community recognize that same-sex marriage is an important right, it's my responsibility to help my community recognize that there are genuinely bi people out there, and that we're not going to bite.

Unless you ask nicely.
Posted by Katiegreen on June 27, 2011 at 9:15 AM · Report this
seattlegrrrl 106
#14, Thecheesegirl: "I'm going to take exception to the "women's sexuality is more fluid" idea, which I know is a very popular one, but it still irks me. I don't think it's so much that women's sexuality is more fluid, ... Men just have higher penalties for not meeting the societal norm (i.e. gay men=icky; lesbians=hawt!; bi chicks=DOUBLE hawt!!), and ... women are seen pretty ubiquitously as sex objects in this society, therefore, women are more likely to be able to see other women as sex objects even when their bi tendencies only really go so far as an aesthetic appreciation."

Thank you. You said that perfectly. Finally, a voice of reason.
Posted by seattlegrrrl http:// on June 27, 2011 at 9:11 AM · Report this
105
I may get flack for this; but I think there is no such thing. Either you are gay or you are not if you say "I'm bi" then you are only fooling yourself.
Posted by JamesR. on June 27, 2011 at 9:10 AM · Report this
104
The problem with the argument that we should "face the reality" that most people who come out as bi are just transitioning is that even if you aren't using it to harass young bi kids, MOST PEOPLE ARE.

Most of my adolescence as a bi kid was spent coming out and then being told by my peers that I was lying, ashamed, or just cowardly. I had a girlfriend who would one day say "Yeah, you're definitely gay," and the next say "Oh, I'm sure you're straight." I seriously spent half of my adolescence thinking I was a coward for not being able to "admit" to being a lesbian- I thought I was a bad person because of everything my gay friends told me. And that is why a lot of us think the gay community is full of assholes- because frankly, it is.

So even if statistically its true the fact that people won't stop harping on it makes serious rifts in the community and make bi kids feel shitty and unwelcome. By encouraging this rhetoric we make it permissible for people to question (to the point of harassment) someone's sexuality. And while you seem to think that is ok to do, for those of us who are the victims of it it fucking sucks.

To this day, as an adult bisexual (who according to you should no longer be questioned) I still have to regularly argue with others about MY sexuality. Its gotten to the point that I have a response memorized for the occasion- that it is completely idiotic that anyone would presume to know more about my sexuality than I do. Its sad that I have to memorize that response. Its sad that I've been saying it since I was 15. Its sad that I mostly say it to member of the gay community, to people like you.

Bottom line, if you want to stop being accused of being biphobic then maybe you should stop treating us as whiny enemies and instead try being welcoming. You may find it gets a better response than shitty articles like this.
More...
Posted by ohflattery on June 27, 2011 at 8:59 AM · Report this
103
I'm out as bisexual - it wasn't always easy to do, particularly in the gay and trans community that I was involved in. Particularly trans people assumed I was the token straight girl.

Anyway, I'm in one of those allegedly-unavoidable heterosexual long-term relationships, but I was out to my husband before things got serious between us. We talked through it. Now that I have a wedding ring, even here in gay-marriage-happy Canada, people assume I'm straight and that led me to a period of time where I was obnoxiously out of the closet with everyone in earshot, just to be honest to myself and others. I hated being so self-conscious about coming out, or doing it so vocally. I still make a point of coming out at work when I change jobs, and make no secret of my past relationships with women (or future, fantasy relationships) when I'm with friends. Husband and I go to and occasionally march in the pride parade here in Halifax. It's good times, and our relationship is much, much stronger because of it.
Posted by knovak on June 27, 2011 at 8:58 AM · Report this
102
I find this terribly frustrating. I'm bi, I'm out to most people, I just marched in the NYC pride parade. and I'm in an opposite sex marriage. The only real problems I've had is from the gay/lesbian community. how much more out am I supposed to be? when yet another lesbian laughs off my sexuality and basically accuses me of lying how much am I supposed to fight them? I've done it for many many years (I'm in my 40s) and all it gets me is marginalized (at best) in the gay community. I've heard this story again and again from other bisexual people. So, honestly, I just reject Dan's idea that basically its our fault, that if we were out more we wouldn't have these problems. We are out and its absolutely true that all it gets us is criticism.
Posted by onyx on June 27, 2011 at 8:54 AM · Report this
101
I'm a straight woman married to a bisexual man. He's been out to me from very early in our relationship. I used to worry that monogamy would be hard for him, but it's his choice, and he's the most monogamous man I've ever known. We talk freely about our past relationships, and here's one fun thing that most married women can't say: he and I can compare our taste in men!
Posted by pingwoof on June 27, 2011 at 8:50 AM · Report this
100
Just wanted to chime in and say hi to the other bi's who can't get dates with the "real queers" because we aren't "queer enough". I also like being labeled as "butch" when i can afford lots of short haircuts and as "femme" because today I wore a skirt. It's almost harder to be a queer, there are even more expectations!
Posted by ca1tl1n on June 27, 2011 at 8:43 AM · Report this
99
Clearly the way to clear your name of biphobia is to write an asshole article bitching about bisexuals and not conceding that anything you've ever done has been biphobic. Good job, I totally see the light now.

Seriously Dan, go fuck yourself.
Posted by ohflattery on June 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM · Report this
98
Man, I would totally come out tomorrow, except that thanks to my amazingly cool family and friends I came out years ago. Drat their constant acceptance of who I am.
Posted by rockdaughter on June 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM · Report this
97
After I came out as bisexual to my lesbian twin sister I was told that my relationship with a woman didn't "count" and I had no right to call her my girlfriend, a term she and her lover had 'worked so long and hard for the right to use'. While her idea of activism is hitting 'like' on Facebook and has never 'worked' for LGBT rights in her whole life is besides the point. I was scared back into the closet and decided if the person closest to me could react like that, how would other people? The closet may be dark and cramped, but at least it's safe.
Posted by PolyInPocket on June 27, 2011 at 8:35 AM · Report this
96
Yay, Max the Communist!
Dan very badly wants his bisexual critics to acknowledge that many gay men and lesbians come out as bisexual first, then transition to gay and lesbian identities.

He seems to have no knowledge/recognition of people who come out as gay/lesbian first, then transition to bisexual, pansexual, or queer identities. Maybe he doesn't see or hear it happen because he hangs with his own gay clique--but those kind of coming out stories are pretty common in the bi community. It goes both ways, Dan.


I had a Lesbian friend, who wondered what the "big deal" was about boys. So, I agreed to be her "lab rat" that she could play with, and now she identifies as bisexual. She still likes girls more than boys. So what? She set me up on a date with a really cute boy. He was more into boys than into her, things worked out.

Posted by Jacques on June 27, 2011 at 4:26 AM · Report this
95
Political correctness paralysis. No thank you. This kind of thoughtless pseudo-social science nonsense is exactly why my partner of 24 years and I have nothing to do with the "gay community" because such a community really doesn't exist anymore, and I don't think it can be proven to ever have existed. The same goes for what people call a "gay culture" it does not exist and it cannot be proven to have ever existed.

There are a whole shit load of latent bisexuals masquerading around as gay men because they are ignorant of the fact that bisexual doesn't only mean an equal attraction to both genders, that you don't have to fall in love or want a relationship with both genders in order to be bisexual, or they're too scared to admit it because they've invested so much of their time and energy cultivating a gay identity.

Also there are some gay men like Dan Savage who are highly bigoted towards bisexual men. Just like there are some lesbians who dislike bisexual women and trans women. These factors are also reasons why men and women who are bisexual yet call themselves gay or lesbian do not want to come out.

The dirty little secret that never gets addressed in the so called "gay" world is the fact that many gay men do go through a second coming out and re-identify as bisexual. These men may still overwhelmingly prefer men, but their orientation and identity are not exclusively towards men. And how their attraction to both sexes manifests differently as well. The ridiculous protest that "well sexual attraction to a woman just happened that one time, it doesn't mean anything, it's not going to happen again" belies the fact if you really were gay it wouldn't have happened in the first place and to now assume that it would never happen again defies basic logic.

It's always weird to be corrected by someone (e.g., Dan Savage) who is wrong in their knowledge of a subject. I've found that if you dare to even allude to someone not being not quite "gay" (in other words bisexual) then you get the typical apoplectic reaction--oh no, no, no, he's gay, he's definitely gay, absolutely, no question about it, and on and on and on. So many gay men are so fucking bi-phobic it's unreal--and it's usually because they don't understand the concept in the first place and they've made no attempt to do so.

More...
Posted by Lady Day on June 26, 2011 at 6:00 PM · Report this
94
@93 MaxtheCommunist-Right on! Dan Savage does seem to ignore that there are A LOT of bisexuals who once did identify as lesbian or gay for years or even decades before discovering that they're actually bisexual.

Of course Dan is stuck in a Pre-Kinseyian view on human sexuality and spends too much time in the Gay Ghetto and suburbs.

I've seen this poor excuse for an "article" reposted and bigoted gay men are telling bisexuals that they're "ranting" when they show how Dan Savage is bigoted and biphobic.
Posted by AnotherMan on June 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM · Report this
93
Dan very badly wants his bisexual critics to acknowledge that many gay men and lesbians come out as bisexual first, then transition to gay and lesbian identities.

He seems to have no knowledge/recognition of people who come out as gay/lesbian first, then transition to bisexual, pansexual, or queer identities. Maybe he doesn't see or hear it happen because he hangs with his own gay clique--but those kind of coming out stories are pretty common in the bi community. It goes both ways, Dan.

Then there are those who engage in breeder sex after they come out gay/lesbian and they still identify as gay/lesbian. Who knows why--maybe the sexual attraction is there but not the emotional/romantic element. Or maybe the stigma of making their fluid sexuality visible through using another identity is too scary and complicated for them. Maybe dealing with the biphobia of the gay community, on top of the homophobia of the straight community, is just too darn much. So they shut up about it. Certainly, gay identified men who engage in a bit of breeder sex are not going to tell any biphobic gay friend like Dan about their feelings, because they already know how Dan feels about bisexuals. And they probably also know that Dan thinks pussy is gross--like a split open can of ham.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was no more fear and shame over who was fucking who? Wasn't that the original intention of Gay Liberation? Wouldn't it be great if gays, lesbians and bisexuals could share their stories with each other, to realize our diversity but also help each other get over the fear and shame? And then we could all take some time to listen to transgender and genderqueer people and learn from their struggles. We could finally stop fearing each other. And we could develop really enlightened leaders and spokespersons for the LGBTQ.

Then things would really get better.
More...
Posted by MaxtheCommunist on June 26, 2011 at 1:41 PM · Report this
lyllyth 92
I would like to thank:
11, 13, 22, 23, 32, 33, 44, 51, 55, 64, 65, 74, 81, and 87 for their thoughtful responses.

No, I'm not telling you my orientation.
That's nobody's business unless I'm dating them.

So nyeah, Dan. ;P
Posted by lyllyth on June 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM · Report this
watchout5 91
I don't feel like my bi ever left the curious phase. Is that really something to mention? One time I put my lips on another man's lips and I enjoyed it, but had it been his cock I'd probably not participate. Maybe I just know my limits?
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on June 26, 2011 at 1:27 PM · Report this
90
@89-That's OK I don't want to date or have anything to do with people like you who are biphobic. Bisexual women want to have sex with other women. There's no difference between having sex with a bisexual woman or with a lesbian woman.

@87-I've seen the point too. Dan is being his usual biphobic self.

I do agree with what you wrote in the "Bisexual" vs "Trans/pansexual" part of your post. I've noticed that some Trans people will say how if you want to date or have a sexual attraction towards Trans people that you're "Pansexual" or "Omnisexual" when I consider Trans people to be men or women (depending on their gender) and like someone else wrote calling them a "3rd gender" is transphobic and just shows how you don't understand what it's like to be trans.
Posted by Trin on June 26, 2011 at 11:41 AM · Report this
89
Just because I don't want to date bisexuals, doesn't mean I'm a bigot. I don't date women with foot fetishes because I find it gross. That doesn't mean I want to deny them marriage rights or that I wouldn't be friends with them or that I'd kick my child out of the house if I found foot porn. It's just a bridge too far for me sexually. Just as I think having sex with men is disgusting, therefore, I am only attracted to women who want to have sex with other women.

How does this make me bi-phobic? It's a visceral, natural reaction and I can't get past that so why should I pretend otherwise and try to date bi women.
Posted by People with the most options are the whiniest on June 26, 2011 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Violet_DaGrinder 88
I'm female, bi, out, in a relationship with a straight man, and it's all kinda weird. Shouldn't be, but it is. A lesbian coworker and I were talking with some queer clients about pride, and they wished me "happy pride" as I left the room. I felt bad for a second, as though I shouldn't have let them think I was a member of their club. But...I am! And then I'm walking down Broadway holding my boyfriend's hand and feeling like I wish I had a queer stamp on my forehead or something. I don't want to be perceived as straight, I know I am, and it's aggravating. None of this is anybody's fault, it's just a product of being a minority in a non-visible way.
Posted by Violet_DaGrinder http://www.imeem.com/jukeboxmusic51/music/y1malqpG/prince-the-new-power-generation-featuring-eric-leeds-on-f/ on June 26, 2011 at 9:04 AM · Report this
87
Sigh.

First off, yay @63, @74 and @75: seeing the point, even if there's some problematic language in there.

I'm sum it up for the rest of you who feel the need to point out how many hyphens you have in your name, or that your relationship/sexuality credentials need to be proven:
It's about visibility. This is pretty much the ongoing message to the rest of the letter-salad group since there's been a movement.

And bisexuals "vs." trans-...
@Whoop di do: THANK YOU for giving me the words to use now - "bisexuality accommodates this - the idea is that we're attracted to our own sex and to other sexes. THAT is the "bi" in the term, not "men and women."
I've caught unholy hell from trans friends for identifying as 'bi' and not shifting to a less comfortable 'pansexual' or 'omni' or whatever terminology someone else thinks should be put over my head.
Posted by hominidX on June 26, 2011 at 8:09 AM · Report this
86
I like reading Dan's columns, and while I have not gone through the entire archive, I have probably read more than half, and I regularly once a while read and catch up on all the ones I have missed since my last reading session. I'm 29, pansexual which depending on the definition can be boiled down to bisexual, and genderqueer. I surpressed all sexuality of mine (among other things) until I was almost 20, so while I had been attracted to men and women I just thought that was me being a weirdo straight "artfag". I eventually gave up on denying I had normal human emotions, and in retrospect it's blatantly obvious how bi/pansexual I always have been since little. Once I stopped suppressing emotions (anger, sexuality, etc - shit happens when you spent your entire youth in an abusive environment trying to make it bearable to exist), I had no problems telling my recently befriended friends of my sexuality. They were/are a wonderfully laid back bunch and I have mellowed out to a ridiculous extent since then. While I always have done whatever I can towards LGBT issues, one thing that still have no interest in doing is discussing my sexuality with others I know from an LGBT issue. My friends and family knows, and for any of the co-workers that it has come up in a discussion with knows, but to introduce myself by my sexuality rather than as myself is grating. I have no patience with people demanding I prove and justify the existence of parts of myself. I spent nearly 20 of my first years having to justify my existence, no more. If people assume I am male or female, straight or gay, whatever. I will act according to who I am, not what people think I am. I usually do not bother going out of my way to correct people's misconceptions, but if asked or otherwise raised as issue, I will gladly elaborate to whatever extent people ask.
One thing that really pissed me off about this page (being angry at something Dan writes is unusual for me, I normally don't have passionate views on his writing, even if I agree or disagree) is that a part is written as if it's somehow our fault that people lie about themselves. What the fuck. Especially as far from all of those who do realize they are. There are a lot of people who do not have their sexuality strongly defined only a few years into these new emotions. Hell, there are a lot of people who still are confused being far older than Dan Savage. It should not be wrong for people to try to make sense of their feelings (not that Dan ever said so, just that his wording was very belittling). I am well aware of that I am freakishly lucky to not have to go through any confusing periods like that in my life, I guess that's the only upside to suppressing oneself while still being openminded and always having read a fuckton of science and info since kindergarden is that. But I have met too many people who have to struggle because of them trying too hard to fit labels onto themselves. Dan usually does not phrase that sort of stuff this stupidly. It is not our fault assholes lie, even if it is for understandable reasons, nor should it matter what they claim. Accept them at face value and learn to live with that people seemingly change a lot throughout their lives. If someone says they are bi at 16 and then not when they are 26, that means this and only this: for a while they said they were bi, for whatever reason which you may or may not become privy to. It does not mean that people who claim they are bi at 16 do not know wtf they are talking about, any more/less than someone claiming to be straight at that age. There are a lot of people who claim straightness at 16 but not at 26, that does not somehow mean straightness is to be belittle either, so don't be a leotard about it when it comes to any sexuality.
There are to many straight people who intentionally and unintentionally belittle other sexualities already, anyone else doing the same has just as an awful effect, and is even more painful.
More...
Posted by asdfggg on June 26, 2011 at 5:16 AM · Report this
85
to think that dan savage could generate such a comment post is actually pretty pitiful. but
then to come across his HIV STIGMA just goes to show how far we have not come since the eighties.

what i see: the inability to care for those in your community. Instead, it's the same ol'
bullshit of making yourselves feel better and more privileged in yet another minority group
that is somehow convinced that breaking into a mainstream, CAPITALISTIC, evil hetero-normative
society is going to magically make things better - HA! Savage is an A-Gay and is upper middle class and lives in the suburbs with a house and kids and just wants to emulate a Heterosexual lifestyle and thinks that all bisexual and gay men should do this or that we all somehow want to like him. Savage is a media whore with Peter Pan syndrome who just loves attention and can't get enough of it even if it's negative attention.

I find it hypocritical that gay men are claiming that most bisexuals and trans people are somehow victimey or want to celebrate victimhood. Yet if a Straight person or even another gay man or LBT person who can think for themselves says anything criticizing their sacred cows or anything against the "Community" they're branded as homophobic.

I'm not sure why so many Savage/It gets better queens on this blog are now claiming and denying that Dan Savage is bi-phobic? He clearly is and if you've read his "advice" column or listened to his podcasts one can easily see how he has major issues with people who are bisexual and that he is biphobic.

Try doing the research on these topics for yourself and you will see how Savage is very bigoted.

It really is just as bad as the shit we get from Heterosexist society and Rev. Phelps but it's from another GLBT person so it's 10,000X more hypocritical and worse when it's from someone on the inside like this.

fuck this shit. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER!
you'll spend your days feeding the wallets of major corporations. allowing them to sell you a
version of gay/GLBT/Queer culture that is more concerned with KILLING YOU and this thing you call "individuality."

then instead of actually doing anything about being metaphorically "fucked in the ass" by
nearly 99% of americans (because queer/GLBT people still fuck queer/GLBT people over in extreme ways) you'll turn to some MONEY-HUNGRY ICON like Dan Savage, and repost false, generic
information and claim it as your own with revisionist history about how he's not biphobic when he has been for a very long time.

and don't forget the pride celebrations and nightly outings, which take you on a spiral into ALCOHOLISM, meth addiction, bareback sex, and recklessness. where a quarter of you end up hiv-positive because nobody has learned how to talk to one another or give a shit about knowing their status or using condoms either in the heat of the moment or as part of having safer sex.

and instead of blaming yourselves, you'll blame others, until you hopefully realize how fucked
up the "community" is, and start living a more productive and meaningful life.

but fuck it, it's pride and we all know what that is about, right?
going out, buying shit, getting wasted, buying more shit, getting more wasted, angry, annoyed,
horny, stupid, redundant and ugly.

well, not so much. it's about stonewall. it's about resistance. it's about a memory and
celebrating a time when queers were brave enough to stand up and fight against the system in hopes of thriving and forming their own unique culture. stonewall was a riot! not another dreadful, self-loathing party in the gentrified Castro district while watching your "It gets better" video and pretending that you're actually doing something and actually helping GLBT youth when you're just giving them the stock quote that EVERY KID-even straight kids-get when school isn't going so well or when they're being bullied.

Someone like Dan Savage who is a primadonna media whore that does not like bisexuals, people with HIV/AIDS, or Trans people is the last person we need representing gay men and GLBT Americans in the media. Meanwhile he posts bullshit like this trashing bisexual youth/young adults. Yeah Dan, "It gets better" for you and your husband!

Savage is a tool, media whore, jumps on any bandwaggon-Started his whole "It gets better"
project not to actually help GLBT youth but to self promote he and his husband and get an MTV reality TV show with crocodile tears claiming that he's for GLBT rights when in reality he
hates HIV+ people, bisexuals, and trans people and his "advice" column writings and podcasts on these subjects show his hate.

Then again he did start the It gets better project not to actually help GLBT teens/youth (all while trashing bisexuals like he is still doing now) but he started It gets better just for self promotion to get a reality TV show on MTV, and because he's a media whore who can't resist jumping on any bandwagon or saying or doing anything as long as it gets him any sort of attention or media/press coverage.

Nobody reading this article is fooled Dan even if you want to deny and pretend that you're not
biphobic and never have been which is pure bullshit.

Dan can claim he's not biphobic and never has been but we'll let this hypocritical lying sack
of shit named Dan Savage speak for himself in his own words and show how he's biphobic. ;)
More...
Posted by FolsomWolf on June 26, 2011 at 4:23 AM · Report this
84
to think that dan savage could generate such a comment post is actually pretty pitiful. but
then to come across his HIV STIGMA just goes to show how far we have not come since the eighties.

what i see: the inability to care for those in your community. Instead, it's the same ol'
bullshit of making yourselves feel better and more privileged in yet another minority group
that is somehow convinced that breaking into a mainstream, CAPITALISTIC, evil hetero-normative
society is going to magically make things better - HA! Savage is an A-Gay and is upper middle class and lives in the suburbs with a house and kids and just wants to emulate a Heterosexual lifestyle and thinks that all bisexual and gay men should do this or that we all somehow want to like him. Savage is a media whore with Peter Pan syndrome who just loves attention and can't get enough of it even if it's negative attention.

I find it hypocritical that gay men are claiming that most bisexuals and trans people are somehow victimey or want to celebrate victimhood. Yet if a Straight person or even another gay man or LBT person who can think for themselves says anything criticizing their sacred cows or anything against the "Community" they're branded as homophobic.

I'm not sure why so many Savage/It gets better queens on this blog are now claiming and denying that Dan Savage is bi-phobic? He clearly is and if you've read his "advice" column or listened to his podcasts one can easily see how he has major issues with people who are bisexual and that he is biphobic.

Try doing the research on these topics for yourself and you will see how Savage is very bigoted.

It really is just as bad as the shit we get from Heterosexist society and Rev. Phelps but it's from another GLBT person so it's 10,000X more hypocritical and worse when it's from someone on the inside like this.

fuck this shit. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER!
you'll spend your days feeding the wallets of major corporations. allowing them to sell you a
version of gay/GLBT/Queer culture that is more concerned with KILLING YOU and this thing you call "individuality."

then instead of actually doing anything about being metaphorically "fucked in the ass" by
nearly 99% of americans (because queer/GLBT people still fuck queer/GLBT people over in extreme ways) you'll turn to some MONEY-HUNGRY ICON like Dan Savage, and repost false, generic
information and claim it as your own with revisionist history about how he's not biphobic when he has been for a very long time.

and don't forget the pride celebrations and nightly outings, which take you on a spiral into ALCOHOLISM, meth addiction, bareback sex, and recklessness. where a quarter of you end up hiv-positive because nobody has learned how to talk to one another or give a shit about knowing their status or using condoms either in the heat of the moment or as part of having safer sex.

and instead of blaming yourselves, you'll blame others, until you hopefully realize how fucked
up the "community" is, and start living a more productive and meaningful life.

but fuck it, it's pride and we all know what that is about, right?
going out, buying shit, getting wasted, buying more shit, getting more wasted, angry, annoyed,
horny, stupid, redundant and ugly.

well, not so much. it's about stonewall. it's about resistance. it's about a memory and
celebrating a time when queers were brave enough to stand up and fight against the system in hopes of thriving and forming their own unique culture. stonewall was a riot! not another dreadful, self-loathing party in the gentrified Castro district while watching your "It gets better" video and pretending that you're actually doing something and actually helping GLBT youth when you're just giving them the stock quote that EVERY KID-even straight kids-get when school isn't going so well or when they're being bullied.

Someone like Dan Savage who is a primadonna media whore that does not like bisexuals, people with HIV/AIDS, or Trans people is the last person we need representing gay men and GLBT Americans in the media. Meanwhile he posts bullshit like this trashing bisexual youth/young adults. Yeah Dan, "It gets better" for you and your husband!

Savage is a tool, media whore, jumps on any bandwaggon-Started his whole "It gets better"
project not to actually help GLBT youth but to self promote he and his husband and get an MTV reality TV show with crocodile tears claiming that he's for GLBT rights when in reality he
hates HIV+ people, bisexuals, and trans people and his "advice" column writings and podcasts on these subjects show his hate.

Then again he did start the It gets better project not to actually help GLBT teens/youth (all while trashing bisexuals like he is still doing now) but he started It gets better just for self promotion to get a reality TV show on MTV, and because he's a media whore who can't resist jumping on any bandwagon or saying or doing anything as long as it gets him any sort of attention or media/press coverage.

Nobody reading this article is fooled Dan even if you want to deny and pretend that you're not
biphobic and never have been which is pure bullshit.

Dan can claim he's not biphobic and never has been but we'll let this hypocritical lying sack
of shit named Dan Savage speak for himself in his own words and show how he's biphobic. ;)
More...
Posted by FolsomWolf on June 26, 2011 at 4:22 AM · Report this
83
to think that dan savage could generate such a comment post is actually pretty pitiful. but
then to come across his HIV STIGMA just goes to show how far we have not come since the eighties.

what i see: the inability to care for those in your community. Instead, it's the same ol'
bullshit of making yourselves feel better and more privileged in yet another minority group
that is somehow convinced that breaking into a mainstream, CAPITALISTIC, evil hetero-normative
society is going to magically make things better - HA! Savage is an A-Gay and is upper middle class and lives in the suburbs with a house and kids and just wants to emulate a Heterosexual lifestyle and thinks that all bisexual and gay men should do this or that we all somehow want to like him. Savage is a media whore with Peter Pan syndrome who just loves attention and can't get enough of it even if it's negative attention.

I find it hypocritical that gay men are claiming that most bisexuals and trans people are somehow victimey or want to celebrate victimhood. Yet if a Straight person or even another gay man or LBT person who can think for themselves says anything criticizing their sacred cows or anything against the "Community" they're branded as homophobic.

I'm not sure why so many Savage/It gets better queens on this blog are now claiming and denying that Dan Savage is bi-phobic? He clearly is and if you've read his "advice" column or listened to his podcasts one can easily see how he has major issues with people who are bisexual and that he is biphobic.

Try doing the research on these topics for yourself and you will see how Savage is very bigoted.

It really is just as bad as the shit we get from Heterosexist society and Rev. Phelps but it's from another GLBT person so it's 10,000X more hypocritical and worse when it's from someone on the inside like this.

fuck this shit. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER!
you'll spend your days feeding the wallets of major corporations. allowing them to sell you a
version of gay/GLBT/Queer culture that is more concerned with KILLING YOU and this thing you call "individuality."

then instead of actually doing anything about being metaphorically "fucked in the ass" by
nearly 99% of americans (because queer/GLBT people still fuck queer/GLBT people over in extreme ways) you'll turn to some MONEY-HUNGRY ICON like Dan Savage, and repost false, generic
information and claim it as your own with revisionist history about how he's not biphobic when he has been for a very long time.

and don't forget the pride celebrations and nightly outings, which take you on a spiral into ALCOHOLISM, meth addiction, bareback sex, and recklessness. where a quarter of you end up hiv-positive because nobody has learned how to talk to one another or give a shit about knowing their status or using condoms either in the heat of the moment or as part of having safer sex.

and instead of blaming yourselves, you'll blame others, until you hopefully realize how fucked
up the "community" is, and start living a more productive and meaningful life.

but fuck it, it's pride and we all know what that is about, right?
going out, buying shit, getting wasted, buying more shit, getting more wasted, angry, annoyed,
horny, stupid, redundant and ugly.

well, not so much. it's about stonewall. it's about resistance. it's about a memory and
celebrating a time when queers were brave enough to stand up and fight against the system in hopes of thriving and forming their own unique culture. stonewall was a riot! not another dreadful, self-loathing party in the gentrified Castro district while watching your "It gets better" video and pretending that you're actually doing something and actually helping GLBT youth when you're just giving them the stock quote that EVERY KID-even straight kids-get when school isn't going so well or when they're being bullied.

Someone like Dan Savage who is a primadonna media whore that does not like bisexuals, people with HIV/AIDS, or Trans people is the last person we need representing gay men and GLBT Americans in the media. Meanwhile he posts bullshit like this trashing bisexual youth/young adults. Yeah Dan, "It gets better" for you and your husband!

Savage is a tool, media whore, jumps on any bandwaggon-Started his whole "It gets better"
project not to actually help GLBT youth but to self promote he and his husband and get an MTV reality TV show with crocodile tears claiming that he's for GLBT rights when in reality he
hates HIV+ people, bisexuals, and trans people and his "advice" column writings and podcasts on these subjects show his hate.

Then again he did start the It gets better project not to actually help GLBT teens/youth (all while trashing bisexuals like he is still doing now) but he started It gets better just for self promotion to get a reality TV show on MTV, and because he's a media whore who can't resist jumping on any bandwagon or saying or doing anything as long as it gets him any sort of attention or media/press coverage.

Nobody reading this article is fooled Dan even if you want to deny and pretend that you're not
biphobic and never have been which is pure bullshit.

Dan can claim he's not biphobic and never has been but we'll let this hypocritical lying sack
of shit named Dan Savage speak for himself in his own words and show how he's biphobic. ;)
More...
Posted by FolsomWolf on June 26, 2011 at 4:20 AM · Report this
82
Dan who are you to tell us bisexuals what we should or simply (in your limited opinion) MUST do?

You're very biphobic and this PR stunt of a pathetic article does not prove anything.

@58 Alanmt-Sorry Dan does NOT deserve any respect from anyone that's bisexual or trans since he's frequently trashed both bisexuals and trans people in the past and made it harder for bisexual people to come out and be accepted since he spreads BS like this article and how you shouldn't take a young person or young adult seriously or believe them when they come out as being bisexual. He's been doing this for decades folks and he's always going to be a bigot and hate bisexuals and be biphobic.

Someone who is as hypocritical as Dan Savage should not be the grand marshall of NYC's LGBT Pride parade or starting up a PR Campaign for GLBT teens.

Then again he's a media whore know it all who most gay men in Seattle don't even like and are tired of. He clearly does not know anything about sex or human sexuality based on how he's biphobic, transphobic, pozphobic/homophobic, and he gives "advice" to people about BDSM and kink yet is 1,000% vanilla LMAO! Then there was how he supported the 2nd Iraq war that we're currently in.

People like Dan Savage give gay men and all GLBT people a bad name.
Posted by Lady Day on June 26, 2011 at 3:49 AM · Report this
81
Dear Dan,

Here *I* am writing advice to *you*:

Nothing good ever starts with the phrase, "I'm not [insert ...phobic or ...ist]."

I'm a tg butch dyke who dates bi/pan/queer women pretty much exclusively. Mostly because they tend to carry around less bullshit that most lesbians (i.e. biphobia, transphobia, and exclusively dating their ex's exes). They've told their friends, their parents and their coworkers that theyre bi. It's on their social networking profile. They've worked the Queer activist front. But when they're with me, everyone thinks they're "gay now." When they're with men they've "gone straight, and the queer was "just a phase." (so lesbians won't date them... so they're more likely to date men... so lesbians won't date them... repeat).

I've dated one avowed kinsey 6 lesbian, and she put "bisexual" on her personal profile just to scare off cliquey dykes.

Maybe I know less about men? But the bi guys I know are also out. But even wearing an "I fuck dudes" shirt around the village won't change how people see them.

These people are OUT. The problem is not a lack of activism on their part, it's a lack of het and gay people listening. The only time I see closeted bisexuals as a problem are the biphobic dykes and gay men who cover up their own bisexuality by attacking that of others. Given this, shall I question your sexuality?
Posted by Amy Fox on June 26, 2011 at 12:23 AM · Report this
eastcoastreader 80
I used to be Bi, now I'm just "mommy" and too tired to care about what my sexuality might be.

@75, I agree totally. there often isn't a good or relevant time to "come out" for me. I'm married to a guy and have kids, which I know screams "HETERO" I'm very out, always have been, but it almost seems like it doesn't matter. and now with small kids around me all the time, it really doesn't matter.
Posted by eastcoastreader on June 25, 2011 at 8:56 PM · Report this
79
I like to suck dick and lick pussy roughly equally. I've identified more as gay in the past, but I'm finding out that I like it all. I wouldn't get into a relationship with a woman just to hide my love for dick. That would suck, and be especially unfair to her. My relationships have been more with guys, but I'm more open to having relationships with men, women and transgender people now. Whoever I end up with next, I'll just be honest about who I am. And if my sex life with that whoever is satisfying, then I'll just enjoy eating their pussy or sucking their dick for as long as my relationship lasts with them. And if we mutually decide to branch out and have sex with different people, well then so be it. Oh well. Just my 2 cents worth.
Posted by Smell on June 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM · Report this
78
Many bisexual people and Trans people find the whole "It gets better" project by Dan Savage to be hypocritical.

His current "article" just shows how he's still biphobic and still does not understand bisexuality.

To the people who are claiming that Dan isn't Biphobic here are some things he's said in the past about bisexuals:

Dan Savage has made a career out of being biphobic and transphobic and tells GLBT youth that "It gets better" but then trashes bisexual and trans adults.

It's hypocritical when someone in the "community" feels that they have the right to bash bisexual people and claim that we don't belong there or are not/never have been part of the community.

People like Dan Savage are just as bad as Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist church or Rick Santorum, or the Conservative Christian "family" groups.

Here are some quotes from Dan Savage that show his biphobia:

“Avoiding bi guys is a good rule of thumb for gay men looking for long-term relationships. Outside of San Francisco's alternate-universe bisexual community, there aren't many bi guys who want or wind up in long-term, same-sex relationships -- monogamous or not.”

“I'm not saying bi guys are bad people, or they don't make great one-night stands. Bushes, bathhouses, and sleazy gay bars are crawling with bi guys.”

“There are definitely some people who should fool around with bisexual men: OTHER BISEXUAL MEN! Jesus Christ, bisexuals -- if straights and gays treat you unfairly, then why not turn to each other for love and comfort? Judging from my mail of late, there's an unlimited supply of easily offended, extremely verbose, highly ethical bisexuals out there looking for love. Fuck each other!”

"Bisexuals all disappear into heterosexual relationships!"

One person wrote in asking about bisexuality and he told them how bisexuality exists in women but somehow it does not in men and he claimed the false porn study done by Dr. Michael J. Bailey at Northwestern that's a joke of a study and Bailey is a eugenicist who supports the killing of ANY/every non-heterosexual fetus once someone's sexuality has been discovered to be genetic. I'm not pro life but why do idiots like Savage want to support this fool and hang their hat on this man?

Why do gays and lesbians find it acceptable that someone thought up the idea to strap electrodes to bisexual mens gentials as a way to definitively prove sexual orientation? What if some ultra right wing religious nut w/ a PhD decided to do such a study on gays or lesbians, because they just couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth about their sexual orientation and were actually all liars, as homosexuality is a lie made up to cover a mental illness?

The studies you site have been proven deeply flawed. The most famous one done by a eugenicist who believes in aborting any non-heterosexual fetus once/if such things become testable. This is the man whose hook you want to hang your hat on?

http://susiebright.blogs.com/FAIRedonBiS…

The bigot like Dan Savage never thinks his bigotry is wrong and has every study at hand to prove him right. I know many a religious bigot with reemfuls of studies to ‘prove’ gayness can be prayed away. You suggest I rely on them Dan?
More...
Posted by Lady Day on June 25, 2011 at 6:50 PM · Report this
77
47 years old, male, bi, out, opposite married, don't give a shit what anyone else thinks about it. Dan doesn't seem the least bit biphobic to me.
Posted by Mr. J on June 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM · Report this
76
I'd like to point out that bisexual invisibility remains largely due to the polemic public perception of gay and straight. The fact that they see a female couple doesnt automatically mean that they are lesbians, same again with a male couple, nor does it mean that if they see a man and a woman together that both of them are straight. Public perception in this regard is one of the biggest obstacles to bisexual invisibility imho.
Posted by PurpleAnt on June 25, 2011 at 4:35 PM · Report this
wingedkat 75
It is a lot harder to be "out" and visible when I'm in an opposite sex relationship than when I'm in a same sex relationship. I mean, my sexual interests and masturbatory habits are simply not something I usually mention to coworkers and casual acquaintances.

I've got the stickers and the flags, but the moment someone sees my partner I'm immediately relabeled as straight. Its just... hard to bring up, when I don't have a reason to mention it.

Seems like the only time I do tell anyone that I'm bi is when they're being homophobic, which may be when it is most helpful.
Posted by wingedkat on June 25, 2011 at 4:12 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 74
Dan, you have gotten accused of biphobia because you were being biphobic. ;) Your position seems to have evolved, so, benefit of the doubt time, for now.

I dunno if bisexuals will ever be able to take over "the movement". But I have thought over, once or twice, writing my own advice column that *wasn't* biphobic. ;)

Have totally gotten rejected from a GLBT group I was in for the bi thing. (This was back in the early 90's, & the group was mainly "L". Love you ladies but you totally treated me like my sexuality was something 'I'd figure out'. I have..)

Me? Bi, figured it out around 17, out since. To everyone possible, without being obnoxious about it. Have dated guys & girls equally. When w/ a man, as currently, I might lean a little heavier on the rainbow stickers & pride marches, because it's harder to queerbash someone when they know someone gay/les/bi/trans.

Be out, bi's! As much as is safe to do.
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on June 25, 2011 at 3:22 PM · Report this
73
As a 38 year old bisexual man who's been coming out to people since I first figured out that I was bi for sure (at age 27), I've found coming out a hell of a lot more complicated than just saying "I'm bi" to everybody.

While there are a few people who've "gotten it" straight away (many of whom were bi themselves), in most cases, it requires an entire education campaign if I hope that the other person will have any clue what I'm talking about.

Some people just don't know much about bisexuality, but are curious to find out more. Some are indifferent, which is unsatisfying but I can live with it. And yet others have built up a wall of poor assumptions about bisexuals that has to be dismantled--or at least reconsidered--if we're to ever have an deeper understanding.

Which brings us back to Dan Savage, who falls firmly in the third camp. I can say this as both a long time fan and as a critic: I've read his column every week since around 1996, and though I think he does far more good in the world than harm, he remains pretty useless when it comes to bisexuality because he doesn't grasp how some bisexual issues and experiences are different from those of gays & lesbians, or for that matter, heteros.

The problem is not that he doesn't get it--it's that he doesn't get that he doesn't get it. Unfortunately, the more we try to educate him on the stuff that he's missing, the more he just covers his ears. Rest assured, he *is* "willing to pretend that what is, isn't," so long as it's outside of his point of view and personal experience.

Dan, you say we're "doing it wrong", and that more of us should come out. I'm all for that, but it's inevitable that the more of us that come out, the more we will call you on your bullshit because that's a central part of what it is to be out.

In other words, as far as I'm concerned, you're the one who's doing it wrong. I'd rather see you come around eventually, but if the only way to deal with you is to "kick your ass out", then so be it. I'm up for it.

More...
Posted by Ant on June 25, 2011 at 1:36 PM · Report this
72
One person and a Brickwall is only that... Fight fire with water? Like Adrienne Williams, founded "I am Visible." She gets it! We counter-biphobia with visibility. Dan like all who may not know or respect our Bi lingo as he does gay, may never get it. Our constant Bi visibility works... Fight fire with water? Yes! We touch one of our own with visibility and we do more than any biphobia.
Posted by Br. Michael on June 25, 2011 at 7:10 AM · Report this
71
One person and a Brickwall is only that... Fight fire with water? Like Adrienne Williams, founded "I am Visible." She gets it! We counter-biphobia with visibility. Dan like all who may not know or respect our Bi lingo as he does gay, may never get it completely. Our constant Bi visibility, quietier than a book or campaign touches lives. Fight fire with water? Yes! We touch one of our own with visibility and we do more than any Biphobia.
Posted by Br. Michael on June 25, 2011 at 6:55 AM · Report this
70
Dan is just showing how he's a hypocritical idiot.

Sorry Dan nobody that's bisexual or Trans believes your bigoted media whore ass.

People like you Mr. Savage should NOT be involved in the fight for GLBT equality or even GLBT Pride events since you are not for these things at all and are a total hypocrite.

My HIV+ friends do not like you either since you're Poz phobic, and my gay and bisexual African American friends find you to be a racist pig with your bitch fit about how you wrote that black voters somehow were the sole cause in Prop 8 passing in the state of CA.
Posted by Lady Day on June 24, 2011 at 10:51 PM · Report this
69
@7: oh shut up.

That basically applies right up and until the day one gets caught cheating on our wives with an irresistibly hot man.

That, in and of itself is a reason for us to come out to our wives.

That, and not being a fucking chicken shit. I insisted on coming out to everyone the week after I realized I was bi because I actually *have* a pair.
Posted by gromm on June 24, 2011 at 10:44 PM · Report this
68
I'm enjoying this from the sidelines. I am pretty sure that if I were bi, I'd be out, but alas, I'm just ... straight. And I've tried.
Posted by Krunch on June 24, 2011 at 9:43 PM · Report this
67
@64: Why don't you tell that to Matthew Shepard?
Posted by manyshadesoflove on June 24, 2011 at 9:08 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 66
@64: You don't get out much. I've definitely heard "there's no such thing as gay" before.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 24, 2011 at 8:41 PM · Report this
65
@24 - "I also find it funny that it's always bisexuals who are being berated for being close-minded in their use of terminology - but no one ever tells monosexual people they're close-minded for only being attracted to one sex. (Which is not that I think that they are. I think people don't have a choice in who they're attracted to, and people who want to turn this into a PC-oneupmanship game of "I'm better than you because I'm into more people" need to grow the fuck up.)"

Actually I was shamed and pitied about not dating women as well as men for quite some time by "more evolved" friends. Fortunately, before they could succeed in pressuring me into expanding my dating pool, I realized it was just a case of I'll Love You When You're More Like Me and stopped wasting time thinking there was something wrong with me. They did have the spiel down, I'll grant them that. But it always seemed to me later as if there was just some widespread bicentric trend at the time that hasn't repeated itself since. And of course now I don't get out enough any more to know what's going on.

And it would be nice to chart a perfect course between the Scylla of appearing to think an identification is just a phase and the Charybdis of unintentionally making the identifier feel locked in a box, but there may not be a single universal way to do so.
Posted by vennominon on June 24, 2011 at 8:23 PM · Report this
64
You want to know the difference, Dan?

Here it is:

When a gay person comes out, they may be accepted and loved, or they may be condemned, or something in between ("I still love you but this is going to take time...").

You know what they DON'T hear? "Don't be stupid, there's no such thing as gay people."

Even condemnation, hatred, and rejection are better than simple denial that you even exist.

The denial comes from both sides, too. Sure, "No, you're just gay and I want a divorce now" is awful, but I think "No, you're just gay, and I'll love you and support you while you work that out" is awful on a whole different level.

I am the out-and-proud president of a bisexual support and advocacy group in Melbourne, Australia, and I have literally lost count of the number of men and women who came to us for support because they felt denied and rejected by the gay community.

My own boyfriend of five years attended a workshop for gay married men working together to come out, and while he was welcomed into the group, few of them ever hid the fact that they considered him to be a half-closeted gay man. While he made friends there, he had to leave eventually and find a group that accepted who he was.

On the flipside, my close female friends who came out as bisexual to their lesbian communities were universally hated for it. If a woman is living as a lesbian in a lesbian community, there is no sin more heinous than coming out as bisexual. Have sex with a man if the need strikes you, but maintain that lesbian identity! To come out as bi means you are PROUD of what should be a dirty little secret.

So yes, my group has been a safety net for bisexual women who have found themselves without friends, a support network, and even somewhere to live in the worst cases, after they have been rejected by their lesbian communities.

You want more bisexuals to publically come out, Dan? Well hey, so do I! Know how you can help?

Stop being horrible to us, and tell your gay friends to stop being horrible to us too.

The gay community forged its identity amidst a hostile straight mainstream. That was always going to be a fight.

The bisexual community faces most of its opposition from the gay mainstream, and really, you guys ought to know better.

As the instigator of the It Gets Better movement, Dan, you should be ashamed of yourself. What you say above is, "It'll get better... when we decide you deserve it."

Not good enough.
More...
Posted by DexX http://www.bi-alliance.org/ on June 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM · Report this
63
It seems to me that most bi commenters here are "NALT bisexuals". Like NALT christians, you must learn to understand that Dan's not talking about you, and you shouldn't take it personally.

Dan's article corresponds to my experience with bi men. Only one bi man I know has ever come out to his girlfriends. On the other hand, all bi men I know tell all their male lovers that they're bi, and it does feel like they're saying "so don't expect a relationship with me, I only have those with women."

In my experience, they also have a universal tendency of mentioning sex with women in the worst possible moments. As in, in the middle of sex. It's rather inconsiderate, to say the least. Since I'm not bisexual one bit, it's also a turn off for me, and I keep wondering why they all do that. To assert some sort of superiority over me, who can only have sex with guys, or just to make sure I don't forget that I'll never be a contender for a relationship?

And the worst part is, the sex is never really good, coz they're fixated on the things that they don't get from girls. So I've come to generally refuse sex with bi guys because a) it usually was an unpleasant experience on every level and b) I always felt used.

So to THOSE bi men, who obviously aren't the ones commenting in this thread, please read the article, learn to accept who you are, come out to everyone and become more considerate to gay guys. You won't have such a bad rep with us if you don't treat us like inferior beings.

And to all those NALT bisexuals who will be offended by what I wrote, well, I wasn't talking about you.

Posted by Ricardo on June 24, 2011 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Ophian 62
OK, read the thread.

Come on people. Instead of getting all bent about whether Dan is secretly a biphobe, we should really be putting that effort into raising Bisexual Visibility and strengthening Bisexual Community.

All of us out Bis would rather live in a world wherein we didn't get swallowed by heteronormativity, and could jump into that big ol' secret Bi dating pool. So we need to figure out how to do that.

I admit that I don't have any great answers at the moment, but Dan is not keeping the Bis down. So why not spare him the avalanch of email and invest that effort in helping ourselves out.
Posted by Ophian on June 24, 2011 at 2:38 PM · Report this
white hotel 61
ps, Sarahjean, I'm rubbing up against yr mama.
Posted by white hotel http://bunnyrabble.wordpress.com on June 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM · Report this
white hotel 60
Savage misses point of biphobia/ bi erasure, accidentally creates online community of bi commenters...
Posted by white hotel http://bunnyrabble.wordpress.com on June 24, 2011 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Ophian 59
I haven't bothered to read the thread...might not. As a bi-guy I give Dan a big, "Hells ya!" on this one.
Posted by Ophian on June 24, 2011 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Alanmt 58
My Gosh! What a bunch of whiny bi people in this thread. (not all of you, but sheesh!) Buck up my fellow bisexuals! Cut Dan some slack. He does deserve it. And this is a good article with some good points.

Put me down as one 47 year old bi guy (married to a gay guy) who agrees with Dan here.

For the record, SaraJean, you're a dumbass. just sayin'
Posted by Alanmt on June 24, 2011 at 1:43 PM · Report this
57
this is the most hilariously biphobic article ive ever read.
Posted by Haaa on June 24, 2011 at 12:50 PM · Report this
56
If you thought this article would get you LESS hate mail from Bisexuals... hmm. Bad move.

And for the record I think bisexual men are really gay but long to be in a relationship/family with a woman, and "bisexual" women can get turned on if they rub up against basically anything.
Posted by SaraJean on June 24, 2011 at 11:57 AM · Report this
55
I've known my whole life that I am bisexual. I've been out with every partner I've ever had. I'm out with most of my family. I've had deeply satisfying emotional relationships with women. I've had deeply satisfying sexual relationships with women. However, I've never gotten both out of the same women. The women who have been able to have the deep emotional relationship with me have been deeply confused about their own sexualities and not ready to delve into the physical aspect of the relationship. The women that I've slept with have been, without exception, other bi chicks in het relationships. Lesbians won't give me the time of day when they find out I'm bi. I've been married, and am currently in a mono-het relationship, and that's fine. I tend to be with men long term, because for whatever reason they are the ones that truly accept who I am as a person and don't actually question my sexuality. I understand the rounding up to gay or down to het thing, but my experience has been that it's the outsider doing the rounding. I've NEVER rounded my sexuality in either direction. I'm bi. Period.
Posted by moodar on June 24, 2011 at 11:52 AM · Report this
BEG 54
What the hell? Sorry about the double post, guys. I posted, came back later and didn't see it here and posted it again... and up pops my earlier post. ARGH!
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on June 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM · Report this
BEG 53
There are so many assumptions made in so many contexts, I've pretty much given up on things. The moment I mention an ex, I can see myself getting slotted right into the het basket. It's actually kind of scary how efficient that invisible-making is.

Then I mention an ex girlfriend, and so on it goes. Finding a (bi or lesbian) woman is much harder than a man precisely because of demographics. And lesbians are generally very bi-leery. It doesn't help that I'm not really conversant on local lesbian culture & scenes because of that.

OTOH, I have recently moved in with a female roommate and EVERYONE is assuming we are a couple! It's actually pretty funny. (I am not particularly correcting this assumption either; such a correction comes up in the same way as anything else -- when I mention my bedroom vs hers, etc.)

So I have not found a good way to raise personal visibility. I never lie if asked about it, I don't shy from mentioning past girlfriends and so on and yet I'm not very visible at all!

I'd love to find bi men to date, as well (I get so tired of the straight male mindset esp in my age bracket) but finding them -- wow. Most of them are younger than me, too -- older men aren't as comfortable coming out of that closet and/or they're married (and monogamous).
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on June 24, 2011 at 11:33 AM · Report this
52
@46 Did we read the same article? Seriously, reread the 6th paragraph and get over yourself.
Posted by lortext on June 24, 2011 at 11:15 AM · Report this
BEG 51
There are so many assumptions made in so many contexts, I've pretty much given up on things. The moment I mention an ex bf or that I was once married, I can see myself getting slotted right into the het basket. It's actually kind of scary how efficient that invisible-making is.

Then I mention an ex girlfriend, and so on it goes. Finding a (bi or lesbian) woman is much harder than a man precisely because of demographics. And lesbians are generally very bi-leery. It doesn't help that I'm not really conversant on local lesbian culture & scenes because of that.

OTOH, I have recently moved in with a female roommate and EVERYONE is assuming we are a couple! It's actually pretty funny. (I am not particularly correcting this assumption either; such a correction comes up in the same way as anything else -- when I mention my bedroom vs hers, etc.)

So I have not found a good way to raise personal visibility. I never lie if asked about it, I don't shy from mentioning past girlfriends and so on and yet I'm not very visible at all!

I'd love to find bi maen to date, as well (I get so tired of the straight male mindset esp in my age bracket) but finding them -- wow. Most of them are younger than me, too -- older men aren't as comfortable coming out of that closet and/or they're married (and monogamous).
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on June 24, 2011 at 11:12 AM · Report this
50
This is the most bi-phobic crap I've heard in a long time. If this was a straight person saying this about gays and lesbians GLAAD would be all over this... This is just sad that here we see a hater of bisexual. Go to the bisexual project "I am visible' campaign and Dan Savage is number one on the list about hatred of bisexual, this, "opposite sex rant" is beyond belief. So sad, folks can't see hate staring them in the face. Sort of like when a racist says, he's doesn't hate black people. We get you Dan Savage. I see you clearly. Bi Social Network
Posted by Bi Social Network on June 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM · Report this
49
This is the most bi-phobic crap I've heard in a long time. If this was a straight person saying this about gays and lesbians GLAAD would be all over this... This is just sad that here we see a hater of bisexual. Go to the bisexual project "I am visible' campaign and Dan Savage is number on on the list about hatred of bisexual, this, "opposite sex rant" is beyond belief. So sad, folks can't see hate staring them in the face. Sort of like when a racist says, he's don't hate black people. We get you Dan Savage. I see you clearly. Bi Social Network
Posted by Bi Social Network on June 24, 2011 at 10:24 AM · Report this
48
If a person is attracted to male and female sexes of other people than that person is BISEXUAL. That's how you determine bisexuality, not how an outsider "feels" based on their past experience.
Posted by adamdecaf on June 24, 2011 at 10:15 AM · Report this
47
A couple of links for you to check out, Mr. Savage:

http://www.birequest.org/docstore/2011-S… - This report is a call to action and deals directly with the bi community and the pressure put on it by media and supposed leaders to sit down and shut up.

http://vegawriters.wordpress.com/a-call-…
- you might want to remember that the Bi community IS organized and IS working together. And fighting an uphill battle inside a community that is supposed to welcome them.
Posted by vegawriters on June 24, 2011 at 9:17 AM · Report this
46
I'm a 21 year old male and bi, I've been in intimate relationships with men but I prefer women, I like the knowledge that with my Fiance I can have a child born of my genes and the woman I love's genes, to read that you think my Bi-sexuality was a phase (I came out to my now fiance when we were 14) is hurtful, who are you to even question what I know is right for me, just because you're older than me doesn't make you wiser, more mature, or that you know better about my body than I do.

Yes SOME teenagers may be confused, and are exploring their sexualities, but to assume EVERY teen is confused and doesn't truly know just serves to make them feel guilty, or to force them to pretend to be strictly hetro/homosexual.

You can tout how you aren't bi-phobic... but from this article alone (first time reader)you certainly come off as such, especially against us younger bisexuals.

-Bifromontario.
Posted by Bi-from-Ontario on June 24, 2011 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Miss Joni 45
Let's see, where do I begin...
Who reads this shit? Man I forgot that the last time I clicked a link to an article by you I was so disappointed I figured you were a podunk blog writer with a palpable biphobic slant. What a complete waste of time. Your argument that, when a teenage boy declares himself to be bisexual that you don't buy it begs the question: What happens when a similar teenage boy declares himself to be gay? Is this second boy equally naive about his sexuality? It appears from your (il)logic that, as you believe bisexuality is a dubious identity, that the first boy isn't yet fully aware of his sexuality while the second boy is quite astute and mature for his age.
What I mostly get from your writings about bisexuals is that it is all about you and your uncomfortable relationship with the bisexual community. If I as an open and out bisexual activist in Utah ever took your column seriously I could see myself being offended. Instead, I see it only illuminates the fact of your biphobia and your persistent attempts to discredit and further marginalize those of us who actually live authentically with ourselves, our relationships, and in the world around us... and who are comfortable enough in our own sexual orientation to simply accept and not judge when anyone else defines their sexual orientation as something different than our "gadar" indicates.
Posted by Miss Joni on June 24, 2011 at 9:09 AM · Report this
44
No one's buying it, Dan. Maybe the ones who haven't seen the lovely piece of advice you gave a lesbian woman who felt insecure abt her girlfriend's bisexuality (''Dump her and find a real lesbian girlfriend''). She didn't seem to have any reason to think her gf was going to leave her or cheat, so that was basically the old ''bis-are-slut'' or ''bi girls are really het'' stereotype that was bothering her. Did you tell her sexual orientation doesn't make one more likely to cheat? No. You played along with that hurtful myth and told her to dump a woman she probably loved. Cause that's no point in trying to make a relationship work with one of those filthy bisexuals, right?

Maybe the ones who didn't see how you reacted to bi women complaining how lesbians won't date us because ''we're gonna leave them for a man'' and men will date us, but a lot of them will think we're automatically up for a thressome because we just can't get enough of men and women, right? Your lovely advice? ''There seems to be a lot of you out there. Go fuck each other.'' Why adressing the fetishization of our sexual orientation and the invalidation of our identities when you can pretend we're just whining abt not enough ppl wanting to fuck us?

And, for future reference, you don't get to decide at what age smn earns the right to have their identity respected. When you tell a kid who identifies as bi that YOU know better than them what they are ''really'' feeling, how their sexuality ''really'' works, what they ''really'' are, that's insulting, demeaning
and patronizing. You don't get to do it just because they're young. In fact, it's WORSE to invalidate someone's identity when they're at a vulnerable age.

You wanna be biphobic? Go ahead. You already showed you don't care how much harm you're doing or how wrong you are. Just don't insult our inteligence and try to pretend you're not a bigoted, close-minded individual.
More...
Posted by BiAndProud on June 24, 2011 at 7:11 AM · Report this
43
Do not count on Dan changing his perspective. People like him are enemies of the worst kind - they claim to be doing so much for the LGBTQI community, but they ultimately hope to do nothing more than fracture it, and turn it into the issues of the prilvileged 'haves' and 'have nots'. They don't actually support Gay rights, but rather support the right for THEM to be able to do everything that heterosexual white men do without having to be rejected from that club. Either you are for equality, Dan, or you aren't. It is not a zero-sum game. There is no inbetween.

I'm sure it does get better, Dan; but people like you would only have it get better for Gay white men. You couldn't give a damn about anyone else because they don't fit the neat little box that you put them in.
Posted by firestarter on June 24, 2011 at 7:07 AM · Report this
42
@35: Yes, because issues like aceptance of other ppl's identities and basic respect don't matter when you're older than 30, right?! Oh PLEASE! Just take a look at this comment section or go read any book abt bissexual ppl, and you'll see many bis well past their 30s or 40s or 50s. And, just so you know, just because YOU know some bi ppl who no longer identify as such (and you can bet at least one of them only changed the way they self-identify because of the rampant biphobia we still have to face) it doesn't mean a bi teen won't feel invalidated, erased and slapped in the face when smn tells them ''I know YOUR identity, YOUR feelings and sexuality better than yourself.''
Posted by BiAndProud on June 24, 2011 at 6:59 AM · Report this
41
@35: Yes, because issues like aceptance of other ppl's identities and basic respect don't matter when you're older than 30, right?! Oh PLEASE! Just take a look at this comment section
or go read any book abt bissexual ppl, and you'll see many bis well past their 30s or 40s or 50s. And, just so you know, just because YOU know some bi ppl who no longer identify as such (and you can bet at least one of them only changed the way they self-identify because of the rampant biphobia we still have to face) it doesn't mean a bi teen won't feel invalidated, erased and slapped in the face when smn tells them ''I know better YOUR identity, YOUR feelings and sexuality better than yourself.''
Posted by BiAndProud on June 24, 2011 at 6:55 AM · Report this
40
So, um, most male bisexuals are closeted because so many closeted male bisexuals write to you? You do realize, darling, that you write a sex advice column for people who want help figuring shit out? That might tend to skew what you observe just a little?

I dunno, I get tired of closeted people too, but they aren't all bisexual, or hiding in opposite-sex relationships. Isn't there some other drum you can beat about how relative numbers in a cohort tell you all the really essential facts? Can't you, I dunno, go accuse everyone with sleep apnea of bringing it on because they're fat? (The correlation exists, and everyone sees it, but the medical evidence doesn't support causation, particularly when you meet skinny people with apnea.)

If your three biggest bisexual antagonists are all in opposite-sex relationships and that just reinforces your argument, perhaps my partner and I need to start picking apart everything you say on this topic. Let me see .... we're both males, both have penises .... both bisexual ... committed to each other for 14 years ... hm. I'd kind of given up on you on this topic years ago, figuring you do plenty of other good in the world (when this isn't the issue) and that you weren't going to change. But if a lack of bisexual male critics in stable, loving, same-sex relationships is your problem, quelle gauntlet, darling.
Posted by Pete Chvany, oh look, my actual name on June 24, 2011 at 4:26 AM · Report this
39
I find that I care less about identity politics as I get older.
Posted by TechPixie on June 24, 2011 at 1:50 AM · Report this
38
So ... it gets better, eh? You don't go around physically assaulting bis, but you believe teenage bis will grow up and become gay (and pretty much tell them that in this column). Yes, it does get better, bisexual people of the world! If you're lucky, one day, you'll get to be gay! Or straight! Or one of the rare *true* bisexuals! But, really, it's just our fault for not being out. If all bisexual people were out, we wouldn't face biphobia. Sounds like an argument berating gay people for being closeted: if all of you were out all the time to everyone, there'd be no more homophobia! Problem solved!

If I'm in a relationship with someone of the same sex, I'm "gay". If I'm in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, I'm "straight". If, after I break up with one of them, I date the other, I'm a fencesitter and need to make up my mind already. The biphobia I face gets better ... when I come out as gay or straight.

(Is it just me or did this whole thing start off with the classic "I'm not racist -- I have black friends -- but ..."? Followed by being scared but not scared but that's okay because scared?)

At any rate, you're a bit two-faced, Mr. Savage. You don't want gay kids to kill themselves because of the homophobic world, but then you pretend you respect teens who are bisexual because *you* don't believe they're old enough to know what their sexuality "really" is (ironically, the same argument used by homophobes against gay teens).

What you've said here is biphobic. Full-stop. I won't say whether or not you yourself are biphobic, but you don't give me any indication that you are actually, seriously, honestly respectful of bisexual people. I've had people tell me that the Bs and the Ts in LGBT need to start our own group, and I've had several people tell me that I'm not *really* bi (that I'm really gay) because, well, they've had mixed-sex relationships and didn't enjoy it so, boom, I'm gay. I dread coming out to homophobes as bisexual not because they'd see it as gay-lite but because they'd see it as "hope" that I'm really straight, just waiting for the right person to come along. You have indicated in this column that you have your doubts that we're not all just a little lost, a little confused, a little out there, and you back up your opinion with stories of your readers. You see what you want to see. You see confused people, you don't see bisexual people who, while they may be confused, don't need help to be either gay or straight but need -actual advice- on handling an issue.

For the sake of this community you seem hellbent on fracturing, admit you have biphobic opinions. Be honest about it, and come out of your own closet.

(For the record, I had a "gay" phase before I realized the asshats telling me I'm gay are, well, asshats, and I really, actually, honestly am bisexual.)
More...
Posted by themadvoter on June 23, 2011 at 11:11 PM · Report this
37
I would ask you to consider how a bi-identified teen boy would feel reading what you wrote. When talking about how we feel about ourselves the first thing that makes people feel accepted and not fearful of being judged is to accept their own definition of who they are. To be acknowledged and believed is key to feeling self-respect and personal dignity.
When we talk publicly about deeply personal decisions aren’t we morally obligated to consider how we are affecting others, especially when we are in roles of leadership?
Posted by magick on June 23, 2011 at 10:12 PM · Report this
36
I would ask you to consider how a bi-identified teen boy would feel reading what you wrote. When talking about how we feel about ourselves the first thing that makes people feel accepted and not fearful of being judged is to accept their own definition of themselves. To be acknowledged and believed is key to feeling self-respect and personal dignity.
When we talk publicly about deeply personal decisions aren’t we morally obligated to consider how we are affecting others, especially when we are in roles of leadership?
Posted by magick on June 23, 2011 at 10:09 PM · Report this
35
In my early to mid twenties I knew a few people who identified as Bi...about as many as who identified as gay. Now, 10-20 years later, I don't know a single coworker or friend who identifies as such, but I have a few gay friends.

Excepting the older Bis who are in committed (married, kids, etc) straight or gay relationships and who probably see this in terms of Dan's rounding issue, isn't this really a debate for twenty-somethings?
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on June 23, 2011 at 9:33 PM · Report this
34
Chances that your 3 bi critics are in opposite sex relationships? Naively assuming 50-50 chance of LTR with a man or a woman, it's only 12.5%, a 1 in 8 chance. (0.5*0.5*0.5 = 0.125) You're just unlucky, I guess (smirk).
Posted by Brashion on June 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM · Report this
33
"Come out... unless you're a teenage boy, and then, just like everyone who wants you to be straight, I'll tell you that it's just a phase." Damned if you do, damned if you don't, eh?

Out bi poly gal here, dating an out bi poly guy, among others. But of the two of us, I'm the only one with anything of a connection to queer community. I bug him about it, but he makes the very good point that most men don't believe him. He's in his late thirties, and he's still being publicly questioned about his identity by men like you.

Here's my point. If you question a teenager's identity, you make it easier to keep on questioning that same person's identity when they are an adult. It's like my aunt, forever convinced that I want to add "mother" to my identity no matter how many times I explain parenting isn't for me. If you can't accept someone's bisexuality, then you are acting in a biphobic manner in that moment. It doesn't matter how you justify it.

I'm lucky. The real people in my life now have stuck with me through a lot of radical changes, and they've accepted me at each step along the way. Whatever I said I was, they said, "OK. I love you for who you are." And that made it way, way, WAY easier to find and accept who I was. If the adults I trusted had exhibited less than acceptance, the way you do here, it would've just made it more difficult to come into my own.

Dan, you have such a big megaphone, a massive soapbox upon which to stand. I'm awfully surprised that you'd use it to tear others down, instead of building them up. This makes you no better than the bullies you've so publicly condemned. Not one whit better. To add insult to injury, your arguments are not only shortsighted, but completely unoriginal. If you were going to sink to that level, you might've at least done it with some decent material.
More...
Posted by daharyn on June 23, 2011 at 8:53 PM · Report this
32
Article summary:

1) "Bisexual teens aren't really bisexual because they're too young to know what their identity is." -- Sorry teens, you aren't really bi, because I don't believe you're old enough to know what you're doing.

2) "Bisexuality is just a phase (especially if you're a teen)." -- It's just a phase! Unless you email me to complain that I said this, in which case, sure, you exist, and I don't like you.

3) "The above conclusions don't count as 'berating' bi teens." -- Because since I don't drive to your house to tell you to your face, then I'm not really berating you.

4) "Most adult bisexuals wind up in opposite-sex relationships." -- I don't have any scientific studies to back me up on this, so just trust me.

5) "Bisexual people have to be 100% out to their partners, period." -- I don't care how fast she divorces you, she needs to know that you used to suck dick and perhaps you still want to. You are not allowed to have any privacy or discretion, because you're bi! Duhhh.

6) "Bisexuals have to be 100% out to everyone, period." -- Because it's always best for everyone to be out no matter how quickly you'll get fired or have your home vandalized or lose your family members as a result. Oh, and ONLY Bi people have to come out 100% of the time, because they're bi.

7) "Bisexuals are whiny." -- Please stop emailing me, you slutty crybabies.

8) "Bisexuals are doing it wrong." -- It's ok for me to spew prejudiced anti-bi rhetoric and demand that you all come out of the closet, but bigotry against bisexuals is all your own fault.

9) "It gets better." -- unless you're bi.
Posted by It Doesn't Get Better for Bisexuals on June 23, 2011 at 8:52 PM · Report this
31
"Come out... unless you're a teenage boy, and then, just like everyone who wants you to be straight, I'll tell you that it's just a phase." Damned if you do, damned if you don't, eh?

Out bi poly gal here, dating an out bi poly guy, among others. But of the two of us, I'm the only one with anything of a connection to queer community. I bug him about it, but he makes the very good point that most men don't believe him. He's in his late thirties, and he's still being publicly questioned about his identity by men like you.

Here's my point. If you question a teenager's identity, you make it easier to keep on questioning that same person's identity when they are an adult. It's like my aunt, forever convinced that I want to add "mother" to my identity no matter how many times I explain parenting isn't for me. If you can't accept someone's bisexuality, then you are acting in a biphobic manner in that moment. It doesn't matter how you justify it.

I'm lucky. The real people in my life now have stuck with me through a lot of radical changes, and they've accepted me at each step along the way. Whatever I said I was, they said, "OK. I love you for who you are." And that made it way, way, WAY easier to find and accept who I was. If the adults I trusted had exhibited less than acceptance, the way you do here, it would've just made it more difficult to come into my own.

Dan, you have such a big megaphone, a massive soapbox upon which to stand. I'm awfully surprised that you'd use it to tear others down, instead of building them up. This makes you no better than the bullies you've so publicly condemned. Not one whit better. To add insult to injury, your arguments are not only shortsighted, but completely unoriginal. If you were going to sink to that level, you might've at least done it with some decent material.
More...
Posted by daharyn on June 23, 2011 at 8:52 PM · Report this
30
First of all, I don't agree with your premise that most bis end up with different sex partners; that's not my experience at all. I know many bis in long-term same-sex couples, but externally they are often misinterpreted as two gay men or two lesbians.

And when you mention the Williams Institute stats and say that those bis need to come out I'd have to say that many of those people are out, but often they are out as gay or lesbian just to survive in an extremely biphobic community. In a confidential survey they can self-identify but in their own circles they may not feel supported enough to do that. And, frankly, Dan, it's partly due to some of the ignorant myths you and others perpetuate about bis.

I've been out as bi for over 20 years and am active in the political bi community and the LGBT community generally. I have had so many "gay" and "lesbian" people tell me over the years about their different sex relationships and desires, and they are not fluctuating teens but adults in their 20s or 30s or older.

We need to create a climate where all people can feel supported enough to come out in their true identities: bi, gay or lesbian. Dan, I really hope you can open your perspective up even wider to help that happen.
Posted by bigirl777 on June 23, 2011 at 7:59 PM · Report this
29
So basically, people should never be homophobic, but you, Dan Savage, can be biphobic, racist, transphobic, ableist, sexist and fatphobic.

I don't even know how you have any credibility, since you're yet another Gay man who is simply fighting for the right to be just as privileged as any heterosexual white man without having to check YOUR biases and prejudices at the door, but you expect everyone else to cater to you, right?

Go straight to hell.
Posted by firestarter on June 23, 2011 at 7:36 PM · Report this
28
I'm a Kinsey 5 or so, a woman, and I've been in a committed, open relationship with a boy for almost four years now. I like the idea of getting married someday, but a rather significant part of me balks at the idea of marriage. Why? If I were in the same relationship I have now, but with a girlfriend, I wouldn't be able to get married. But even more than that, I'm afraid that my sexual orientation will be utterly subsumed by a marriage. Everyone in my life would round me up to straight--that's what I'm afraid of. Thinking that makes me nauseous.

Despite being more attracted to women than men, I've dated a total of two boys and one girl. Girls just aren't attracted to me. I ran a GSA for three years, I suffered through my mother's homophobic conversations, which urged me to make the right "choice" and I fought with her until, eight years later, she finally came to support almost all LGBT issues. Just in time for my little sister to come out, too, from the looks of things.

So what I'm saying is that I identify strongly with the LGBT community. And I'm afraid to have that identity taken from me.

...Am I worried about nothing? I don't even know any more. I'm steadfastly out (whenever I remember that people can't magically see that I'm bi) and I argue with every homophobe that stumbles into my life unless I think they might actually kill me.

I probably could've said this more concisely. Sorry. Does all that make sense?
Posted by Namae nante iranai! on June 23, 2011 at 6:40 PM · Report this
27
Dan, you give great advice that I totally agree with an believe. So help a bi-girl out - I'm married (my husband knows, obviously) have two kids, full time job. I was totally out before getting married, so those people all know. But to people who I've met post-husband-and-kids I'm still "closeted." While the "I'd never kick Halle Berry out of bed" comments might clue in some, the assumption is that I am straight. How how how do I out myself without creating the most awkward conversation in the history of the world? Where's the "in?" And yes, it does matter.
Posted by other coast on June 23, 2011 at 5:25 PM · Report this
26
I agree that more bisexuals need to come out. There are many living in opposite-sex marriages/relationships that don't feel a connection the LGT community. I will give you that but don't try to act all innocent in this shit. You are considered one of the most influential gay people in this country and your words matter. Each time you tell a bi-identified teen "Talk to me in 5 years and let's see where you stand then", you are intentionally erasing his identity. This is just as damaging as telling a gay kid that being gay is wrong. You need to own up to that and not try to make us look like a bunch of whiny bisexuals. So nice try Dan, but you're still on my shit list.
Posted by brufanegra on June 23, 2011 at 5:06 PM · Report this
25
@23 Thank you for mentioning the Kinsey scale. Not all bi-s are sitting right at Kinsey 3. Some of us are more attracted to one end of the scale or the other, not sitting right in the middle.

P.S. I first outed myself to the woman I was dating at 19 years old, I'm 52 now, and stipp bi.
Posted by Jacques on June 23, 2011 at 2:07 PM · Report this
24
@18: Actually, it's pretty transphobic to see trans people as some nebulous "third gender." Transmen are men. Transwomen are women. Seeing them as anything else means you don't accept their identities.

Of course, there are genderqueer people who really fall outside the binary, but I also think that bisexuality accommodates this - the idea is that we're attracted to our own sex and to other sexes. THAT is the "bi" in the term, not "men and women."

I also find it funny that it's always bisexuals who are being berated for being close-minded in their use of terminology - but no one ever tells monosexual people they're close-minded for only being attracted to one sex. (Which is not that I think that they are. I think people don't have a choice in who they're attracted to, and people who want to turn this into a PC-oneupmanship game of "I'm better than you because I'm into more people" need to grow the fuck up.)
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on June 23, 2011 at 1:11 PM · Report this
23
If you look at a large enough human population, you will discover that pretty much every trait can be graphed on the "bell curve". As we've all seen; the "bell curve" has the mathematical mean, median and mode all stacked up in the middle, with the "tails" tappering off in either end. Some human traits are rather different, in that they would graph opposite to the "bell curve", producing what statisticians would call a "bi-modal distribution", meaning that there are two humps, either side of the mathematical mean and median. In both cases, there is always a middle ground. Sexuality is not a binary construct, and neither is it written in stone. People change over time, with experience and exposure, and hormonal changes -- and all manner of internal and external influences. Sexuality is no different. Like any human trait, there's a whole gammut of variation out there, and it makes perfect sense to me that Kinsey picked an odd-numbered scale to roughly represent the incidence of sexual identity. I don't think Kinsey would buy Savage's arguments and consider throwing-out 2-through-6, because the science just doesn't support that, and neither does my experience.
Posted by Really Bisexual on June 23, 2011 at 12:43 PM · Report this
22
Oh Mr. Savage, I'm out (not bi, but queer)... I'm out and shouting from the rooftops, and actually more attracted to women and transmen than cis men. But there aren't a whole lot of lesbians willing to take me seriously, since I'm both femme and a single mother... not "gay" enough to be real, it seems. So thanks for continuing to perpetrate this "bisexuals don't exist" myth that makes women look at me sideways as though I were a liar or imposter for wanting to date them. If I end up married to a cis man instead of a woman, it will be because that cis man didn't disregard my identity as some kind of elaborate hoax.
Posted by thelilithian on June 23, 2011 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Mike in MO 21
hellooooo fellow bis! Sorry, never seen so many in one place at one time :)

That said, @ 7: You may think it would be easy to "hide" bisexuality in an opposite marriage, but trust me it ain't that easy. True, I was genuinely in love with & sexually attracted to the woman I was married to, so yes, I didn't have to fake it in bed. But something about hiding & supressing half of my sexual identity made me pretty miserable.So just like most marriages where one spouse isn't straight, mine didn't end well at all...

Since then I have been out & proud to everyone more than a passing acquaintance/co-worker. It's funny, for the most part I'm the only bi guy my friends & family know. sigh.
Posted by Mike in MO on June 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM · Report this
20
In March, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission released a report which stated that bisexuals had a higher suicide rate, were more likely to suffer from depression, and were more likely to live in poverty than their gay counterparts.

Dan, you write that you "don't berate bi-identified teenage boys" and that you don't go around "looking for young bi guys to beat up" but you've written some really nasty stuff about bisexual people in Savage Love, and I'm sure bisexual kids read your column. You're not making their lives any easier.
Posted by Joe Glibmoron on June 23, 2011 at 2:18 AM · Report this
19
I am an out (to friends and family, not to coworkers) bi chick, and I have no problem being out -- no shortage of supportive awesome friends who don't care which gender I'm sleeping with.

And yet (perhaps paradoxically), I'm also a person who kinda hates when other bi people (particularly those in long-term opposite sex relationships) go on and on and on and BORING ON about the fact that they're bi, as if to put a stake in the ground of their queer identity so no one forgets how interesting they are. I think most non-queers non-allies assume bi-dom is ridiculous/childish/a conceit (maybe some queers and allies assume this also), and crowing about how queer you are when you're married-with-kids to an opposite sex person is just, uh, annoying.

I've got a touch of the internalized biphobia, perhaps. But if I'm currently dating a dude, beyond telling him my stance, I'm not going to blather on to anyone who will listen about how bi I am. It actually feels like a devaluation of the homo plight, somehow.
Posted by yahtzee on June 22, 2011 at 9:47 PM · Report this
18
Isnt the idea of bisexuality a little outdated consideriing how many are transgender or are attracted to trans people or do not identify with the gender BInary?
Posted by arewethereyet on June 22, 2011 at 9:05 PM · Report this
17
Sorry Dan I don't buy this for a second. It's PR BS and lies from you. You're biphobic and everyone knows it. You're just showing how little you understand about bisexuality and male bisexuals. Of course in your world you're never wrong and have never apologized for the biphobic and transphobic things you've said in the past and this makes you a hypocrite.

Gay men like you, and lesbians who are biphobic too are the reason why some male and female bisexuals want nothing to do with the so called GLBT "community". No not all bisexual men and women get into opposite gender relationships. I know lots of bisexual men and women who appear to be gay or lesbian from the outside but they're bisexual and are partnered to other bisexual men and women, or gay and lesbian men and women.

I've been out as bisexual for decades and most of my male bisexual friends have as well even though they've experienced actual discirmination and bigotry from gay men these gay men and even lesbians are just mirroring the bigotry and discrimination that they get from Heterosexuals and a Hetero society.
Posted by JamesT42 on June 22, 2011 at 8:51 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 16
I'm in love with his arguments. "It's not all bad when I say you don't exist, because I don't go looking for people to beat up." "Why don't more of you just come out in the face of adversity upon adversity when there's no real community created for you and its probably easier to round up or down?"

A lot of bi people who became gay became gay because they got tired of defending their bisexuality to EVERY FUCKING BODY. For some bis, it's just so much easier to match your sexuality to the person you're dating at the time, or the groups you're in.

Wouldn't it be easier if we could just wear our Kinsey number on our sleeve without having to explain it? Why do people tend to have problems with guys having any number other than 1 or 7?

The problem with the bi community is that there are two separate communities for each of the sexualities. Why create a whole third community and further limit the possibilities when there are plenty of 1s and 7s who wouldn't mind dating somebody in the middle, but won't actively join the bi community because...well...why would you?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on June 22, 2011 at 7:49 PM · Report this
15
I know this is largely about straight-seeming bi folks becoming more visible, but as a semi-bi (Bi-curious? Couldn't live with a man, think some of them are sure pretty though) lesbian, I have exactly zero motivation for coming out a second time in a second direction ...
Posted by SeaExile on June 22, 2011 at 4:22 PM · Report this
thecheesegirl 14
@1 I'm going to take exception to the "women's sexuality is more fluid" idea, which I know is a very popular one, but it still irks me. I don't think it's so much that women's sexuality is more fluid, I think all human sexuality is pretty fluid, at least on average. Men just have higher penalties for not meeting the societal norm (i.e. gay men=icky; lesbians=hawt!; bi chicks=DOUBLE hawt!!), and I think it's also partially that women are seen pretty ubiquitously as sex objects in this society, therefore, women are more likely to be able to see other women as sex objects even when their bi tendencies only really go so far as an aesthetic appreciation.
Posted by thecheesegirl on June 22, 2011 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Corylea 13
This bisexual has been out for thirty years, Dan, and I'll be thrilled when all the other bisexuals are out, too.

That said, I won't tell other queerfolk when they should come out. Each person's situation is different, and each person's level of internal resources is different, so each person must judge for him/herself when, if ever, it's time to come out.

In spite of being gay, Dan, you've really led rather a charmed life so far. If you'd been abused as a child, if you were a person of color, if you had major health problems, if you hadn't happened to fall into the job of your dreams, then your life would be more of a challenge than it is right now, and you might not have enough strength to deal with your other challenges AND being out.

Those of us who DO have the strength to deal with being out -- either because we were blessed with lots of strength or because we don't have a lot of OTHER shit to deal with -- we're the lucky ones!
Posted by Corylea http://corylea.com/ on June 22, 2011 at 2:25 PM · Report this
12
I have to appreciate the way Savage has evolved on this issue.
Now, if we could just convince him that male sexuality isn't as stable as he thinks just because some (not entirely reliable) studies have backed up his personal experience.
Posted by Park on June 22, 2011 at 2:10 PM · Report this
e. ebullient 11
@Dan and others who think bisexuals should make more of an effort to be visible, one major question for you:

How should we handle the "choicers"? You know, those people who, upon hearing that someone like me is bisexual, immediately say, "see, it IS a choice, good on you for sticking with men"? I can talk till I'm blue in the face about how it's not a choice, that not everyone is bisexual, some people are just gay, and that either way marriage equality etc is still necessary and right, but it makes no difference. I've stopped mentioning that I'm bi to people like this for this very reason. I still don't have an effective response to that, and until I do, I honestly believe that I'm only confirming their views and harming gay rights in the process.

For the record, I do broadcast, quite loudly, my support of equality, and in circumstances where it won't immediately turn the conversation ugly (see above re: choicers), I make no secret of my bisexuality, most often by saying things in passing ("Yeah, Rachel Maddow is right on about many things, but I mostly watch her because I think she's sexy.") because formally "coming out bi" to someone who knows I'm in a committed relationship is often awkward and weird. For what it's worth, I've never really complained about the invisibility of and/or discrimination against bisexuals, I'm just trying to be a good little queer.
Posted by e. ebullient on June 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM · Report this
10
Just finished reading this...

http://www.afterelton.com/oysters-04-28-…

and watching this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY39HHzxu…

before finally coming here to figure out once and for all what all the hulabaloo is about.

I don't have an axe to grind, I'm not personally bi...etc. etc. Good, that's out of the way. Sigh. Okay.

First,

Are you basing this...

"And here's another thing that is: Most adult bisexuals, for whatever reason, wind up in opposite-sex relationships"

and this...

"lots of bisexuals choose not to be out"

on you letter/e-mail responses alone or are there actual studies to support this? Because those, IMO, are two very strong statements you state as fact, not opinion, that I think are at the crux of this issue that most bisexuals I know have a problem with. (Those that are aware of your stance on the issue)

Posted by Locklear303 on June 22, 2011 at 1:34 PM · Report this
e. ebullient 9
@1, I disagree - I think (and my admittedly limited experience backs this up) that male bisexuals are liklier to have homo relationships as long as we don't exclude non-committed relationships, because in general men are more willing to have casual sexual encounters.

But you're totally right about simple probability being the reason that most bisexuals end up in straight relationships. Like your girlfriend, I have *tried* to find a girl who's into me, but an overwhelming majority of the girls I'm attracted to are straight. The few lesbians/bisexual girls I've been attracted to were almost all already in committed relationships, and the few that weren't didn't find me attractive. Now I'm married, and even though my husband would support me, a lot of girls don't want to be the girl on the side. I suppose I could make more of an effort on craigslist or other dating sites to find a woman who, like me, is in a committed relationship but wants to have some girl-on-girl fun, but....hey, life is already pretty damn busy. It's a lot less effort to just fantasize about women as my husband goes down on me. /shrug
Posted by e. ebullient on June 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM · Report this
lyllyth 8
@7
Thanks for that insight.
I'm one of those sorts of children.
Posted by lyllyth on June 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 7
What about all the queer men who were married to women and have children? Are we bi? We performed with women, so we must be, right? WRONG!
We married and performed with women because of society's homophobia. Inside we longed to bond to our wives emotionally, not just physically, but could not. So we came out, left our wives & kids and made our lives match our insides. We 'chose' to be queers, as it were.
If I had been bi, I would have been able to bond to my wife emotionally, and I'd have been 'straight', because there is no fucking way in hell I'd CHOOSE to be gay in this fucked up christianist country. Hence, the invisible, disappearing bi's. Bi's should shut up with the whining and be thankful they can blend in to this homophobic, christianist culture we call home.
Posted by OutInBumF on June 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM · Report this
6
are there a lot of NON-bi women out there, actually?
Posted by dubious dyke on June 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM · Report this
thene 5
I much agree. I'm as out as I reasonably can be; to my partner, my family and all my friends, and some coworkers. It would seem weird calling someone a friend if they didn't know I was bi - let alone dating from inside the closet because hellllo, if they have a problem with queers/or with bisexuals specifically then they have a problem with me, so why would I want anything to do with them? It's not safe to be in; but I live in the south so there's some places (like, say, the job I had a year ago where my boss watched Fox News at work) where it's not safe to be out. The tricky part is that being bi and in an opposite-sex LTR means you always have the option of not being out; if you say nothing, no one's going to notice.
Posted by thene http://thene.dreamwidth.org on June 22, 2011 at 12:03 PM · Report this
4
Ted Haggard now identifies as bi, not straight.
Posted by UnoriginalAndrew on June 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM · Report this
3
@2: there are some women who pretend to be bi to get guys, but I also know bi women who are scared to be out because if they look feminine and/or have been in serious relationships with men, queer girls have told them they're not "really" bi. So that frustration can go both ways. In either case, it seems like more out bi women (whether or not they're bi enough for other queer women) would make stereotyping less of a problem.
Posted by brokephilosopher on June 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM · Report this
2
You forgot another thing, Dan; That allot of 'experimenting' women use the term Bisexual to get men. As a bisexual who identifies as pansexual, this pisses me off the most. I Love women. I love men. I'm poly, so luckly i get to date both when i have the opportunity to. But it burns my hide that the majority of openly professed bi women are kissing bi's; and nothing ruins an experience like someone using me to get third person/guy off. Threesomes can be hot, but i don't want to have one if the girl in the threesome is going to have issues with me actually paying attention to her lower regions.
Posted by g.k.sushi on June 22, 2011 at 11:14 AM · Report this
venomlash 1
It does make sense, statistically, that most bi people would end up in hetero relationships. After all, most people are straight, so even in communities where most queers are open about it, there'd be on the order of ten times as many hetero opportunities as homo opportunities. And societal disapproval of homosex would push that balance even farther. Simple probability, then.
For example, speaking as a straight guy dating a bi girl, my special other has TRIED to find a girlfriend; it's just that most of the girls she hits on, like most girls overall, are straight.
That said, I'd expect female bisexuals to be in homo relationships at a higher rate than male bisexuals; female sexuality is more fluid, leading to a greater prevalence of queer females than queer males. Also, societal disapproval of female homosexuality is, for whatever reason (read as: because straight guys tend to find girl-on-girl action hot), weaker than that of male homosexuality, leading to less of a suppressive effect on bisexual girls dating other girls.
Posted by venomlash on June 22, 2011 at 10:17 AM · Report this

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