[I’ll say at the start, this is a huge topic for me that I could probably go on about at length for a long time, so don’t be surprised if this becomes a few separate posts]
No, I’m not talking about bad food combining. As I said in an earlier post, I identify fairly openly as bisexual and more privately as polysexual; whichever way you dice it, I’m not a monosexual (in this post I’ll be using the word ‘bisexual’ to cover any sort of non-monosexuality, not because I think this is a good way to deal with it but because it’s the term most people are familiar with). This carries with it its own baggage which often isn’t directly addressed, certainly not in the “hetero” world but surprisingly to some, often not in the LGBT(QQA etc.) world either. I’m not really sure why this is; I think it’s assumed that in covering homophobia, biphobia is automatically covered as well, and if you’re in chameleon mode (i.e.: a bisexual person in an opposite-sex relationship) then you automatically have hetero privilege.
To an extent this might be true, especially in the case of homophobia coming from the straight community, but biphobia, especially within the LGBT(QQA etc) world has its own unique flavour, in my experience, which isn’t spoken about. It ranges from the subtle (“you people are just greedy/on the fence/desperate/don’t want to admit you’re just gay/lesbian” or even a simple “I don’t get it”) to the not so subtle (one bi friend of mine was recently told that “if you’re a girl and you’re dating a guy, you shouldn’t be allowed on the LGBT society committee”) to the downright offensive. Not that all of the above isn’t offensive. You know what I’m getting at.
I was having a coffee with my friend Tigger today – her boyfriend is bi – and she mentioned that her boyfriend had kissed one of her best male friends over the Christmas period, but that it didn’t bother her as much as it would if he had kissed one of her female friends. She recognises that this is illogical and a little bit hypocritical, which I suppose is a step in the right direction. But for me it highlights this sort of duality we have in our minds over sexuality; it is often viewed as binary even though it’s not, and non –binary sexuality (i.e. bisexuality) is actually much more integrated and accepted than non-binary gender. A female ex of mine used to tell me that because I was dating her, she thought of me as straight and that was it (and Tigger apparently thinks of her boyfriend in the same way, even though she knows he’s bi); and a male ex of mine used to refer to me as gay even though he knew full well I didn’t identify that way. It offends me when someone who should know better does stuff like that (it works both ways too – I’m just as offended if someone assumes I’m straight, though that rarely happens).
That said, in my own mind I’ve never been in a straight or a gay relationship. I’ve been in opposite-sex relationships and same-sex relationships, but that’s not the same thing; I never can be in a straight or a gay relationship because I’m neither straight nor gay, it’s as simple as that.
If you’re non-mono yourself or you’re intrigued by this topic, or are dating a bi person, you can do a lot worse than to read the book “The Bisexual’s Guide To The Universe”; it’s light-hearted but comprehensive look at bisexuality from many angles, written by a bisexual man and a bisexual woman, and there’s really something for everyone in there.
Poorly-structured rant over for now, but this is a topic I’ll be coming back to again, probably soon!