It’s 6 a.m. I wanted to wait until tomorrow to post this but since I can’t sleep anyway I might as well post it now. Tonight I went to a club night organised by, and therefore also heavily attended by, some people I have classes with. All in all quite a good night, really, danced like crazy (I’m a terrible dancer but I have a great time when dancing badly), and really enjoyed myself. Until.
At the end of the night as the lights went up, a guy who I’ve had classes with since 2007, almost five years ago, started talking to me. As far as I know this is the first time he’s ever spoken directly to me, and certainly the first one-on-one conversation we’ve ever had, and it went like this:
He: “We’re trying to get you to make out with a girl. To prove that you’re actually bi.”
I: “Sorry? I have to prove my sexuality to you now?”
He: “Don’t be a dick, come on, don’t be a dick. ‘Cause you know, I’m quite openly gay…”
I: “Yeah, I know” (Everyone knows).
He: “Really? Oh… well. Anyway. I just find it really hard to believe that you’re not actually just gay”
At that point I think I walked away before the red cloud descended. Thank fuck, there was a close friend of mine at the same event who also happens to be pansexual, so I told her about it (and her inventive response was to shout his name across the dancefloor and then make out with me when he looked over, which backfired spectacularly when he tried to kiss her too).
I’ve written a little about biphobia before and how it seems to be more widespread within the LG-T community than in heterosexual society (Biphobia from other LG-T people just baffles me. They know better than most what it’s like to have your sexuality be an issue for you, for it not to be the norm, and the problems it can bring people. I suppose a minority need another minority to focus their issues on, perhaps? “Well we might be weird but at least we’re not as weird as those filthy bisexuals. They’re probably just confused or in denial anyway”), though I have to say this is the first time I’ve experienced something quite so insulting first hand. Come to think of it, what would he have said if I weren’t single? That I must be gay because I have a boyfriend? That I’m lying to myself and others by having a girlfriend? I don’t know what goes through these peoples’ heads. To have someone who is, essentially, a stranger, out of the blue start questioning you about your sexual preferences when they know full well how you identify, and for them to demand “proof” of that, is so infuriating I don’t even have the words to describe it. But let me just be clear.
I am, in a broad sense of the word, bisexual. I am attracted to, and have sexual and romantic encounters with, people of more than one biological sex. If someone’s attractive, they’re attractive, regardless of genitalia or the supposedly defining letter under “sex” on their passport. I’ve known I’m bisexual since my first year at high school, around the age of twelve; came out to friends when I was about 14 and family at 16. At university I’ve never pretended to be anything but bisexual, to anyone, for any reason; there’s no point in lying about your sexual preferences to someone. But you know what, it’s probably just a phase. After all, bisexuals don’t really exist. Compare this to someone, like this guy, who have been out for all of about two years – but he’s gay, so of course that couldn’t be just a phase. (I’m not trying to belittle his own coming out at all. Different things work for different people, and it’s not an easy thing for everyone (anyone?) to do).