You know, the dress that split America right down the middle. The one that caused just as much self-righteous consternation among arguing factions as the debate over whether or not bisexuality actually exists.
Bisexuals can certainly relate to The Dress in that we’re assumed to be either #WhiteandGold or #BlueandBlack with absolutely nothing in the middle. During the midst of all the color furor the image invoked in so many, the primary object itself was easily ignored as people focused on the eerie sensation they experienced resulting from the optical phenomenon itself.
Bisexuals often feel like The Dress; like society has decided to view us as either White and Gold or Blue and Black with no in between and without giving proper attention to the fact that we are dynamic human beings with a legitimate sexual orientation who wish to be visible in our society and not erased.
The White and Gold’s perpetuate the age old they’re just lesbians or gays who are afraid to come out of the closet and admit to being homosexual misconception while the Blue and Black’s commonly perpetuate the they’re just confused myth. Both of these sentiments work to lessen bisexual visibility and promote bisexual Erasure, the idea that bisexuality doesn’t exist as a valid sexual orientation.
Unfortunately, this biphobic view isn’t solely shared by heterosexuals. It’s a bias that’s often shared by our brothers and sisters in our very own LGBTQIA community and coming from them, the ones who we expect to understand just how it feels to be persecuted, misunderstood, devalued and marginalized, it’s particularly hurtful and divisive.
Many gay men believe it’s a frivolous claim bisexual women make simply to entice heterosexual men. This belief diminishes Bi women down to brainless sluts who live solely to pleasure hetero men. Many lesbians view us as traitor’s who refuse to play for the right team. And in general, bisexual women and men are often deemed less desirable than heterosexuals and homosexuals as partners because of the misguided belief that all bisexuals are sexually rampant, in constant need of stimulation from both sexes, simultaneously, and thus are not good candidates for long term relationships which simply is not true. We aren’t any more inclined to cheat on our mates than members of any other sexual orientation. Bisexuality and monogamy are not mutually exclusive.
We live alongside you. We exist. And we feel just as strongly aware, with the same unwavering certainty of our sexual orientation as the White and Gold’s and Blue and Black’s feel about their perceptions of The Dress.
Bisexuals are often asked, “Well how do you know you’re bisexual?” And to that I often respond: the same way that I know my nose is on my face, each time I wake up in the morning, and that I have ears without giving it any conscious thought on my behalf. The same way I know I have two boobs on my chest even though this is something I never deliberate on. The same way that I know my eyes are brown and that they won’t mysteriously turn blue all of a sudden. I just know.
We know the same way everyone else knows their sexual orientation. We just know that we’re bisexual. Even if when growing up it takes us a while to realize we have a label that we can use to define ourselvselves. Though inevitably, there are always those who still allow our various explanations to fly over their heads who then return with the question: “But as a woman what if you’ve only been with a guy? How do you know you’re bisexual?” The boobs remember? The same way I know I have boobs.
It does not matter whether or not we’ve been with a partner of the same or opposite gender before. We may never experience being romantically involved with both genders for the duration of our lifetimes but we are still bisexual. It’s the same way lifetime celibates still know that they’re heterosexual or homosexual without having slept with a partner. No one would ever ask them how they knew what their sexual orientation was since they’ve never slept with anyone before. It would seem like an obvious answer. Yet bisexual men and women are continually asked this question.
Bisexuals know that we can think about both genders emotionally, romantically and sexually and that our attraction to them both isn’t off-putting in the slightest neither is it something we can control. In fact, both genders make starring appearances in our greatest and most forbidden fantasies fairly often. We know that we have the propensity to fall in love with a woman just as easily as we can a man and we’re comfortable with that.
We know we’re bisexual. Like we know we have noses on our faces and that our eyes won’t mysteriously change colors. We’re attracted to both genders and we’re proud of it. That’s what makes us special.
Bisexuality is a real sexual orientation that exists. Even if you don’t personally understand us that doesn’t make us any less real. We’re no strangers to feeling perplexed. We understand how people can feel confused. We all have a tendency to minimize that which we don’t understand. But hear us when we try to educate you.
As bisexuals we sometimes have a tough time understanding why everyone else’s loins don’t occasionally sizzle at the sight of both the attractive guy as well as the attractive girl he’s holding hands with. How could you not want to do Brad Pitt AND Angelina Jolie? Both of them are hot. We’re inherently wired to be willing to succumb to that possibility. Our attraction isn’t turned off simply because someone shares our gender. So believe it or not it’s sometimes hard for us to understand other sexual orientations also. How someone could only be attracted to one gender.
But bisexuals are in a unique position to accept this because of our sexual duality; our openness to all possibilities. We’re not a sexual orientation to be erased or feared. We should be revered and respected. Just like the optical phenomenon of that dress.
#bisexual #sexualidentity #thatdress