Even if there are some self-identified bisexuals who are romantically interested in one gender and sexually attracted to another, and even if some self-identified bisexuals just questioning and experimenting, let’s acknowledge where the real blame should lie: with queers like me who didn’t fully come out in the beginning.
Although it’s not intended to hurt anyone — many of us do it in an effort to protect ourselves from the homophobia of our friends and family — our temporary claims of bisexuality damage credibility and the dating field for those whose bisexuality is not temporary. My ex watched lesbian porn one night and it made me really uncomfortable.
But late one night, in a parking lot after we had spent an angry hour talking on the phone, I made a decision that I would later consider an act of mercy for both of us: I would never speak to him again — and didn't.
When I finally told him the truth, answering his oft-asked inquiries about my infidelity with a final, fateful yes, we remained locked in a toxic back-and-forth, shouting insults at each other for a month.
" But unfortunately for my ex as well as for all the other bisexual men and women out there, the straight and gay people who use a bisexual identity as a "halfway house" contribute to the widespread negative notion that anyone who identifies as bi is actually a flimsy, half-hearted gay man or lesbian.
It's one reason why so many bisexuals — my ex included — feel so excluded from the LGBT movement.
First of all, porn is fantasy, and although there’s very little I won’t try once (or twice), I to try in real life.
He was a true "50-50" bi guy, a lover of men and women, not an “attention-seeker” or a "halfway-there gay man" or any of the ridiculous and offensive claims people make about bisexuals. This led to his heartache, since he was trying to date me, a gay guy who was not monogamously inclined (and still isn’t), a guy who was too immature to say, “Hey, I’m not really looking for a relationship.” This seems basic, but it's unfortunately still necessary to note in an ongoing effort to counteract this bizarre notion that someone who is attracted to multiple genders will inevitably miss having sex with people of the gender they’re not sleeping with, and cheat. For him, as well as for many others, his claim to bisexuality wasn’t a transitional phase or halfway point between straight and gay.
But even if a bisexual person does cheat, it's hardly evidence that bisexuality inclines a person toward infidelity. But I understand where this misconception comes from.
So the action of watching doesn't necessarily translate to “going to go out and do it later.” And even if someone (of any orientation) does want to go out and meet that need, if they’re a good partner, they will talk to you about it first and see what you're willing to accomodate.
Until about six months ago, when my phone buzzed with a text message from a name I never expected to see on my screen again: “Do you want to get coffee? I needed to tell him I was sorry, he needed to tell me how much I had hurt him, and we both needed to hug. Sure, he may have technically had more options than me — he was drawn to men and women, while I was only drawn to men — but that didn’t make him any more promiscuous or untrustworthy than the next guy.
And since this week is Bisexual Awareness Week, and I’m feeling sentimental, I’m reflecting on the lessons that relationship taught me, and the ways I learned from him — because my ex-boyfriend was bisexual. The reality was far from it: He was unbearably monogamous and loyal to a fault.