Bisexuality: an attraction toward both men and women. Some people think that this attraction is 50-50 toward both men and women. But there are many others who identify as bisexual but like women more. Or like men more.
Among women, bisexuality is a lot more accepted in our society. The reason? Straight men have the fantasy of being with two women and watching them together. Many people come out as bisexual as a transition to coming out as gay which has led some to believe that bisexuality does not exist. Particularly in the gay male community, according to my sources, married men will come out as bisexual in the beginning and then, later, come out as gay.
My theory is that there is a difference between orientation and preference. “Orientation” is what you are born with and “preference” is whether or not you choose to listen to that orientation. For example, I would say, by orientation, everyone is bisexual. Now, this may not be 50-50%. It may be 40-60 or even 99.999-.001, but that teeny tiny part is always there. My percentage would be 95-5%, with the 95% being toward women. I choose to listen to the larger percentage and, therefore, my preference – my choice – is to follow my instinct/gut and identify as a lesbian. My friend was, by orientation, about the same as me in attraction – much greater feelings toward those of the female persuasion. And yet, due to societal pressures, she was married to a man and had a child. Around 30 years old, however, she came to believe she came out as gay. Her “preference” then became lesbian. The ex-gay movement says “it is a choice” and while we don’t like to agree, it IS a choice when we decide to be with someone.
I know some people who identify as bisexual (orientation and preference), not allowing the possibility that they would miss out on the love of their life by identifying as completely gay or completely straight. And that makes perfect sense. Now, throw being with transgender individuals and it throws everything out the window! Who are you if you’re a lesbian in love with a man who was born a woman? Does it mean you’re still a lesbian or are you bisexual or are you another category not yet to be invented? It’s complicated. Sexual orientation cannot be explained so easily but as we keep talking about it, acceptance will come for us all.
Amanda Jones is a social worker, activist, writer, singer, and hopes for social justice for all. She resides in the Binghamton area. To contact her, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org