I like the feminine, I like the curvature of hips and the way their eyes sparkle when you compliment them, I like the way women empathize and adore and sacrifice for each other. I like the way they know exactly what you’re thinking with a single glance, and how women can relate to nearly everything I say. I love soft hair and curls and the smell of vanilla and pineapple and flowers. I like women, beautiful women of all shapes and sizes and colors.
I like the masculine, I like the coarseness of their hands and the sharpness of their jaws. I like the way they’ve held me tightly to their chest, and let my tears fall freely. I like the way I’ve seen them fall so unashamedly in love. I love when they refuse to conform to traditional ideals of masculinity, I love stubble and the smell of pine and ash and the moment when hair falls out of place. I like men, strong attractive men of all shapes and sizes and colors.
I’m bisexual. But among straight communities, I’m seen as a perversion of nature or a fetish.
If I muster the courage to tell a straight woman that I’m bisexual and I’m so often met with a response accepting on the surface, but inside caked with revulsion and disgust. It’s not that I’ve come out of the closet, it’s as if I’ve kept some kind of skeleton in the closet with me, a horrifying secret that changes all that I am. They think every sleepover we’ve ever had must have been predatory, that my hugs are somehow exploitive, as if my displays of affection for a supposed friend are an opportunism chance for sexual gratification. I must like them, must want them, I want to have sex with every girl I’ve ever touched, but especially you, my best friend and former confidant.
When I finally admit to a straight man that I’m attracted to two genders, I must brace myself for the immediately enthusiastic congratulating. A hundred questions. All about my virginity, my position in the bedroom, my willingness to have a threesome, my exact attraction to each gender, simplified, quantified into numbers that they desperately demand to grasp every complexity of. I’m not celebrated, the amount of times I’ve kissed other girls is. They demand to know if I’ll ever marry a girl, or if my libido is simply so high that I refuse to turn down any human being. They ask if they can watch, they say it as a joke, but I know from the gleam in their eyes and the devil in their smile that they see me as nothing more than just a walking, talking sexual machine, one to enhance their own pleasure.
The place of refuge and solidarity, the gay and queer community has been no savior or solace for women such as me. I’m met with scorn and laughter, that I’m not really bisexual, I’m a confused little girl with daddy issues, one who is just attention seeking. That I’m playing oppression olympics, and just want to invade a space that does not belong to me, that I’m simply desperate to be different and queerness is in. That they were bi too once, and that I shouldn’t worry, because surely soon I’ll pick a side and stop being greedy. I’ll choose my side in the end one day, as if monogamy somehow takes my desires away. Because of my past and my inevitable future, I’m tainted and dirty and whorish and muddy. My body and lips have been pleasured by men, therefore I’m not a gold star or prize but merely an option they take when nothing else is left. I must prove to every lesbian that I’m just as queer as she is, that my desire is real, and that my femininity is not a another word for straightness. I must be aggressive and passionate, the top every single time, because if I lack this prowess just once then every claim to bisexuality is immediately called into question. If I wish to stop giving and for a moment receive, I’m just another pillow princess who’ll leave you for a man. And if I do leave, nothing was your fault, because I’m straight, only experimenting, just playing with your heart.
To those who are straight, I’m so brilliantly, blindingly gay. To the queer I’m erased and swept under, just a straight girl with fantasies. What if I said I’m I’m neither and both? That I’m not straight, I’m not a lesbian, one day I will surely fall in love with a man, and someday I’ll fall in love with a woman, but no matter how it ends up, I didn’t “pick a side”. My relationship status doesn’t determine my sexuality, and erasure from queer spaces feels both unfair and nonsensical.
I’m bisexual. I’m attracted to men and women. I have the capacity to love men and women. So simple, yet uttering these words leads to scrutiny, from everyone imaginable, even friends and allies, even the community which holds my sexuality in their name does not believe the skinny blonde femme in front of them.
I can reclaim my body, as I willingly have. I can reclaim my sexuality and I can demand back my purpose, as I have. But I cannot control the judgments and perceptions that dictate what the world thinks when I let myself be draped in a pink, lavender, and blue flag and proudly say;
I’m bi. I’m a queer who likes men in addition, I’m smack in the middle of the scale, some where between homo and heterosexual. I’m gay, even though I willingly kiss men. I’m not gay enough to be called a lesbian, just enough to be dyke coming for your daughters. I’ll stand for a community that refuses to do the same. This label, this trait, it isn’t gong away. I was bi at three and I’ll be bi after I turn ninety. It’s not just a phase, I’m not being greedy, I won’t choose a gender, because I was born this way.
I’m more than my label, I’ve got a personality too, and if you accept me to know me, there’s something wrong with you.