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Bisexuality — What’s in a Name?

Here’s what I think is a good piece from Edge on bisexuality:

Bisexuality — What’s in a Name?

Several decades and countless pride parades into the sexual revolution, gays and lesbians have achieved a level of cultural validation that, although far from ideal, renders the bisexual community virtually invisible by comparison. Dodge asserts that responsibility for the lack of acceptance of bisexuals lies firmly at our out, proud and queer doorstep.

“It’s ironic that a group of people who went through struggles for liberation, many of which were fought by bisexual people and subsumed under the label of gay, would backlash bisexuals for being who they are and not accepting them.” Asked if strides made by gays and lesbians have led to a heightened level of awareness for bisexuals, Dodge counters: “It wouldn’t cross my mind that it’s more accepted. There’s very little support for men who self identify as bisexual. It’s not surprising that guys who are curious would be hesitant to identify as bi. Maybe with women, there’s more flexibility; but I certainly don’t see evidence of acceptance among men.”

In our community, Torchwood is all the rage. Russell T Davies, who was also responsible for the groundbreaking series Queer as Folk, gives us a cast of sexually fluid characters; Captain Jack, from the 51st Century, the center of it all. It’s refreshing to finally see us portrayed as other than serial killers, confused, or the bridge for AIDS transmission.

Even when the study is about us, we get left out:

Diamond concurs, lamenting that “Life is easier if you simplify things. I’ve had editors say it would be a lot cleaner of a study if you could just use the gay and straight information and cut out the bisexual people. But it would not be an accurate reflection of reality.” Dodge, commenting on a paper which recently appeared in the American Journal of Public Healt, says: “The findings were that both-sex attracted people were more likely to be current smokers and start smoking earlier. In their conclusion, they talk about it as this being an issue among same-sex attracted youth – but their findings were for bisexual youth. It’s just another way of how bisexuality is made invisible and subsumed. It’s even problematic combining men and women.”

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