Bisexual: Breaking Binary Barriers
Pardon the alliteration, friends, but I’m feeling whimsical. You’ll forgive me, yes?
I stumbled this morning on an excellent piece hosted on the Huffington Post titled “For Bi Guys Thinking of Coming Out” by author Patrick RichardsFink. If you have not already, please go read the piece. Regardless of your gender or sexual identity there are some incredible insights found within the piece, particularly in dealing with the preconceptions most people still carry about sexuality and gender identity being based within the binary normative structure of gay/straight, male/female.
As I have mentioned repeatedly in my writings, I knew comparatively early in my life that I am Bi Male. Additionally, I came to realize later in life that I am also a Queer Male. In my further explorations into the roles of gender and sexual identity as parcel to development and establishing meaningful interpersonal relationships, I have had to undo the same kind of binary thinking still prevalent in modern Western society. Sexuality and Gender are not necessarily static, but may instead exist on a dynamic continuum. It is with this greater understanding, both externally and internally of the fluidity of self-expression, that led me to the belief that Bi-Curiosity is a misnomer, a stumbling block upon the path to actualization. The conversation is not as simple as there being two sides to a coin, but is instead as multifaceted as a Princess-cut diamond. This complexity requires adopting not only a new approach to coming out but also a new mindset to those still within the binary-normative structure.
Fans of science fiction have played with adaptive gender and sexual theory for decades. Authors such as Asimov featured stories in which more than two genders were required for society to function. As often has been the case, this was a matter of science fiction foretelling trends within society at large. The communicators from “Star Trek” became cellular phones, for example. Just as Gene Roddenberry envisioned a future society in which racial and national barriers were dismantled in favor of a greater human and interplanetary society, so too must we envision a future in which gender and sexual identities are less important than the shared condition be being human.
Slowly progress is being made in this effort. The Boy Scouts of America are reportedly considering lifting the ban on accepting openly gay members of all ages. A recent spat between writers and the Trans community gathered international attention, resulting in more exposure — and support — for the Trans community in particular and the LGBTQ community at large. The paradigm is shifting. Minds are opening. Progress is being made.
That said, there is still a long way to go. Far too often Bi men in particular are dismissed by both sides of the continuum as being “confused” or “in a phase” or simply “undecided”. Often there are derisive comments about being selfish, untrustworthy, or inherently dirty, as is the capability of loving multiple people in multiple body shapes is a negative trait. (Similarly, being Polyamorous often draws the same criticism. Being a Bi Poly Male increases this criticism exponentially.) However, as the work of various LGBTQ support groups gains more exposure and the stance of the general population shifts toward broader acceptance, these negative comments will slowly decrease. People will be be judged less on what parts they do or do not have and how they share those parts with others, but on how well their actions lend to growing and strengthening their local and global human communities.
Just as Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream in which people of all nations, races, and creeds would one day stand together in unity, I dream of the day when such labels as gay, straight, bi, male, female, trans, queer, genderqueer, genderfluid, and the like are no longer necessary.
I dream of the day when we are all openly accepted as people, embracing our differences and similarities without bias toward or against one another.
I dream of breaking barriers, the binary barrier among them.
Stay SINful, friends.