Saturday, August 19, 2006

California dreaming

I've just come back from rural France - great holiday, thanks for asking - and it's set me wondering: where's the best place to be bisexual? When I say "be" bisexual, what I mean (in brief) is: the ability to be open about your sexuality if you want; the chance of meeting people who might just understand you; and an absence of violence towards people whose sexuality or appearance is not that of the mainstream.
And I've come up with a possibility: California. Now, of course, I've never actually been to the place, my US-side jaunts being restricted to the east and middle of the country. So what I'm about to write is based on no personal evidence whatsoever! Still, when did that ever stop bloggers?
But it does seem to be the place where there is more questioning of conventional notions of sexuality and gender identity than anywhere else in the world. After all, people like Susie Bright and Carol Queen live and work there. It's a state with a long history of accepting alternative politics and lifestyles and where cutting-edge sexual politics do find an audience. Imagine trying to make a living as a queerish sexual pundit in the UK... Even my bank manager laughed.
Then of course, there's those beautiful women in The L Word (or am I perhaps confusing fantasy with reality....?)
Not that London's bad. It's even quite good in that people in general are laid-back about sexuality and not too bothered about how others live. There are places to find sexual partners if you want them. And, importantly, there's the newish civil partnerships, which mean that lesbian and gay couples have sort-of equality before the law.
So where would be a really crap place? Anywhere where same-sex behaviour is illegal; anywhere where strong fundamentalist religion is part of the everyday landscape - and that means large swathes of the US; places where you might go years on end without meeting another "like-minded" individual.
Well, what do you think, you Californians? Is it all a bowl of cherries out there in the sunshine? Or is the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is Governor enough to get you all heading east?


Anonymous said...

in my experience, san francisco is a provincial, polarized, fascist sexual hell of bitter straight women, bitchy, effeminate heterosexual men, saucy but snobby lesbians, and teeth-bared, compulsive and sadistic gay men. bisexuality is seen as a collegiate daydream or an invitation to attack. the 60's were a century ago, and unfortunately, sf has devolved into a racist, categorized, provincial toilet, overrun with gawking tourists, gay and straight, from the midwest, eager to watch and carry stories of perversion back to their snowbound shitholes of hometowns.

los angeles, due to the fact that most people there are narcissists or whores, is more open. anything to get ahead, you know...
which is strangely liberating

Sue George said...

Blimey! Los Angeles it is then.