Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Duncan from Blue comes out. Etc.

Another week, another celebrity comes out as bi. I stopped posting on bi celebrity long ago, but there is something about male celebrities coming out as bi that does, in fact, deserve more attention.

I’ve done the women, as it were – Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, et al all the way back to Madonna c1990… well, they may be bi, or they may not. They may have felt a sudden desire to be, like, totally honest with their public at this particular moment in time, or they may have seen a marketing opportunity.

Celebrities, eh. You just can’t trust them/their public images/their people. And they do real bi women no favours at all.

However, female bi celebrities don’t really get flak from anyone (apart from the likes of me, who matters not diddley-squat in the big old world of music PR). Bi male celebrities (like bi men in general) are not seen as that teensy bit sexier, they are seen as pretend gay men with all the homophobia and ridicule that implies in mainstream society.

Complementary posts
Two blog posts on this subject cover pretty much everything I could or would have said on the subject. I have never heard of Gary Nunn before, but Marcus Morgan is a long-time UK bi activist, and knows of what he speaks.

However, I want to highlight the many comments these posts attracted. The negative comments, that is; the positive comments are similar and from people who actually know other bi people or are bi themselves.

Obviously, the Guardian’s Comment is Free site attracts a different set of prejudices to that of Pink News – a gay news site. Specifically, CiF commenters tend to believe that there is no problem in being gay or bi these days, that gay/bi people still “shouting from the rooftops” aka mentioning their sexuality are somehow oppressing heterosexuals. Or, connected, that we should just all love whoever and it really doesn't matter any more.

Biphobia really does exist
But it is depressing that the bile posted on PN by gay people (men) beats that on CiF by the factor of many. Specifically, that bi men cannot be trusted because X poster has met a no-good one (or two).

Perhaps most people who are out as bi have heard this already - God knows how many times I have heard this in my life! So bi people are supposed to police / apologise for the bad behaviour of every other person who has ever said they were bi. You can't be judged as yourself, but against what others may or may not have done.

I find that extraordinary, nothing but downright prejudice. It puts us in an impossible position. We “good” bis, by our attempts at openness and honesty, are as nothing beside these bogeyman “bad” bis. And there are bad bis, of course. There are bad people of all sexualities. Sexual identity does not correlate to good or bad behaviour.

'Bi now, gay later'
I don’t know where those gay people posting get the idea that being bi is so much easier than being gay. That, as a result, all the bi (men) they have ever met who then turned out to be gay negate the very existence of genuinely bi men.

One commenter says that a lot of people who say they are bi are really gay. How does he know? Some people say they are bi and are really gay. True. Some people say they are gay and are really bi. True. Presumably, both think that the sexuality they profess is easier to manage / more acceptable than the one they feel in their hearts that they are.

Well, I have met plenty of gay men who turned out to be bi. Including some bi men who have girlfriends they do not tell the gay community about. And married bi men who were completely honest with their wives. And monogamous bisexuals by the bucketload.

The supposition remains: bi men = really gay; bi women = really straight. Are men, or perhaps Men, really so irresistible?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Getting gaydar

One of the googled queries that often sends people to this blog is: “How do I know if X [person that I fancy] is bi?” Chances are, they go away entirely unenlightened.

I was thinking of this myself the other day, when I was chatting to someone I know slightly. She knows about me – and we have always had a rapport – but, unless she tells me, how will I ever know if there is anything to “know” about her?

I am not planning to proposition her, indeed am quite enjoying the continued existence of Unresolved Sexual Tension, but I’d like to know that UST is what it is, and not just friendliness.

In the past, I have got this horribly, hideously wrong – to the embarassment and bafflement of both parties - and I just wonder how other people sense mutual sexual attraction.

Going clubbing
No doubt if you are operating in an entirely lesbian/gay environment, then it is easier. At least if you are in a queer club, it’s likely that the people who are there are queer. And that’s one of the reasons why LGBT online dating is so popular – you at least know that people there are looking for lovers of whatever gender you are.

But queer people operate in all sorts of mainstream and heterosexual environments too, and seem to meet partners there without necessarily verbally coming out to them. How?

Assuming everything
My lack of gaydar, though, isn’t confined to people I may sort of kind of fancy. Several times over the past year, I have been told that “of course” so and so is gay, what was I thinking?

Well, what was I thinking? In theory, I don’t assume anyone is anything. In practice, unless people have an obvious attachment, or I meet them in an unarguably queer environment, I kind of think they’re all asexual.