This is a comment by Mark on the post “Bisexual Men: 8/4“.
“Other disadvantages to being both male and bisexual: We tend to be treated as vectors of disease and ‘in-group traitors’ by heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. We’re oftentimes blamed for the supposed ‘jump’ that HIV made from the gay population to the straight population, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a gay man tell me that I’m NOT bisexual (the situational irony of a gay man telling a bi man that he isn’t the authority on his own sexual identity is never lost on me), that bisexuality doesn’t exist (or ‘only exists for women’, whatever THAT’S supposed to mean), that I’m actually a gay man who’s either too afraid to identify publicly as gay and thus takes the easy way out by identifying as bi and clinging to some vestige of hetero-privilege (never mind that heterosexuality and bisexuality are also NOT THE SAME) or too greedy and insatiable to commit to a single gender sexually. Never mind that I, you know, FIND WOMEN ATTRACTIVE.
“I feel that there should be no ‘politics’ of my orientation; ‘politics’ implies something that is up for public debate. My orientation is determined by me, no one else; that’s kind of the point of a sexual identity or of identity in general. Ultimately, I probably cleave more towards genderqueer and pansexuality, but I identify as bisexual to keep from having to explain my sexuality for twenty minutes to everyone who asks.
“And, even though I can see why you’d bring up polyamory, please note that bisexuals get confused with polyamorous people A LOT, and that you run the risk of infuriating a bisexual person whenever you ambiguously bring it into a conversation about bisexuality. Yes, polyamory and bisexuality have points of overlap; no, all bisexuals are not polyamorous, not even close. The two are not the same thing, and the implications of treating them as identical to or one-off from one another are kind of offensive. Being bisexual does not automatically mean that you engage in open relationships.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Dominic’s pics