JJ Vincent is aware there’s a lot going on in that sentence. It’s confession time, y’all.
Go ahead. Read the title again. That’s three partners. There’s a lot going on in that sentence. I’m aware of this. Confusion is just part of my life. It’s not deliberate. It’s just me.
First, let me say that I hate the words heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual, especially the last two. Say them, and a lot of minds hear biSEXual and homoSEXual. All of us, no matter how we identify, are more than the sex we have.
That said, I generally identify as a gay man. It’s the simplest, most straightforward explanation of myself and how I approach the world. My partner J strongly identifies as a gay man…that’s how we interact with each other, and how most of the world sees us.
In reality, bi is more honest for me. Girls are as likely to turn my head as boys. That I have a girl partner and a guy partner troubles people. I think there’s a socially instilled fear of bisexuals, that we are after any and everyone, that we are sexually greedy and more morally corrupt than garden-variety homosexuals.
I don’t care that people know that I like both guys and girls. I’m very open about this. But I care when they can’t see beyond that.
It gets more confusing that my partner identifies as a gay man, and is utterly unashamed about this. It’s who he is, not just what he is. Except that he has a girl partner now. He struggled with this. He fought so hard for so long to accept himself as a gay man that having to accept that he loves, and more importantly is physically attracted to, a woman, was hard for him. He did not want to be straight, He did not want to be bisexual. He wanted to be gay. He has been. And he is. Except for her.
She is bisexual. Outly, proudly so.
And we are a trio, and three sets of partnerships. Three together, and me and him, and him and her, and she and I.
There’s a great mistrust of bisexuals in both the gay and straight communities. They are often considered fence-sitters, wafflers, greedy, predatory, told to make a decision, thought indecisive or dirty or traitors to the gay community, or dismissed as just scared to come out of the closet. Some of the worst suspicions of both hetero- and homosexuality are projected on to us. We’re don’t fit into the check boxes. Our relationship histories are confusing, often mixed from girl to boy to boy to boy to girl. But we do know what we want. We may be in a long-term same-sex or opposite-sex relationships. They may be monogamous or polyamorous. But we are no different than any other person out there who loves and wants to be loved.
And loved we are. We all have each other to lean on. We all have each other to talk to. We love each other separately and together. He and she share things that are theirs alone. She and I share things that are ours alone. He and I have our own special things. Each of our pairings also has its individual frustrations and struggles. How could they not? We are three very different people from three different backgrounds. She lives several states away, and distance is a royal pain in the arse. But in the words of the immortal Tim Gunn, we “make it work, people.” We have text, Skype, and love, even while we miss her.
Mostly, we have unity. We are united in who we are, and that like any other caring relationship, we want this to work. That we are a crazy please-bring-a-white-board-mix of gender and sexual orientation just means that when introductions are made, it takes a little longer, raises a few more eyebrows, and makes people rethink their assumptions about what gay, straight, bi, and relationships are.
photo courtesy of the author