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Explain Please

March 11, 2010

So I’ve let everyone know where I come from. I’ve said I like Queer As Folk, I’ve said I consider myself a pansexual, I’ve said I have no experience (oh and btw I’m not young anymore). So explain some things to me please. Is it really that huge a deal for someone who likes women to also like men? Being bisexual seems like a huge taboo thing to the Gay/Lesbian community. (Which strikes me as odd because GLBT kind of includes bisexual people too yes?)

Now – mind you I’m not “immersed” in the culture. So I’m kind of taking what I’m seeing in QAF with a grain of salt but it’s not actually refuting things I’ve heard in other places. That whether you’re a gay male or a lesbian woman – switching to the other team is at the least met with a “eww ick” face, at worst met with utter disdain and disgust. I mean really – in a culture that’s supposed to be accepting of everyone, a culture that’s been trampled on by idiotic phobic people – is there room to basically cut people out of your community for liking “that”?

I get not being interested – I mean my posts of male parts squicks out several of my tumblr followers. That’s okay. But they’re not going to look down on me because I like them – are they? See that is part of the issue for me – I’ve always liked guys. I’m not going to stop that part of me – but now, I’m attracted to certain female-bodied individuals. Am I going to be told that I’m a fake, or other derogatory terms because I still like guys? It kind of makes me nervous to enter in fully to this new community. And I don’t like that.

Back to QAF and the whole reason I brought them up: there’s a lesbian couple (and I love these two) who have been together for a while, with their own dramas going on. Nothing unusual I’d think for a couple, and I can’t imagine how they could have been handled better (more on that later) but now a man has been introduced. As a writer, I could see where it was going from the beginning. He’s obviously a narcissistic womanizer who has never met a women he can’t get in to bed. Enter Lindsey, whom he knows is a lesbian and is married with a pregnant wife. Can we say CHALLENGE? The sparks were flying from the beginning.

Now, in my head – the biggest problem is that stupid Lindsay should have backed out early on because it was obvious that it could be trouble. But I was thinking – affair. Cheating on wife. That’s where I was going. Maybe that’s just my “straight” mentality. I didn’t care if she slept with a guy or a girl; it was the fact that she was cheating. Even when they were in bed BEFORE she cheated, I knew where her mind was at. And that, well, that was already cheating. (Note, cheating because there had been no open-communication on the subject.)

But that wasn’t the issue for Melanie. No, she was upset that Lindsey slept with a MAN. She can’t call herself a Lesbian now. Mind you, I wanted to slap Lindsay. Hello, you don’t sleep with someone to affirm that you’re making the right decision in being a lesbian. Dumb Bitch. So in that, I totally agree with Melanie. But I think she was meaning more that she screwed up, she’d been flattered and was sorry but she knew what was important and that was her family, her wife. The same things that go through the mind of anyone who cheats and regrets it. But again, I’m seeing it through a different lens.

Then I found Afterellen’s take on it. And I must say that I was a little upset when they said – well if it had been written by a lesbian team of writers, like on the L word, then it would have been okay. I thought actually it was handled well, but yeah cue in the “straight” music. I’m also of the mindset that (maybe this is why I’m pansexual?) everyone is equal – no matter if they’re gay, straight, young, old, fat, thin, black, white, or something in between and that I could be attracted to any of the above.

I suppose where I’m going with this is that shouldn’t love be about all the parts you are? Lindsey screwed up and didn’t voice anything. But that didn’t happen because she was a lesbian. It could have happened to me, or to any straight couple or gay couple or poly group. The biggest issue for the characters though (and from what Afterellen said – the community) was the stepping over the line and mixing it up sexually – playing both sides of the field.

So this scares me a bit. I want to be able to go after that butch that I like – to be able to be part of a community that accepts me. But I want them to accept all of me. Not look down on me when I’m walking holding hands with a female-bodied person because I look at a male-bodied person who I find attractive (with of course my partner’s knowledge and acceptance before hand). Or if they see me with one. I thought that would only happen in the straight world. Now I’ve got to worry it’s going to happen on the other side too? So help me out here – clue me in. Where are the pitfalls of this new path I’m traveling? Do you agree or disagree with them?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Blazer permalink
    March 13, 2010 9:58 am

    I think the simple answer is that we are all human and have an instinctive reaction to protect our little tribe and in doing so we erect walls to keep the “others” out. In a perfect world the LGBT community would be open and welcoming because we know the pain of exclusion first hand. But, alas, it’s not a perfect world. Unfortunately there are all sorts of small communities within the larger LGBT community. Each one seemingly with their own membership qualifications and rules. The real tricky part is that these groups are constantly recreating themselves and as such the rules and eligibility requirements are fluid. Some groups are fine with bisexuals but want to have nothing to do with butches. Others refuse to accept that a femme can be a true lesbian. There are some that feel that being a “gold star” deserves higher regard. Navigating our community is not unlike navigating any other complex maze. With persistence you will eventually find your way.

    I think bisexuality, for many lesbians, carries with it a red flag of danger. The collective experiences, if not personal ones, of having your heart broken by a “straight” woman going through an experimental stage. Then there is the concern that given the choice of living a heterosexual life of acceptance or one of being a target of hate and bigotry, a bisexual is likely to take the former.

    In closing, while no one individual should be judged on stereotypes based on their sexuality neither should the entire LGBT community be judged on one experience or one depiction in a television show.

    • sweetspice permalink*
      March 13, 2010 10:12 am

      Thank you first for responding. And while I wouldn’t let one show stop me – it did raise some concerns in my head. It helps to get the “why”. Although I’m sure some just do it because, as you say, it’s human nature. I’m as guilty of it as the next one.

      And you’re right, I don’t always get it, since I’ve not had to deal with any of this before. But I am trying to get it. Thank you for the words to ponder.

  2. March 18, 2010 12:07 pm

    I am going to speak to this from a purely personal standpoint. Recently, I publicly reclaimed my “lesbian” identity. I did this for several reasons, the first being the fact that I have been in relationships with women exclusively since college but while I was with former HTB (who was a transgendered FTM) I tried to fit into this “straight suit” to appease his need to present as a “normal” family with heterosexual mom, dad, and kid. It was rather a farce to be sure but as Blazer so eloquently put it, it is sometimes easier to choose the path that at least outwardly seems to be devoid of hate and bigotry. Now that I am back together with DPR, I am very happily settling back into my GLBT community.

    That said, let me also say that I have always been attracted to men as well. In high school and college, I was engaged to the most wonderful man one could ever hope to meet. If I were TRULY bisexual, I would have married no other. However, my attraction to women far outweighs my attraction to men and I prefer being in relationships with women. I love women. I love everything about women. But, as you have probably noticed (and I have written about on occasion), my taste in women runs to the extreme butch. I often joke that my girlfriends became so progressively butch that one became a guy!

    There is positively no shame in being bisexual. You will find, unfortunately, that there is some stigma involved. I endured a shitstorm from my lesbian friends (and former lovers) in college for “riding the fence” when I wasn’t ready to give up my relationship with J. I loved him. Deeply. I was also very torn about my attraction to women and, in the end, I had to let him go because I knew I would never stop wanting to be with women and a marriage would not have endured my ongoing infidelities. With all of that said, do NOT let that derail you from identifying as bisexual or pansexual. Your attractions to others are based, I would imagine, not only on the physical but also on the person, gender be damned. While some die-hard lesbians may scoff and some men may see it as an opportunity for the long-awaited threesome fantasy fulfilled, you, my dear, get the best of all worlds! Rejoice in your capacity to accept and allow and yes! Go for that butch!!!

    …and afterward? Tell me all about it. 😉

    xoxo
    ~Di

    • sweetspice permalink*
      March 19, 2010 4:30 am

      First – thank you for taking the time to answer this in depth! It speaks to me on so many levels. It will be interesting to see what happens as I try to move into the community here. And try to find that butch. I will probably have to come back to these words often! *hugs*

      S.

  3. March 18, 2010 12:22 pm

    Well, I have this to say about that: I agree with Blazer entirely. In fact, I would have said pretty much everything she said to you on this topic. [I have a thing or two to say to her in a minute…HA!] I would add to what she said only this: that subcultures are like people; they, too, have their own internalized homophobias and insecurities and these seep out in all sorts of ways. One of the ways these factors manifest is in the fearful unacceptance–from some–of bisexual women. This often feels like a kind of internalized sexism as well–both toward women inparticular, and toward men. People seem to think it is OK and normal for men to be bisexual…Go figure. For women, especially, who are bisexual it is a place between the devil and the deep blue sea for sure. All array of internalized “isms” are at play here. Given the misunderstanding, fear, prejudice, hatred suffered by the GLBTQ community in general, it is not surprising that there would be some projection of our negative experiences onto each other. It is, however, sad. Be who you are and never let anyone compromise your identification of yourself. It is, afterall, your identity. Own it.

    And, to Blazer: what is this shit you throw me about inadequate language skills and not being smart enough to play in our field??!!? This comment is sooo what I have come to expect from you: intelligent, well-thought and written, and very articulate and insightful…as have been your comments to me. Where the hell is your blog??!! Come on down to W-S and I’ll help you build it! Shit, girl! Get busy!!

    • sweetspice permalink*
      March 19, 2010 4:23 am

      That is it – “It is, afterall, your identity. Own it.” I totally agree. I can’t be anyone but who I am – I may just have to accept that I will have to turn and walk away from some people that will not be “okay” with who I am. And that is very sad, but yes understandable. Thank you!

      Also I agree, Blazer, get with it. You have a lot to say – you should let the world (at least the blogging world) hear it.

  4. April 6, 2010 6:07 pm

    Recently, I heard an older butch lesbian say something about bi that really made me go, “…ohhhh. THAT’S where that comes from.” Her argument was that lesbians fear bi because in North American culture, men have privilege. If someone likes both men and women, there’s always the underlying fear that they will leave a woman for a man.

    I’m bi, and I get a fair amount of flack for it. I say that I’m lesbian on dating sites, because otherwise I only get hit on by men — and I’m more attracted to women. But I’m just as guilty: if I see a woman who’s bi on a dating site, I don’t bother. For all the reasons listed by the lovely people above, and under that probably the reason the older butch gave me. (I do, however, tell anyone I start dating really early on that I’m bi.)

    So, yeah. There’s prejudice there, and it sucks. It’s a big part of the reason I tell people I’m bi, otherwise it’s easy to keep feeding the prejudice. Bi power! Or something like that. 😉

    J

    • sweetspice permalink*
      June 23, 2010 6:25 am

      I feel horrid that somehow this comment got hidden and I just now saw it! And yes Bi power. I suppose it’s as simple as that. Now to find a proper flag that accepts that and announces it proudly!

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