Open-mindedness and bisexuals

So I stumbled upon a thought provoking article in the Gay Calgary and Edmonton Magazine (http://www.gaycalgary.com/Magazine.aspx?id=77 Page 5: Ambassadors of Open-mindedness) that I though worthy of attention.  Diaz-Marino discusses how most believe that LGBT people are more open minded, more sympathetic to other minorities because of the hardships they have gone through. But as Diaz-Marino neatly points out this is not necessarily the case. He acknowledges that some LGBT people are more open minded but is quick to claim that most are only as open minded as they need to be in order to accept themselves. That is not to say that some LGBT people are not willingly open minded, but we must also acknowledge that at the same time there are some straight people who are also exceedingly open minded. Diaz- Marino believes it is necessary to recognize this for “we’ll never undergo the journey to earn a badge of universal tolerance until we lose this idea that our gay card somehow replaces the need for one”.

This struck me for I have always considered the LGBT community to be very open minded. Whether you believe Diaz-Marino’s arguments or not, the fact remains it does not hurt to reflect on your own beliefs and behaviours to see if there is some truth in his observations. Perhaps we, the LGBT community have been lured into a state of false consciousness…

Anyway, Diaz-Marino makes the following truthful and profound observation:

“I began to think that as LGBT organizations, we often make the assumption that by serving gay men and women, we by extension cater to, and profess to understand the lives of bisexuals – or their “gay side” anyway. But therein lies the flaw in our logic. People who are Bisexual are not just the sum of a gay half and a straight half – they are a single, whole person, and a seamless union of both camps.”

It was such a relief to hear someone say this. To see my own thoughts expressed so clearly; Bisexuals are not just a bunch of broken pieces stuck inside one body. Bisexuals are not just people wavering on the gender threshold unable to decide if they are straight or gay. What I take from this is that we must all (gay and straight people alike) be careful of the conclusions and assumptions we draw. Just because someone belongs to the same community as you, acts out their sexual fantasies in the same way, or even identifies the same way as you does not mean you necessarily understand them or can even  relate to them.

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~ by genderambiguous on April 19, 2010.

One Response to “Open-mindedness and bisexuals”

  1. Violet Blue had a great post about this topic. http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2010/02/the-b-stands-for-bisexual.html

    She also linked to the Give A Damn campaign ad in which Anna Paquin came out. I loved that ad, and the post. http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2010/04/the-b-in-lgbt-also-stands-for-anna.html

    Bisexuality is an issue that’s really close to my heart, not least because it’s impacted me personally on multiple levels. I identify as bisexual, despite a lack of physical experience with other women, and that’s been challenging. I think that even if I did have a physically intimate experience with a woman and found that it wasn’t for me, I would still identify as bisexual (and honestly I have trouble imagining that happening) because I find women so attractive and recognizing that attraction is really important to me. It’s also a bit of a political thing, because bisexuality is so marginalized.

    Male bisexuality is erased by both the straight and the gay community who tend to view it as just not yet accepting the fact that “he’s gay” or it being a phase or whatever. I spent a week in San Francisco specifically looking into bisexuality, and even at the LGBT Centre I found it hard to find much information. I read a bunch of studies showing how bisexual men are so unhappy, how they can’t sustain relationships, etc. They’re the perverts among perverts, it seems. It’s really unfair.

    Bisexuality in women is equally problematic because it’s been so successfully heterosexualized as a fetish among straight men. I’m thinking particularly about the way that female bisexuality is seen as an acceptable side dish in the modern kinky couple’s sexual buffet, but it’s not very often seen as being a real and relevant part of the woman’s sexual identity.

    This article by Annalee Newitz and Jillian Sandell is one of the best I’ve read on the topic, and Annalee is also one of the illustrious leading ladies over at io9.com, so check it out! She’s got the sexy geek thing going on, as well as a wickedly smart take on things. http://bad.eserver.org/issues/1994/16/newitz-sandell.html/

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