I had the good fortune to attend a conference this weekend for lesbian, bi, and transgender folk (MTF and FTM) of the kinky persuasion. Fun was had, new friends made and interesting insights gained but feelings were stirred and it was difficult.
I know I’m bisexual, I’ve known it for several years, but this weekend? I felt too straight. I realised I feel like a trespasser every time I walk through the Gay Village. I know my crushes on women are just as important to me as my crushes on men, and I know that if I met the right woman at the right time, I would date her. But in the face of that many queer folk whose relationships and gender presentations put them in the path of significant social stigma, I felt like I didn’t have the right to my voice.
I mean, the worst of my troubles is not being able to be as open as I would like about my crushes and dalliances with my girlies with the people at work. I’ve never been harassed on the street for holding a woman’s hand or kissing her in public. I’ve never been called names for the people I people I fall in lust and love with. I’ve never been beaten up for not dressing as my birth-assigned gender. Straight privilege, I has it.
But I don’t want it.
I don’t want to be in a world where I need it and others are denied it.
The reason I find it hard to be open about my not-dating relationships is because I’ve been dating my male partner for, oo, 15-18 months at this stage. Outing myself as poly as well as bi, well, that’s a little too much for most people to handle. It plays right into the stupid stereotypes about slutty bi women who can’t make up their fucking minds and want to eat their cake, yet keep it too. Yes, from one point of view that’s a legit criticism, from another, it’s one hell of an offensive judgement to make. Sure, I can choose not to act on my feelings and just stick with one at a time, but that doesn’t change the fact that my feelings exist. And the problem with sticking to one at a time is that you then get mis-labelled as straight when you’re with someone of the opposite sex and lesbian when you’re with someone of the same sex.
I like both! Why is that not okay? Why is that so threatening?
I also feel insecure because I had the opportunity to date two different women at various points and yet chose to stay with my male partner of the time instead of take the risk. If the thing that nudged me in the direction to realise that I liked women was the fact that I couldn’t get Katy Perry’s ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it’ out of my head, what kind of bicurious slag does that make me? Am I just too used to the advantages of being “straight”?
Most annoyingly, it’s not like anyone made any direct comments of the sort my jerkbrain has been running in the background. Nobody made me feel unwelcome and I definitely wasn’t the only bisexual woman there. Several notable scene figures are bi and married to men, and have multiple relationships and play partners with women. I’m not the only one, not even close. I think I’m having second thoughts about avoiding the LGBT scene on the basis that I don’t need it. Feeling like I don’t belong in what should be my community is a bit of a problem. Not being as comfortable with myself as I thought is a problem. Meeting people in the same boat and getting to know them can be no bad thing. Who knows, it may help me feel like I belong rather than feeling like a trespasser.