21 July 2018

Bisexuals: Time for Us to Step Up

I think it’s way past time for bisexuals to step up for the queer community.  Yes, it may take a moment to warp our heads around the fact that we are as queer as gays, lesbians, trans persons, and all other non-cisgender, nonstraight people.  As I remarked at a meeting a few months ago of a working group attached to Chattanooga Queer Community Forum, in the LGBTQ community I’m about as under the radar as you can get; white, outwardly middle-class, and gynephiliac bisexual.

Besides helping to bring to the surface a world in which we can actually be and to support our fellow queer folk, it will be good for the well being of we ourselves and those like us.  One of the local persons memorialized on the day of our vigil for the victims of The Pulse massacre was a very out gay man named Lester Childress.  Lester was also known as Della Reeves, a drag queen performing regularly at a club here known as The Toolbox, though he was not trans, just a performer.  One night after a sexual encounter with a much younger man with whom he had encounters before, Lester was stabbed 28 times and slashed 70-80 times further.

Keith Jackson, his murderer, was engaged to be married and said he had told Lester he wasn’t gay, even though he clearly had sexual relations of some type with him more than once.  And the truth is that he probably wasn’t, but because of the straight-gay dichotomy with which even more enlightened quarters limit their views of human sexuality, bisexuality isn’t dismissed, rather it’s not even considered. 

In my own case, though I had known in my head that I was bisexual, it wasn’t until my freshman year at uni that I had intense physical sexual reactions to other males, and I underwent a lot of emotional trauma over that.  And I already KNEW I was bisexual.  But because of that limited dichotomy, rather than interpreting those reactions as an expression of my already recognized bisexuality, psychologically speaking, I interpeted them as a sign of gayness.  That didn’t bother me because I thought there was anything wrong with being gay, but if I was then I couldn’t go out with girls anymore.  I nearly killed myself over that too.

If bisexuality were more out of the closet, more understood, if human sexuality were understood to be the spectrum it is rather than so limited to those two options, Keith may have been able to accept his true nature and might not have murdered Lester.  And I might not have come so uncomfortably close to eating a 12 gauge 00 breakfast when I was 18.

Dashane Stokes once said, “Amazing how eye and skin color come in many shades yet many think sexuality is just gay or straight.”  A-fucking-men to that.  So say we all.  Or at least we should.

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