Bisexual Women Are Not Lesbians
There’s still this stigma. Bisexual women are even treated as sexual pariahs by other bisexual women, which is something I never quite understood until recently. Bisexuality has a reputation derived not only from straight communities, but in the LGBT community as well. Is it fear of abandonment, over powering suspicions that once heart, body and soul have been given they will mysteriously up and leave after catching sight of something better from the not so fairer sex? What it seems to be in its rawest form is a case of discrimination. And there’s nothing wrong with anyone having discriminating tastes, born of personal and sexual appetite and desire because we all exhibit this, but what of those who judge solely based on the label alone?
I remember some years ago when I was actively seeking a girlfriend I’d become somewhat dejected when I’d hear from women who were not interested in studs, butches or any lesbian whose outward display fell within a masculine range. I was young and dumb and didn’t understand how a femme lesbian refused to be sexually attracted to her lesbian counterpart. I wondered what their reasons must have been, and were they truly valid or simply based on shoddy stereotyping of an entire group of eligible women. Why couldn’t I wrap my head around the notion that they simply were not sexually attracted to the appearance or demeanor of a dominant lesbian with masculine attributes. Why couldn’t lesbians understand that bisexual attractions to men were as valid as were their attractions to women. To be called flighty or confused was an insulting claim brought against anyone who identified as such. It wasn’t until I developed my own solid attraction to feminine women that I understood that very pertinent aspect of physical, chemical attraction.
Spiritually, I still hold the belief, even for myself, that attraction can occur between any two women regardless of how they or others identify themselves and what their physical attractions consist of with the right circunstances and a little effort. However, as I alluded to earlier, we are all entitled to our preferences. Where does that leave bisexuals? It depends on who you ask. A sizable number of lesbians were sexually involved with men at one time or another, yet since fully assimilating into the lesbian lifestyle and adopting the lesbian label, they receive little if any backlash. This is not to say those women were bisexual at any time because only they know their mind and body and its wants and needs. If bisexuality is inherent, that’s up to the individual to know. If it’s a natural progression that allows a woman to be with a man all her life, then one day a light bulb clicks on and she understands what she’s been missing, needing and craving all this time, then so be it. She may fall in love with the most unlikely individual, but those feelings are awakened and realized, and she’s no longer living and loving in the darkness of her own shadows. Imagine coming to an understanding about your sexuality, coupled with the capacity to love another unconditionally and monogamously. The feeling is understandably one that will have a major impact on the course of a person’s life.
Historically, bisexual women have gotten a bad wrap. I’ve observed instances where a woman who has identified herself as bisexual is asked to choose between labels (lesbian – straight - bisexual) simply because she is dating or in a relationship with a particular man or woman who demands this. It is a request that may be born of insecurity or fear that if one is not forced to choose, they will eventually stray. But it is up to the individual doing the demanding to determine the rationality of that fear. Some will choose a label willingly, but for the bulk of the bisexual community they feel, and rightfully so, that they should be able to attain their identity regardless of who they’re shacking up with. In retrospect, I’ve held some of these views as my own at a time when I was immature and unable to articulate that the strength and respect demanded by the bisexual community was no joking matter. We are inclusive when they are helping to fight the good fight right alongside the other letters making up the LGTQ community, and they have fought alongside us for decades at a time.
Another argument I’ve heard time and again has to do with promiscuity among bisexual women. This is usually a result of personal, negative experiences and the consequences of heartbreak. Some of the discrimination felt by bisexuals is akin to wrongly thinking that they cannot make up their minds, hence the reason they shuffle back and forth. The opposite is true, save for those exceptions to the rules. Whether they are with men or women, their relationships deserve the same respect without condition that we afford straight and gay couples. There is enough infidelity within the lesbian community having nothing to do with bisexual women for the focus on the sexual freedoms of bisexual women to be void of judgement. The two straight girls kissing on girls gone wild are not accurate representations either.
I also want to address bisexual studs and butches. Why this is such a polarizing occurrence for some lesbians is beyond me. I have yet to hear a valid argument proving why there is something wrong with a stud attracting both sexes and reciprocating that attraction. Is it because they have more options, and with more options comes the need for greater protection about not getting hurt, or worse, getting an STD? Those concerns are as valid, however unfairly exaggerated among bisexual women compared to lesbians for lesbians only. It’s another matter of making unfair assessments based on personally skewed opinions. Studs’ and butches gender identity is determined internally (psychologically) and outwardly based on personal examination of their physical, emotional and sexual needs. This self examination is made to be seen in a negative light while trying to paint them as weird or odd when really, what’s weird and odd is to project ones own sexuality and gender identity onto another.
We’re not meant to understand everything, however we are meant to grant and receive acceptance onto those things that aim to promote peaceful continuity and loving harmony in peoples lives regardless of sexual orientation. At the end of the day, conscious discrimination is still discrimination. None of us are immune to it, but we can become aware and prepared to overcome those obstacles that cause us to think irrationally about things we don’t fully understand or have never experienced. When we cause our own international divisions within the LGBT community due to irrational fears, we alienate allies. The truth is the negative sexual behaviors so commonly applied to bisexual women who exhibit them can be found in all groups and identities of lesbians, so really, why can’t we all just get along and get back to loving one another.