NinjaCate's commentless share of an old Macklemore tweet got me thinking. So yes, in a way, this has to do with Macklemore. But at the same time, it really doesn't. Bear with me for a moment, if you will.
I am a bi woman. It has taken me a very long time to be able to say this. I am bi. I am attracted to men and women. On any given day though, I will wake up doubting this. I will wake up and think, hmmm, I haven't dated a woman in a while. Can I still call myself bi? I have not felt attracted to a man in a while, am I still bi?
I feel as though not only do I mistake in myself what it means, but people I date mistake what it means. I have had men I date assume that this makes me more promiscuous, or more open to a threesome. I have had women I date assume I'm using them for a phase that I'm going through.
When people assume these things about you enough, you start to internalize. AM I going through a phase? DO I owe it to this guy to bring another woman into bed, since, as he puts it, dating a bi girl gives him his "best chance" for this?
"But she can be for both of us!" I have had those words said to me before. First off, way to assume we have the same type. I am a very curvy (read: busty) lady. Not my personal type in women. I have been shown off to guy friends, like my status as bi MEANS something. I'm not even entirely sure what is inferred about this, except that I'm "easy." Second off, it assumes that's something I'd be into AT ALL. It assumes I too like the idea of a threesome, it assumes I like the idea of the person I'm with being with another woman (never dated a bi guy, so I can't really say or man here), and it assumes I'd be okay with someone who, in all likelihood, wouldn't be into me, unless we found another bi girl who was down (which is ALL PREDICATED ON ME BEING INTO THIS IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE).
Confession time: I have been one of "those girls" making out with other girls, ostensibly, for the attention of men. Really though, when I was young, and unsure, it felt like a "safe" way to explore these other feelings I was having. If it's "for" guys, it doesn't say anything about me, right? I wasn't even sure bisexual was a real thing. None of my friends did, anyway. Being bi was a phase for women, and the next step to being gay for men. I figured they were right. I still liked boys, so I'd outgrow this. I could get this out of my system, and outgrow it. It wasn't until I never did, and I found myself not just attracted to a girl, but seriously crushing hard, that I had to start asking whether I was really STRAIGHT.
What this all comes back to, and why I referenced NinjaCate's post, is that it's not even the "no homo" part of that (old) tweet that upsets me the most. He could be joking. Fine. He could be satirizing people who say that. Fine. But he then goes on to say that he is "secure" in his heterosexuality. WELL WHOOPDY FREAKING DOO. You're a white heterosexual man. You got called gay as a kid because you kept your room clean?* Wow. We have both questioned our sexuality. WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON.
I am not trying to speak for the experiences of lesbians. I'm not even trying to speak for all bi women. I'm just trying to say that when you try to present yourself as an ally, and then get to talk about how secure you are in your sexuality, it hits me hard. I first starting thinking I might actually be bisexual, not going through a phase, not doing things because guys thought it was cool, nine years ago. I can say, right now, that I feel confident that I am bisexual. Tomorrow? Who knows.
But please, straight white men, stop telling us how much you like girls and how comfortable you are in your sexuality. We don't all have that privilege.
*Not trying to minimize possible bullying he went through, but kids take time to figure things out. They should. Comparing his seven year old self questioning if he is gay to my twenty seven year old self constantly questioning my sexuality is infantilizing and uncool.