Wednesday, April 14, 2010


As I mentioned in the previous post its hard enough to label and advertise ourselves as a couple (swinger/poly etc), let alone as individuals. While I had noticed myself being attracted to other girls in high school I routinely brushed off my feelings as just a "photographers eyes" merely appreciating the female form and forced myself to ignore outside attraction (to both boys and girls) for the sake of keeping to the mainstream myth of having found my lifetime "high school sweetheart." While I knew people who characterized themselves as transgender, gay and bi, I was afraid if I allowed myself to act on my interests I would be made a target and labeled as another one of those girls "who did it for attention." However my attitude changed my freshman year of college, when I met a beautiful androgynous lesbian woman and developed my first hardcore crush on another woman (that I met in a woman's studies class how stereotypical right?). Since then I have officially and proudly labeled myself as bi, though again, my attraction to parteners who do not fit into the easy molds of stereotypical male or female may make the term 'queer' more appropriate, which is probably something I will want to discuss at a later date.

Although living in progressive San Francisco I still am met with the same anti-bi attitude as I was living in white-washed suburbia back in high school. My straight and gay friends and acquaintances, whether they know my sexual orientation or not, repeatedly reiterate that they don't understand people who don't prefer one or the other and figure that people who pronounce themselves as bi are either really straight and are faking attraction to the same gender, or gay who is going through a period of resistance. How am I supposed to argue how I feel? I know I am neither, yet mainstream social constructs advocate that people in my position really don't exist. MTV shows like TrueLife and My Life As do offer segments on bisexuality and polyandry, but they douse it in a coating of absurdity and immorality. How am I supposed to explain my attraction when my straight friends associate female-female attraction to steamy hot tub scenes and teeny-bopper angst?

As much as I get frustrated over the societal need to be labeled and characterized (dating websites insisting on picking straight/bi/gay on profiles), I know it is often much worse for my boyfriend who would not characterize himself as anything. Yes, he feels attracted to women and men, but definitely not in the same way or quantity. Some internet text label this as being hetero-flexible, a title that is even MORE hard to describe not only to oneself but to others in the dating and playing world. Not only do I find this mainstream need to tag everyone into easily defined channels a personal challenge to my self construction, I find the whole system built around doing so to be a complete mess that leaves little room for change, variation, and expansion.

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