Sep 29, 2013

[Technicolor Musings] My Boyfriend Is Bisexual

I totally missed out on the fact that September 23 was actually Celebrate Bisexuality Day (or Bi Visibility Day, among other names) so you can consider this a bit of a catch-up post. And yes, it's important for bisexuality to have its own day of visibility given how it's one of the more misunderstood aspects of the LGBT spectrum. It's far too easy to dismiss people who identify as being "bisexual" as folks that are somehow confused or simply on the fence about their sexual preferences.

This is especially difficult in the Philippines where the term "bisexual" is often used within a different context to represent something along the lines of a "straight-acting gay man" or perhaps a "discreet gay man" and similar meanings. When the term "bisexual" is used across LGBT social media sites, the connotation can be completely different for Filipinos given the term "gay" or "bakla" is often assumed to refer solely to the stereotype of the flamboyant, effeminate, cross-dressing homosexual male.

But true bisexuals do exist. I should know given I'm in a relationship with one.

When Tobie and I first started talking in earnest, one of the early revelations was the fact that he identified as bisexual. In fact, he was still recovering from his break-up with his ex-girlfriend at the time we were first talking, so the reality of things was pretty clear. And Tobie's relationship history is littered with a generous mix of both male and female relationships - thus if you need evidence of him being truly bisexual, the writing's pretty much all over the wall there.

Admittedly the whole thing had me curious - I had never met a "true" bisexual in my limited explorations thus far and so it was certainly a unique thing. Sure a lot of guys that I had chatted with claimed to be bisexual even though they had never slept with a girl nor seemed to have any plans of doing so - hence my earlier explanation of how the term is misused in this country.

Tobie and I have been living together for more than 4 years now, although we've been "officially" together (again) for less than a year due to our complicated relationship ventures in 2012. And in this whole time, there's really nothing all that distinct about being in a relationship with a bisexual man versus a gay man.

People fall in love with people, not with gender identities - I love Tobie because he gets me. He understands my geekiness and I like his geekiness in turn. I read a lot more fiction than he does while he swallows up tabletop RPG rulebooks like they were magazines at the doctor's office. He likes horror movies and I like cheesy Mel Brooks comedies. Tobie loves pigs and I'm totally into Transformers. These are the little things that define our relationship - not the fact that our sexual preferences are a little different.

Why should I feel like I'm competing? - One of the more inane questions I get from people when it comes to bisexuals is whether or not I feel concerned that there are theoretically more people who may threaten my relationship, given that both men and women are fair game. And seriously, that's a really stupid question to even ask. In any relationship it may seem like there's a lot of competition out there, but the two of you know why you fell in love one another. As long as you invest the time and effort into your relationship, it won't matter how many people are out there in the world.

It's not a conversation piece - My being gay or Tobie's being bisexual aren't exactly our opening lines in conversations with friends. Nor should anyone feel that they have to start any introduction explaining that aspect of our lives. I don't know why people think it's such a big deal that it'll affect almost everything we do. In truth, it doesn't.

So really, the point of this piece is to stress that we're all people. And people fall in love with other people for who they are and not necessarily who they sleep with or find attractive. Tobie being bisexual is (1) real but also (2) not something we talk about a lot. It's not because we're hiding it or uncomfortable with it, but it's not like you and your partner talk about why both of you are gay or for straight couples to discuss why they're men and women. It's just not that big a deal.

Enough with the stigma and the horrible abuse of the term. Respect bisexuals - they're just as human as the rest of us.
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  1. "As long as you invest the time and effort into your relationship, it won't matter how many people are out there in the world." ~ THIS. Quote for the day. :)