Bisexuality and the Conservative Agenda
Some of the recent news stories, combined with more of the same over the past few decades, have got me thinking about a fresh way of understanding an "adversarial viewpoint." Here's what I came up with:
Bisexuality and the Conservative Agenda
Much of the rhetoric surrounding the issues of GLBT equality has to do with the topic of “choice.” Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there remains a large vein of extreme conservatism (the Religious Right and the Republican Party) who insist that a person’s sexual orientation is determined by a decision made by each individual.
How can that be? How can so many so-called intelligent people simply ignore all that evidence and all of our sworn statements and all of our testimonials that we, too, would have probably “chosen” to be straight… if that had only been an option for us. The idea that any persecuted class of citizen would “choose” to be persecuted is itself such a ludicrous proposition that it begs the question, “Why are we still arguing about choice?”
“Choice” is, after all, a central tenet to continued denial of human rights. The “choice” between straight and gay becomes, in the minds of conservatives, the choice between good and evil, and becomes therefore the singular point from which they are empowered to deny our civil liberties. Take away the issue of “choice,” and admit that we are born this way… and you take away their rationale for punishment. Take away the issue of “choice,” and they would have to start treating us like human beings.
The GLBT community, in all our activities and lobbying efforts, seem to pay little attention to the “B” in “GLBT,” and the reason for this becomes obvious when you look at our organizations a little more closely. Attend any PFLAG meeting around the country, or go to any gay church or activist-oriented meeting and you’ll find that while the gay, lesbian and transgendered communities are well represented, there are precious few self-identified bisexual people present.
So I asked myself why this might be… and the answer was so obvious that I was amazed it hadn’t occurred to me earlier. You see… you have to realize that some of us DO have a choice – there are those among us who have the luxury of being able to “pick” their own sexual orientation – and those fortunate few are called “bisexual.”
Think about it… if you had a choice… if you were bisexual, and could chose between full equality (straight) or being a member of the persecuted class (gay), which would you choose?
So maybe the reason we don’t have more bisexuals among our ranks, joining in the good fight for equality, is due to the fact that it was easier for them to simply make the choice to be “straight,” and voila… the issue no longer affects them… they become immune to the slings and arrows and religious and social and even physical violence directed toward the GLBT community.
Once I recognized this dynamic, then an even more amazing truth hit me so squarely between the eyes, that it almost knocked me out of my chair! I was sitting here, wondering about those people who – in spite of all this overwhelming evidence – continue to insist that being gay is a choice.
These people are terrified that recognizing gay humanity will cause in our country a gay “epidemic”… where all sorts of formerly “straight” people will begin “choosing” a gay lifestyle. The fear that making gay “ok” will therefore destroy the very fabric of the American family… that we’ll all start running around naked and making love in the streets… that cats and dogs will start sleeping together… “It’ll be anarchy, I tell you!”
Who would think such a thing? Who would honestly believe that it’s a simple matter of choice in spite of all the evidence? Well, I believe the most likely candidate is the near-forgotten “B” in “GLBT,” our bisexual brothers and sisters. Who else could “know” beyond a shadow of doubt that sexuality is a choice but those among us for which it actually IS a choice?
It is ironic to me that, in spite of our inclusion of bisexuals in our ongoing struggle toward freedom, that some bisexuals, in addition to choosing the “straight” path, have also chosen to be among our most prolific adversaries – spewing hate from pulpit and judicial bench, from pen and from stage… perhaps even bringing themselves to believe that we are all, like them, blessed with the ability to make our sexual orientation a simple matter of choice. So some of the people we are trying to help liberate are also the same people who are “hell-bent” on subduing our liberty.
The dynamic is all around us, as we see preachers and “straight” Republican congressmen getting busted for illicit gay sex acts in airport restrooms, we can’t help but start to ask why those who shout most loudly against our liberties seem to be trying foremost to keep their own “demons” at bay….
I say, “Enough!” I happen to be a gay man, but I don’t presume to believe or preach the ridiculous notion that all men are therefore gay. So if you happen to be bisexual, we’re simply asking that you don’t make the ludicrous assumption that all humans are similarly oriented to being able to make that choice. I’ll make a deal with you… I’ll accept your bisexuality – I’ll accept the notion that you really can choose – if you accept the fact that I can’t. How’s that for a deal?
Maybe if more of us can start to accept the notion that humans are created with a variety of qualities, we can all start to get along better.
-- "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-- Mohandas Gandhi