by Carlos Antonio Piñón
March 10, 2015
I used to have a crush on Frankie Muñiz. I honestly only watched Malcolm in the Middle because I thought he was cute, but at the time, I wasn't aware of this. When I was 10, the word "bisexuality" didn't exist in my vocabulary, but neither did other big scary words, such as "homosexuality" or even "heterosexuality." Hell, even at that age, I only knew what "attraction" meant because I hated when Whitney's Pokémon infatuated mine at the gym in Pokémon Gold. Now, I have to deal with such as "asexuality," "pansexuality," even "demisexuality." The concept of romantic preference separated from sexuality further complicates my already awful understanding of what this nonsense is supposed to be.
Don't get me wrong. I feel validated knowing combinations of this terminology exists, even when I don't feel bisexual, instead better favoring not straight, an uncomfortable term that reinforces heteronormativity, which ironically invalidates me in the first place. Still, nothing could have prepared me for how much learning the definitions of these words would ruin my life.
Any bisexual is inherently at risk of discrimination from heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. Some lesbians have expressed no intent on "being with anyone who has touched a penis." Not only is this dismissive towards bisexual women, but it is also inherently cissexist and transphobic to women who have a penis. At the same time, some bisexual people only date men and women, completely disregarding the entire nonbinary community. That being said, what the hell does "bisexual" even mean? Some people say it is sexual attraction to men and women, while others argue it is sexual attraction to one or more genders. Then, at this point, someone will go in and enforce that if you're open to all genders, you're actually a multisexual, or most likely a pansexual.
Let's get one thing clear here: if a trans man is a man, he should not be turned away from somehow being a different gender, since he is a man. In which case, a bisexual person having attraction to a transgender man is not considered omnisexual, but bisexual.
Understandably, considering agender and genderfluid people, it is difficult to find comfort in bisexuality when you're being told you HAVE to be attracted to either men or women by those who think your sexuality doesn't exist (or think you're attention-seeking, greedy, selfish, lacking self-control, actually just gay, in a phase, and promiscuous,) and then being told your attraction to genders other than the binary is actually some other term attached to you (like ambisexual, which although apparently means the same thing, isn't what you would go by) by people who supposedly support you.
For me personally, I don't submit to the idea that one could reach into another's pants and "not care if you have a penis or vagina." I believe in the importance of validating the person you're with. You have to care about it because you have you be comfortable with it, no matter what they have. Even then, it's not all about genitalia.
So let's get back to me for a moment: bisexuality for me means the sexual attraction to my gender and genders other than my own. I phrase it that way because it spotlights what's important in the whole ordeal: me. As a cisgender male, I do have a sexual preference for other men, but I am not necessarily striving for penis. I am completely open to anyone who I am attracted to, and I will defend to the grave that my preference does not invalidate my bisexuality in anyway.
I feel entitled to also state that I am as open to romantic relationships as I am with sexual ones. Furthermore, I should also say that I have never actually, at this point, been in a relationship. The most I have to offer in this field is having many, many crushes, and having only made out with one guy once as recent as a month ago.
This could all have been said in three words: I am bisexual. It is a very small part of my life, as clearly I'm non-practicing. (To clarify, non-practicing bisexuality is not a real phrase, and Larry King is more confused by bisexuality than bisexuals are supposedly said to be (and let's be real, I'm not confused. I know what I'm attracted to. It's as simple as that.)) By simplifying this entire argument, most of sentiment dissolves into a flat, three-word sentence. Merely adding a bunch of other words merely gives some more context, substance failed to be expressed. There is no way of knowing whether or not my point gets across, or perhaps someone just kind of "gets the gist," in which case, I could have just gone with the three words.
With the bigots unconvinced (and who probably would stop reading within the first couple of sentences), it seems rather pointless write litany for closed minds, but this manifesto should be clearly addressed to its proper audience: the bisexual kids. The more you learn about yourself, the more animosity awaits you. Don't let them discourage you from being who you are. Words suck. They can be vile things, and coming out can attract all of the worst words you'll ever hear. Be wary of who you trust, but not all is bad. I will fight to make it easier for you, as the generation before me has fought for me. It is because of them that I can say I am bisexual, but it is because of you that I write.