100% Bisexual

29 Apr

A few weeks ago on Glee, gay character Blaine questioned if he might be bisexual after kissing a girl during a drunken game of spin the bottle. At the end of the episode, they kissed again – this time sober – and Blaine declared himself “100% gay.”

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. It was a funny moment, but I want to challenge the idea of a sliding scale of queerness or a spectrum of sexualities, with gay on one end and straight on the other. These conceptions of sexual orientation erase or minimize all other sexualities, turning them into simply variations on homo- and heterosexuality.  But if bisexuality is supposedly in the middle of gay and straight, where does pansexuality fall? Or asexuality?

There is a meme, reminiscent of the Kinsey scale, which asks bisexuals to say what percentage gay and what percentage straight they are. But how does one quantify sexual and romantic attraction? Who does the quantifying? And more importantly, what is the point?

The sliding scale leads to bisexuals having to prove our queerness, as well as bisexual erasure: other people (usually gay men and lesbians) get to decide if we’re queer enough or even queer at all. Look at Lady Gaga. She is constantly called a friend or ally to the LGBT community or criticized for co-opting the LGBT rights struggle for her own fame and profit.  But Lady Gaga is bisexual.  Some people, however, have decided that the way that she expresses and discusses her sexuality has made her straight – that while she has openly and publicly identified as bisexual for quite a while, she is not quite queer enough or queer in the right way to be allowed under the queer umbrella.

Listen. My sexuality is not some combination of gay and straight. It is its own sexuality.  I experience some things that both lesbians and straight people experience, but they are viewed through the lens of my bisexual identity.  In addition I experience things that are unique to bisexuals.

I am 0% gay. I am 0% straight. I am 100% bisexual.

Posted by Kelsey Foster

Last Stop on the Train to Gay Town?

28 Apr

The following is an introduction to a set of conversations about Bisexuality and Asexuality, featuring GWS 642 members and friends.

This is the first installment of a video blog discussion series and our first time using this medium to discuss academic endeavors. The awkwardness of the set up and conversation is intentional. We took no measure to hide our own inexperience with asexuality and bisexuality as points of discussion. Our project aims to explore the exclusion of these identities from mainstream discourse. The erasure of these identities leads to our lack of familiarity with these topics.

Enjoy!

ASEXY: A Fireside Chat, Part 2.1

24 Apr

The Big Bang Theory G-Chat  

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“The Bizarre World of the Bisexual” – A Satirical Comedy on Stereotypes

24 Apr
Saw this satirical comedy and loved it so I thought I would share!

What I like about it specifically is that I think it does a great job of showing just how ridiculous labels can be and what is stereotypically associated with them. In addition this video clip fantastically points out myriad arguments used for discounting bisexuality…a few of my favorites that were briefly touched on are listed below:

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I Like Dick and Jane

21 Apr

I Like Dick and Jane

(lyrics after the jump)

Laya Fisher’s  lyrics are explicit and reflect the openness she  feels about bisexuality. I had to go out and search for a song that spoke to bisexuality, which is a shame. Many songs talk about sex and become very popular as noted in sales and top 100 charts, however, these songs very rarely talk about non-heterosexual identities. If heterosexual sex lyrics can sell why can’t bisexual lyrics sell too? It wasn’t until Katy Perry’s, “I Kissed a Girl” that I can remember a notable connection to non-heterosexual relationships in the top 100 billboard charts. There have been many artists that produce songs that deal with bisexuality but they don’t typically get popular support. Not only that, but there isn’t easy access to retrieve these songs either. It’s important that pop culture and music in this case represent all aspects of society. Music begins shaping people at a very young age, and the lyrics are entwined in the lives of much of our generation now. Simply by making non “normal” sexual identities more visible in music can help shape the attitudes of a generation. To put it simply, there needs to be better representation of all identities to help fight the prejudices of minority groups.

Posted by Anonymous

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Bisexuality in Black Swan

21 Apr

SPOILER!!

Natalie Portman plays the role of Nina Sayers, a ballerina with the lead role in the Black Swan. While there are a multitude of things that occur in this movie, I only wish to touch on the bisexual tendencies portrayed by Nina Sayers. Bisexuality is seen as a sort of dark sphere of sexuality in this movie, it is only once Nina is trying to master the dark side of the swan that there is explicit portrayal of bisexuality. Nina only “acts” upon same-sex attractions after a scene with heavy drug and alcohol use. The feeling I got when watching the movie was that this exploration of sexuality was forbidden and mysterious. What does this mean for bisexuality? Is this going to lead the audience to believe that bisexuality is a bad thing? I feel like since Black Swan is a mainstream movie with a main stream actress (Natalie Portman) this may have influenced how bisexuality was shown. While it may have given the director the courage to depict bisexual tendencies in the movie, it may also have hindered him from portraying bisexuality as mainstream and normal.  Also, since it was a female bisexual this further problematizes the issue of bisexuality. Typically the general population is more open to seeing a female bisexual than a male, so why not portray a male bisexual to start knocking down these barriers?  Furthermore, the filmmaker, Kyle Schickner, identifies as bi and acknowledges the problems with the representation of bisexuality in the movie. So why wasn’t there a greater attempt to portray bisexuality differently? While I understand that Nina’s rise into womanhood and evolution of her character paralleled the evolution of her ballet number, it still complicates the notion of bisexuality. It isn’t often that “non-normative” sexualities are portrayed on the big screen and when they are, poor representation only further complicates the issue. Maybe the bisexual tendencies of Nina Sayers opened doors to some viewers who haven’t been exposed to bisexuality previously, but on the other hand, should the only mainstream portrayals reveal bisexuality as dark, mysterious and forbidden?

Posted by Anonymous 

A Rambling on Asexuality

18 Apr

Asexuality is generally defined as a lack of sexual attraction. Like Miss E & Caity Stardust mentioned in part 1 of their video blog, this definition is overly simplified.

I think that in LGBTQ Studies, we’re pretty used to making distinctions between desire, behavior and identity. In discussions about asexuality, it’s often broken-down even further and distinctions are made between sexual attraction, romantic attraction, and other aspects of attraction/sexuality that are often conflated. There’s something I really like about breaking it down like that.
Obviously no group is ever entirely heterogeneous, but there’s something I really like about the idea that asexuality, defined by a “lack” of something, is so, so extremely diverse. And to say something is “lacking” carries a negative connotation, and considering the many ways of being asexual, it seems strange to say something is lacking because there’s really a lot going on.
I know we’ve mentioned AVEN a few times on our blog, and I just discovered is that AVEN has it’s own Wiki. I’m sure other people might’ve discovered this already, but for anyone who is curious like I am, I’d recommend just looking around at AVENwiki. I read about a lot of different terms and aspects of asexuality which caused my “whoaaa I never thought about it like that before” moment to snowball, including “squishes” and demisexuality. Sooo check it out!
Posted by: Rachel

My Brother Aiden

15 Apr

Part 2 of “My Brother Aiden” (continued from yesterday’s post), a collaborative work between Jake Weinraub and Adam Tierney.

I walked to the café where I work, hoping I would run into Henry and it would seem casual and maybe we’d chat for little a while.  He wasn’t around so I got myself some tea and sat in the back and read to do some queer theory reading for class.  It started to feel tedious so I switched gears and made myself a to-do list, which turned into a list of things I want to change about myself before May.  May is important because in May I’m graduating college and then real life starts or something.  I think that I need to defeat my hypochondria and anxiety before then.  I don’t think it will happen.

Aiden can’t make it to graduation because Mae will be having the baby around then. It’s okay though, I missed Aiden’s wedding because I was studying abroad in Cape Town at that time.  I talked to him about it when I found out I got into the program.  He said that ceremonies weren’t important to him, in this way that meant: you understand that we love each other already, right?  That was what he meant when he said, “Welcome to our home.” The night I slept over at his and Terry’s house.  We were standing on the driveway of their house in the Hollywood Hills, Aiden was right in front of me, Terry was waving in the doorway.  I looked up at their house, all deco with its raw wood beams jutting out of the mountain; I could hear my dad driving away down the street.

I had a lot of fun that night.  I think Terry was trying to get me to like him; Aiden had mentioned something about it to me before.  It was the sort of thing everybody vies for in their lover’s siblings, I just wasn’t prepared for it at the age of 9.  I liked him a lot though that night.  It was the most fun I’d had with a 73 year old ever.  My brother was beaming and we played board games and stayed up late.  As I went to sleep on the couch, Aiden pulled the covers up to my chin, and gave me a kiss on my head, “Night bro.” he said as he wandered into the bedroom.

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Bisexual

15 Apr

“Bisexual” from Class Project on Vimeo

via Modakota.com

My Brother Aiden

14 Apr

The following is a collaborative work between myself (Jake Weinraub) and my good friend Adam Tierney, a Creative Writing major here at the UW. While it doesn’t explicitly deal with bisexuality or asexuality in an academic, political, or pop-cultural way, it chronicles my first conceptions of sexuality through my relationship with my older brother Aiden (not his real name). Aiden later described himself to me as “people-sexual”: “I love someone for who they are. Gender is incidental to me.” Aiden has had relationships with many people of different gender identities, each one marked with certain troubles and certain privileges. He is currently married and living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a baby on the way.

I will be splitting the story up into two parts. I will post the second installment tomorrow at the same time. Enjoy!

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