Come as you are
A personal essayby Neal Medlyn
I think I first figured out that I might be bisexual when I was in college. It’s hard for me to say when or how, as various alternate tales compete in my mind as the “official” truth. The first time I saw gay porn? When I realized my masturbation fantasies involved me switching parts, being the woman, then being the man? My identification with the gay movement? All of them sound equally silly, embarrassing and worse, perhaps just a personality hiccup and not a real “truth” at all. None of them sound like anything that approaches a realization of Identity with a capital I. And that, more or less, is indicative of my entire life as a bisexual: dubious, occasionally embarrassing, obscured.
Being a bisexual guy, as the term exists at the moment, is an exercise in frustration and confusion, and while I stand by that confusion as truthful and great (get me drunk and I’ll say it’s everything from the basis for art that I like to what I’d like America to stand for) I think it’s a basically flawed identity in sore need of some fixing.
Oh, some details might be called for here. The pertinent facts of my life are these: I am twenty-nine years old and incredibly happily married to a woman. I’ve dated and slept with exactly the same number of boys as girls. My feelings about the two sexes break down somewhat like this: I more easily form emotional attachments with women but because of that have found men mysterious and intriguing the way I’m sure my more hetero counterparts must find women. If I were to put it in those terms, I’d say I’m 70% into girls and 30% into boys. There. Done.
Now, back to what I was saying. Bisexuality is a disappointing, suspect, utterly chaotic identity. It seems to exist in only the foggiest regions of people’s brains, like Pol Pot the geographic location of Myanmar. They’re not sure what it is, but they’re pretty sure it’s lame and/or bad.
Gay men that I’ve dated in the past, the most recent being five years ago, were terribly suspicious. Aside from a few unexpected trysts with fellows, the first guy I officially dated was the president of an LGBT campus organization I decided to join. I should have known at the stunned silence on the first day when, delusioned by the supposed redemptive power of coming out, I offered that I was bi. The president of the group still decided to go out with me, but the majority of our time together consisted of long, accusatory conversations on car hoods. I broke up with him a few weeks later and was tearfully informed that I wasn’t able to love, to let myself really commit to a relationship with him, which I accepted as code for my waffling, noncommittal nature as a bisexual.Pin It