bisexual, coming out, friendship, lesbian, love

67. Ending the les-bi(an) cold war

Forgive my ignorance, but what’s the deal with the whole lesbian vs bisexual thing we’ve got going on? I’ve felt it, the fear and the resentment and the wilful misunderstanding simmering beneath the surface. Sometimes it bursts out on Twitter or Facebook like an angry boil and the trolls crawl out from under their bridges with spikes. How did we get here and why?

It’s even touched my own relationships. Several of the women I’ve dated have been bisexual. When I talk about being gay, almost every one of them has rushed to clarify their sexual status:

“Um, actually I’m bisexual. Is that okay?”

Well, of course it is – why wouldn’t it be? I don’t care how a woman identifies – gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, label-less, otter. You want to go and start building little houses in streams? Go for it. I got your back, beautiful. As long as you love me.

Blue Eyes refused to date women who identified as bisexual and I could never understand it; why you would narrow a small world even further; why you would deny yourself a whole spectrum of romantic experience.

There’s frustration that sometimes women adopt the bisexual label as a transition to lesbian – a pit stop en route to gay town. But so what? Take a break, love. Have a coffee. Spend as long as you like there. No judgement here. And it works both ways. There are women who identify as lesbian who later realise they have feelings for men and have to re-think their label. One of my best friends came out to me yonks ago – had a wonderful 8-year relationship with a woman and is now married to a man.

Bisexuality isn’t just a happy, safe space for people who love both genders – it’s a safe space for people on that lifelong journey to understanding who they are. As long as we’re being honest with others whilst we’re on that journey, as long as we act with compassion and integrity in our relationships, then that space shouldn’t be something to fear. And if people don’t act with honesty or integrity – well, that’s a reflection on them. Let’s face it, every sexual identity comes with a healthy slew of arseholes attached.

It makes me sad that one of the bisexual women I dated felt the need to stress that honestly, I think I prefer women; actually, really, I would totally choose a woman over a man. I’ve never needed that because the issue has never been about how a woman identifies. It’s about being with a woman who is open to building a life with another woman. It’s about knowing that if a woman falls in love with me, there’s nothing stopping her from being mine until the end. I don’t want you to choose women over men; I want you to choose me over anyone.

It’s time to end this pointless stand-off. To cherish all the colours of the rainbow, even if sometimes we hop from blue to red to yellow and back again. The LGBT+ spirit is, and has always been, about acceptance of everyone.

So, we good? Great. Because we’ve got bigger fish to fry. Climate change, fascism, fake news, hate crimes, the patriarchy, Putin, Trump, Brexit, cancer, corruption, inequality: take your pick and join the fight. Just so long as we never take up arms against our LGBT+ sisters again.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash