The Way Things Are

Bisexual Pride Flag, Pink is love of same sex, Blue is love of opposite sex, Purple is area in between

Guys, this might not be news to you and I’ve discussed this on my other blog, but I am Bisexual. Bisexual IS Gay, Queer, LGBTQ whatever. That is who I am. (I’ve posted blogs about this before but stay tuned.)

I was just doing some dishes and thinking about a subject I broached on one of my travel blogs. We were at a Denny’s in Minnesota and two men and a woman were talking about homosexuality and all the topics that go along with is: Marriage, Is it a choice?, Are they going to hell?, Is it unnatural?, etc, etc, etc. And I was getting mad. And Kristyn was getting mad. She (rightly) stopped me from saying something. I wasn’t going to yell at them because why bother? Me yelling at ANYONE has never gotten my point across. I just thought it would be funny to spook them. Introduce us as a couple and say we overheard them talking then leave. Leave them with the thought that “we’re everywhere and we’re listening”, haha. It would’ve been sort of cruel but it would’ve been funny. And Kristyn was right to stop me bc why the hell bother? For sure, me doing that would just prove “the obnoxious and innate nature of gays” right? So that was that.

But I was thinking about how if I had the moment to do over again, it would have been interesting to sit down with them and find out *why* it is that they feel that way? Like yeah the Bible, blahblahblah, but me and Kristyn were raised in Catholic households. We were Christened, made our Holy Communion, Reconciliation and were confirmed. I don’t go to church anymore but we both spent 8 years at CCD. We both say prayers at night, celebrate Catholic holidays and traditions. So it’s not that we’re heathens is the point that I’m making.

So, growing up, I was mostly attracted to boys. All my crushes were boys, all the celebs I drooled over were boys. I even had a crush on Mr. Rogers and my first real life boy crush was in Kindgergarten and his name was Michael Bender. I thought girls in my class were pretty but it was always more like a “I wish my hair was like that” sort of thing. I didn’t date like my friends did but that’s because my father was a teenage boy and went above and beyond to make sure I respected myself enough not only to say “No” but “Get the f out of my face or my father will knock you into 2040”. Apparently he did *too* good of a job because my knee-jerk reactionfor everything is to say, “Get the f out of my face or my father will knock you into 2040” …*sigh* Haha. So when I started dating finally, I wasn’t putting on some stupid ACT. I wasn’t using anyone. I wasn’t wishing I were with someone else. I was right there, where I wanted to be.

And so when I started dating Kristyn, it was as much a shock to me as it was to everyone else. I mean, I’d never ruled out the possibility of dating a woman because I don’t like to rule out the possibility of doing anything (positive/non-negative) in my life. A part of me knew for sure that if I fell for a woman, I’d go for it so long as I was happy.

When I started dating Kristyn, I’d just gotten out of a relationship with someone I loved very much. I left that relationship because my parents were divorcing and I was bugged out and he was starting to talk seriously and I was wigged the hell out. I’d been in a relationship for a long, long time and wanted to be single. So when me and Kristyn got together I was wigged out because a) OMG! A girl! and b) What am I doing? I want to be single!!! So it sucked all around. I was seen as a liar to that guy. As a liar to Krisytn. As selfish. As a person who’s been lying about their identity. As a pig. It was kinda terrible and traumatic. There was a lot of intolerance against me and there were some people who were just surprisingly okay with me being me.

So fast forward almost ten years (ten years!) and me and Kristyn are STILL together and we are STILL happy. Above all else, she is my favorite person in the entire world and the best friend I’ve ever had. I have always been and will always be sorry for hurting that one guy’s feelings because he is a really, truly, standup guy with a huge heart that I still miss on a regular (another great friend).

So I’ve been hella, hella, hella lucky in love in my life. It’s bc I was hugged and kissed a lot by my family and taught to respect myself. That being said, no one in my family is gay that I know of. No one in Kristyn’s family is gay that I know of. We were raised in straighty-straight environments where people had good relationships (for the most part), got married and had kids. Kristyn’s family is really tight and in our own way, mine is too. So there’s nothing “wrong” with us and there’s no “bad influences” and this isn’t a “choice” it just is what it is.

And regarding human sexuality, I have a theory, and you can like this or not but I know it’s true (and I’ll tell you why in a minute) whether or not you want to admit it. Bear with me:

Imagine human sexuality as a ruler. At one end, there are all the straight people and on the other side are all the gay people. On any ruler, there is a center right? And there’s an area between the center and either end. I think that probably there is only a small amount of people in the world who are either 100% straight or 100% gay. The rest of us slobs fall in the middle somewhere and typically either round up or round down based on what our typical impulses would be.

Sorry I couldn't find a good 12 inch ruler.

Now I’m not calling you all gay, settle down. But what I am saying is that the straight man might see a picture of Johnny Depp and say, “I can see why the gals go crazy over that guy, I wish I were that pretty.” That doesn’t mean you are going to beg him for a kiss if you run into him, it just means you’re not going to gay bash him when you see him because you can recognize his good looks and appreciate that.

And if anyone has EVER seen an episode of the Ellen DeGeneres show knows what I mean. That room is NOT filled with a bunch of bulldykes with tattoos. It’s Joanne Housewife from Skokie, Illinois, dancing when Ellen says dance, putting on blindfolds and playing musical chairs when Ellen tells them they might win a cookie…And I’m sorry but when Ellen dances out in her sneakers, the crowd goes absolutely WILD. Rock star wild. I would feel comfortable placing a bet that 7 out of 10 housewives in that room would allow Ellen to wine and dine them if no one was watching. She’s charming and pozzy so why wouldn’t they? Just sayin.

And Ellen being charming and pozzy doesn’t make those women dump their husbands or think Justin Timberlake is less hot.

And surprise! As much as straight people don’t like bisexual people, gay people like us even less. To gay people, when someone says they’re bisexual, it’s a cop-out. If you’re a woman, you’re just doing it to turn some guy on. Or you’re a wimp and keeping one foot in each pool so you can keep your straight privilege. Or you’re turning your back on the “team”. And understandably a TON of gay people don’t want to date anyone bisexual because there’s a lot of drama that comes with that:

a) If someone is Bisexual and just coming to terms with it, there WILL be a mental breakdown because it’s hard to reconcile your past straight relationships with having feelings for someone of the same sex. And the people around you WILL demand that you call yourself gay because that’s how people are. Everyone wants everyone else to easily identified. And they say, “Why won’t you just ADMIT YOU’RE GAY?” as if it’s that simple. But if it’s not that simple, it’s just not that simple.

b) They see someone who’s bisexual as testing the waters. Why bother to get into a relationship with someone if the fear is always looming that they’re going to call you a “phase”? It is an understandable fear. Why get invested?

c) They see you as being a slut. I mean if half the population is open to everyone else on earth, how is it fair if the entire population is open to you? And if you’re bisexual, exactly how MUCH of the population have you sampled or do you intend to?

d) It’s apolitical (in their eyes). Gay people have to go to hell and back to come out of the closet. Thinking about it, forcing yourself not to think about it, hiding it, being teased about it, trying to change it, realizing it’s futile, coming out, being tortured for it, dating, making mistakes, having family and friends turn on you, having jobs turn on you and finally coming to terms with it. Well that’s a personal and political journey that forms that person’s life. It’s not something they’d do if they didn’t have to. No one heaps criticism on themself if they can help it. So to be bisexual is seen as a cop-out version of what they went through.

So here’s my thing. I am not a slut. I am not confused. I am not a bad person. I was not raised by derelict heathens. I am not kidding myself. I am not accepting straight privilege. There is no reason in the world why I couldn’t just stay I’m a gaylord and call it a day. Sometimes I don’t even bother to correct people because even my gay friends tell me that I’m kidding myself and am just gay, like they know something I don’t know about me. And I don’t take it personally, it’s just the way they feel being projected onto me. *shrug* And I’m not attracted to Joanne Housewife. And I’m not attracted to Joe Lovesfootball. I only am interested in boyish women and the men I’m interested basically look the same. Basically I have one type and it doesn’t matter what is happening under the clothes, haha. I really just like people’s minds and go for kindness, a willingness to look outside the box, weird sense of humor and a big heart. Out of Ellen and Portia, I’d go for Ellen a thousand times over. And the guys that I tend to go for are kind of artsy, gentle and kind (feminine-esque attributes). So that’s that.

And I said I would tell you how I *know* that most humans are bisexual to varying degrees. I know that because a stunning amount of straight people have confessed to me that they’ve had gay thoughts and/or relationships. They just don’t broadcast it. And I don’t think that these people are being something they’re not or living a lie. I think that they, like most people, and most experiences we have in life, saw life firmly ONE way until an unexpected, pleasant experience presented itself. That’s that. But these people probably won’t tell you that because they don’t want to be judged. And I’m not trying to out anyone. The point I’m trying to make is that it is possible that a good portion of the people you know have experienced something like this and it wasn’t right for them so they moved on and don’t holler it from the rooftops.

Which brings me to my next point…I had a friend say to me a couple of months ago that anyone who isn’t out at work is messed up because they are misrespresenting themselves. Whatwhatwhat?! Okay, I typically am not out at work. It’s not because I’m not ashamed of myself it’s just that why do I need to announce every detail of my life, especially if it’s a detail that can be held against me? Like straight people don’t go into work and say, “Attention everyone, I enjoy sex with a member of the opposite sex. That being said, I will be spending a lot of time in my personal life washing dishes and cleaning an apartment with someone of the opposite sex when I’m not at the office. Now that that’s out of the way, does anyone have a copy of the TPR report?” No they don’t. It’s unnatural and would be flat-out weird to do. They put up a picture of their spouse and everyone moves on from there. So I don’t see why it is that gay people should go ANYWHERE and HAVE to out themselves. It’s irrelevant.

And I have personal experience of someone close to me being discriminated in the workplace for being gay at two different jobs. The fact that this person is gay was used to discredit them and make them look bad in two different workplaces and you know what? They had no way to defend themselves, not legally or otherwise. The discrimination was done in a way that you could call it something else. And the law is specific in the ways it will support you. It has to be black and white with a thousand witnesses to back you up. If it’s your word against theirs, you’re screwed. If they have someone to back them up and you don’t, you’re screwed. If the harrassment can be contrued as anything else, it will be. If you speak up for yourself, you WILL be treated like a troublemaker. So you know what? I keep it to myself. Because even if a company states that they would never discriminate, there are plenty of ways to discredit someone. You don’t straight call someone a faggot but you do hold this person to a high standard that you don’t hold anyone else to. You DO record and hold against them their bathroom breaks, every minute they’re late, every conversation they have with someone not work-related, every vacation day taken, every mistake made, every dress-code violation, every everything. And all they need is a paper trail to make it legal. It sucks.

And so I do wonder what could have happened if we’d taken a minute to sit down with those people at Denny’s and say this stuff. I wonder if they’d have been receptive or hostile. I mean that day, I wasn’t feeling well so it probably would’ve escalated but if it had happened on a day where I was feeling like I am right now, it would’ve been an interesting discussion as I’m not their idea of what “gay” is, not really.

Anyway, my favorite band, the Gossip, wrote a song a few years ago called “Standing in the Way of Control”. It’s about what it feels like to be gay and to stand up for yourself…to stand in the way of control. Here are the lyrics:

Your back’s against the wall
There’s no-one home to call
You’re forgetting who you are
You can’t stop crying
It’s part not giving in
And part trusting your friends
You do it all again
And I’m not lying

Standing in the way of control
You live your life
Survive the only way that you know

I’m doing this for you
Because it’s easier to lose
And it’s hard to face the truth
When you think you’re dying
It’s part not giving in
And part trusting your friends
You do it all again
But you don’t stop trying
Standing in the way of control
You live your life
Survive the only way that you know

Standing in the way of control
We live our lives
Because we’re standing in the way of control
We will live our lives
Because we’re standing in the way of control
We live our lives
Because we’re standing in the way of control
We will live our lives

Your back’s against the wall
There’s no-one home to call
You’re forgetting who you are
You can’t stop crying
It’s part not giving in
And part trusting your friends
You do it all again
You don’t stop trying

Standing in the way of control
You live your life
Survive the only way that you know

Here is the video for the song. Apart from the lyrics being important, it’s just a good song. And I was at this concert, haha. Quick story following the video:

Look you can actually see the video camera that the YouTube video was filmed with! Haha.

The loverly Ms. Beth Ditto

This is actually how close we were. We were right at the front of the stage.

Beth Ditto and my girlfriend Hannah Blilie.

Okay, this was the first Gossip concert that me or Kristyn had ever been to. Their album, also named “Standing in the Way of Control” hadn’t come out yet. We went to this concert to check them out bc we liked some of their other CDs. The concert blew our fn minds. The video doesn’t do it justice but Beth’s voice was out of frigging hand. So good. So the Knitting Factory where they played has a front little bar that they kick everyone out into once the show is over. Gossip had been getting steadily more and more popular and so their merchandise table was in the front room and they were still “not famous” to the point that they were manning it and milling around (you won’t catch that now). I told Beth her voice was out of control and she said, “Oh thanks sweetie” and gave me a kiss on the cheek, haha. And I was looking at the merch table and none other than Hannah Blilie herself came up and helped me shop, ha. Here’s what went down:

Hannah: Do you need help with anything?
Me: Oh hi, you guys were great!
Hannah: Thanks!
Me: What CD would you recommend?
Hannah: Standing in the Way of Control because that’s the only one I’m on.
Me: That’s not here…
Hannah: I know, I’m just kidding, it’s not out yet. They’re all good, EVEN though I’m not on them.

Then she told me that she’d just recently joined the band and was excited about it and the new CD coming out. Now if you know anything about the Gossip, it is hands down their most popular album.

So sorry about the braggy-braggart-ness but I just love the Gossip and that night was so awesome. Because of that night, they became my favorite band. It was just fun for me in retrospect to have had the opportunity to talk to someone that I’d later end up looking up to. And I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of people I look up to but it’s always like timed or there’s other people waiting or security or ya know…whatever. This was just…what it was. Awesome.

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