In creativity, Life, Teaching, Writing by Beth Lapides

I’m bi. Why do I bring it up? Generally I’m just who I am. Without labels. And whatever. I tend toward men. Especially bi men who tend toward men. Whatever. But I’ve loved women. And slept with women. And feel extremely uncomfortable with being labeled straight. Queer is fine. But bi is correct. Or nothing. Very comfortable with being labeled a Beth. Both.

But I had a student last night telling her story, very confused about who she was. Among other things her story involved being in relationships with both men and women. I said well there’s a word for that. Bi. No she said. Hmmm. Why not? When I’m in relationship with a man then I’m straight and when I’m with a woman I’m that. Gay. Ok. So serially heterosexual and homosexual? Yes. If you say so. But I’d say bi.

I’d say that’s the just not believing things will change thing I said. Like when you are sad, thinking you will be sad forever. But if you look at the whole picture from here, bi. No, she said. Ok, I said. She is so free to not identify as bi. I didn’t push it. Maybe not helpful for her.

But there she was looking for a way to identify. Desperate to know who she is. And everything in our culture says bi is a grey area. Neither this nor that. When In fact bi is it’s own thing. Responding only to individuals. Not to gender primarily. Of course she may be pan, but her story didn’t include anything to indicate that. No trans elements, or stuffed animals.

Here’s where I am on it. If you’ve slept with people of both sexes bi. If you’ve fallen in love  with both sexes bi. If you once kissed someone of the same sex, and generally are with people if the opposite sex maybe not bi.  But maybe. Depends on your heart. What you are open to. And vice versatility. And also what about trans. What if you love trans people best. I don’t know. But I do know that for the most part people are squeamish about saying they’re bi.

Anyway it’s not a big deal except i feel a little bit like if the discussion about bisexuality wasn’t basically it’s gay people who wish they weren’t or straight people fooling around and were more like… isn’t everyone at least a little bisexual… there would be at least some people who weren’t struggling with it.

Anyway in case it helps anyone. I identify as bi but by next year will realize I’m pan. Everything changes. No big. But there it is.