As for bisexuality, there is no biological evidence that some people are turned on equally by both sexes. Physiological studies show that self-declared bisexuals exposed to straight and gay erotica are aroused by either one or the other but not both. Academics suggest that bisexuals may be omnisexuals with libidos so high that the gender of the target doesn't matter.
This came from an article about the 2005 book Born Gay, and was shared in a thread in the Tech and Science Geeks club a few days ago. In attempting to prove that being gay is genetic, the authors found it necessary to suggest that bisexuality does not exist. I can understand that. If people are genetically either gay or straight, phenomenons like bisexuality become hard to explain. Easier to just pretend they don’t exist and omit them from the equation so you can more easily prove what you’re trying to prove. Of course, that’s pretty shitty science. As for these ‘physiological studies’, they were clearly not performed on me or anyone I know, and the idea that bisexuals are just sluts with super high libidos who will fuck everything is not only utter bullshit, but deeply harmful in perpetuating stereotypes that we in the bisexual community have been trying really, really hard to get rid of. (Not that there’s anything at all wrong with being a slut who will fuck everything; you do you.)
Is my attraction to men and women exactly equal? No, not all the time, and I’m attracted to different things in different genders as well. Women are in general more aestetically pleasing than men, in my opinion. But then I do also really like dick. (Yes, can I have a non-op mtf enby with a side of sexual dominance, please? Thanks!) None of this takes away from the fact that I am in fact attracted to both men and women, and to people who are both or neither. If you were to measure my arousal levels while watching gay, straight, lesbian, and transgender porn, assuming it’s good porn you’d get a pretty strong physiological response from all of it.
Anyway, this isn’t really the point of this blogpost. I wrote a post five years ago on biphobia, monosexism, and pansexuality. The point is erasure. The point is that there are people, probably even people on this site, who don’t believe that I exist. I mean, that I, Thorn Wilde, writer and wacky weirdo, exist is indesputable (or is it? Maybe I’m a robot from the future). But my identity, the person I claim to be, is not real, according to some. I guess I’m either lying or crazy.
I carry two labels that experience a great degree of erasure. I’m bisexual (or pansexual, in my case these are one and the same), and I’m gender non-binary or genderqueer, which falls under the T in LGBT. I currently consider myself to be trans masculine. I wrote about this not too long ago, too. The more I try to embrace these parts of myself, the more I feel like people try to erase me. I wish I could say that it was all straight people, but as evidenced by the beginning of this post, this is not the case. Both gay and straight people often do not want to acknowledge the existence of bisexuality. We’re just undecided and haven’t picked a team yet, or we are, as previously mentioned, sluts who fuck indiscriminately. Not saying some of us aren’t, just saying #NotAllBisexuals.
As for being non-binary, it gets even more complicated. You’ve got your angry TERF lesbians saying that being butch or dressing like a man doesn’t make you not a woman (which is perfectly true, but they’ve missed the point), you’ve got the general population largely ignoring actual scientific proof by saying, ‘Only two genders!’, which is demonstrably false, and you’ve even got some trans people who feel that the rejection of gender as binary erases their gender identities (which it doesn’t; saying that gender isn’t binary isn’t the same as saying that the categories man and woman don’t exist).
The more visible I become, the harder it gets. A few days ago I had some asshat on facebook tell me that nothing about me was masculine and that if I wanted to be a man I should act like a man. (I told him that if acting like a man meant being a reactionary fuckwad, I didn’t know a lot of men.) And even though I don’t require other people’s validation of my gender, it still hurts. Just like it hurt when people I thought were my friends said I only said I was genderqueer because I wanted attention. I wish I could say this shit is just annoying and doesn’t get to me, that I could just shake it off and move on, but the reality is that it’s painful. And it makes you question everything. Am I really non-binary? Is it really a thing? Am I actually trans? I don’t want to transition medically. Does that mean I’m just pretending? Am I allowed to think of myself as trans even though I’m genderfluid? Am I really bi? I’ve only ever had one girlfriend and I’ve only had sex with, like, two or three girls depending on your definition of sex, vs. four long term boyfriends and a handful of fuck-buddies and one-night-stands. Am I making this up? Am I a fraud? An impostor? And I can’t even tell my emotional brain and my rational brain apart here, because all this is new territory.
There are a couple of things I do know: I know that I loved my ex-girlfriend and I’ve loved all my boyfriends, and I totally dug having sex with all of them. And I know that wearing my binder and men’s clothes and going out feeling like there are people who won’t look at me and immediately think ‘girl!’ feels amazing. And I know that being called ‘he’ makes me happy and makes me feel good about myself. These are my truths, and they’ll remain true no matter how much the world tries to erase me.
Edited to add:
There’s one more thing I feel like I ought to say as well. I wrote this post using my own lived experiences, but this isn’t really about me. It’s easy to say fuck those guys and they don’t matter; they don’t, not to my life. But there’s a bigger, wider problem here. A bigger picture. These attitudes are a problem. I’m thirty, and this shit upsets me like this. Imagine how it affects someone younger and more vulnerable, someone in their teens struggling to understand their own identity. Imagine how much it hurts to essentially be told that what they feel isn’t real. It eats away at the insecurities that are already there.
I probably seem like I’m whining by harping on about this stuff, but as much as I feel these things myself, it’s not about me. I think these are conversations we need to be having, especially when it comes to bisexual and trans erasure within our own community, because that’s where it’s at its most destructive. We need to be aware and pay attention and comment when we see it rather than just letting it pass because we think, who cares what those assholes say? That’s why I keep writing about this. Not for sympathy or support (though I appreciate all of you deeply for giving me that as well), but because it’s a real problem, and it’s harmful