Over at Net Insanity, another blog in the Klat network, I run a recurring feature called The Craigslist Files. In that column, I compile and comment on the strangest, most ridiculous posts I can find on the world's craigslist sites. Recently, I came across the following post and felt like I had to comment on it, but Net Insanity wasn't really the place for this particular piece.
This is more than a little silly and it's indicative of a problem in our society that never really gets addressed when discussing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The man who posted this ad is very clearly bi-curious, except he comes from a rarer angle of bi-curiosity. He's a gay-identified man who, despite fervent insistence that he only likes other men, is very particular about wanting to engage in sexual acts involving a woman. It's only at the end of the ad that he admits he may be "a little bi", only to once again reinforce his homosexual identity to anyone who may be reading.
Now, I can't say whether or not this man is actually bisexual. What he's asking for (a sexual relationship with a man who is physically involved with a woman) is the tiniest of baby steps toward exploring something that scares him. In this process he may discover that he's also attracted to women, or he may discover that his curiosity was nothing more than a passing interest and that he's perfectly happy never being physically involved with a woman. That's not really the point. I'm not here to out this man as a closeted bisexual.
But isn't it strange that a man who went through the process of accepting his homosexuality in a society that still isn't very accepting of it (especially considering his age puts his adolescence roundly in an anti-gay period of American culture) is today so squeamish about the mere possibility of being bi? We have to ask where this man feels discrimination may come from if he's so concerned about owning a homosexual identity. It's certainly not discrimination exclusive to the straight world. No, this man is as worried about judgment from the gay community as he is about grief from the straight folks who have a problem with him being gay in the first place.
Bisexuals receive discrimination as much from homosexuals as from heterosexuals, though for different reasons. It's understandable that someone who fought through the confusion and bigotry to which most gay people are subject would want to wear their identity with pride, but all too often part of that identity involves discriminatory language and actions against those they perceive to be "on the fence" or merely "playing queer". Anti-bisexual behavior in gay people doesn't come from the belief that bisexuality is immoral, but its roots are in the sense that bisexuals don't have it as hard in the world as homosexuals and that they're a threat to the political unity of the gay rights movement merely by not fitting in the gay/straight dichotomy. It's an unfortunate tangent in the gay rights discussion and something no one seems keen to talk about. But if a self-identified, strong gay man approaches the possibility of his own bisexuality with the same trepidation as a self-identified straight man struggling with the possibility that he might be gay, something is clearly wrong with the cultural dialog.