Tesco now has 98 varieties of coffee. It's completely true; I was there just yesterday wandering around the aisle, when it hit me how much damn coffee there is in that place. I'm kind of ashamed to admit I went home and looked up how many varieties there were. How are you supposed to choose between Colombian Coffee beans, Illy Espresso Coffee Beans, Decaff, Nescafe or all the other varieties I've forgotten to mention? There was too much choice to wrap my head around. In this crazy world where Tesco now has 98 varieties of coffee, it seems ridiculous to me that my choice about my sexuality seems so limited.
We've all heard the stereotypes attached to being bisexual; indecisive, confused, wanting your cake and eating it too, gay or lesbian in transition, the list goes on and on. If you identify as bisexual, it's likely that you've encountered these clichés at some point. I know that I certainly have.
Being gay or lesbian sometimes has its difficulties attached to it, but it can be more of a hardship to be bisexual, in a world where you are either this or that, everything is black or white and there is no middle ground or grey area to settle in. When you aren't one way or the other, but sitting on the fence, life can be problematic with issues that homosexuals and heterosexuals simply do not encounter.
Like everyone who has a sexuality, I didn't choose to be bisexual. None of us choose whom we are attracted to, and none of us have any control over our attraction. It baffles me when people tell me that I am simply in a limbo and that I can't choose which gender I am more attracted to, because it has never been a choice for me. Honestly, I like both genders equally. I am certain that I'm not in transition to come out as a lesbian, and that I haven't been experimenting for all these years. For some, it may be true that a transition or phase is occurring, but for most who identify as bisexual and maintain that identity, it is not, and, for me at least, it's boring, annoying and pretty insulting to have these lines of reasoning thrown my way over and over again.
All these clichés and exaggerated myths make being bisexual a very confusing and irritating experience. Do I really need to correct people who ask whether I'm "a bit more lesbian than I am straight?" When I was single, did I need to lay my sexuality on the table if I was flirting with someone, or was it unfair of me to keep quiet? Do I still have to explain to some people that I'm still bisexual, despite the fact I am in a relationship with a man now? It's actually quite annoying and it has gotten to the stage where I feel I should just keep quiet about it.
It feels as if it's just downright difficult and awkward being bisexual. You'd think the opposite; you have the freedom to choose from a pool two times larger than heterosexuals and homosexuals can choose from, you can have both gay and straight nights out and you can openly enjoy relationships with partners from both genders. And you can do all this while showing the world how open minded you are in your approach to sexuality.
Of course, I'm being sarcastic. All these cliches and ideas about what bisexuality should be/is, coupled with my own ideas about what my sexuality is about makes it feel like I'm trying to look left and right at the same time. It's expected considering the nature of what bisexuality entails, but it makes it feel as if being bisexual is almost impossible. With no etiquette or rule book on bisexuality, it is difficult to know what it should be about.
It's a grey area of sexuality. It's not this or that. It's not black or white. It's slap bang in the middle, the area between the black and white of monosexual orientations. So tell me this; how on earth do you begin to fit in when you aren't in one camp or the other?
Bisexual identity is both complex and contradictory. There are few, if any, people who identify as bisexual that I know that fit into the societal description of bisexuality. Still, as is the case with lesbian and gay representation, as more individuals speak openly about attraction to both genders and more bisexual role models appear, the term may become more well-understood. Now, who wants some cake? Any flavour you like.