"Bierasure" is something I've seen mentioned a lot, mainly thanks to the close eye I keep on opposition to Stonewall. Stonewall are rather infamous for ignoring bisexuals. It's really opened my mind to the concept and sometimes I'm left rather blown away by the examples I find online.
But today there is a story which has really shown just how deep "bierasure" is embedded into our culture. An inquest has ruled that man killed himself after having sex with another man. His parents are upset about this as they feel it was not consensual sex, and that there is a cover-up going on at the RAF. I make no comment on that matter as I'm in no position to question the results of the inquest or the events it looked into.
However, take a look at some of the things his parents say:
“My son was living the dream. He was happy and engaged to be married. He was due to go out to the Falklands and had signed up for Afghanistan.
“There is no way my son was gay and we believe something terrible happened to Robert that night that he couldn’t live with.And then:
“He had had lots of girlfriends in the past and had been engaged twice.
“It doesn’t make sense that he would be gay for one night, then regret it so much that he would kill himself.
“We are not anti-gay, far from it. We have a lot of gay friends and if it was something Robert wanted to do he would not kill himself.It seems to be completely beyond them that someone could have lots of girlfriends and still want to sleep with a man. It's quite possible for someone to be bisexual. As society becomes more accepting of same-sex relationships, they are increasingly seeing sexuality as an either/or scenario. Either, in some people's minds, someone is straight or they are gay. Marriage equality, though obviously something I welcome, is not going to make it easier to educate people that sexuality isn't black or white but far more broad, fluid and remarkable than many give it credit for.
It doesn't help, of course, that a lot of people dismiss bisexuals as "closet cases". Just last week we had claims Jessie J wasn't bisexual but was instead a lesbian who was trapped in the closet to keep her career going. Generally I find this is because bisexuality doesn't fit that person's particular agenda (be it political or personal).
Let's start opening our minds a little more to the fact people don't easily fall into the boxes we want to put them in. Hell, bisexuality is a word that doesn't really give justice to variety of different types of "bisexuality" there are. We need to realise each person is individual and their sexuality is just as complex and individual as their personality.
Some people are bisexual. There's no getting over it, just get used to it!
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist