March 11th, 2010

RainbowHippie peace

Bisexual (or just queer) discussions

Along the heels of request for academic pointers re: bisexuality and its place among the larger queer community, I started thinking about my own situation.

I am a hetero-priviledged bi male (married with children) so I tend to be along the fringes of the queer community. That doesn't, however, make me feel any less queer and I tend to overcompensate for it by making sure the world I do exist in recognizes that we're not all the same.

I was in my early-mid twenties when I came to terms with my sexuality, and it's been a long road of integrating my queer tendencies with the rest of my life so that it isn't a separate definition of me but just part of who I am. I've been very fortunate that most of the "hate" I've received has been very mild (probably helps that I don't look like a minority in any other ways either) and limited to frat-boy types calling me fag as they drove down the street and a few gay guys and lesbians insisting that I was gay but just didn't want to "come out completely". (After 37 years of life and nearly 15 years as an "active" bisexual, I'm pretty sure they're wrong.) The biggest issue I have is people asking inappropriate questions that they wouldn't ask of hetero people they barely know. I tend to be open and honest about things though, so I usually shock them by answering as truthfully as possible. It's made for some very interesting conversations.

One thing I've noticed often reading the various discussion groups I read is the in-fighting. The idea of why we insist on subdividing our communit(ies) and furthering the antagonism amongst ourselves always bothers me. I try to fight that undercurrent as much as possible, especially the in-fighting amongst the queer community, and I guess I'm looking for good discussion about how others go about doing that. I generally try to provide statistics (that people don't believe unless they are already "on my side") and as calm and rational discussion as possible (no point in making the whole community look bad by being an asshole) but I'm open to other suggestions.

So what brought you to your personal version of your identification as a queer (whatever that identity is) and how do you educate those around you (if you bother) to try and be inclusive of/included within the larger queer community and society as a whole? How do you try to keep from being one of the many "bringing down" the other subgroups?