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Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

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We live in a world that is become incredibly accepting of homosexuality. Fifty years ago, coming out of the closet would be social suicide. Nowadays, in a world of GSA’s, pride parades, and support groups, admitting that you’re gay can potentially be an incredibly smooth process. To be sure, it can still be very difficult, even socially disastrous in some parts of the country. But as a general rule, for the average northeastern American teenager, coming out of the closet tends to have more positive consequences than negative ones.

So I was understandably surprised when a good friend of mine told me furiously that her mother had learned that she was bisexual by snooping on her phone, and it had gone about as badly as possible, with screaming and accusations and disbelief.. I was especially confused because this girl lives in New York, not a place like Alabama or Mississippi where homophobic behavior is common.

At first, I thought this was an open-and-shut case of loving parents with a glaring homophobic dark side, but my friend quickly assured me to the contrary. In fact, her parents are extremely tolerant of gays and have plenty of gay friends. Their problem, she told me, isn’t that their daughter is queer, but that she’s bisexual specifically.

There’s a shocking prejudice and condescension toward bisexuals, especially bisexual women. This prejudice comes not only from straights but from gays as well. It’s commonly assumed that most teenage girls that come out as bisexual are simply going through a phase, acting out to have fun at parties or impress some guy. This stereotype is also applied against bisexual men, though thankfully less often. What’s shocking isn’t that close-minded bigots support this view; it’s that many open-minded people do, including people who support gay rights, and indeed, gays themselves.

Like all lies, the “drunken party girl bisexual” is made all the more insidious of a stereotype by the kernel of truth within. I don’t deny that there are plenty of girls who make out with their friends at parties, but the vast majority of teens who actually come out as bisexual are genuinely romantically attracted to both sexes, and will be for their entire lives. Suggesting otherwise is not only prejudiced and backwards, it’s demonstratively wrong.

My friend’s parents still hope and believe that she’s actually straight, or at least simply lesbian, not bisexual. This lack of acceptance from such otherwise tolerant people would be crushing to anyone, and is especially unfair to my friend, one of the most genuinely kind people I know.

Our society may have progressed beyond the one-shaded straight mindset, but we also need to move beyond the black-and-white straight-or-gay philosophy too. The spectrum of sexual orientation is far more complex than that.

In a way, I’ve always found bisexuals to be lucky; they get twice the dating options, or at least twice the eye candy. Bisexuals genuinely have double the pleasure and double the fun. It’s time for the rest of us to accept that, and double the love.

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