Bisexual Erasure

February 23, 2018
By Sea_Salt BRONZE, Decatur, Texas
Sea_Salt BRONZE, Decatur, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

As a bisexual female, I have lived my life surrounded by a multitude of “glass half-full, glass half-empty” questions.

“Who do you lean more towards?”

“Which do you prefer?”

“Are you more gay or more straight?”

 

Each questions is fundamentally the same. Am I more attracted to men or women? Well, let me answer that question with the definition of “bi.” Bi, as a prefix, refers to their being a combination of two equal parts of something; otherwise meaning “both.” People who are bilingual can speak two languages fluently. People who are bicultural can represent the customs of two different cultures in combination. People who are bisexual feel attraction towards both men and women. Both.


Frankly, it shouldn’t even matter to what proportion I prefer the other or same sex, unless the person asking me is attracted to me or looking to catch a date. Too many times has THIS happened…


It’s lunch time-- for some. My 5th period teacher always lets me out early after I’ve finished my assignments, so I usually leave to go and hang out in the library with my extra free-time. One of my closest friends, Kayla, is already there, browsing an assortment of prom dresses on her laptop. I sit, say “Hi,” pull out my own laptop, and start working on an alternate assignment for a different class.


Before I delve further, I should state that I am very open about my sexuality, and very specific when I use the term “bisexual.” Kayla, and the others involved in my little gaggle of friends, are all aware that I use this term with a purpose: to portray to others that I like both genders. Sometimes, however, it seems they forget this wee little tidbit.


As the both of us type and browse away on our luminescent screens, I soon grow bored of the work planted in front of me, I scoot closer to Kayla to see what she’s doing. There’s an endless, elegant, scarlet ball gown with the most gorgeously sheer sleeves, and th most tactfully placed jewels I’ve ever seen. (Oddly enough, I haven’t even been thinking about prom dresses, so I’m easily impressed with her selection.) With a coo of suggestive amazement, I turn to her, and inquire who the lucky guy is she’s going with. (Some dreamboat, I hoped. Only the best for her.)


“Well, I was planning on going alone until this boy, Dawson, asked me to go with him!” She exclaimed with ill-hidden excitement. The hopeless-romantic in her was sure showing, if her bashfully red cheeks didn’t give it away through the obvious sparkle in her eye. I chuckled-- this fond knowing one that I always do-- and scroll through the alternate colors of the dress on her computer screen.


“Are you going?” Kayla soon inquired, a curious glint to her seemingly innocent gaze.
Now, it was not this question that angered me in the slightest., but the assumption that was to come next.
“No.” I answered, gazing at the beautiful rose-colored variation of the dress in front of me. “Melissa, Tanner and I are all going to Main Event instead.”
“What? No! You should go! Prom is supposed to magical!” Kayla exclaimed with innocent indignation, soon pausing for a moment as if trying to think of a way to convince me.

“I think you should ask a really cute girl to go with you.”

 

I was no longer looking at the ball gowns in front of me. Instead, my gaze locked with Kayla’s-- hesitantly-- inquisitively. I leaned away, expression unchanging as I tested these treacherous waters. “What if I want a guy to ask me?”


Kayla looked at me with that sort of ignorant way that a puppy looks at a giant doberman. A short, breathy laugh escaped her pure spell of a smile, then she insisted. “Well, I just think you’d look really cute with another girl, you know?”


“No. I don’t know.” I responded instinctively, a now upset furrow to my brow finally settling in. “I like guys too, Kayla.”


With that note, she seemed to finally understand her folly, a sort of sheepishness setting in over her visage. Her earlier smile turned into a nervous lip bite, followed by an apologetic stare. “Sorry,” she began, voice much more ginger than beforehand, “I just sometimes forget. I’ve never had a friend who’s just so open about liking women.”


“And men.” I added shortly after, relaxing a bit more with her attempt at an apology. She just got excited, as most people do with new, shiny things, and while liking the same gender isn’t exactly a new idea-- people have been having same-sex relationships since the middle ages-- but liking the same gender opening was like a brand new, controversial toy right out the box. The topic is just so unfamiliar and new and almost exotic to some people, even more so when you grow in a very christian household like Kayla’s. Thankfully, she’s one who believes in charity and acceptance more than she does in damnation and repentance.


So, like a Kayla-Christian, all was forgiven on her end, and we continued our earlier discussion of prom dresses. In the end, Kayla had decided on a scenic navy blue version of the original dress which swept up the floor beneath her like the ocean tide. I, on the other hand, still haven’t even thought about looking for one for myself, mostly because Main Event sounds much cooler, and yes-- because I don’t have anyone to go with.


Perhaps I’ll go next year. I find a girl that catches my fancy, ask her, (probably get rejected,) or a smoking hot rod of a guy will show up on my front porch with his trusty steed, and whisk me away (just before I vomit from the nauseating cheesiness). Either way no one should expect me to choose one or the other based on their gender. If I’m going to prom, it’s because the person dragging me there is already my prom king or queen.


The author's comments:

More often than not people end up labeling me as "gay," instead of recognizing the fact that a.) I'm more than just my sexuality, and b.) I like both men and women. I'm hoping to reassure others that it's a common mishap that just happens sometimes, and that all you need to do is say something, as well as let others know that it's not okay to simplify someone for your own convenience. 


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