Jan. 28, 2022

Bisexual Erasure

Jonathan and Britt discuss the animosity between gay men and bisexual men, and how society in general just seems to love erasing bisexual people. They list many of the myths that our culture (and gay men in particular) have about bisexual men, how they bolster our prejudices, impact our behavior, and limit our access to love and connection. But most importantly they discuss a variety of strategies to bring more peace and unity to the queer community through our warm embrace and acceptance of all bisexual people.

Join us on this wild ride, as we delve into the tough stuff and plumb the depths of our souls. You won’t want to miss it!


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Transcript

Jonathan [00:00:02] Welcome to Not Going Quietly, the podcast where we inspire growth, beat down biases and get into all sorts of good trouble with co-hosts Jonathan Beale and Brit Beast.

 

Britt [00:00:11] No topic is off limits as we explore ways to help everyone leap into life with a greater sense of clarity, passion, purpose and joy.

 

Jonathan [00:00:19] So get ready to join us this and courageous conversation because not going quietly. Starts right now.

 

Britt [00:00:30] Hey, everyone, welcome to "Not Going Quietly," the podcast for outraged optimists and heartbroken healers, where we talk about everything that nobody wants to discuss where your host? I'm Britt East with my co-host Jonathan Beale. Jonathan, it's great to see you today. How's it going?

 

Jonathan [00:00:47] And you. Yes. Well, I've recently had a period of unwell and so I am deep in the recovery and I'm feeling good. I'm excited for today's episode.

 

Britt [00:00:56] Yeah, it's good to see you. I know you've been through the wringer. I'm doing really well. I am really excited about today's episode. We're going to talk about what the heck is with gay guys and bisexual guys. Why can we not be friends? Why do we have to hate each other so much? And I'm really excited to dig into this because there's a lot of energy out there on this topic.

 

Jonathan [00:01:25] Yeah, it's an interesting one. Having had 15 plus years of direct lived experience of the animosity

 

Britt [00:01:34] Not from me!

 

[00:01:36] No we've always been good. But yeah, the how that external stuff becomes internal. Right. Because when somebody. Tells you you are something for long enough, eventually you're going to believe it. And when you start out of the gate with people telling you that you don't exist it, it can be quite jarring.

 

Britt [00:02:05] Yeah, I just think I wonder if in today's society, such that you can even compare these things, if it's harder to come out of the closet as a bisexual guy than a gay guy? I mean, how do you quantify that? But I just think that there's so much confusion and prejudice about bisexual people. I have a lot of empathy, and I know I identify as gay, and I know that in the gay community, we have this weird hostility towards bisexual men in particular. And I can't help but notice that we don't have the same hostility towards bisexual women, which makes me kind of believe there's some misogyny involved and homophobia involved, because I know that we live in this patriarchal culture, at least in the US, and I can't help but think that somehow those things are linked.

 

Jonathan [00:03:02] Yeah. And I wonder if there is an element of misandry in that right now. I am an almost push against what is perceived as masculinity, I suppose. And I'm not saying for one second that gay men are not masculine. What I'm saying is that if there's a hint of straightness in a man that is also masculine, that is lumped together as the patriarchy. Right? And and what's really interesting about that is I have been unpacking for the last couple of weeks my biases towards straight men myself and the issues that I have with the generalized idea of a straight man. And so I kind of get it, but I kind of get it from that perspective, I suppose. I don't know. Maybe clutching at straws.

 

Britt [00:04:06] No. I mean, picking apart straight men is my favorite pastime. So I think it's a great place to start because I mean, they're basically burning the world down for the last two millennia. And so it's a it's a great place to start. But first, I think that people should know we are recording this on September 23rd, 2021, which is International Bisexuality Visibility Day. It's a pure coincidence we did not plan this. It's fate, it's kismet, whatever you want to call it. But I mean, who even knew bisexual people got holidays and months? That's how clueless gay men are. We're so sorry. I mean, I had no idea. There's I'm like thinking about visibility, but what is this thing? Is there a parade that we have around the flag and everything? But in all seriousness, you brought something up, which I think there's so many myths that we have as gay men about being men. And one of them is in our fear fetish relationship with guys that we sometimes have this prejudice. The story that we make up based on nothing is that by men are more masculine than gay men. And if we happen to have a fetish or tend towards attractions or tend towards the masculine, then we might conflate those two things. And in, you know, the flip side of the coin of fear is fetish. And we might sort of gravitate towards bisexual men in a way that dehumanizes them. Sure, we all want to be like, we want to feel attractive, but if we're dehumanized and objectified in the process, eventually that gets boring, if not insulting. And so, you know, that's that's one of the big myths. I mean, you can be bi and you can be a bi man and feminine. You know, you can be bi with a woman and in feminine masculinity, really, they don't go together. They don't, you know, one doesn't imply the other.

 

Jonathan [00:06:02] No, I think you're kind of hitting the nail on the head in terms of stereotypes. I think we have we have this desire as humans to put people in boxes and to generalize and to to create an idealized or not version of what we think a label is or should be. And it's frightening just how much that cuts us off from connection.

 

Britt [00:06:30] Yeah, I mean, it's like a defense mechanism gone wrong, a survival tactic that no longer serves us where they help us create all these assumptions about somebody so we can evaluate our sense of safety, especially in day people where we have good reason to feel unsafe in the world. You know, it's still the case in many locations around the world where it's safe. Or to be alone on the street as a gay man, then with another gay person, and so we have really good reason to fear especially straight men, but that, you know, as we step into our agency as an as adults, you know, some of these tactics that maybe once served us well and a certain time and place an age and era are no longer of use and they're actually limiting our access to love. We're limiting our accessibility and availability to all these rich friendships and relationships and even romances with five men. When we dehumanize them by reducing them to, oh, look how straight acting he is or look how masculine adds,

 

Jonathan [00:07:38] I have a I have a physical reaction to the term straight acting. I was really uncomfortable. But I thought, like, I really understand this. There's an element of of being able to slip under the radar and to be straight presenting and to walk down the street or be in public spaces and not be assumed to be a particular way. In fact, the assumption is heterosexual and I do want to say to your point, that is B.S., right? Because I know that how someone presents or their energy is not usually in any way impacted by their sexuality. There are so many hyper feminine straight men in the world and hyper masculine, straight women in the world. And so, yeah, I don't know where I'm going with this thread.

 

Britt [00:08:46] I thought, Yeah, I think you know what you're saying, a man can present as masculine and we can make assumptions that he is straight and he's really gay or he's really bi. Men can present as feminine and we can make assumptions that he's gay, but he's really bi or straight. These assumptions are just kind of silly when we make them as adults, you know, once we have some lived experience in the world, that's it gets kind of silly to lose our sense of wonder and curiosity and all of nature's miracles and and the full breadth of its variety and the way we are. Gender expressions present on a daily basis changes from time to time and how we label these are culturally constituted. What is now called masculine wasn't always called masculine. You know, men used to wear makeup, men used to wear pink, and that was considered masculine. So these are just trends that ebb and flow in culture and society, and to develop any sort of attachment to them is a little amusing, silly and self-destructive.

 

Jonathan [00:09:52] Yes, I completely agree.

 

Britt [00:09:56] It brings up another myth as well that gay men have about bisexual men, which is that they're all really just straight guys and they're on the down low. So I know we've been really vile towards bisexual guys. I apologize on behalf of all gay men, but they're just closeted straight guys living the life. And then when they want to dip their toe into that pond, they come down to the gay bar and put on their tight shirts and dance the night away. But as soon as they sense any prejudice or any discomfort, then they run back to their wives and their straight family, which is just patently false. There are guys who do that. That does not imply bisexuality or pansexuality or anything else. Those two things are not linked.

 

Jonathan [00:10:48] No. And and it discounts and disrespects a human being's experience. We have no idea what's going on inside people's heads. We have no idea the experiences I've had in life. And so to make an assumption as grand as that and I'm not saying that it's right to use a label in a way that harms the label or creates issues for people within that subset of a community. But what I am saying is you don't get to play with somebody's mental health. And discount them and disrespect them when they're living their experience as best as they can with the resources that they have. And yeah, it kind of gets my back up there was something else I was going to say in there. Yeah, I don't know. It's like, I think the reason I'm so passionate about that is because my lived experience is one of torturous confusion and being continually told that you must fit a predetermined, decided label not decided by your subset of the community, but by somebody else's that you exist or don't. And that ultimately you must make a decision about who you are. I want to swear a lot.

 

Britt [00:12:28] You should swear.

 

Jonathan [00:12:30] Well, I mean, get fucked, right? You don't get to and you don't get to tell. You don't get to tell me my experience. You don't get to tell me that I'm pretending you don't get to tell me that my feelings, emotions and experiences are invalid. You don't get to just because you feel insecure about the fact that I exist. No, you don't get to. That's no better than transphobes or any other phobic person. When it comes to a human identity or a human lived experience, you just don't get to. You don't get to tell me who I am or who I'm not, or who I'm going to be, because you've decided that that's where I'm going to end up.

 

Britt [00:13:16] No, even if you've been hurt by bisexual guys before, you still don't get to invalidate somebody else's experiences. Sorry, you were hurt. Love you. Mean it. You deserve all the empathy in the world, but the moment you weaponize that experience, then we've got a problem. Because this is all based on choices and behavior. When you choose to exhibit bias and bigotry, stigma, when you choose to perpetuate prejudice, then you have crossed a line and it doesn't mean you don't get your birthday, it doesn't mean Christmas is canceled for you. It just means that your behavior is morally wrong. And so that's kind of where we're coming from. And Jonathan, I think, led us to another myth that gay men have about bisexual men, which is they don't exist. They're just gays in training. Some people think bisexual men are straight. Some people think bisexual men are all gay that maybe back in the day, some gay men first came out as bisexual as they were dipping their toe in the water and trying to, you know, act in a way that would preserve their physical safety and their mental health with all sorts of valid reasons around that. That still doesn't mean that bisexual people don't exist just because that you did that and some of your friends came out that way. That doesn't mean bisexual people are all gay, and they're just kind of dim or haven't figured it out yet. Yes.

 

Jonathan [00:14:49] And and so what's interesting about that is I did the opposite. I came out as gay and then came out as bisexual.

 

Britt [00:14:57] OK, I literally haven't heard this until now, and I think maybe I knew this about you, but I had never heard this story, so I hope that maybe you could share some of that.

 

Jonathan [00:15:06] Yes, I will. I'm. Where to begin? So, yeah, I mean, it's as straightforward as that, really, I was 16 and I was I knew that I was attracted to men and. And I was dating guys at the time, and I remember coming out to my friends, this guy about 16. In fact, funny story. My mom asked me if I was gay.

 

Britt [00:15:31] I did not know that.

 

Jonathan [00:15:32] Yes, she did. When we were decorating my bedroom at the time...

 

Britt [00:15:40] So that kind of gives it away. "We were redecorating our house." Yeah, that was a joke. Please don't write me letters.

 

Jonathan [00:15:49] So yes, she outed me to my family, which I'm, you know, it's neither here nor there. Fortunately, my family are very accepting most of them. And and then, yeah, I was I remember a couple of years went by. I mean, I came out screaming like, I was like, Everyone needs to know that I'm gay and they're going to learn whether they want to or not.

 

Britt [00:16:13] You were probably really cool. Probably give you a lot of street cred back in those days.

 

Jonathan [00:16:18] Possibly. Um, and then, yeah, I was 18 and I was like, Something doesn't feel right. Something feels off something because missing here and I and and I am absolutely still attracted to women. Absolutely. Well, I'm still interested in the idea of romantic relationships with them. And and so I was just like, This is not me anymore. Like. And it probably never was. I think I was. I assumed that I had to make a leap straight to something really hyper defined because the community told me that I needed to. I felt pressure that I needed to define myself as gay and then began 15 years of unpicking all of the internalized biphobia by erasure and I suppose, internalized homophobia, too. And there's something else I want to add in here, because I think it's really important. I think when we I am not saying that, that it is inherently right or wrong to come out as bisexual and then and then come out as gay. Like, I don't think there's necessarily anything inherently right or wrong about that process. I understand that it that it potentially devalues bisexual as a label and as a term. I appreciate that. And you don't get to define somebodies experience and coming out process. And the danger I see is that in demonizing bisexuality, as much as it has been, those people who are straight and who are confused and actually are bisexual but can't say it because bisexuality has been demonized so much or you're actually doing is removing the ability for people who are a part of our community to join our community. Because being bisexual is bad, wrong doesn't exist. Whatever you want to say about it, you are disenfranchizing, what's the word I'm looking for? I can't think of it. But you are cutting off a. The ability for us as a species to connect more deeply and be more accepted if you are not willing to accept bisexuality or any version of that pansexuality, whatever, as real. Off my high horse now.

 

Britt [00:18:56] It's also it's just not politically practical, aside from all the really important human issues that Jonathan points out. We just can't afford to chop off any members of this community because we need all the help that we can get. And so those that would love us deserve our generosity. Not that it's even generosity to allow people to live their truth. So the label should serve you. You shouldn't serve the label. So if you're no longer bisexual, then who cares what bisexual people think? That's not as important as you living your truth and being authentic. You know, I had a bit of an emotional reaction in your story, and I can't help but wonder if some of the listeners that are my age might relate to this as well. That when so many of us came out as gay, we got a lot of pressure regarding going, you know, going back in the closet or identifying a straight through experimentation with women. And yours was what's so cool about your story is yours was the opposite. So we, as gay men, have all of this baggage. This is not all gay men, but a lot of us have this baggage where we don't want to experiment with women because that's not our truth, and we don't want to hear that pressure in that story. So we have an aversion. So as soon as you start talking about, you know, you came out in this wonderful celebratory moment and you know, like you said, you came out wholeheartedly and then you you felt something was missing into gay ears that are so conditioned by homophobia, by living in this world of straight supremacy. It almost feels like this is not true. It almost feels like you reeled it in and you and you dimmed your experience by starting to date women again and I started in my body. I could feel that aversion to your story building. And that's why it's so important to continually question our assumptions as people. We will never be rid of these biases. We are swimming in a cauldron of them. We live in this society of straight supremacy, and it's so insidious. We have to continually each day examine our choices over the course of the day and figure out where we could have done better, where we could have created more love and tolerance and acceptance, and maybe where we came up a little short. And so I could feel that physical reaction and Jonathan's story, and I just wanted to share it because I bet a lot of us have these unexamined prejudices, this unintended shame that is then expressed in sideways comments. Inadvertence, you know, inadvertent eye-rolling or negative facial expressions or cut off relationships where we're scared to accept people as they truly are and to see the world as it truly is and to see us as we truly are?

 

Jonathan [00:22:07] Yes. Something came up when you were talking, you were talking about kind of dimming the vibrancy of the experience. One thing I will say, one thing that I have always struggled with is one thing that has been difficult to handle is the idea that if I'm in a relationship with a woman that I lose access to the gay community because there is so much vibrancy, color and life that I love and adore about the community as a whole.

 

Britt [00:22:46] And we will cut you off at the knees!

 

Jonathan [00:22:50] Immediately, immediately! You mean you're a man in relationship with a woman? Get the fuck out. Yeah, and that just makes me really angry because I really it's a safe place for me, the gay community, because I belong in it and. And it really it saddens me that it's the case so often most of the time that. That this is the way it's viewed, you know, and the same applies for bisexual women. They are also cut off from the community. And I would just question what is so scary about inviting. Someone who is bisexual, but in relationship with the opposite sex. What's so scary about that existing within the community?

 

Britt [00:23:49] Yeah. Let's talk about it. I think that these prejudices are borne out of pain that gay men carry about bisexual men. And I suspect that there's a lot of gay men with stories out there that if I date a bisexual guy, they will just cheat on me, they're sex obsessed. They will inevitably want something that I can't provide, meaning a female body. They can't be trusted with monogamy if that's what I'm into. They will just assume, like I said earlier at the moment, things get scary. They'll just run back to their little straight world and betray me in the end. And I'm sure there's versions of events in our lives as gay men where things like that have happened, and we have mistakenly attributed them to somebody's sexual orientation as a way to keep ourselves safe. We painted an entire community with that brush of that one set of experiences. Or maybe we had a friend who had that experience and that we don't want to have because we're so scared of getting hurt. And then we just erase an entire community because we don't want to deal with it. Life's hard. We're tired, we just can't be bothered. Whatever it is, and it is patently unfair to the others and ourselves, we are limiting our access to love when we engage in that behavior.

 

Jonathan [00:25:12] It's a really wonderful way to find the perfect excuse to not have to look at the reality, right? Sorry, I've got my direct head on today.

 

Britt [00:25:25] No, I love it.

 

Jonathan [00:25:28] And and there was something else you said in there. And I think it's it's a few things that I want to pick about when one is kind of like the hypersexuality because I am not a super sexual human being, I would actually say that as somebody who's sexuality fluid, I am regularly asexual. I have no interest in sex, I am not attracted to people sexually. Most of the time, I would go as far as to say I am also demi sexual. And so that attraction also relies on an emotional connection. So just to blast apart a few stereotypes here like. I get that. So it's the greedy thing, bisexual men in particular are greedy because they can have it all. I can tell you that my lived experience is that that is not true, nor is it something that I want. I have no interest in having sex with as many people as I can of all genders. I am the perfect example of of someone who is not like that at all. I was going to go into details about my sex life then, but I thought I'd stop.

 

Britt [00:26:48] Well, let me say, you know, if I'm being candid, there are moments in life when I would love nothing more than to be normal and by normal, I mean straight and masculine, because as fun as it is to be gay, it's also exhausting. And really, that's just another way of saying it's just shorthand for I fucking hate straight supremacy. I'm sick of the patriarchy. It's exhausting. And that's really when I when I'm sort of. Use that kind of language around, gosh, I just wish I were "normal." That leads to a real dark place of shadows, and if I'm able to reel it in and resist the continual pressure of street supremacy and the like, now I'm just sick of this fucking patriarchy that feels more empowering to me and leads me to a community and acceptance. Rather than this sad story, this tale of woe that inevitably kind of leads me to the bunker, arrest me in a cozy blanket of my comfort zone and inevitably alienates me from the world. Yes, and well, and I think that's that's so much of where we as gay men kind of resent and are envious of bisexual men where we, you know, we have these myths, these tales, these stories about them, they're these mystical creatures. You know, we're never you're never quite sure when you meet one and when somebody discloses that you know, their their orientation and all of a sudden you're flooded as a gay man with all of this lived experience and trauma on this questions that you've that you've had that you've never had answered. And so I have a lot of empathy for us as gay men around this issue, but it's also time for us to grow up. It's time for us to get curious, to open our hearts and to have empathy for the experiences of people that have their own culture or have their own way of being in this world and and to have the humility to say like, Yeah, for me to challenge that.

 

Jonathan [00:29:05] Yeah, absolutely. I was thinking, then you were talking about this. There's an element. So a couple of things the patriarchy must fall fast. The second is, so if I really understand the perspective of being envious of an ability to slip into normal society because there is an element of, you know, if I meet a female who I fall in love with and end up in a relationship with, for all intents and purposes, from the outside, that relationship could look very heteronormative and thus, I would essentially disappear into into the system. Right. And so I really get it, and there's a part of me inside that also screams, I wish I could be normal. And so that desire to fit into the system and have less prejudice aimed at you and less discrimination is and isn't isolated to extremes. I to experience it and I to experience knowing full well that even if I was in a relationship in in an opposite sex relationship, knowing full well that that relationship wouldn't be heteronormative, that relationship would not be set up the same way as to cis. Heterosexual people, it just wouldn't, because I'm not heterosexual. There are parts of my personality and parts of who I am that are patently not heterosexual. And so it's not going to look that way. I am not going to move through the world in that way. I am still going to want to be a part of the community. I am still going to fight for the community. I am still going to have difficult conversations and I am still going to engage in the conversation around it. I am not going to shut myself off from the LGBTQ community just because I'm in a relationship with a cis straight but potentially woman is not going to happen. And so this idea that I can disappear into it? Yeah, it's true to a degree, and I'm going to end up miserable and resentful if I can't be fully expressed version of myself, which includes. The fluidity of my sexuality. And the expression that comes with that.

 

Britt [00:31:59] Yeah, I think that's so beautifully said, and I feel like I learned a lot in that moment. It reminds me of the struggles I've heard of masculine gay men. I could never pass a straight, which is liberating as hell. It's also frightening as hell. But it doesn't mean that masculine gay men have an easy road in this life. It doesn't mean that masculine gay men have an easy time navigating homophobia and straight supremacy. It's just a different set of prejudices and assumptions and biases they grapple with. They're continually having to come out of the closet, for instance. They're continually having to reassert their space in this world in their own head, you know. And so when you were talking about that as a bisexual person, it's you know it. It was it just reminded me of that conversation, and I had never thought of that. It felt healing for me and my envy to hear that you have also felt envious about that. I felt connected to you and that I learned something, you know. And that's part of the reason why over the past couple of years, I've gravitated more towards the word queer because for some reason, that label feels broader and yet more clarifying to me than all of the constituent labels that make up the queer community. Because for me, it's much easier somehow on a cellular cellular level to think, you know, Jonathan is in a relationship right now with a woman, and he might be experiencing a different set of prejudices from society, and he's still part of the queer community as if it's just the same as if he was in a relationship or on a date with a guy. And he's he's no less queer. You know, his sexual orientation is not defined by his partner's body parts.

 

Jonathan [00:34:04] No, and let me tell you that having experienced both relationships, I can tell you that in both I have experienced prejudice and discrimination from. Friends and family of the person that I've been in relationship with, and so I can tell you that I don't want to say that it's easier to have a clearly defined label. It feels like it is. It feels like being somewhere in the middle. Is confusing for people and more difficult to accept. And so leads to more discrimination. I don't want to discount the experience of anybody who's been on the receiving end of prejudice or discrimination because of how they are, how they identify. And I will say that my experience has been that most of my relationships have been more difficult as a result of my sexuality. Yeah. Yeah, it has been more. There has been more conflict. There has been more confusion. There has been. A need for a requirement for more, what's the word I'm looking for? Affirmation, um. Because mostly and I see that today that this is still true, mostly most people hold a level of distrust around people that can't be clearly defined. And and that systemic.

 

Britt [00:36:03] And we should also acknowledge the capitalist market forces that continue to perpetuate that so they can sell us products, it's cheaper for them to sell us products if we have fixed predictable identities. And so all of this goes into the mix. There's a couple other kind of myths I wanted to to bust on on this episode. This is around bisexual men in particular, that bisexual men are not always tops, they're not always bottoms and not always personal. Those with violence, those designations are there. They really have nothing to do with sexual orientation. Sorry, some bisexual men are bottoms. Get over it. Yes. You know, you know that some bisexual guys are trans, just like some gay guys are trends and some women are trans and some bisexual women are tremendous. I mean, again, those two things are not linked. And I just think it's so important that we ferret out these assumptions so that we can create more space for our hearts to connect.

 

Jonathan [00:37:11] Yes, I agree.

 

Britt [00:37:13] Having said all this. In all honesty, is it possible that gay guys and bad guys can be friends?

 

Jonathan [00:37:22] Well, I think we're a good example.

 

Britt [00:37:24] I know it's weird. No it's not weird. I'm kidding. I mean, I don't know anybody else like this, but I guess.

 

Jonathan [00:37:35] Yeah, of course. I think it requires. It requires to radically question your assumptions. In all aspects of your life, because we do make assumptions and we are conditioned to assume based on what we are told. And so, yes, absolutely. If you are willing to see the person and not the label.

 

Britt [00:38:06]  I agree. I also think that again, in all candor, that this is not an even experience that if such things could be quantified, that really the bulk of the harm is on the gay side here. I just don't I have not witnessed or heard or seen. I certainly have no data, but the bisexual guys have these prejudices about gay guys. I just feel like, I mean, one of the things I hate about the current media environment is we're constantly trying to present the flip sides of the same coin as being completely equal. There's two sides to every story, which is patently ridiculous. And in this case, I am sure there are bisexual people with prejudices and biases of their own and of all kinds. But the ones in the gay community on this topic are so ingrained and so legion and are such a hot topic. In fact, I was talking to somebody just yesterday and the personal growth and development space that we going to be doing. This podcast recording today about the topic and immediately without missing a beat is like, Yep, I've got all that. I've got all of those prejudices. And this is somebody who's been in the space for two decades like me, and we're constantly trying to kind of like, tend to these but it's like whack a mole as they pop up, you try and address them. But I just think we as gay men have a lot of soul searching to do when it comes to wearing our stories of harm as a self-righteous shield or a mantle to how to create an inflated sense of power and purpose. These stories are our medicine, but as soon as we weaponize them or hide behind them, then we are best missing out on life.

 

Jonathan [00:40:04] Yes, there was something I had thought was really poignant to say. And as usual, my brain let go of it.

 

Britt [00:40:12] So, so where I was going initially was in our relationship. I don't know, and you can correct me if I'm wrong. I bet I have had more prejudices about you than you may have had about me, and I bet I have had to wrestle more with my assumptions about you as a person than maybe you have had to about me within the domain of this topic, you know about our sexual orientation just because I think that the bisexual community, I suspect, is so fragmented and is still kind of, you know, earlier kind of in the maturity curve of coalescing as a political force and an activist community that because of that, I just think that, you know, I suspect I suspect that I have been the one in the relationship carrying the bulk of the bias.

 

Jonathan [00:41:11] Yeah, yeah, I it's interesting because I mean, obviously, I've been thinking a lot about this episode and what we might cover. And and I was I was doing my best to think of of any prejudices I may hold about homosexual men in particular. It's like, Well, why can I not think of any? Why am I struggling with this? And and then kind of went through the whole, well, is it because I don't have many bisexual male friends? And to your point, I think what's really interesting to me is if we if we look at the data, the likelihood is that bisexual people far outnumber homosexual people. By vast numbers. If they're allowed to speak up and come forward and connect and congregate, and it was kind of to my point earlier, that can't happen because of the stigma and prejudice attached to bisexuality. And so, yeah, we don't really congregate. We don't we don't have spaces that are that I know of that are and I could be wrong. Please let us know if I am, I'd love to know. But we don't. And so we don't have. We also don't have experience is necessarily that. Are. As painful, maybe I don't know, there's there's something about this where my sexuality. Is potentially hurtful for others as a scapegoat for them not dealing with what's really going on. Whereas I don't have that luxury like I can't say, for instance, I'm with a homosexual man, I can't turn around and say, Well, it must be because of your sexuality. Like, I can't do that because it's defined like super highly defined. And equally, I can't do that if I'm with a straight woman and. This is no extra hooks for me to hook into, to develop prejudices or. Biases on, does that make sense? I don't know.

 

Britt [00:43:36] No, that was beautifully put. I think it's also important to acknowledge that as human beings, we have a wide array of fantasies of sexual fantasies in our lives, some of which actually blossom into desire. Maybe we act out on some of them. At what point does somebody become bisexual or homosexual? That's really just for them to for them to say and decide there is no empirical scientific requirement. There is no committee, there is no application. You don't have to pay any dues. You're part of the community if you say you are and nobody gets to question that full stop. Yeah. Perfect. And, you know, and I think that creates space for people. It's also pragmatic because it creates space for people that identify as straight or flexible is often the term that's used who might acknowledge their fantasies about having sex with somebody of the same of the same gender, even if they never act out on it, even if it never blossoms into desire, they still might hopefully have the space to acknowledge it and then become more loving, then become better allies. Yeah, I.

 

Jonathan [00:44:58] Something popped into my mind as you were talking about. I saw articles probably within the last couple of years about straight men having sex with men. Does that make them bisexual or can they still be straight? And I really kind of take issue with that. And this is probably a prejudice of mine. But the idea that you wouldn't identify if you have sex with men as bisexual because you don't want to because of what it might do to you or how people view you feels like a really. I am going to show my prejudices that it feels like a way out. It feels like it's doing the bisexual community a disservice because remember, bisexual isn't necessarily bi romantic. And I think. We get to look at these terms. In a in a better way. Because bisexual. Can only indicate an interest in having sex with the same sex. I don't know.

 

Britt [00:46:11] Yeah, I mean, I think people jokingly call that bro sexual, which is sort of a vile discussing the term, and I hear you that you want to stand up and be counted. And maybe at the end of the day, certainly a lot of those people are in a better, kinder, gentler world would identify as bisexual. Maybe some of them would still identify as straight. I personally don't really care, but I just think it's cool. If guys feel free to act on their desires, that's an act, an act of resistance. Ultimately, because they are pushing against the patriarchy just by having sex with somebody of the same gender, they're pushing against the patriarchy, which just inevitably makes me happy. Yes. So any final thoughts? I mean, I thought this covers that I learned a lot, to be honest, and I've been doing this work a long time. And, you know, I wrote a book about this. I have a whole thing in there about bisexuality, and I still learn stuff today just by talking with you through the generosity of your lived experience. So I hope that all of our listeners start to have these conversations with the people of the gay people in their life of straight people. Whomever the bisexual community is so underrepresented in the media and so underrepresented that I think in our conversations, I just encourage you to get curious and empathetic and and you know, look, bisexual people are not your tour guides, they're not your, you know, but when you when you have a relationship with them, when they feel like move to share on their own terms, then I hope that that we outside the bisexual community have the courage to to join them.

 

Jonathan [00:47:56] Yeah. And I think this kind of touches on a wider theme, right? It's like you get to be curious, you get to you get to educate yourself, and you always get to lead in that pursuit with consent. Like, for me, it would be no issue if somebody asked me. For information to know more, it would it would concern me more if I didn't get to say no. And I think that's that's the important thing you get to be curious, but you don't get to be pushy.

 

Britt [00:48:31] Yeah, that's a really well said, I really appreciate that because I think I and a lot of others would maybe err on the side of deference. And like you said, that that removes somebody's ability to consent and to choose for themselves. So I think that's really well put. You don't get to be pushy, you just get to be curious. I think that's a great note to end today's episode on. I want to thank all the listeners for joining us today for this wonderful conversation. This is not going quietly. I'm Brett East with co-host Jonathan Beale. You've been listening to not going quietly with co-host Jonathan Beale and Brit

 

Jonathan [00:49:09] East, thanks so much for joining us on this wild ride as we explore ways to help everyone leap into life with a greater sense of clarity, passion, purpose and joy.

 

Britt [00:49:17] Check out our show notes for links, additional information and episodes located on your favorite podcast platforms.