The “B” in LGBT
Back in the Stone Age, when Doctor-Jon was in social work school, he wrote a paper for his professional seminar entitled, “Bisexuality and Social Sigma: A Dilemma for Social Work.”
Well, it can be a dilemma for bisexuals, too! In my paper, I referred to what Gary Zinik calls the “double stigma” of bisexuality: they (or we) get it from both sides, gay and straight!
For those less nerdy than Doctor-Jon, the Random House dictionary tells us that “stigma” means “disgrace” or “defect.” Whoa, there! Freud said that we’re all innately bisexual, and Kinsey showed us that very few of us are completely homo- or heterosexual—most of us fall somewhere in between. According to Doctor-Jon, there are as many sexual orientations as there are people on the planet!
For you gay skeptics out there, have you never, ever felt an attraction to someone of the opposite sex? Not even a teensy bit of what the aptly named singer/songwriter, Gaye Adegbalola, refers to as “hetero twinges?” It doesn’t have to mean that you want to hop in the sack!
So, here are a few myths and facts about bisexuality:
Myth: “Bisexuals really are screwed up.”
Fact: Bisexuals have what Zinik calls “adaptive flexibility.” Wouldn’t it be great to feel attracted to members of both sexes? It increases your chances of scoring by 100%! Of course, Doctor-Jon would prefer your involvement in a long-term, faithful relationship with a perfect mate, such as his husband. And, speaking of faithful:
Myth: “Bisexuals are incapable of being monogamous.”
Fact: Bisexuals are as capable of monogamy as anyone else. (Unfortunately, in some quarters, that’s not saying very much.) They just have more options to choose with whom to be monogamous!
Myth: “They just don’t want to admit that they’re gay.”
Fact: It’s true that some of us (including, Doctor-Jon confesses, himself), identified as bisexual when we weren’t ready to identify as gay—thinking that we’d be judged less harshly by our families and communities.
A male acquaintance, who was actively gay but single for years, recently began a relationship with a woman. This fellow was closeted about a wonderful development in his life, because he feared rejection by his (mostly gay) community. Fortunately, he selectively came out to people who accepted and were happy for him.
And…in addition to my synagogue, I attend Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond, of which my husband is pastor, and which identifies as a primarily LGBT church. But where’s the “B?” Virtually no one in this loving congregation identifies as bi. (Editor’s Note – ROBIN, a local organization provides support for bisexuals. More information here.)
So let’s get with the program—and celebrate the rank of folks who include such glamorous gay icons as Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford, contemporary leaders like Loraine Hutchins, and the many bisexuals whom we think we don’t know—today!
Jonathan Lebolt, PhD (“Doctor Jon”) is a licensed clinical social worker, psychoanalyst, and group psychotherapist specializing in relationship issues. He lives with his partner of 14 plus years, Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline, and their princely pooch, Cocoa. Robin and Jonathan are proud grandfathers of a beautiful one-year-old girl, Juna. Feel free to contact Doctor Jon at his website.
“Once more people realize same sex attractions do not mean you have to be any kind of label, just yourself…”September 19, 2016
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