Once a month, Anna Rosenwasser writes about how she lives and loves in Zurich. In November, the LGBT activist and author explains that our lack of knowledge about bisexuality leaves an enormous amount of room for misunderstanding. So Anna Rosenwasser simply brings clarity.
Not only do we grow up with mega few bisexual role models, we also grow up with shockingly little idea of what bisexuality actually is. Our schools and media rarely explain it to us. So what, a person is into multiple genders? All of them at the same time? So polyamorous? Or more like slutting around and cheating?
'I'm 52, is it too late to call me bi?'
Our lack of knowledge about bisexuality leaves much, much room for misunderstanding. Actually, it is not that ambiguous: bisexuality is a sexual orientation. Bisexual people are attracted to multiple genders. Voilà.
This raises many, many questions. I am often asked them, too. Often the questions sound a bit like the nervous thoughts of people standing in line outside a VIP club and worrying whether they will even be allowed in. As if a bouncer were standing in front of the entrance and barking at each person: "Not you! You're not bisexual enough! Back to the straights with you!" So I take this task upon myself today. I am now a bisexuality bouncer.
'I am a woman and have been with a man for eight years. So far I've only kissed a woman once. Can I be bisexual?' - Yes, you can.
'I am attracted to many genders. But no idea if I even self-identify as a man or a woman. Am I even allowed to use the word bisexual?' - Yeah.
'It's only been a few months that I've been considering being bi. But I'm in a committed relationship. Would it be okay to call me bi?' - Of course.
'The attraction I feel to men feels mega different than the attraction I feel to women. Is that still bi?' - It could be, yes.
'I've never had sex with anyone. Am I even allowed to call myself bi yet?' - Totally.
Bisexuality is not a tattoo that is very difficult to undo.
'I'm a man and I've only ever dated women. I find men hot more from a distance, on stages or in films. Is that straight or bi?' - If you feel attraction to multiple genders, you can be bi.
'I've fallen in love with women and non-binary people before, but I have zero attraction to men. Could this be bisexuality?' - Yes.
'I'm 14, is it too early to call myself bi?' - No.
'I'm 52, is it too late to call myself bi?' - No.
So, now that I've let everyone who doubted into the club, it's time to say that anyone can also leave at any time. Bisexuality is not a tattoo that goes all over your back and is very difficult to undo. Sexual orientation is something fluid, something that can and may change in the course of life. Sometimes we forget that: labels are allowed to change. Identities are allowed to evolve.
Sexual orientation is something fluid, something that can and may change.
If someone walks out of the club and says 'hey, I've only been attracted to women for a while and the word bi doesn't feel right anymore', then I wave good wishes after the person. By the way, I also wave goodbye to those who leave the club without explanation. Hm, actually I could also let the people standing in line in without them having to explain themselves.
Wait a minute.
If no one has to explain their bisexual identity...
...then there's no need for a bisexuality bouncer.
I'm going to call it a day.
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