Bisexuality: Just A Layover To ‘Gaytown’?
Profound, isn’t it?
OK, so it isn’t really an adage, nor is there anything particularly profound about that line. Nevertheless, when I heard someone tell this to a friend of mine who claimed to be bisexual, I couldn’t help but ponder the shade that was thrown at my friend implications of that statement. (For full disclosure, a random patron outside of a local New York City nightclub made this proclamation, as they anxiously awaited the opportunity to enter the club and drop it like it’s hot)
Beneath the shade, this person was on to something.
Bisexuality — generally speaking — is delegitimized by individuals who classify themselves as exclusively hetero- or homosexual, and among the most vocal critics are “the gays,” themselves. We’ve all heard the grievances:
“He’s just being greedy.”
“Dude needs to make up his damn mind!”
“I ain’t about to share.”
And so it goes.
But is this view a myopic one? Perhaps there are men out there who find themselves equally drawn to both men and women, and eschew the idea of marginalizing themselves simply to placate a vocal bloc of the LGBTQ population. Should gay men be a bit more accepting of them? Furthermore, should gay men be leery of dating a man who describes himself as being bisexual? My answers would be yes, and maybe.
Not All Gays are Created Equal
A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, a man by the name of Alfred Kinsey set out to buttress his theory that the perceived heterosexual-homosexual dichotomy was actually not much of a dichotomy at all. Rather, he argued that sexuality is complex and bucketing can be narrow-minded. In other words, few people likely claim exclusive identification to either homo- or heterosexuality, he postulated. “Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats…the living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects,” said Kinsey in the 1948 study, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.
Urban Dictionary translation: “A lot of you girls probably are bi, and don’t even realize it.”
Pick a Number
Further expounding on this conjecture, Kinsey created what was called the “Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale,” known colloquially as “The Kinsey Scale.”
The scale was a simple continuum, ranging from 0-6. The scale is as follows:
- 0 – Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual
- 1 – Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
- 2 – Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
- 3 – Equally heterosexual and homosexual
- 4 – Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
- 5 – Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
- 6 – Exclusively homosexual
In order to assign a ranking, individuals were surveyed, with some of the questions including — but not limited to — the number of heterosexual experiences they’d had, the number of homosexual experiences they’d had, the frequency of their same-sex fantasies, etc. Based on the responses of his sample, Kinsey estimated that nearly 46 percent of the male population had “engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, or ‘reacted to’ persons of both sexes, in the course of their adult lives.”
That’s nearly half of the male population — in 1948, at that — that could be considered bisexual.
And given how taboo sexuality was in 1948, one could only speculate how that figure would look today.
So Is His Final Destination Gaytown, or What?
Kinsey argues that there are quite a few people who want to taste a little bit of it all. But for all those people who classify themselves as being a 6 or perhaps even a 5, why should they give a 3 or 4 the time of day?
My answer: “Bitch, I don’t know your life — maybe you shouldn’t.”
Personally, I would likely have some reservations if I were to meet and become interested in, say, a 3 or 4 (sorry, no 2’s or below for me). But I suppose if they’re committing to me, and only me, then I shouldn’t be worried, right?
OK, maybe a little worried.
Well, what’s the moral of the story? It’s probably unfair to categorize the entire population based on two, disparate labels, especially on something as seemingly complex as sexuality. And what about the bisexual individuals who legitimately identify with the plight of the LGBTQ community (There is a ‘B’ in that acronym, after all)? Doesn’t the whole “love thy neighbor” thing have some type of merit here?
Perhaps we should all try the whole solidarity thing, and sing “Kumbaya” or whatever.
Be that as it may, if you meet a guy who is clearly not a question mark (read: a 5 or 6 on the aforementioned scale), and they are still holding on to the false hope of marrying a chick, there’s something that should probably be floating around in that noggin of yours, and it goes like this…
“Ain’t nobody got time fa dat.”
Author’s note: To learn more about Alfred Kinsey and his respective studies on sexuality, visit www.kinseyinstitute.org. Also, I would like to thank my ride-or-dies, Bryan Davis and Ngierot Edwards-Smith for collectively serving as my muse for this post. Thanks guys—you’re the bomb.com!