Monday, July 26, 2010

In This Corner the Bisexuals

Over the weekend, I had a conversation at a party with a couple of guys who at first glance appeared to be gay male partners. As the conversation turned toward sexuality in our little corner, one of the men, now widowed, referenced his successful long term marriage with his deceased wife. As we then discussed the very different character of their partnership, they mentioned they both still "date" women, albeit different types of women and separately as well as maintaining their "partnership."

This was a very pleasant and life affirming conversation as one partner had an LDS background and I felt very comfortable with the discussion because:

1) My religion was never disrespected and my desire to live it was totally affirmed.
2) My own and my child's sexual fluidity was totally understood.
3) There was utter respect paid to the long term Mixed Orientation Marriage of the one partner as well as the previous marital relationship of the other partner. I particularly appreciated the characterization by the widowed partner of that relationship as being a "successful marriage."

It did occur to me though, that these gentlemen are exactly what both the far ends of the the spectrum of thought fear in defining what a "gay lifestyle" is or shouldn't be, in both the gay community's portrayal of the monogamously coupled same sex partners as the new gay ideal and the one man and one woman camp. It seems to me that bisexuals or overtly bisexual behavior is something that even the gay community really doesn't want to acknowledge on a number of fronts, particularly in light of the argument that one cannot choose to be "straight." Then add in an open relationship which crosses orientations and you have something totally mind blowing for most people who raise arguments on either end of the spectrum.

If you missed the gay softball debacle in which a team was disqualified for having too many non-gays, i.e. bisexuals, click here.

And, of course, as a person of the LDS faith their choices are not what I would choose. My DH was busy trying to figure out how to pigeonhole these two into the gay marriage debate. I don't think gay marriage really relevant to them the way they have chosen to be partnered anyway. DH kept saying, but they don't act like married people, so they are not really partners. I kept saying, if they want to call themselves partners, that is their call not yours. How do you provide a marital status that reflects bisexuality and polyamory, well that's part of the long term societal problem, isn't it?

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