To some people, I guess it’d be a mystery as to why I would choose to come out as a bisexual for the first time here and now. (God, writing this is so scary. Bear with me!) It took me a couple of days to figure it out myself. Sure, I’ve told my husband, and my best friend, and my mother during one especially passionate screaming match. But I never really felt the need to bring it to attention before, so I just treated it like some intensely private thing.
I’m a happily married, twenty-three year old woman with a sixteen month old. To a lot of people, that would automatically mean that I am straight, or that my bisexuality is somehow canceled out simply because I have found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, and he’s a man. People have such weird ideas about bisexuality.
That’s why I’m here, I guess. Because of how bisexuals are so often portrayed, especially young bisexual females.
I live in a small town, and at my high school there were only a few openly gay people. But one time these two girls who were both known to have had boyfriends in the past started holding hands in the hallway, and kissing each other around campus. They changed their statuses online and let it be known that they were officially dating.
The most common reaction amongst my classmates? “They’re doing it for attention.” “They’re doing it so guys will think they’re hot.” “They’re doing it to be trendy.
Nobody took them seriously. And if it’s not sad enough seeing these reactions in person, imagine reading books and watching TV and movies were the majority of young bisexual females are portrayed as overly promiscuous bad girls who are more into the sex than anything else. (And hey, of course that person exists, and that’s totally okay. It’s not, however, an accurate or fair representation of all young female bisexuals.)
I saw this episode of Tyra that was all about “Barsexuals.” Apparently a barsexual is a straight female who makes out with other women in bars in order to score men and get free drinks. When asked if they are bisexual, these women were quick to deny. Whether they were lying, or weren’t sure, or were telling the straight up truth, why are situations like these being highlighted as opposed to more authentic ones?
I know it happens. But there just isn’t enough of the average. I was inspired by Scott Tracey’s post about having gay characters that are simply gay. Their sexual orientation is just another part of them, rather than being a highlighted feature in the story. I haven’t read many books featuring bisexual characters, but the few that I have read were portrayed dryly and with hurried cliches. And while bisexual characters in general would be a refreshing thing to see, it’d be even more impressive to meet a serious but totally average teen bisexual. (If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love for you to leave them in the comments so I could read up!)
It’d be extra difficult to cover I know, since high school can be a confusing time as far as sexuality goes. While I was in high school, I definitely would have put myself in the Q category of LGBTQ, rather than the B. But I know that there are young female bisexuals out there, wondering why they aren’t anything like the bisexuals they see in books and on TV.
And it’s for those girls that I’m here now. Write your characters, tell your story, be yourself. But please, on behalf of the evolution of human acceptance, ask yourself if it’s possible to include LGBTQ characters in your novel. Bisexuality, being gay, being transsexual, these aren’t new things. The number of LGBTQ people isn’t rising, it’s just that the number of people comfortable enough to admit it is. If we can support each other enough through our writing to keep that number rising, having a more true to reality ratio in the media will follow naturally.
Amy Lukavics is a YA writer represented by Joanna Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation. Besides writing and reading, her other favorite activities include tearing it up on Xbox Live, cooking things that call for at least 4 cloves of garlic, and building pillow forts with her daughter Lily Mila. Gamertag: electric lola Twitter: @amylukavics Blog: hello, moon.
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