Not too long ago I was asked what could bisexuals being to the table. What is it that us people unfussed about our partners biology could do for the queer community.
It’s not an unoriginal question. Other assumptions we get are bisexuality being a balancing act between, for some reason, just two genders and the dread of us cheating on our partners with anyone with a pulse and our natural ability to hold smutty tea parties. Small wonder that coming out isn’t really a thing that we bisexuals are ready to do as much as our fellow monosexuals. So much for being on the stepping stone toward social privilege.
Sarcasm aside, a large of portion of society, straight or non just can’t around that bisexuality and pansexuality is literally being attracted to more than one gender. That’s it. It’s about the same as being attracted to curly hair and straight, blondes and brunettes and short or tall folk. Being married to a redhead does not mean that you’re going to suddenly run off with the silver haired Deliveroo driver. I have yet to meet another bisexual who sits in a laboratory of measuring instruments trying to calculate how much more effort they should spend on someone of a certain gender to qualify as a ‘proper bisexual’ slap bang in the middle of the Kinsey scale.
The association between sex and bisexuality is one that impacts the community to the extreme. Google the term bisexual woman and the first thing that comes up is truckloads of porn. It’s common for straight men to (and kiss goodbye to their relationships) badger their bisexual girlfriends for threesomes. Lesbians generally distrust bisexual women as partners, thinking them as sexual tourists. Bisexual men are treated as if they don’t exist to the gay community and are considered health hazards to women in the VD department. The only stories we don’t hear about bisexuality are from the community itself because society has decided to define our sexual orientation for us. How very considerate.
On the flip side, go to any bisexual gathering and the first noticeable thing is the diversity on a large scale. There are no particular visual stereotypes that we have, nor constraining ideals that we follow. For some this will be difficult to understand, especially when forming a sense of identity. There is however an overall sentiment that we are expected to adhere to ; inclusion. Being left out of the picture from both hetero and homo sexual worlds has made us more determined to ensure that we don’t adopt the same isolating attitudes. Where others choose to see a bi person as a sexuality, we prefer to see others as people.
So how would a bisexual woman reconcile her bisexual identity with her religion? How would a socially imagined porn star who can’t make up her mind therefore possesses more identities than a kinky Sailormoon, identify as a Muslim? Why bother with religion when the only alleged halal marriage I would ever have is one where I can organise harem style orgies between my husband and other co-wives? Would that be my only option?
Personally I wouldn’t touch polygamy with a barge pole but that’s just me. However according to a national study a large majority of bisexuals would choose a monogamous relationship over a polyamorous one. That is not to say that polyamourorus relationships do not exist as they definitely have a presence in bisexual communities just as open relationships are recognised with gays, lesbians and straights.
In terms of leading a double life, that would depend on whether society chooses to acknowledge us justifiably in the first place. Being bisexual never stopped me from praying. It never stopped me from fasting during Ramadan. I read the Qur’an in both English and Arabic to appreciate it. My Hijab doesn’t do a runner screaming gay lergies when I wear it. I don’t drink, never been tempted to and don’t even fancy a bit of Qat. Gambling has never been appealing even when I’m down to 50p in my bank account. Even my halal butchers are organic. Although I may find Pink and Laverne Cox incredibly sexy, I am very much in love only with my wonderful husband and have no plans to camp outside any celebrities’ lawn to balance out my sexual preference. I practice Islam as many other Muslims do; in the way that’s comfortable. After all according to the Qur’an, religion is not meant to be a burden on us. Regardless of what others may think, this is my identity and it’s one I can live with just fine.