Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bi the Way: A Case of the Hidden Identity

“There is beauty in diversity,” says one of my favorite authors John Brown in his book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. In fact the many facets of our personality make us unique and special among any other being. And one of the special traits that make us different is our sexuality.

People learned that there are only two genders of human sexuality. However, in this modern society, the existence of the third sex just broke out. Now another sexuality came-about. Bisexuality is considered the most complex of all human sexuality because it has the tendency to love both sexes- male and female.

Some considered bisexuality as a state of confusion. But what is really bisexuality? How does it differ from homosexuality? How do we know if a person is bisexual?

The Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia in the internet, defined bisexuality as the sexual orientation which refers to the aesthetic, romantic, or sexual desire for individuals of either gender or of either sex. Although observed in a variety of forms in human societies and in the animal kingdom throughout recorded history, the term "bisexuality" was only coined in the 19th century.

Loosely interpreted, bisexuality is not only the possession of attraction for members of more than one sex, but also the potential to feel so. For some individuals, bisexuality is a life-long commitment. For others, it is a step on the continuum between homosexuality and heterosexuality. Recent research is even suggesting the intriguing idea that heterosexuality and homosexuality are phases on the way to bisexuality.

Many myths surrounding bisexuality exist. A commonly perceived notion is that bisexuality mandates equal attraction to both sexes. Most bis assert an inclination toward one sex versus the other. However, in some cases of attraction the sex of the individual is deemed irrelevant. The main factors involved are the appealing qualities of the other individual, with little attention given to gender.

Many misconceptions about bisexuality are perpetuated in movies, television, and magazines. The media has a tendency to trivialize bisexuality, presenting it like the cheap pornographic fantasy of a man having two women. This is related to the myth that bisexuals are fiendishly focused on sex and must have lovers of both sexes to feel completely fulfilled. Many bisexuals remain celibate. Other bisexuals are very capable of maintaining monogamous relationships. These individuals are not choosing to be gay or straight. They are still bi no matter who they commit to spend their lives with. As with people who are gay and straight, the decision to be celibate, monogamous, or polygamous rests with every individual.

Along with the myths of bisexuality can come other complications. The difficulty of calling oneself bi is sometimes exacerbated by a fear of stigmatization and discrimination from both the homosexual and heterosexual communities. Bisexuals are sometimes viewed by members of the homosexual community as blurring the issues and weakening the lesbian and gay movement. Attitudes are changing, though, and the communities are learning to live in harmony.
Mainstream society also seems to be taking the cue about changing attitudes. The new Bisexual Chic is taking over as America realizes the emergence of this "new" sexual identity. The mention of bisexuality in written publications has tripled this decade in comparison to the previous as the changing American society develops a love affair with this take on sexuality.

It seems now that with the changing values of our society, more and more people are open to sexual experimentation and exploring their long suppressed bisexual feelings. The orientation which once proposed a serious challenge to the gender polarity involved in sexuality is now coming into its own, disputing former boundaries and causing the more "established" views on sexual preference to redefine themselves.