Queers and the homo/hetero binary

Posted: January 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have met three ex-lesbians. They have been good information sources, because they know the queer community but feel like outsiders. I am struck by the similarity of their three trajectories. All three identified strongly as dykes or lesbians until somewhere in their thirties they accepted their attraction to men and started dating them. They stopped dating women although they still feel the attraction to women. All three have spent multiple years dating men and enjoy the sex but have not been able to form the same emotional connection as with women.
I find the similarities so fascinating. They all switched teams. Even if they identify as bi, they date straight. Also they stick with men even though there is a level of unsatisfaction on the emotional front. Another similarity is that they waited to switch teams before they played with guys. A. says she knows a lot of other ex-lesbians with similar stories.
I wonder if this demonstrates the strength of the homo/hetero binary. Is it hard to be out as bi and remain in the dyke/lesbian community. A bi-girl called D. told me that bi is not really accepted by either side. Straight guys feel threatened by it too.
Being bisexual is a lot like being genderqueer or bi-gendered. You try to cross the male/female binary or the homo/hetero binary. In both cases other people keep wanting you to take sides, or even put you on another side than you personally would choose. Is there room in the queer community for those of us who fall in between teams? Is there such thing as a pan-sexual, pan-gender queer community?

  1. Rikki says:

    There is a lot of misinformation about bisexuals. (I speak from personal experience, being bi myself). For one thing, the assumption (in both straight and gay communities) that bisexuals “really” prefer the other side. In other words, straights assume that bisexual is just a euphemism for gay. Interesting to note that lesbians assume that bisexuals “really” prefer men.

    Courage of convictions would be to say that one is bisexual until one finds a long term relationship, then just be monogamous.

    Bi the way (pun intended), how do full-time transgendered people (like me) fit into the boxes labeled gay or straight anyway? Short answer: we don’t. We make lots of people uneasy. Oh, well.

    In other words, there is a cost to being true to oneself. The only true friends for anyone are open-minded people. Better to pay the cost up front, and leave the bitter bigots in their sick little sexual “communities”! (End of rant)

  2. Jasper Gregory says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Rikki. I think it is interesting how I keep “discovering” thanks about the transgender politics that you and others have discovered before me.
    My hope is that by sharing my experiences and yours in this blog, we can ease the way of those who follow us.

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