*Apologies for the formatting issues..I’m still learning WordPress!*
Because of my gender identity, coupled with my sexuality, I generally declare myself as “queer,” which is really an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of things.
But that’s a tricky label when you’re a girl who still likes cisgender guys. (Cisgender: a person who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth.)
I mean, “queer” sounds kind of off-limits.
So then there’s “pansexual” but most people don’t know what that means. No, I am not aroused by kitchenware.
Sometimes it’s best to just proclaim “I’m attracted to people.”
But then there’s the stigmas.
“Bisexual/pansexual people are greedy.”
“You’re just a slut.”
“They just can’t decide yet if they’re gay or straight. They’ve gotta make up their minds.”
“They’ll leave you when they get tired of what you’ve got.”
“It doesn’t exist.”
“It’s just a phase.”
“Yeah, everyone’s bisexual in college.”
“You’re not as gay as the rest of us. Plus, you can pretend you’re straight.”
Many gay men and lesbians refuse to date people like me. In some ways, I think it stems from insecurity that they don’t possess everything that I could possibly want.
But no one does, in different ways. No one person could possibly be everything you want and/or need, no matter their gender identity.
My wife was always concerned that I was going to get tired of being with a woman and leave her for a man. She had dated a lot of bisexual/pansexual women, and most of them were now married to men.
And the stigma for queer men is even worse. Sure, bi/pan girls are a real thing. But bisexual men don’t exist. They just won’t admit they’re really gay.
Then there’s the loaded subject of bi/pan girls who are constantly being pursued by couples who want a “third.”
I recently tried out the dating app Tinder for the first time, and at least 50% of the women on there state that they are looking with their boyfriend/husband for a “unicorn.”
I found a great definition of the terms “unicorn” and “unicorn hunter” on the website “Polyamory For Us:”
“If you don’t know what a “unicorn hunter” is, that’s simply an established couple, a heterosexual man and bisexual woman, that’s searching for a bisexual woman that is open to a relationship with both the man and the woman in the existing relationship (but no one else), who will love them both equally, and agree to the rules that the couple has already decided are healthy for their relationship. She is expected to fit in to their relationship without changing the existing relationship with the couple, and if they feel that she’s not following any rule, she’s out, to protect The Couple. There’s a reason we call them “unicorns” – none exist. And there’s a reason we call them “Unicorn Hunters” – they’re toxic.”
This was obviously written by someone with very strong biases (the author claims to be an “ex-unicorn”) but the general jist is there.
Bi/pan women are often a prize to be “won,” to be brought into the fold, to make a couple’s relationship better, spicier, etc.
I have no experience in polyamorous relationships, and no experience being a “unicorn,” so I cannot fully speak to this practice, but it only goes to show another layer of the fraught existence of the queer woman.
Then there’s the fun world of “lesbians” as the ultimate sexual turn-on. One of the most popular porn genres, girls who like girls are long-haired, big-boobed blondes with talons for fingernails (a sure sign of a pretend lesbian…gotta keep them trimmed. Ya know. For safety. Don’t think too hard about it,) For guys, a bi girl is the ultimate fantasy. Visions of threesomes dance in their heads, two chicks going at it with each other or with him.
I always cringed when people called me a lesbian when I was with Carmen. Yes, I was in a “lesbian relationship” because both of us were women, but she was a lesbian and I was not. I hated that being with a woman negated my full queer identity.
And I hate the fact that if and when I am with a guy again, that will erase my queer identity to the casual observer. I am so entrenched in LGBT culture, and, if I were to bring a boyfriend to an event or a bar, I would be a part of “that straight couple.” I am terrified to lose my queerness.
But then there’s the tricky business in that anyone who has met me in the past five years knows I was married to a woman. Many assume I’m a lesbian. When I arrived at my new job, I came out to my coworkers immediately. I’m not shy about that sort of thing. But I was also quick to point out that I’m not a lesbian.
Many people who see me with my shaved head assume I’m a lesbian. Even though I first shaved my head when I was dating The Guy I Thought I Was Going To Marry. But some guys find my shaved head super sexy, which is cool.
This was me when I first shaved my head, down to the skin in 2010, still pretty much straight-identified with The Guy I Thought I Was Going To Marry. (The girls in the costume shop found some orange fabric and pretended I was a Buddhist monk. Apologies for the cultural appropriation)
So now I find myself having to come out as someone who dates guys, which is weird. Especially since Carmen was the only woman I ever dated. As I mention former boyfriends in conversations, I see the people I’m talking to getting more and more confused. “But I thought you were married to a woman,” they say.
Some people date all genders.
Their minds are blown.
But I’m such a hypocrite, because sometimes I will meet a girl that I’m so very sure is a lesbian, and I learn they’ve dated/date dudes and MY mind is blown. And then I feel guilty for thinking that.
Queer people. Sometimes I feel like we just can’t win.
But you know what?
If my identity is a problem for anyone, they’re not worth my time anyway.