Seal of Disapproval: Biskepticality

A quick googling of “lady gaga bisexual” brings you this delightful potpourri of ignorance. I previously cited “Telephone” as a music vid featuring girl-on-girl, but it really doesn’t belong with the other examples because Gaga herself is actually bi as opposed to a straight woman appropriating lesbian imagery. Or is she? Admittedly, her public persona does feed into the skepticism surrounding her bisexuality – surely it’s just another wacky gimmick?

Nearly every bisexual has to put up with doubters, and I for one don’t see even celebrities, who have so much to gain from being at the center of media sensation, as acceptable targets. The notion that female bisexuality must be, perhaps with a few exceptions, a bid for attention is, I feel, in many ways similar to part of the psychology behind slut-shaming; that women’s sexuality is based on the need for validation rather than actual desire. That if a woman is sexually uninhibited with men or other women, she is pathetic and desperate for going to such lengths just to get heterosexual men to look her way; she clearly has self-esteem issues, doesn’t respect herself. Guess what: women have sexual as well as emotional needs, and women may find satisfaction thereof with or without the presence, involvement, or approval of a man. (And anyone who accuses a woman of insufficient respect for herself is the disrespectful one, not the woman.)

Does it bother me when straight starlets exploit girl-on-girl as a marketing tool? Yup. But I’m far less bothered by that than I am by the implication that anyone’s professed orientation should be subject to suspicion. Ain’t coming out hard enough as it is?

Furthermore, everybody has the right to experimentation without social penalization. Kiss a girl and don’t like it? That makes you a normal, sexually curious person, not a poser. The notion of bisexuals as confused – well, maybe some of us are. Sexuality in any form can be a pretty confusing thing. But our possible confusion is no threat to outsiders, and those outsiders have absolutely no authority on which to say who’s confused and who isn’t. There are many, many bisexuals who are utterly confident and firm in their identities, and the existence of “mostly-straight” girls or renounced bisexuality does not invalidate their existence.

I wish we lived in a world where sexualities other than straight weren’t such a big damn deal that people felt the need and the entitlement to examine them for authenticity. In the meantime, though, let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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