Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bi Visibility Day

Today is Bi Visibility Day.  Bisexuality, as I've said before, has become in some people's eyes a sort of Schroedinger's Cat of sexuality - bisexuals exist in a state of indeterminacy, either gay or straight, which will be fixed when the "box is opened", the box-opening moment being the person getting involved with a person of the same or the opposite sex, thus becoming gay or straight.

This, of course is bollocks, but the inability of people, both gay and straight, to see beyond a binary division of sexuality remains a problem.  I myself have been part of this problem - there was a time when I saw someone saying "I am a bisexual man who's never had a homosexual experience" as ridiculous posturing, rather than a legitimate statement of identity.

It's also a problem in scholarship on the ancient world.  For instance, I have seen the fact that Achilles and Patroclus are described by Homer as having sex with girls in The Iliad employed as an argument to demonstrate that they could not be themselves lovers.  Not the case, of course.

The binary divide is also employed in Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze, where Achilles is depicted as completely losing interest in Deidamia once he meets Patroclus.  It's as if a switch has been flicked from "straight" to "gay".  And I suspect that some people's problems with the poetess Sappho derive from the fact that she writes love poems to both men and women.

In the end, one has to accept that human sexuality is not that simple.