Thursday, November 16, 2006

Two bits from a bi

One of the very great things about running this blog is that it puts me in contact with all sort of people. Today, in honor of the gay parade that wasn't, I'm pleased to present a guest post submitted by a bisexual Jewess (no idea which branch - if any - she affiliates with)


I was very confused as a teenager.

Boys really turned me on.

Girls . . .well . . . um . . .well, oddly enough . . .

But boys really turned me on.

So that meant I was normal, wasn't I?

Wasn't I?

In the town in which I grew up, homosexuals were completely in the closet, and homosexuality, if spoken of at all, was spoken of in whispers.

I was in college the first time I ever heard the word "lesbian."

I may have been even older than that the first time I heard the word "bisexual."

I'd been married for over a decade before I first admitted to myself that I was bisexual. This is as far out of the closet as I've ever come, and as far out as I ever intend to come: Since I have no intention of leaving my loving husband, I see no point in upsetting him.

I believe that sex and sexuality are strictly private matters. That means that I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of literally parading my sexuality in the streets, be they the streets of Jerusalem or elsewhere. But it also means that I'm a strong supporter of civil unions for gays. What business does the government have to tell two consenting adults with whom they're allowed to spend the rest of their lives? And why shouldn't a life partner be permitted to insure his/her life partner's health and visit his/her life partner as next of kin on his/her deathbed in the hospital?

But enough of the political. What about the personal? For me, being bi has the advantage of enabling me to "pass." I found me a good man, and we've been married for a good while. But bisexuality has the disadvantage of making me feel "surrounded." A straight person never knows when he/she is going to be momentarily attracted to a member of the opposite sex. A gay person never knows when he/she is going to be momentarily attracted to someone, either, but the attraction comes from a person of the same sex. Now imagine what it would be like to be open to attraction from both sides of the mechitzah. I can be equally distracted by a woman in a low-cut top and by a man in tight jeans. The Sh'ma's injunction not to go a-whoring after the explorations of one's eyes--"v' lo taturu acharei . . . eineichem asher atem zonim achareihem"—is a tad tougher on a bisexual. The need to control one's eyes, to keep it all locked inside, can be a bit more challenging when there's literally no place where one can go to avoid temporary temptation.

Anyway, that's two cents from a "fence-sitter," just to try to help you understand what it's like.

Born Surrounded

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