Now for anyone who has had their head in a hole (filthy people I meant in the ground) sexuality is clearly an issue I’m concerned about professionally and personally. I read endless articles weekly ‘debating’ issues on sexuality. However Cynthia Nixon’s comments this week caused such a storm around the gay press and blogosphere I felt I should comment.
Nixon, of Sex and the City fame has a female partner stated regarding her sexuality “I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice.”
Now quite rightly this enraged quite a few people, on the whole the enlightened world is coming around to the idea that we are who we are or just born whatever which way (to borrow shamelessly a couple of gay anthems there). Unsurprisingly Nixon, who has to be fair spoken out in support of many LGBT causes in the past, was keen to defend her comments. She went on to say that she worded it that way because of the dislike she’s felt for being bisexual, saying
“I don’t pull out the ‘bisexual’ word because nobody likes the bisexuals. Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals.”
It doesn’t necessarily justify what she says but it does highlight something that bisexuality, if anything is something that doesn’t get talked about much.
I was reminded however of a much more eloquent account of personal experience and opinion on the topic by the luminous and magnificent Mark Gatiss (if you don’t know who he is seek out his work immediately you won’t be sorry) did with the Guardian a long time ago, I saved the quote but had to look for the article-here it is:
“I had a girlfriend before I ever had a boyfriend, but it was just a phase. I think a lot of people who say they are bisexual aren't. I loved her dearly and we had a very nice time, but on the Kinsey scale, I would say I was always predominantly gay.”
Now to me, what Gatiss is saying makes sense and I agree. Figuring out your sexuality isn’t easy-despite people saying they’ve ‘always known’ we all go through phases of debate, doubt and yes denial. You can also I believe love someone dearly and it still be a mistake (sexuality wise or otherwise too I’m sure many will agree!) I also agree with what Gatiss is saying-that yes there are many ‘bisexual’ people who aren’t-either they’re experimenting with the same sex in or the opposite sex before they grow and come to realise that actually they belong on one side of the fence or the other, if it’s done out of innocence or genuine exploration and not a ‘girls gone wild’ type attention seeking I have no problem with it. For Mr Gatiss above, with hindsight he’s saying ok no actually that wasn’t me, this is me (he’s now happily married to actor Ian Hallard, for anyone who is curious). If I too look back in 10, 15 years and say ‘Actually no that wasn’t me, but everyone I loved I loved as honestly and the best that I could’ then I’ll have done nothing wrong and there will be no shame in that.
That’s not to say that bisexuality should be like trying on different pairs of shoes until something fits-and by no means is it an easy choice. It’s a grey area that many people struggle to understand, I’ve blogged about my personal experience previously so I’ll spare you here.
I’ve spent a long time thinking am I actually one or the other, and honest answer: I don’t know yet I really don’t. I know I’ve been attracted to, had devastating crushes on and loved people of both genders so far. It’s a difficult and complicated way to have your head and (oh lets say it once more) your heart work, but ultimately I am no different to anyone else. Another part of Gatiss’ interview I felt drawn to was this:
“I was always ready for a serious relationship. I remember 12 years ago going on holiday, sitting in the airport on my own, thinking: "This is meaningless without someone to share it with."
And it doesn’t matter for him it was waiting for a man and for me that I’m not quite sure who I’m waiting for until I meet them (or perhaps I have and don’t know it?) I find myself agreeing with the sentiment, the need and the desire. And that is the most important thing for me, regardless of gender.