While the article mentions “bisexual erasure” I think a problem as far as portraying bisexuals in TV or other media is “bisexual invisibility”, caused mainly by the assumption that a person can only be straight or gay or lesbian, and that whoevever they’re with or attracted to at a particular moment defines their orientation. It’s easy, and sometimes not wrong, to judge a person’s sexual orientation based on who they’re sleeping with or married to.
I’m glad the article focuses on, among others, Callie Torres from Grey’s Anatomy, because I know quite a few people who have said, “she’s gay now,” as though there’s no such thing as bisexuality, and as though sexual orientation is a choice. It’s funny. I’d think people who believe sexual orientation is a choice would be more likely to believe in bisexuality, but more often the opposite seems to be true.
I’m a little surprised the article didn’t mention SPOILER Congressman Frank Underwood from House of Cards or Lt. Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica.
Shouldn’t that read “who are both straight and gay”? Neither would be asexual no?
I’m seriously asking.
While technically I guess someone who’s bisexual could be described as “both straight and gay”, I also understand that, in spite of its inclusiveness, such a description could be seen as relegating a bisexual person to the very categories they’re trying to break out of.
There’s also have the idea of a “gay community”, so I understand some people who are bisexual wanting to carve out a community of their own, or at least have a subgroup that’s part of the LGBT community while emphasizing their distinctiveness.
Orange is the New Black is a better indicator than side characters IMO. Having the main character’s conflicting relationships in the forefront in a popular show matters more than any amount of side characters.
I think I’d say it’s less about carving out a community of it’s own, than the L&G’s not always being so welcoming in the whole LGBT community. Often the B’s and the T’s are token are best in some places. It kind of creates a no-win situation where you get shit for being gay from straight folks, and get shit for being fake from gay folks.
No mention of Capt. Jack Harkness in that piece? Really?
What TenthKeyDav said. Once American/cable TV shows hit the level that Torchlight (BBC) hit years ago then I might be interested. Right now they’re tiptoeing over a very low bar.
The question got me wondering about the value of labels. Sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever get to a point where labels are no longer necessary, although I think my real ideal is a world where people can apply to themselves whatever label they think describes them best and not get any shit about it from anyone else.
I had been thinking about this for awhile after watching Orange is the New Black. This article inspired me to write some of my own thoughts on being bi and bisexuality in books and media. http://wp.me/p3e1dg-dh
I’m not sure we can get away from labels. Our minds always create this kind of shorthand for boxing folks up and identifying them. I think the real problem is we adhere too much to labels, even when we are told it’s hurting people. I don’t necessarily mind labels, but I would like people to be more mindful of the outcome of labeling someone.
I like your ideal where each person can label themselves as they see fit, and be accepted for it.
He’s pansexual. Bisexuality would be limiting for Captain Jack.
He still won’t do Daleks or Cybermen.
(or would he?)
He probably would if they were willing. I’m not sure how that would work with Cybermen. Daleks at least have a fleshy body.
“Gay” doesn’t just mean “attracted to the people of the same sex”, it means “exclusively attracted to people of the same sex” and “straight” is explicitly used to mean “not queer” so you definitely can’t be both.
Came here to bring up Capt. Jack. Wasn’t disappointed by the ensuing bi- pan- sexual discussion.
What’s more he’s /literally/ pansexual, rather than the way it’s typically used. He’s up for /anything/.
ATtaching cybernetic to flesh PLEASure modULE. INSTAllation COMPLete, commencing seXUAL INTERcourse activities. OH CAPTain Jack HARKness, have you been a NAUGHty UNCONVERTED subject?
This was not a very well researched article, as the SyFy show Lost Girl’s lead character, Bo, is demonstrably bisexual and this isn’t hidden in any way.