Channing Tatum allegedly “came out” as bisexual a couple years back and ever since has been this dancing, stripping, manly beacon of pan-sexual tendencies. Whether or not the Chan Man actually spends his time lockin lips with all the chromosomes, I don’t really know, and I try not to base my opinions off of tabloids instead of interviews (celebrities actually talk you know). A couple years before Channing found the lime light, there was another bisexual beauty…Anne Heche. She was Ellen Degeneres’ hubby before they split and she remarried. Heche however, did not get the praise and acceptance that Channing was welcomed by. Maybe because she was talking about being , or maybe because just won’t let you mess with Ellen, but it was a big deal (See this article in People from 2000 talk about the big break). Bigger than college girls kissing big deal. She was a lesbian and then she wasn’t. Ah! The apocalypse! Or maybe, just maybe, sexuality isn’t quite as black and white as pop culture wants to make it. Maybe our neat labels should be a little more like holograms, and should be able to change, like most human beings do.
Everyone knows that sexuality in Hollywood is basically a caricature depiction of femininity and masculinity, and that until recently (like 2010 recently) gay and lesbian actions were as much a stunt for young starlets as slipping a nip on the red carpet. Remember Britney and Madonna locking lips at the VMAs? It was ALL OVER the news for way too long. That kind of publicity stunt reminded me of the whole Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson nip slip debacle at the Super Bowl a couple years later. It wasn’t a relationship, and we weren’t witness to a real kind of love, sexuality was and often still is about the entertainment value. I have a lot to say about Miley Cyrus and her ridiculous tumble into this weird sub-culture where everybody licks things and promotes serious drug habits and exploits other sub-cultures, but her VMA stunt was the same kind of sexuality puppet as all the others before her. It was to get us talking, and boy does America like to talk.
The REAL story is that in America, sexuality confuses us. Neil Patrick Harris, one of the more progressive gay-rights activists in Hollywood, plays a suave womanizing character on How I Met Your Mother. I end up thinking, how can we keep promoting this weird degrading character and the actor who openly represents almost the complete opposite and not realize how contradictory it is? Just because everyone knows someone who acts like a Barney Stinson, doesn’t mean we should accept that kind of behavior as a social norm unless EVERYONE was allowed to act that way. I still don’t see any women in sitcoms who get to pick up guys like Barney picked up girls. And I certainly don’t see any accurate depictions of the gay dating scene, or any gay/lesbian Barney-like sexual beings on TV. I love Will and Grace as much as… well anyone who likes Will and Grace, but I don’t think we get the suave sexual gay man or woman vibe from those characters. They are entertaining, but still caricatures of actual life.
This isn’t even what I meant to talk about. What I meant to explain, was that bisexuality is not the mythical unicorn of sexuality. In fact it’s a lot more common than our culture admits. The one thing I like and support about this new Miley-esque pan-sexual movement, is that it encourages people to consider sexuality as a spectrum, rather than the boxes and labels that a lot of the entertainment industry puts people in. Which brings me to this- you are not a label.
You don’t have to be straight or gay or bisexual. You can just be. You can make out with a girl one day and a guy the next and like both of the experiences. That doesn’t make you bad or weird, it means that you are capable of sexuality that spans beyond the conventional definitions of American culture today. I think that as a society, and because of the gay rights movement, we are finally moving towards a way of thinking that allows people to be judged based on who they are rather than who they kiss. But that kind of thinking spreads like any other trend, and we have to first recognize what we are trying to promote in order to transfer a message worth agreeing with.
Here is F’s Sexuality Spectrum:
1. Sex is not forbidden, but it is always risky (emotionally and physically) and is always CONSENSUAL.
If it’s not consensual, it’s not sex. Rape culture is not cool. Sex is cool. Don’t think it’s ok to laugh about non-consensual sex, or non-consensual situations no matter who is involved and what gender they are. No is no, drunk is drunk, be educated enough to know the difference. And just as importantly, be accepting enough to let sex be just sex when everyone is on board.
2. Love is not gender-specific, and neither is sex.
Men, women, transgender, and transsexual people all have hormones. We are all people. Most of us want to have sex, love, and be loved. You don’t have to choose whether you love men or women, you can choose the people you love because of who they are and how they treat you. Sex and sexual acts are possible between any and all gender variations, so as long as you both want to, do what makes you feel good.
3. You don’t have to be straight or gay or bisexual… neither does anyone else.
Sexuality is not black and white, there are a million shades of grey in between, and you don’t have to pick a side and stick to it. You can choose your partners based on mutual attraction. That attraction might depend on the day. That doesn’t make you wrong, it makes you human. Try to be as open, honest, and understanding of yourself as possible. Once you can understand, accept, and love your own tendencies, its much easier to spread that love and understanding to others.
In our constantly evolving sexual culture, it is important to remember that there are universal messages that we can apply to everyone. We can spread the right things instead of just shaming all the wrongs. I think it’s time we started spreading a message worth believing in, and worth practicing. So if you think so too, pass it on.