NEW SHOW TO WATCH ASAP!! STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND START BINGING!!Hulu recently released a new British TV series from Channel 4 called The Bisexual. 6 episodes were released in October, each about 30 minutes in length.
The main character of the show (Leila) is ending a 10 year relationship with a woman and begins to explore relationship with men. She struggles with her identity and how to label herself, as she isn’t comfortable with the term “bisexual.”
The main goal of the show is to break through the stereotypes of bisexuality in hopes of moving forward.
As a bisexual, I found this show incredibly relatable. I’m continuously being seen one way or the other depending on who I am with – appearing straight with men but gay with women. It’s hard to truly be seen as a bisexual, and even when we are seen, we are incredibly oversexualized. It’s difficult to point out bisexuals in the media, and sometimes this is seen as a phase or something we will grow out of. Straight people may see me as gay while the gay community may see me as straight. Bisexuality is not always recognized and not always taken seriously.
These are the ideas that this show explored for me.
There were two specific scenes within this amazing set of episodes that really hit home to me on a personal level: one as a bisexual, and the other simply as a human.
The first scene deals with some of the connotations surrounding the word bisexual and what associations the main character makes when she hears the word:
Gabe: Do you think that maybe, you’re a bisexual?
Leila: I don’t like that word.
Gabe: Why not?
Leila: When you hear “bisexual”, you think like, Tila Tequila. And you think, Anne Heche.
Leila: Exactly. There’s nobody. There’s no precedence. When I hear “bisexual” I think, “lame slut.” It’s tacky. It’s gauche. It makes you seem disingenuous – like your genitals have no allegiance. You know? Like you have no criteria for people. It’s there’s just an open door policy. It’s not a nice thing to be, it’s not a cool thing to be, and it makes my fucking skin crawl.
HA. And there it is. All the wonderful stereotypes that come along with bisexuality wrapped up in one wonderful paragraph. We are considered promiscuous and indecisive attention-seekers with a lack of heart and no commitment to anything. Hearing all of these things said out loud was freeing to me. It made me laugh, and it made me proud. And it made me excited to tear it all down.
The other scene that hit home to me was regarding intimacy and experiences with other people:
Jon-Cris: How many people have you been this intimate with?
Leila: Like had sex with?
Jon-Cris: No, no, how many people have you laid in bed with all day and held hands with, talked about your childhood with, how many like five? More than five?
Leila: I don’t know.
Jon-Cris: More than ten?
Leila: Why does it matter?
Jon-Cris: Because you can’t just open someone up and make then feel safe and then change your mind the next day. It makes your intimacy worth shit. You are an emotional intimacy whore.
Damn. I felt that shit waaaay too hard. I’ve found a lot of meaning in my relationships, even if I’m not a fan of what a standard serious relationship might look like. I’ve bonded with people on so many levels and in so many different ways that all hold significance to me. Hearing these words and thinking about what my answer might have been definitely made me think – am I also an emotional intimacy whore? Is it wrong that I have the ability to connect deeply with someone, even if its temporary?I recorded these two scenes on my phone and played them for myself over and over, hearing each word and how they made me feel. Overall, it made me feel proudly misunderstood. People of all communities seem to forget that the B in LGBTQ hold substance, and there are a large amount of people who identify with this word. We are curious people of course, but we are also so many other things.
Most importantly, we are individuals. And all of our journeys are different in their own way.
So yeah, please go watch this show. It holds a lot of significance to me, and I hope to other bisexuals as well.
Thanks for reading.