Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right


Does anyone remember being young? I remember..I remember feeling attraction to girls. I remember even having a "girlfriend" - you know- put a little note in her desk saying "I like you - do you like me" type of girlfriend. I loved her short, brown, bouncy hair. She was cute, she was fun...she was my first crush. Of course, I was 7 so such young love was innocent.  I also remember about the same age being with my neighbor,  my best friend - a boy-  "I show you, you show me" in his backyard shed. That too was innocent. 

As I grew up there was always that unexplained duplicity and confusion: how can I liked girls but have this strange interest in boys?  In high school, I certainly admired other hot girls and could chat with my buddies about them. We could check them out together, and when I got to college I had the reputation of being quite the ladies man. Yet, despite the brash, cocky attitude that everyone saw, inside I was torn. Yes, I jumped from one girls bed to another, was the "campus whore" but I hid a secret nobody knew - my eyes always wandered to the boys. 

But, damn, I wasn't gay - because being gay means I should be artistic or flamboyant or feminine or, yes some would say "swishy".  But I wasn't any of those things so how could I be gay?  I was into hanging with "my bros", drinking, smoking pot, sports. I had little in common with those "fags" - which added to the confusion. 
You see Frat Star isn't much different from me when I was young. He's brash, cocky, conceited, and until recently when he came out - deep down he was completely confused on which side of the isle he should stand.  I don't think I'm completely straight because I'm thinking about guys, but, I can't be gay because look that that group over there! Where do I fit in? I'm not Kurt from Glee and societies definition of the gay person being a man in drag makes me equally repulsed. I'm neither. Can you tell me someone out there has never felt that way?

Being young and confused is depressing, troubling, and  is full of peer pressure. When everyone else is making plans for the Prom, you're wondering whether inviting a girl is the best choice or whether not going is the better option.
Frat Star makes some amazing points in his Manifesto. He describes the tumult of being bi incredibly well:
  • the pressure of pleasing your parents and relatives: "If I came out publicly my old man would die of shame – his old army buddies wouldn’t approve – while my mom would encourage me to buy some queer condo in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood so I could live with my “life partner.”"
  •  the wonder if you will be accepted by your friends: "Isn’t college supposed to be the time where you make mistakes, where you experience new emotions and feelings, where you try on a bunch of new things to find out who you really are and then you make an educated decision as to who you really are? No, that is a lie, a goddamned lie."
I find it hard to believe that others out there, gay, bi, trans..anyone who is different in any way hasn't wondered if their sexuality would be accepted by their family, friends, peers.
I love the way Frat Star has used metaphors to describe his journey (his first taste of alcohol, the organized chaos of a turbulent airplane ride). He also describes how an experiment with the same sex shouldn't relegate you to being gay. "You feel guilty as fuck and want to rip your guts out for being different. You look at your folks, who aren’t perfect, but see that they’re pretty happy with what they’ve got in life. You want that. You look at your girlfriend and see how dedicated she is to you. You want to give her that back. You look at your boys and see them running up and down the crease with you. You want to “defend this house” with them."
Has no one out there looked around the plane wondering if they're going to survive the flight only to see the different reactions on board..from the calm seasoned traveler to the frantic soccer Mom? It's almost impossible to explain to someone what it is like to be bi. Yet Frat Star's metaphor is ingeniousness in breaking that impossibility.

Frat understands that the bisexual population is a hidden "disease" of society.  Now you see "ED" commercials for Erectile Dysfunction (but more commonly known as people who can't get it up) or "IBS" for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or people who shit their pants) - all previously little discussed embarrassing conditions. But, being bi still is a pox on that no one wants to admit much less discuss. That keeps our group searching for relief in bookstores, glory-holes, bathrooms and on line. It makes the foot tapping of a Senator in a bathroom headline news in America. As Frat Star says: "It’s the most complicated form of sexuality because there aren’t any firm rules about sex in our own minds. We aren’t completely straight nor are we gay. Instead bi kids fall somewhere in an uncomfortable middle and that is where the criticism begins."

Why is Frat's piece so important? Because, coming from a young man, it defines the mentality of a confused young man with amazing preciseness:
"Being bisexual is not like a menstruation cycle, as some people would suggest, where I’m a “normal” kid for 29 days and then on the 30th I turn into a “faggot.” This is not a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation. Nor is it because I have a hyperactive sex drive and my promiscuity just overflows from girls into dudes. The problem with bisexual kids is that they value the person and they derive their sexual attraction from their individual connection with a person. Instead of lumping our emotional and sexual attractions together, they are entirely separate. Our penis may lead one way and our heart may lead the other. Society hates this. They want to tell us that we’re wrong because they don’t understand how we work. This is the worst thing possible for young male bisexuals, because they can’t fight back against an ingrained system. No wonder identifying as bisexual is a terrifying prospect for most young men."

Does Frat Star make mistakes? Yes, we all do, except of course the pious Anonymous criticizers of my blog who are impervious to human imperfections. Will he piss off some with his assertive, self-confidence? Absolutely. But, again, he's a young, smart, handsome, alpha male. It's funny, despite his bravado, ultimately, he wants what you want, what we all want: acceptance and internal peace.

Frat's chosen a side even though he doesn't conform with the majority. After some confusion about his sexuality, he now says he's gay, even though his wardrobe doesn't contain fuchsia. Even though going to the Gay Pride parade in a boa and bikini isn't in his future. He breaks the mold of what society deems "gay" by being himself and for that realization we should all be thankful. Because being bisexual, being gay, being a lesbian, being a transgender..cannot be defined in a pretty little box. Sexuality isn't always as clear as a check box on a census form.

That's why I love Frat Star because when I was young I was like him. Yes, a little arrogant but still confused. Thankfully he's intelligent enough to choose a better path for his life than me.  That doesn't mean we still don't have commonalities. He's traveled a rocky path and most likely hasn't reached his ultimate destination. He should be lauded for sharing his feelings and thoughts here on my blog.

I'm thankful that he has expressed himself here, despite the animosity some of you have laid on him for exposing himself and for showing us his vulnerable side. Yes, some of you are no better than the bullies that you despise.  I for one am happy that I can count Frat Star as a colleague, a friend and more importantly,  Bi Like Me.

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