“Someday…” is a series written by contributors, who pen their thoughts and hopes for a more open-minded society.

 

People and their sexuality can be classified with relative ease. First they’re divided into two camps – Either you’re straight, or you’re not.

If you’re not, that’s where the acronym LGBT comes in, efficient as a sorting hat, placing people into neat sub categories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

Of these, bisexuals are the perhaps trickiest to categorise, because they are inclined to both genders. Some in the LGBT community regard them with some degree of suspicion, because they have the best of both worlds, they have all the options, and if they’re lucky, they never have to deal with the sticky process of coming out.

Throughout history, bisexual women have been ostracized by their Sapphic sisters for their romantic and physical relations with men. And while bisexuals these days have a movement of their own, and their own coloured flag to boot, the meaning of the word remains nebulous.

Dictionaries define it as men or women who are sexually attracted to both genders. Others seem to think that in order to be considered “authentically” bisexual, one should have been in relationships with both sexes. Yet I know people who, despite having been with both genders, do not consider themselves bisexual because they are still discovering which gender preferences suit them best.

And having come from an all-girls secondary school, I’ve seen my fair share of teenage lesbian romances give way to traditional, heterosexual, long-term relationships come junior college and university.

“Turning straight,” we used to call it, in a more youthful and ignorant past, dismissing these relationships as experimental girl-on-girl trysts their proponents dabbled with merely because it was trendy at that time.

But if sexual attraction to the same gender – no matter how brief or fleeting – is enough to identify one as bisexual, perhaps the LGBT community is far larger than we think. Not all of them are chest thumping, flag-waving activists who bleed rainbow stripes.

I have old friends who, at first glance, might look completely straight. Having left their same-sex crushes behind, they might have settled down for the long haul in a heterosexual partnership. Perhaps today, they might not even remember the heady rush of falling for someone of the same gender. Should we consider them heterosexual? That’s debatable. Does it make them part of the LGBT circle? It should, but to the conventional eye, it doesn’t.

The LGBT community champions love and acceptance for all. But sometimes its penchant for neat and dandy categories means people who don’t fit the characteristics of any, or identify with the sentiment of a larger group, are set adrift.

In the ongoing quest for public acceptance, people in the LGBT circle often see themselves as the minority. But when we strip away the labels and open up boundaries on the Venn diagram of sexual attraction, perhaps we’ll realize we’ve got a far larger pink dot than we could have ever imagined.

So maybe it should be less about the LGBT, and more about the Everyone. After all, we’re all part of the movement too.

Clara is a third-year Journalism undergraduate at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University. She is currently interning at a magazine publishing company and also champions elephant conservation.

Do you have a story to share? If yes, we want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]

Keep in touch!

Close Menu

TV host and writer Anita Kapoor, shot to fame as the clear favourite winner of a Discovery travel host search and has not looked back since. Insatiably curious and possessing a natural wit, this former magazine editor has explored the world for Discovery TLC, AXN, Lonely Planet, Channel News Asia and OKTO, and Starwood Asia Pacific channels, forever on a quest to pioneer the non-conformist stories and locations, especially to connect with the provocateurs who move their worlds.

She is an ambassador for the Singapore chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and her advocacies include Willing Hearts which feeds Singapore’s marginalised, Magic Bus which empowers childrens’ lives in India through sports, and A Single Love which supports single parents. She has also spoken at TEDx Singapore Women 2012 on ‘Female to Female Misogyny in the First World’.

As a Pink Dot ambassador this year, Anita hopes to extend her voice on issues of equality as she firmly believes that everyone deserves equal rights, regardless of the hand they have been dealt in life.

“I see the rights of LGBT people as human rights, really. Everyone deserves to be treated equally – in society, in employment and in the eyes of the law. I believe that as fellow human beings, it’s important to stand together – to speak up for one another when we have the ability and opportunity to do so.”

Anita continues: “There’s a lot of work to be done, a lot of people we need to reach out to. Every one of us has the capacity to be a hero to someone else. I hope more Singaporeans will join us at this year’s Pink Dot. Because together, we can make this a more inclusive society for everyone.”