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The Girlfriend Game: Can I See Some I.D.?

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Lesbian? Gay? Bi-curious? Straight. Sexual identification isn’t always etched in stone. Sometimes, you can’t tell who the players are, even when you have the scorecard.

  Bisexual Jeans

Ever since that day, I’d been looking for excuses to wear my “bisexual” label like a new pair of jeans. Like a new pair of jeans that I wouldn’t wear to a family function or around my more conservative classmates, but which could be brought out around anyone who had dating potential. My soon-to-be-ex and her roommates were very cool with my new bisexual jeans.

But I didn’t get to wear them that night. I didn’t get a chance to answer the Guy’s question.

“We don’t assign labels to ourselves,” Di answered for us.

Part of me was relieved. Part of me felt good not to need a label. On the other hand, I was at a GLBT dance. I’d been talking to a drag queen, Susan, at the bar. If Susan felt comfortable being “out” here, then surely it wouldn’t have hurt for me to try out my bi label here.

“That’s cool,” the guy said. “I’ve heard people say that out in California, but never before in the Midwest.”

For this Indiana girl, it did feel cool, even though I was itching to yell out, “I like girls!”

The ladies and I went back inside and stepped onto the too-small dance floor. The four of us squeezed onto the parquet, writhing and twisting in pure joy. The DJ surprised us all with Nine Inch Nails. Never before have I so wanted to bow down before the one I served and get what I deserved.

When we had to leave, we climbed back into Di’s car. “You know,” Jessie said, “I love gay men. I think they’re totally cute. But I just don’t understand the appeal of anal sex.”

Di told her, “Well, not all gay men have anal sex. Sex means lots of different things to different people.”

I was twenty-two, slightly drunk, and riding in the back of a lesbian’s car, listening to Ani DiFranco with two other sexually ambiguous women. Sex meant a lot of things to me at that moment, but I was still going to bed alone. I lay in bed, dissecting the evening, wondering why I hadn’t connected with some beautiful girl. Was it my lack of a label that hurt me? Maybe I fit too easily into the “other” category, not lesbian enough to be approached with confidence by any of the lesbians, not bisexual enough to be approached with confidence by any of the other bisexual women.

  Bi My Valentine

Less than a year later, I was working as a hostess at a downtown South Bend restaurant. I met a cute boy. On our third date, he asked me if I’d ever kissed a girl. I told him about my college relationship. He didn’t even flinch. We got married in 2002.

We settled in Mishawaka, just a stone’s throw away from the fabulous bed and breakfast. A charming quirk of the city of Mishawaka, Indiana, is the old Kamm’s Brewery complex. Now it houses, among other things, a GLBT resource center/bookstore, a gay bar called Truman’s, and Little T’s (a Truman’s spin-off: a gay-themed sports bar, complete with life-size cardboard cutout of Dennis Rodman). This Valentine’s Day, we went to a dance sponsored by the resource center.

My husband didn’t flinch when I told him I’d had a girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean he likes me wearing my bisexual jeans in public. He doesn’t understand why I feel so much sympathy for the GLBT community when I appear to most of the world to be a married straight woman. Yet I wonder still, after all these years, how I could fit that definition in the Psychology text, be honest about it, and still not need to wear a sign that reads, “This is a bisexual.” There’s honesty, and then there’s honesty with full disclosure. The former does not always require the latter.

When we arrived at the Valentine’s Day dance, my husband and I were clearly labeled as heterosexuals. We were invited to sit with the only other hetero couple in residence, Scarlet and Randy.

For the first hour of the dance, the DJ totally sucked. Even for this romantic occasion, the only ones moved by his cheesy songs were a few pairs of middle-aged lesbians. Scarlet and Randy went up to him and requested something more spunky. They came back to the table, and Scarlet announced, “The DJ hates us.”

So we sat and watched the few couples on the dance floor. But I wanted to do more than watch. It was a mix of the ’70s and Moulin Rouge versions of “Lady Marmalade” that finally got us all, gay, lesbian and straight alike, off our asses and onto the dance floor.

With my husband grinding on me, I was clearly wearing my “straight” label tonight. I didn’t dance with any beautiful girls, but at least I wasn’t going home alone. At the end of the night, when we were starting to get tired, I sat on my husband’s lap as we watched one beautiful girl on the dance floor.

My husband’s favorite phrase is: “I don’t care who you’re lickin’ or stickin’.” He means there’s much more to a person than her or his sexual orientation. This is undoubtedly true. But, should you happen to find yourself looking to meet a pretty lady at a GLBT dance, it might not hurt to wear a sign that says: “I like girls.”


Contributor: Shanna Germain

I really enjoyed this article. As a bisexual/heteroflexible woman who was married for a long time, I often had that "Of course you're hetero" experience from others.

But what I really want to know is: Where do I get my bisexual jeans?!

Contributor: JennyNice

Nice article!
Lol, everything is great you really enjoy sex!
I found this place [] and that helped me to spice up my sex life
Maybe will be useful for somebody

Contributor: Illusional

I need those jeans!

Contributor: Janis

I think I have a pair or two of those jeans, but I try not to wear them too much around my boyfriend, out of respect for him. However, they're favourites of mine!