You know, I published a little story not so long ago about the time decades ago that I had a brief sexual affair with my straight friend in the military. He was not bisexual; he told me he experienced no sexual attraction toward men, and I had no trouble believing him. The fact that sexual activity took place between us certainly did not impact his sexual orientation.

I certainly had my work cut out for me trying to explain that to the dozens of people who commented telling me that my friend must be gay or bi.

Conversely, I also published a story about a summer fling I had with a bisexual man. He experiences sexual attraction strongly toward both men and women. He identifies as bisexual.

He would be bisexual even if he never had sex with a man.

In educated queer circles, I get very little pushback about this kind of thing. But when I promote stories on social media, it seems like the general public and even many LGBTQ people have a very difficult time understanding what most people mean when we talk about orientation and identity.

You’ve highlighted some important fallacies. Let’s hope we can just keep telling stories and educating.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.