The Tila Tequila show is pushing societal boundaries, as it pushes sexuality, and the freedom of being fluid in to the mainstream. It is like other dating shows where there are handfuls of folks vying for the love of a partner – in this case 16 men and 16 women who are seeking the affection of Tila, a woman who says she came out to the world via the TV program.
Discussion and articles about the idea of the identification of bisexuality have been thrust in to the forefront of conversation and Internet sensation because of the show, mainly because the concept has been long questioned – just like being queer has long been discussed as a choice.
Many say that bisexuality – for a woman anyway – is a trend, a way to turn on men. A valid argument. We live in a world where women are still objectified and marginalized, and the idea of a woman kissing another woman makes a man tingle…it is the ultimate fantasy for those who feel that two females could never be truly be in love with one another, but rather that they want to please the patriarch. Others say that bisexuality is a stepping-stone for those on their way to acceptance of being gay.
Tons of books can be purchased where women and men can read the trials and tribulations of being bi, and many discuss this concept. One book, “Bi Any Other Name,” opens with a cartoon:
Your lesbian friends: “Internalized homophobia won’t allow you to accept your lesbianism.”
Your straight friends: “Your interest in women is an attempt to avoid your fear of intimacy with men.”
Your mother: “You’re sick.”
While simple, these interpretations run the gamut of the ways in which society feels about not conforming to the hetero norms that the powers-that-be set up many moons ago. Women, in particular, are supposed to marry a man, have a career, take care of the home, raise children, and the like. Often, the question of bisexuality has been an argument against these “requirements” because coming out is a hard-thing to do, and many contend that parents, friends and society-at-large are more willing to accept this orientation because, well, there is still a chance that normativity can still be clinched. As if it’s only an experiment.
But for folks who identify as such, it’s not a joke, or a test. It’s real for them. And in fact I have heard that many people feel like they are marginalized in an already marginalized gay community. It’s an interesting dialogue that really may only be absolved (but then again maybe the topic of sexuality should never really end…we should continue to stretch our labels and boxes), if we can successfully break through the gender role glass ceiling.