Grey's Degays and Bisexuals Vanish in a Puff of Logic
On ABC's Grey's Anatomy last week, Calliope Torres played by the amazing Sara Ramirez (above) had a bi moment. She had an awesome sexual experience with a woman, and hours later had an awesome sexual experience with a man. The 2nd awesome led to the heartfelt bi moment, oh me oh my I like both and that's weird (but ok).
At least that's what it seemed like. Perhaps I was being super generous in hoping so and biphobia lurks abouts after all. It seems half of the same sex pairing is getting the boot from the show, and GA show runner Shonda Rhimes is defending said boot with:
ONTD! Oh, but you did. Now I'm wondering if Callie sleeping with a man and a woman in 1 day was just the first step in "her journey"...to lesbian. She liked it, and she "liked" it but she's a lesbian character? How much did you just diss the bi community?"Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian. Clearly it's not an issue as we have a lesbian character on the show – Calliope Torres. Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke's character would sustain in the long run. The impact of the Callie/Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie. I believe it belittles the relationship to simply replace Erica with 'another lesbian.' If you'll remember, Cristina mourned the loss of Burke for a full season."-Response to Michael Ausiello, EW
Here's some pointers to avoid ending up on The Bi Bitch List:
1) Recognize real life bisexuals like Angelina Jolie exist. Women can love and be with men, women, then men, then women, then women, then men...you get the picture. Unsettling to est. heterosexist rhetoric AND true. You will meet, know, love and care for people who are emotionally and/or sexually attracted to both sexes. They are not anomalies.
Bisexual families look like this too.
2) Avoid the stereotypes. Yes, "both sides of the fence" jokes can be fun, but for those who have no fence it makes little sense and is an offensive ignorance. Many bisexuals are monogamous, partner up and have kids. Some are more free loving and do not. All are separated from lesbians and gays, since they are "bi" and do not see in mono. All are separated from straights in the very same way. So a bisexual is not a 1/2 gay, or 1/4 straight or some mathematical equation that adds up to 1.
Who Likes Fences Anyways?
3) Check in with bisexual resources and organizations from time to time. Every studio and network flack has the GLAAD bus on call, but bisexuals are plenty sick of being thrown under it. When Transgender characters are written into shows, writers and actors often talk about their learning experiences...'cause they actually met with Transgender folk -- not just their Gay and Lesbian support group.
I hope film and tv writers keep trying to show the other sides of the rainbow. I've not counted them out just yet.