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My experiences with the LGBTQ community have been, up to now, almost exclusively sexual in nature. Hook-up sites. Sex clubs. Group sex with men. I've done it all -- well, almost all.
I'm a bisexual man and I'm married to a woman I love. I'm lucky enough to be able to have sex with men as well. I find diverse people of all genders sexy and attractive.
But I don't want my inclusion in the community to be just sexual. I want it to be deeper. I want LGBTQ friends. I want to feel like I'm part of the community. After all, "B" is the third letter listed!
But, I just don't feel like I'm welcome in the community right now. When men I have sex with find out I'm married to a woman they tell me things like, "it's just a phase," and "you'll be gay eventually." They tell me bisexuality doesn't exist. They tell me what I do and how I define myself don't exist.
When I see depictions of the LGBTQ community in the media I see all the letters, but I rarely see bisexual men.
I have a tough exterior. I fight MMA. I'm a skateboarder. I'm tattooed from head to toe. But if you get to know me you know I'm a sensitive man. And the rejection of me being a bisexual man by other LGBTQ people hurts.
Bisexual men do exist, but I feel like the community doesn't believe it. Like most people in the community think the B in LGBTQ just shouldn't be there, or is a placeholder until I finally tell "the truth."
I find it perplexing. In the last decade we, and indeed society, have come to the understanding, if not the acceptance, that gender is a continuum. So why wouldn't sexual expression and gender desire be on a parallel continuum?
In 1948, Dr. Alfred Kinsey created The Kinsey Scale, which was his effort to create an understandable way to define human sexual desire. The Kinsey Scale went from zero, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to six, meaning exclusively homosexual. I'm deep in the middle.
We need to recognize that his work was groundbreaking more than 70 years ago. For me, and in truth so many other men, it still makes all kind of sense today.
In your defense, the "heterosexual" community isn't much better. It seems 99 percent of the couples who "swing" list the male partner as straight and the female partner as bi. This is the norm. Watch any straight porn and a bi scene between two chicks is de rigueur, but it rarely happens between the men.
I know my brazen sexuality makes a lot of people, no matter their orientation, uncomfortable. I'm not doing it for them -- I do it for the pleasure and enjoyment of my partner(s) and me. And I'm not at a loss for partners. I'm not here looking for pity.
Rather, maybe just a bit of empathy. I would like to be part of the community. The 'B' was put there for a reason. And if you're going to use it, then I ask the community to make more of an effort to find people like me and include us in the community and at your events.
I know I have a lot of tattoos and look a little different, but I clean up nicely and work really hard to be charming. And a lot of people seem to like the Australian accent.
I'm happy to read from my book (Still Awesome), be on a panel, march in a parade, or yell at ignorant lawmakers and people who tell me I'm going to hell.
Just don't use that initial and not mean it. Too many of us long to be in a community that will have us. Please be a little more welcoming, show us a little encouragement, and for fuck's sake, believe me when I tell you I am equally attracted to men and women.
Jason Ellis is an Australian born radio host with a professional background as a skateboarder, MMA fighter, truck racer, boxer, singer and successful author documenting all his life's adventures in a raw and honest way. He is an avid supporter and member of the LGBTQ+ community and a loving husband and father. Ellis hosts the The Jason Elllis Show on SiriusXm Radio every weekday afternoon and releases his third highly-anticipated autobiography Still Awesome: The trials and tribulations of an Egotistical Maniac on December 10.