Bisexuality in the Media.

Yesterday, there was some talk on Twitter around the idea that Steve Rodgers (Captain America) in MCU is definitely not straight and how much some (myself included) would love to see him be bisexual (or some other variation). But, knowing Marvel and mainstream media as a whole, the likelihood that Steve would officially be bi, pan, ace, or the like is unfortunately and sadly really slim.

There are a couple things that I really started to think about after reading these tweets and expressing my own interest in a bisexual Steve Rodgers. The first was the stereotypes that many bisexual people have to deal with on a regular basis. We’re painted as greedy, unable to pick a side, that we’re half straight and half gay, that we’re confused or following a fad. We’re said to be transphobic because of our identity and often the chance to define it is taken from us.

2000px-Bi_flag.svgBut the thing is that bisexuality is a valid and complete identity – we’re not half one identity and half another. Bisexuality is a complete and separate identity, there for those who realize that’s how they feel. Eliel Cruz does an amazing job of saying why he claims bisexuality as an identity and defending the term from harsh stereotypes.

After thinking about all of that, I started to think of different bi characters that exist in movies, television shows, and other forms of media – only to realize that while there are a few bisexual characters out there, there seems to be this fear of characters actually saying and claiming bisexuality. There’s Angela Montenegro on Bones, Piper Chapman on Orange Is The New Black, Annalise Keating from How To Get Away With Murder, Maureen Johnson from the 2005 movie of Rent, Sara Lance from CW’s Arrow, Captain Jack Harkness from the reboot of Doctor Who.

But the thing about these characters (and others that I’m sure I’m missing), I have yet to hear any of them claim the label of bisexual. Hell, I’m not entirely sure I’ve really ever heard bisexual even come up in any major way and it seems for me at least to be a weirdly taboo term that studios shy away from ever acknowledging. Plus, bisexual men seem to be even fewer and far between, with only a really small percentage of bi characters being men.

I think it is important to claim bisexuality more in the media because it’s an identity that does exist in the world. I don’t think it’s important to revolve an entire character’s story around this specific identity nor should it be constantly in your face about it. But there are better ways to acknowledge an identity like bisexuality and actually saying it without being incredibly aggressive as well.

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5 thoughts on “Bisexuality in the Media.

  1. Another good (and very recent) example is Alana from Hannibal, who enters into a long-term relationship with a lesbian character without anyone on the show batting an eye. Even though we assume for the first two seasons of the show that she’s straight, her only meaningful and lasting relationship on the show is with a woman. She never says the word bisexual either, but I think Hannibal is a little different in that one of its main themes is pushing the boundaries of romantic and sexual attraction. None of the main characters can really said to be straight, but we never know what they might be, either. Everything’s fluid.

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