I won't link to the diary which triggered this one. That would turn this into a rules-violating call-out. But I couldn't leave what I read unchallenged and I actually started this as a comment there. Once I realized that my negative comment was going to be diary length, in courtesy I had to publish it separately. It won't be a stealth attack, though. After I publish this reply to his diary I'm going to notify him I've done so. I do recommend kossaks find that diary, though, because the comment thread is well worth your time.
I found his hectoring attitude about bisexuals quite offensive. Before I write the rest of my comment on his diary (and I intend to discuss the bisexual closet he claims the commenters in his diary wouldn't discuss) I should point out that he hasn't hurt my personal feelings. He couldn't hurt my personal feelings by his attitude toward bisexuals, because I am a Kinsey 6.
He totally, totally does NOT get it. I will try to explain it to him and to the rest of DK, by drawing on my own life experiences. In addition to being gay, I'm black, and 'born that way' in both communities. Let me explain about black subculture within America's white culture first.
You may or may not be aware that even blacks who consciously fought against the bigoted white over-culture still responded to it in many self-hating ways. To whites we were either white or non-white. Among ourselves we had the saying, "If you're white, you're all right. If you're brown, stick around. If you're black, get back." While this purported to be a statement about our treatment in the main culture it also showed itself in the way we treated each other within our community.
As a teenager I used to point out that we had taken white culture's either/or and turned it into a six-tier color bar among ourselves. I can't enumerate the number of times I raged inwardly when some admiring old lady raved over my "good" hair, the genetic result of my minority of Caucasian and Native American genes.
I had to listen with silent disgust as my mother described a congregation of very light-skinned blacks as having naturally loose morals and bad characters. When I indignantly described the incident to one of my white running buddies he snorted and said, "She would say that. --Your beige mother!" Mark B had met her, and knew what he was talking about.
Mother was beige; Grandmother was freckled, and so light-skinned that when Mark first met her he thought she was white. Fortunately, for his sake and mine, Grandmother didn't overhear him say to me "How come you didn't tell me your grandmother was white?" I replied, in a shocked whisper, "She's not! And don't ever let her hear such a thing!" The year was 1960.
Back in the day we had Passing, High Yellow, Brown, Dark Brown, Chocolate and Black. Stoveish was a street euphemism/epithet for "Black" that my mother once used as a teenager, while talking to her equally beige sister about a boy she fancied (Grandmother overheard and chastised them both verbally). Back then, most black professionals were beige. When we young 'colored' people embraced our blackness, we were rescuing the word from our own elders as well as from whites.
When I officially came out in 1958, I heard the same refrain in black gay bars and white gay bars. One was either a stud or a sister and bisexuals didn't exist. But bisexuals then and now had and have the same motivation for concealment that blacks who were Passing for whites had; both groups were, and bisexuals still are damned and despised by both sides.
A gay man ought to realize the greater-than-racial bigotry gay men faced. At the end of the day, a black American rejected or diminished by white prejudice could go home to his own community and family. A gay man is often rejected first by his own flesh and blood. Still, that gay man can find refuge among other gay men and lesbians.
To whom can a bisexual turn? His family categorizes him as gay. Heterosexual males will accept him less willingly than they'll accept gay men, because he is competition, with an inside track to the prize. Lesbians want nothing to do with him. Gay men, when they aren't declaiming his non-existence, treat him the same way most blacks treated very light-skinned blacks.
So lets talk about the bisexual closet, the one with doors to two different rooms. The 3 out of 4 bisexuals who stay in that closet do so because otherwise they'd be committing suicide at a higher rate than gay men and lesbians, and that's largely due to the attitudes and treatment they receive from gay men and lesbians.
2:23 PM PT: I fell asleep exhausted around 6 AM (72, with serious medical issues), intending to get back up after a couple of hours and tend to the diary. Instead I slept till after 11 AM and woke up to find private messages with links which I needed to read, and then respond to the messages.
The comment thread speaks about the need for this dialogue more eloquently than I can write. There are a few comments I need to respond to directly, and I will, but mostly you have all reached out to each other beyond my expectations. After 9 years this place still can profoundly surprise me in a very good way.
The other diarist has communicated with me and stepped up in the comments here. He is a wonderful and (usually) wise kossak, one of this site's treasures. Despite what he said about adjusting to recs of this diary I'm sure he won't really long-term be offended by the dialogue this has caused, and he has told me he believes that perhaps we together have sparked a necessary and (we both hope) positive dialogue.
Several of you have posted comments which indicate you thought I am bisexual; I'm not. I'm Kinsey6 gay, but I've been speaking out about marginalization of Bs by Ls and Gs for a long time. I have no clinical evidence that G and L attitudes have contributed to B suicide rates. What I have is more than 55 years of personal anecdotal evidence, in suicides and attempted suicides known to me professionally, personally or (in two cases) both.
Got this far at 3 PM, Brother came by on good and important family business..
As soon as I post this update I'll catch up on messages and comments. Thank you all. The most important reason for this update is the members of this blog who felt too afraid of both outing and rejection to speak up in either diary. In answer to one of them I wrote, in part:
I am gay, not bi, and I can assure you that a lot of other gay and lesbian and transgender kossaks have reacted as I did, to that diary. They didn't speak up on that diary, but they are glad I did react with an answer. I am hopeful they will, in future, react publicly with push-back against that kind of hostility and hectoring-from-ignorance. The overwhelming majority of the responses have been from bisexual men and women who felt just as you did after reading that post