A Very Small Table

Letter to Bay Windows, September 1995, written in response to a biphobic Guest Opinion in Bay Windows by Bruce Bower.

Bruce Bower Has A Very Small Table
Bruce Bower, the author of A Place at the Table, appears to have a very small table, and very few chairs around it. I was saddened to read his Guest Opinion on “Bisexuality and Confusion.” Being the former, and not the latter, I am tired of having my identity invalidated, of being told that bisexuality confuses mainstream society and therefore harms the gay movement.

One of my favorite buttons says, “I act this way to piss you off.” But, on the contrary, I do not call myself bisexual to piss Bruce Bower (or anyone else) off. I call myself bisexual because that is the truest label I can locate to describe my reality. I have identified as bisexual for 20 years now. I am proud, and out, and fully committed to my community, which includes lesbians and gay men, as well as bisexuals and (gasp!) even some heterosexuals.

My sexuality does not mean “this is what I feel like doing this week,” as Bruce Bower seems to think. Rather, it means that if and when I do fall in love, it could be with a man or with a woman. Period. I do not call myself bisexual to be trendy: despite the recent media frenzy about bisexuality, I do not find that people think I am cool when I identify myself as bisexual. Rather, I more often encounter stereotyping such as that perpetrated by Bower.

I don’t know whether Bower has noticed, but there has been a media frenzy about ALL OF US in the past few years. It seems that almost every day the Boston Globe has a “gay” story. And I think that’s great. We need to be visible. Think back to ten years ago when stories about lesbigay people were few and far between and we NEVER appeared on television.

We have nothing to gain by internal fighting. We have much to gain by supporting each other and working together in coalition. I am not your enemy.

Finally, I say to Bruce Bower. I can and do face who I really am. It’s you who can’t seem to face me. This is my reality. Get used to it. Treat me with the same respect you ask for yourself.

Robyn Ochs
Cambridge MA

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