the label table

Hello! Welcome. Come right over here, to the label table. Please choose between "Hello, my name is _______, and I am STRAIGHT" or "Hello, my name is ________, and I am GAY". Fill out your label, and affix it to your chest so we can all see. Everyone will have their identity pasted on. Yay!

What's that you say, over there? Oh, you want one that says BISEXUAL? I'm sorry. Don't you know that bisexuals don't exist? Bisexuals are just greedy sluts who will sleep with people they aren't really attracted to if they don't have any other options. Or else bisexuals are closeted gays who are eventually either going to admit they are gay, or cop out and marry someone of the opposite sex, because that's the safe thing to do. Or sometimes, bisexuals are trendy schoolgirls who are "bi for the moment", because they are at an all-girls school or because they want to titillate the boys. Those are your options, so-called bi people. Go ahead and cross out "GAY" and write "BI" if you want to. Most of us will know you're lying, though.

What's that? You've been a happy and open bisexual for years? You say you're proud to be bi, and you're sticking with it? Oh fine, I don't want to argue. We'll put out three labels. The important thing is that we have labels, and you find the right one and stick to it.

Yes, you in front there. What do you mean, you don't know which label to choose? Well, it's a simple matter of who you're attracted to. It might take you a while to admit who you're attracted to (only if you're not straight, of course), but you have an innate and unchanging orientation, and all you need to do is realize it.

How do I know that? Well, everyone's saying so. Even the activists are saying that. Gay people (okay, and possibly bi people too) are just born that way, so everyone has to stop attacking them. Because they're born that way, there's nothing anyone can really do about it except pity them and tolerate them. Oh, and maybe abort non-straight fetuses once that 'gay gene' is finally tracked down. So there you go. Be proud if you're gay, and also don't feel too bad about it, because there's nothing you can do. Here, have a label.

Who's next? Oh right. You're the one who struggled to come out as gay, and had always fallen in love with women, and was never ever in a million years going to be able to be attracted to a man. But now you have a boyfriend. So, were you mistaken, then, originally? It was just a phase, right? No? You're still only attracted to women, except for that one guy, you say. Hmm, okay, I don't know what to do with you. You can go stand in the corner with that gay man who just married a woman, until we figure out what label to assign. The important thing is that we find the right label. Labels don't really change, you know, so I'm sure there's one for you yet.

And you? You supposedly chose to be attracted to women as well as men? What does that even mean? You can't choose. No, I don't care if you decided to open your mind and look for ways in which women could be attractive. You decided to try to be attracted to people of all genders and races and sizes and amounts of hair, and you found that you eventually succeeded? Well, that's very touching, I'm sure, but this isn't something you can choose. Clearly, you were secretly attracted to everyone all along, and it was just a matter of admitting it to yourself. Grab the right label, and stick to it.

Oh yes, and then there's you lot over there who claim that your orientation keeps changing. First you were more attracted to sex A, now you're more attracted to sex B... some of you seem to change your mind from year to year! Really, how fickle. Well, "bisexual" should encompass most of you, and if you slide all the way to one end of the spectrum, you can trade in their label. Nevermind that we said no label changing. The most important thing is that we keep using labels.

All, right, let's see, how can I help you? What's that you say? You used to be more emotionally attached to women, but more physically attracted to men, but now it's mostly switched? Well, I don.t know which label applies. Who do you date? What do you mean that you don't date exactly the set of people that you're attracted to? You mean your behavior and your attractions might not be identical? What an odd idea. Okay, I don't know, just pick a label. Please, just help the system out and stick with the labels.

Now you're going to bring gender identity into it? Your former husband is now your wife? You're intersex? You and your partner are both genderqueer? Oh, I give up!

Wait! Don't go! Can I interest anyone in a batch of "queer" or "straight?" Maybe we can pretend that that distinction, at least, is completely clear-cut? Somebody please help me man the label table! Anyone?