Notice that it is not “How I Became a Bisexual Author.” That part is easy. As a Bisexual, I would be a Bisexual author whether I was writing about spaceships or hog futures. Lately there’s been a lot of talk about “Bisexual erasure,” Quite often, a Bisexual who is involved with someone of the same gender will be assumed to be Gay. Likewise, a Bisexual involved with an opposite gender partner is assumed to be straight. And often the Bisexual in question will just let the assumption slide by uncorrected. (A friend of mine said he had to come out to his Mom all over again whenever he was dating a guy instead of a girl.)
Identifying somebody as Bi in fiction can be about as complicated as in real life, but I’ve covered the fiction angle in a previous column. So what makes somebody (like me) a Bisexual author?
Like a lot of writers I put a lot of myself into the characters I write about, even the ones who behave very badly. When I am writing LGBT fiction I assume my avatar is Bi. Oddly, I don’t assume that when I write about people in opposite sex relationships. In a flash fiction piece I wrote a few weeks ago to belatedly honor Bisexual Awareness Week I had one character talking to his husband about his ex-girlfriends and boyfriends. But I can be too subtle; not making a character’s orientation more specific which messes with a story when it turns out to be necessary to the plot.
And in real life, I can be subtle. Nonchalant. I don’t brag about being Bi but I don’t brag about being a writer either. Even though I have t-shirts proclaiming both. It’s just part of who I am. I don’t go tooting my horn about it. My life and my writing seem to parallel in that respect. And since coming out several years ago, I’ve made sure to include Bi characters in my fiction. Knowing myself the way I do, I realize I’d make a lousy militant but I definitely am a Bisexual author and the writing itself is how I raise the violet flag.
GOING OFF-TOPIC: A shout-out to our moderator J. Scott Coatsworth for his new novel “The Stark Divide.” Check it out—it’s definitely Queer Sci-Fi!
Jeff Baker Blogs about reading and writing sci-fi, Fantasy and horror and other sundry matters around the thirteenth of each month. His latest story appears in Queer SciFi’s “Renewal.” He appears on Facebook as “Jeff Baker, Author” and blogs and posts fiction at “http://authorjeffbaker.com.” He lives in Wichita, Kansas with his husband Darryl. (Yes, he uses way too many parentheses.)