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Sanchez: Bisexuality under attack, yet again

BY SADIE SANCHEZ | JULY 21, 2015 5:00 AM

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British model and actress Cara Delevingne has been known for many things: striking eyebrows, witty candor, exuberant talent. But now, she’s opening up about a new aspect of her life — her sexuality.

In a recent profile for Vogue’s July issue — in which Delevingne graced the cover — the model-turned-actress discussed many topics from her mother’s heroin addiction to her role in next summer’s Suicide Squad, but the most controversial topic was her relationship with musician Anne Clark (known by her stage name, St. Vincent).

Delevingne attributed her newfound happiness and peace to falling in love: “I think that being in love with my girlfriend is a big part of why I’m feeling so happy with who I am these days.”

This lovely admission is soured, however, by the interviewer’s words that follow. Rob Haskell writes, “Her parents seem to think girls are just a phase for Cara, and they may be correct.”

This sentence, which could be perceived as a throwaway line, sparked a large and feisty controversy. People near and far took to the Internet to criticize Haskell’s words, claiming he seemed to demean her sexuality.

In an interview with the New York Times, published a month after the Vogue piece, Delevingne spoke up about the comments. “My sexuality is not a phase,” she said. “I am who I am.” And despite the public outrage, Delevingne throws the interviewer a bone, saying that she didn’t see anything “malicious” behind his words.

While this incident could be seen as a minor one, it reflects deep-rooted ideas about bisexuality that permeate our society.

Bisexuality is the most criticized sexuality on the spectrum, from both straight and queer people alike. Bisexual women are seen as promiscuous or greedy but ultimately heterosexual, while that notion continues bisexual men are actually just gay but not fully out yet. It’s a damaging and troubling misconception that harms thousands of people every day.

The list of bisexual celebrities is vast and diverse, from actors Channing Tatum, Kristen Stewart, and Allan Cumming to singers Miley Cyrus and Halsey, and, of course, Delevingne. With these many public faces speaking openly about their sexuality — and bisexuality taking up more than 50 percent of the LGBT+ community — why is it so taboo?

With one of the most common arguments against queer people being that their identity is a choice, some might see bisexuality as an example of that. This is because bisexual people have a “choice” in whom they date, whether it be a person of the same sex or not.

But that is completely false.

In the same way that gay people have no choice in whom they fall for, bisexual people are equally out of control. While their attraction might be vaster, their heart is just as picky. Any of us, no matter our sexuality, do not have control in whom we love. It is something that just happens. And to shame bisexuals because they fall in love with two sexes is just as inane as to say that sexual orientation is a choice.


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