A couple of days ago, Nigerian Gay Twitter was triggered when a gay man took it upon himself to preach the gospel of bisexuality. First of all, I want to point out that the prejudice that bisexuals suffer from the LGBT+ community is real, vicious and very often unfair. (For the purpose of this writeup, I’m going to keep the focus on LGBT men because that’s the community I’m familiar with.) Very often, bisexual men catch a lot of flak for “crimes” that are generally overlooked as “one of those things” if a gay man were to perpetuate them. And it doesn’t help this boiling pot of bias that in the Nigerian society, most of the men who claim to be bisexuals while meting out hurts on the gay men they encounter are themselves not really bisexuals, but gay men desperately conforming to societal expectations, bastardizing a legitimate sexual orientation in the process. It also doesn’t help that the human nature has an inherent flaw where it magnifies the sins of a few into a definition of a whole, and so when a few bisexuals perpetuate a wrong, it is quickly taken up as a blueprint that defines anyone who identifies as bisexual.

Yes. The bisexual discrimination in the LGBT+ is not imagined. It is real. And it is a problem we should all make a concerted effort to find a resolution for.

And that was what I imagined the guy with the handle @JamesLantern2 set out to do: to conscientize Nigerian Gay Twitter on the need for us to be more considerate and less judgmental of our bisexual brethren.

And he started out well. He tweeted: “Dear Gay People, Bisexuality is not a privilege, neither is it an escape means or a life for cheating. Bisexuals go through same things and they do a lot of compartmentalizing to channel their energy to both sexes equally. Please do not write them off. They are valid. They exist.”

When I happened upon his tweet, I nodded my head in agreement. Because tolerance in our community is vital to our progress.

But then, I pulled on my brakes when I came upon his first gaffe.

When you talk about privilege in the LGBT+ community – or really, privilege in the society at large – it is incredibly naïve to say that gay men are more privileged than bisexual men. When you talk about privilege, you are referring to the access a people have to society’s validation over their counterparts. Men are more privileged than women. White people are more privileged than coloured people. Straight people are more privileged than queer people. Cis gender people are more privileged than trans gender people. Heck, Tops are more privileged than Bottoms.

And make no mistake: Bisexuals are more privileged than gay people. Gay people refuse to accept bisexuals as an equal part of the LGBT+ community because of the belief that bisexuals pass with straight privilege. And that is the issue here: there is privilege. It doesn’t take away from the struggle of the bisexual nor does it diminish the sting of the erasure and discrimination. But in a society that discriminates based on who you appear to be and not necessarily who you are, bisexuals are enabled by a privilege that gay people can never have access to.

So there.

However, if the problematic nature of James Lantern’s tweets had ended here, I probably wouldn’t be writing this.

But no. He went on to attempt an education on how the double dating of a bisexual man – where his male (gay) lover is made aware of the nature of the situationship while the female lover is kept in the dark – is valid and justified.

The ease of romantic relationships with women is where the age-old resentment gay men generally nurse against bi men is rooted in. It is this same situation that fuels the bad blood between single gay men and married gay men. It is a thorny issue, this “upper hand” that gay men generally perceive that bisexuals have over them. I cannot count the number of conversations I’ve had with friends who state categorically and with feeling that the reason they cannot date bi men is because of the knowledge that “tomorrow, he will leave me for a woman.” You see that? In most cases, the woman isn’t even in the picture. The perception of her is what discredits a bi man’s relationship status in the eye of a gay man.

And why not? It is not just about the many hurts that have been expressed by gay men who have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to vying for the affections of the bi man he is sharing with a woman. It is not just about the fact that his insufficiency is reinforced when the man he has most likely committed all of himself to can only give back a part of himself, because, well, he also has to love his woman. It is not just about how his failing is emphasized when his own story with his man is cloaked with secrecy and shadows, while the other woman can have him in the full glare of society’s approval.

It is also about how the relationship – this important aspect of a gay man’s life – has been subtly weaponized to attack the heart of his existence: that he is not enough, that he is unwanted, undesirable.

These are the insecurities that James Lantern blithely brushed aside as he preached that gay men should not hold it against their boyfriends if they have girlfriends they don’t wish to be open with about their relationships.

The people who are trying to justify this struggle of bisexual men, men who carry on with both gay and straight relationships at the same time, are inadvertently promoting a false representation that bisexuals have been decrying: that bisexuals are cheats. That bisexuals are greedy.

I get very uncomfortable about being judgmental of the lifestyle choices of people with struggles different from mine. I always try to advise my sensitivity by making room for the understanding that our circumstances are different and that no one size fits all. And as such, I try to understand the struggle that bi men go through when they date men and women at the same time, all the while choosing to be more upfront about the situation with the male partner and not with the female. I try to understand this. Sometimes, I even empathize with it.

But it doesn’t mean I don’t see it for what it is: a betrayal, a shortchanging. A cheating. I can understand it, but it doesn’t mean I think it is right or just. And I would think that anyone weighing in on an issue like this would do so with more tact than “if I genuinely love the guy, the girl in my life won’t be an issue because I feel for both of them.”

This kind of disconnect is what I imagine some bisexuals and married gay men have been using to cushion their guilt when they have to step out on their women with male affairs. For some reason, the fact that the gender and genitalia involved are different, it is not seen as the same thing as if they were being unfaithful with another woman. Some bi men actually believe that it is not cheating as long as the affair is with a man.

But cheating is cheating, no matter who you’re stealing around with behind the back of your significant other. And as such, cheating is a failing that everybody is capable of: gay men, gay women, bisexuals, straight men, straight women, married people, monogamous couples, polygamous couples, polyamorous couples. Anyone can cheat, and not because of their sexual orientation, but because of their humanity. When a man is dating a woman and seeing another man on the down low, it’s not a bisexual thing. It is cheating. When a husband steps out on his wife to cavort with another woman, it’s not a “men have needs” thing. It is cheating. When a gay man leaves his boyfriend at home to go get his rocks off with another guy from the club, it is not a gay thing. It is cheating.

Barring any arrangement the couples in these relationships have on the seeking of outside sexual relations, what pleasures you seek is not defined by what your sexuality is or what your gender demands, it is simply who you are.

And because I’m a gay man who has known the burn of relationships that ended because, marriage: I take a very strong exception to anybody advocating for bisexual tolerance with the same breath he is using to tell me to accept that bisexuals have to date me alongside a woman. I may empathize and understand. But I don’t have to accept it. No gay man should. Because when you run with this justification, what you’re telling gay men is that they should stop being prejudicial and that they should be more accepting. But that they should also bear in mind:

That their investment in relationships with bi men does not count for much.

That they should be comfortable with being neither seen nor heard in a relationship where there’s a woman involved.

That they should always prepare themselves to be expendable from their relationships with bi men.

You cannot rebuke one bad behaviour while asking for another bad behavior to be enabled. That is not how you advocate for bisexuality. You don’t dismiss the very real hurts of a group of people at the sacrificial altar of bisexual prejudice. Both conversations can and should go on at the same time. Enlightening members of the LGBT+ community to be more tolerant of each other, while investigating the way each demographic contributes to the toxicity. Our experiences as individuals and as a community should not be invalidated just because, the greater good.

Written by Pink Panther

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  1. Kwinmoda
    December 19, 05:06 Reply

    Well said… No matter your sexual orientation, if you step out on your partner, you’re scum!
    On this table, gay men suffer the MOST.. A lot of things even lesbians get away with plenty things they don’t, especially in this country.

  2. J
    December 19, 07:33 Reply

    Nice one Pinky! I like the way you address it… Truth is everyone wants sympathy, but they hardly want to empathize with others. I personally don’t want to be involved with a bisexual because I need my sanity. Bisexuals should be with bisexuals and gays with gays because they speak the same language and can understand each other better.

    The war between gays and bisexuals is an unending one. I guess T is the most misunderstood in the community, so let’s focus on Transgender people.

  3. Drama
    December 19, 07:50 Reply

    PSA!!!!!!! If you’re seeing two people without they’re knowledge, you’re a fucking cheat . Being bi doesn’t give you an open room to cheat .

  4. iAmNotAPerv
    December 19, 10:18 Reply

    As a polyamourous bisexual, I’m going to weigh in real quick.
    Bisexuality isn’t dating two or more genders at the same time.
    It’s having feelings for anyone at anytime.
    Taking James’ hypothetical situation, if you are with a man & you start seeing or sleeping with a woman, you are a cheat IF your relationship is monogamous. If you flip it and it’s still monogamous, you’re still a cheat.
    Bisexuality isn’t a license to cheat.
    If you want to be with a man and a woman AT THE SAME TIME. They BOTH need to know:
    1. Your sexuality
    2. Your affections for both of them
    3. Your intentions to have a polyamourous relationship.

    Again, bisexuality isn’t a license to cheat.
    Let’s not be scum, dear

    • mike
      December 19, 18:16 Reply

      We are talking about someone that can transverse between the two sides of the sexual spectrum here, not someone that is homologous to anyside.
      As a gay guy yhu identify with/as gay, yhu homologous to the gay side of the spectrum, same goes for a straight male, a true straight male has an affinity with females, all things straight.

      For the bisexuals, its a little different, they see themselves in both sides of the coin, in reality they do not existin both sides, but to them, they think they do, lets not get into psychological part of it.

      A bisexual transverse both realms, he is straight, he is gay, to what degree is a personal thing, its not cheating cause yhur talking about someone naturally birthed with two realities, two faces.

  5. Chizzie
    December 19, 10:27 Reply

    My experience with bisexual men especially in Nigeria is that a large proportion of them or at least the ones I’ve met, tend to exhibit serious internalised homophobia. They would often times always prioritize the opposite sex over the same sex and expect you to understand, forgetting that you are a human being and no human wants to be treated as second rate.

    Also, and this is according to my own experience, they are quick to categorically state that they’d rather marry a woman over a man. The idea of long term commitment with members of the same sex is something they simply cannot entertain and they expect you to understand because after all we are in Nigeria. They’re also more likely to be transphobic

    Bisexuality in Nigeria as far as I’m concerned is modeled and structured out of homophobia and even sympathetic to it. The problem is not gay ppl accepting bisexuals or marginalising them, the problem is bisexual ppl, in Nigeria who see their bisexuality as an “advantage” and maintain that heteronomative standards (ie boy marries girl) are the status quo and those that after all is said and done, they choose to abide by

    • J
      December 19, 19:13 Reply

      I rather mess around with gays that won’t challenge me on laying with the opposite sex or end up marrying a woman they would lie and cheat on. Most bisexuals are mean and selfish, I have met a number of them and being with them is so draining.

    • Covfefe
      December 29, 21:20 Reply

      Nice one pink panther!

      As for people yapping about the “bisexual advantage”, receive small sense. Bi-folks are not the only ones who eventually bow to societal pressure and get married to someone of the opposite sex, get your facts right.

      And I personally have a problem with the so-called bi privilege. Like there’s no Ying Yang pattern to your attraction when you’re bisexual. That fact that you can be attracted to both men and women doesn’t mean it must go in that order, and there’s a ratio too you know.

      As for ndi “bisexuals in Nigeria”, get a life.

  6. Francis
    December 19, 13:34 Reply

    Oga JamesLantern fall my hand sha. ?????

    Woke people are humans sha ?‍♂️?‍♂️?‍♂️

  7. Owen
    December 19, 15:11 Reply

    Most of the bi men in Nigeria are so homophobic. The ones I have gotten involved with just used me to gratify their selfish sex desires, especially the married one among them. I always ask them,
    “do your wife knows you are bisexual?”
    Definitely their answers is “No”. The summary of it all is that no bisexual man can give equal love and attention to the two genders he’s involved with. One must be longing for his attention.

  8. mike
    December 19, 18:02 Reply

    Confused fella, its a personal bro, I don’t think yhu even need to tell anyone yhu bisexual. Simply let yhur dick slide in and slide out, define yhur identity to the two sides of yhur reality from there.
    When yhu get in bed with a guy, do yhu have to tell him yhur gay?, same way with a lady, do yhu need to tell them ” am straight”.

    Keep both lives apart, except yhu feel that external need for validation, if not nigga sit down, shutup and eat yhur cake.
    As far as anyone sexes can tell, yhu are gay/yhu are straight, don’t go about pulling people in yhur identity crisis.

    So long as a guy am down with doesn’t get down with another guy, I am kool, as long as my girl doesn’t fall in love with another guy, am also kool, I adore lesbians, so my girl is free to explore that side to pleasure and at my discretion.

    That guy wants to eat his cake, have it and be pitied for eating his own cake.

    • Delle
      December 20, 03:55 Reply

      As usual. Bullcrap.

      You should be getting tired.

      • J
        December 20, 09:43 Reply

        LOL Delle what’s the matter with you and this Mike of a guy? You too had a past I believe… I think one of you should stop visiting Kitodiaries ???

        I’m sorry to say, but guys like Mike with their mindset would make me want to buy so many dildos and pet dogs…

  9. Colossus
    December 20, 05:35 Reply

    Chai! Bisexual don suffer sha?‍♂️

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