The Bisexual Privilege in Nigeria

The Bisexual Privilege in Nigeria

I am a femme guy, and as such, the poster child for all that is gay and “fabulous” or the stereotype for what is homosexual. With the LGBTQ community in Nigeria posing such a “threat to heteronormative life”, there has been a coming together of members of this community. With the passage of time however, I have come to realize that the “B” in “LGBTQ”—which stands for Bisexual—is oft not regarded with kindness by exclusively gay folks.

I have had gay guys reaching out to me inbox, asking my opinion on the thought of dating a bisexual guy, to which I have had one constant response: “If you like him, go for him.” But I have seen—at least from a lot of my discourse and from posts on the timeline—that for gay folks, it is not that easy, or that simple, to simply date a bisexual guy. For some reason, gay guys seem to think that many bisexual guys are privileged and abuse that privilege by “choosing” to date both men and women at the same time without “choosing” to be faithful to the one partner they are with at a particular time. To me, I think this is the height of what Bisexual Privilege is seen as, at least within the Nigerian context; I may be wrong, as this is my opinion, but yeah, that is what I think.

I have seen this lead to many gay men eviscerating bisexual guys generally, perhaps because of this perceived “flexibility” to choose between dating men and/or women either exclusively or simultaneously. I mean, the travails of gay men who may be pressured into hetero relationships and subsequently marriage by society is lost on bisexuals, because of that seeming naturalness they seem to possess to be able to “switch” between one gender and the next; from loving a fellow guy to loving and eventually marrying a woman without any second thought, or regret. Or in some cases, dating both at the same time or getting married to the opposite gender and still being involved with a same-sex relationship.

And I have seen this lead to many bisexual men withdrawing from general discourse on sexuality because of the fear of being attacked with the visceral intensity that seems automatically turned on at the mere mention of the word “Bisexual”. I have had at least three bi guys, who I have interacted with, premise their interaction with me by first asking a question: whether I am against bisexual guys, as they could not deal with another person flailing them for their sexual orientation.

Frankly, it’s made me sad, seeing such a divide. Do I understand why some gay guys would be so angry, so mad that bisexual guys have the privilege of swinging from one side to the other seemingly without conflict? Yes, I do. It is what I see is conceived in the mind of most as the “Bisexual Privilege”, and most are not comfortable with it. I would not be comfortable with it, if I cared so much about labels – but I don’t, so there it is.

So, is there any need for this war? I don’t think there is, but I understand the anger. And this anger stems from the fact that many bisexuals (read: Guys) swing between their male and female lovers without sticking to one exclusively and not seeing it as anything problematic, and oftentimes, favouring their opposite sex relationships over the same sex ones. Unfortunately, this often leads to the broken hearts of those who can’t bear the thought that they are disregarded for someone of the opposite sex. It’s a pain that stings more than a lover who leaves you for someone of the same sex.

Do I think that there is an issue about whether the bisexual privilege exists and whether it is harmful? Perhaps, but most likely not.

What would I advise any gay guy who is torn with making a choice on whether to date a bisexual guy because of the fear of his partner disregarding him for a woman? I would say, “Follow your heart.”

I believe the world is difficult enough as it is. Personally, I wouldn’t like to complicate life with such conflicts as these, especially when it comes to my relationships. No one should. But there are people who are, and like I said, their resentments are something I understand – especially, given the backdrop of the Nigerian society, where same sex love is criminalized and persecuted. To observe the ease with which the bisexual partner can move on from you to a woman can be a real pain. These feelings are valid.

But no matter what, let us let love lead.

Written by Kingsley Adrian Banks

About The Author:

Kingsley Adrian Banks is a Nigerian novelist. His debut novel, Behind Closed Doors, is known for its tackling of gender stereotypes, effeminacy, bisexuality and the gay life in Nigeria. He can be reached via adrianbanks2008@gmail.com

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  1. HRH Igwe Nnaemeka
    December 27, 14:19 Reply

    You said it all, follow your heart. There’s no big deal. Bisexual or straight, a faithful person is one. If you love him, love him for his personality and not his sexuality!

  2. Special
    December 27, 15:00 Reply

    The guy I started seeing recently constantly reminds me that he has a girlfriend but he loves me dearly , to be sincere I just can’t deal.

  3. Ainsley Chidimma
    December 27, 20:52 Reply

    Buddy 💞, you said it all, although i don’t really have that liking for em,but we just have to follow our hearts and find the right person for us.

    • Kingsley Adrian Banks
      December 29, 18:47 Reply

      Thanks a lot for the kind comment. I understand that many gay guys don’t like knocking around with bi guys, but I’ll just go for my heart if it were me. I won’t let preconceived notions stop me from reaching for happiness.

  4. Tristan
    December 30, 11:40 Reply

    Heads up!

    Bisexuality is 💯% attraction for same sex and 💯% for opposite sex. Thus, any bi guy who says he loves his girlfriend more is using that as an excuse to cheat.

    As a gay man — currently dating a bi guy — who has dated bi guys, I believe that the bisexual privilege is relative. Abusing that privilege is tantamount to cheating. My opinion though.

    I’m pretty comfortable dating a bi guy in an active hetero-relationship ‘cos it gives me the feeling they are being their whole self — not denying him the ability to swing himself both ways.

    Anyways, to each his own. What really matters in a relationship is how well you understand each other, — including the fetishes involved — and respect boundaries.

    ‘Course, love conquers all.

  5. Emerie
    January 03, 22:34 Reply

    Truth be told if u tell me u r bi … I wouldn’t take u seriously or our relationship … Not dat I v anything against ur sexuality but I know how our society works so I don’t stress , I v had enough bi drama in the past…. So y am a little biphobic am not proud of it but I can’t help it

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