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Tila Tequila Brings Bisexuality Out of the Closet

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Most Gay and Lesbian literature uses the initials LGBT to describe the community. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. But the bisexual part doesn't usually get a lot of attention. MTV's new dating show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, has made bisexuality public. I normally would not have watched a show with some random Myspace chick, but this set-up, with straight guys and lesbians duking it out for the same woman, was irresistible. At the end of the first episode, when Tila outs herself to both parties, there is a distinctly different reaction from the men and the women - or am I projecting? Whereas the men clearly were shocked and amazed, the women seemed betrayed.

There are a lot of misconceptions about bisexual women. Straight men tend to think they are slutty, and in the back of their minds they always seem to be envisioning a 3-way. Many guys with bi girlfriends don't mind if they get a little on the side from the ladies. These same guys would dump her in a minute if she were with a man. Some people with bi partners say. "Well, I can't give her that and I want her to be happy." But one of my lesbian friends pointed out that by not considering other women a real threat, they are devaluing the relationship between the women. The only men I ever knew who were upset about their bi wives only got upset when the wife left them for another woman.

Many lesbians seem to think bi women are indecisive and unwilling to commit. There is always the threat that they will be left for a man - "the Anne Heche syndrome". There is an issue with the level of commitment. The female contestants on A Shot at Love even bring up the issue of "Gold Star Lesbians", who have never been with a man, in the very first episode. Not only is sexual preference an issue, but the straight life is comparatively so much simpler, what with legalized marriage, public acceptance, civil rights and all. Some women feel like bisexuals will choose the easier lifestyle.

It comes down to Tila's reasons for outing herself as bisexual. Is it for publicity? Is she one of those "Girls Gone Wild" who makes out with other women for shock value? Has she had long-term relationships with women before, or would her current friends and established straight life interfere too much with a budding lesbian relationship? Will the contestants be able to trust her commitment, added to the ridiculousness of the reality show format? The contestants who stay will probably be the people who believe that just as people are born gay and born straight, bisexuals do not choose their sexuality. Many bisexuals fall in love with the person, and are monogomous to that one person. They don't need one from column A and one from column B to be happy. It will be interesting to see how these issues play out as the contestants vy for the heart of the same person.