I got to the university about half an hour before the presentation. I sat next to S. in the organization's office, and we caught up on the news. We headed over to the room where the presentation was being given. R. had Power Point slides and everything. She put up some slides with things people say about bisexuality, and there was a fair amount of discussion.
I had a fair amount to say. I hope none of the students felt inhibited by my being there and commenting, but I don't think they were terribly inhibited. R. mentioned the episode of Glee with (*spoilery*) Blaine briefly questioning whether he was bisexual, and questioned how the other students reacted to it. As with a number of bisexuals who saw it or heard about it, R. wasn't terribly pleased by the treatment of the subject.
L. was commenting here and there, though she was a lesbian before deciding he was male -- a straight man. J had a comment or two to make. J was gay before deciding that ze wasn't going to identify as one gender or another. J made it clear in a previous talk that ze was only attracted to men. Ze was able to quote exactly what Kurt said to Blaine on Glee.
A few of the gay boys and the other transmen in the room discussed stereotypes. I think the gay students were a little inhibited in what they said by the presenter being bi and some of the audience being bi. One did say that he felt that some people called themselves bisexual before coming out as gay. They talked about how the group included "Questioning" people. I really should have identified as questioning for a while before going with bi.
I spoke about Changeling having "Bisexual and More" as the category for mixed menages, and how I'd said to Jen the Proofreading Goddess that some bisexuals only dated one person at a time. "Ask me how I know," I said. That category was a place where readers looked for menages, she said. Perhaps the idea was what would be the thrill if a bisexual was only having sex with a man, or only with a woman.
Later on, I said that in college I was told that I came across as very straight. "At that time...Do I now?" S. confirmed that I still do come across as very straight. R. had said that she was often enough identified as an ally rather than bisexual by people outside the group. We'd gotten into a discussion of heterosexual privilege sparked by one of R.'s slides.
Still speaking of my days there, I said, "My gay and lesbian friends were furious about all the heterosexual privilege I got. 'I feel ambivalent about that,' I told them. They were still furious." Justifiably so? In some ways, I guess. I've had it much easier than many in coming across as so cis-gendered and straight-appearing, no matter that I feel different inside, but I've had my own issues.
R. talked about how there was a certain limitation to the acceptance of bisexuals in parts of the gay and lesbian communities. Students spoke of the fears of cheating. Someone, possibly L., said, "A cheater is a cheater." That's how I feel, no matter what gender the person is attracted to.
We discussed how the "Everyone is really bisexual" statement is a myth. S. said to me, "You know how I know it's not true?" He pointed to himself. "Me."
"Even though I can physically go either way, I believe that some people are purely straight and some are purely gay," I said to him. "I believe there are Kinsey sixes and zeros. It's not my experience, but I believe it's true for others."
It was a short meeting. R.'s presentation had taken perhaps twenty minutes. I had thought there were topics in there that we could have discussed in more depth. Perhaps we could have told some of the students that there was a lot of cultural support for some of those stereotypes about bisexuals. The gay students definitely didn't want to appear prejudiced towards bisexuals, though some clearly had their own opinions on the topics, and those opinions were rather different from R.'s.
I thought it was somewhat of an informative presentation for some of the students. R. wanted to have little groups at the office come together to discuss the topics further. "There will be food," she said. That right there is a huge incentive for college students.
Somewhere along the line I told S. that I thought it would be really funny if he took me to the Bike Stop and introduced me as his mother. He imagined the reactions. "You brought your mother here?"
"But the story would become legend," I said. He agreed about that. We'll see if sometime he gets trashed and actually does it. We talked about his drinking once he turned twenty-one, and about that ten-martini night, and all the vomiting and still feeling awful in the morning that followed. "You had alcohol poisoning," I said. He thought he had, too.
"But I've turned over a new leaf," he said. "It's going to be more under control." I hope so, though I'm sure he'll still get intense peer pressure. Well, he's still serious about studying, at least sometimes. He took off after the meeting to do that. He wanted to have his Saturday totally free.
We had talked about going to Giovanni's Room on Saturday, then me heading back to the apartment and cutting him loose in the city to do his thing. "You're such an enabler," he said. Well, yes. I told him I was concerned about his health, though, that he knew very well that drinking could lead you to do stupid things. "I know," he said. Well, it was good to see my secret love child, and I'm looking forward to his visit on Saturday, and taking a trip to the city.
I stopped by the house, and Mom had Hamburger Helper for dinner. She said it was the last time she was going to be cooking dinner in a long time. I had already had two yogurts and a banana before dinner, so I was satisfied with one helping of the main course.
When I went back to the apartment, I started a couple of loads of laundry. They still had fifteen minutes left to dry when I went downstairs near ten p.m., so I left them there to be rescued tomorrow morning.
I told Dad to call when Mom was out of surgery, and that I'd come down in the afternoon. I might stay over at the house for a couple of days, since it's supposed to snow tomorrow night and probably Wednesday night. We'll see. I will go visit Mom in the hospital, of course.