Saturday, January 9, 2010

Open Forum: Double Dose of Bisexuality on Real World D.C.

MTV Networks show 'The Real World' is about eight roommates cast to live and work together for a season. The show usually has an ethnically, religiously, and sexually diverse cast and tries to address controversial and sensitive issues in society. Most seasons have included the token gay person, some bi-curious members, and two seasons ago the first transgender housemate was cast.

This season on the Real World the show is being cast in Washington DC's Dupont Circle a very upbeat progressive and gay ghetto. As for LGBT issues this season seems to be focused on bisexuality like no other season before.

Mike, 22 is a bisexual christian who is unashamed of his sexuality, and wears his religion on his sleeve.

Emily is a 20 year old bisexual from a conservative religious background. She is "new to the scene" and into the idea of dating girls and being honest with her sexual feelings.

This can be a really wonderful opportunity to open up the world of bisexuality to millions of viewers and to also show that being queer doesn't mean that you have to live without religion. On the other hand the show may fall into some biphobic pitfalls in the way the castmembers are portrayed. Is Mike who self identifies as bisexual but goes back and forth between the labels gay and bi going to be seen as the "confused" guy or the "bi now gay later" type. As for Emily, who is new to the queer scene, will she be looked upon as the sexually rebellious girl simply seeking attention or someone confused? These biphobic misrepresentations with regards to bisexuality happen all the time, and I sincerely hope this show does not fall into that trap.

Do you think this show will be positive for bisexual awareness or will it overall contribute to the bisexual stereotypes that permeate society? Time will tell, share your thoughts about the episodes thus far and your predictions.


Mary said...

Thanks for writing about him in a positive way. It seems already the knives are being sharpened to say he's "really gay" unfortunately by some members of the LGBTQI community. Mike talks about all the biphobia he's dealt with here:

and the comments on this article from people who seem to think they know what his sexuality is on this article are pretty sad:

Queers United said...

Thanks for commenting Mary, I saw that article over at Metro and it was great to see that he is very comfortable in his skin and active for LGBT equality. On the last episode the cast member who kissed Mike regretted doing so because she "kissed a gay guy" and Mike responded to her saying "I am bi" and she said "but you kissed a guy yuck" and he said "you kiss guys too" and I think she got the point.

proudbichick said...

Yeah that was a great response! I don't get why some girls go "ick" at a bi guy. It's a turn on for me! Of course I'm bi myself lol.....

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