I wish I could be more persuaded by the Pew poll’s new survey of “LGBT” Americans. The reason I’m suspect is a pretty simple one: the biggest group in the survey were bisexuals. They comprise a full 40 percent of the survey population, which is extremely odd to me. They skew the data dramatically: only 28 percent of them have come out, compared with 77 percent of gay men and 71 percent of lesbians. I don’t know whether this is a hidden gay population, or a large, closeted bisexual cohort that does not interact with gays or lesbians. I do know it makes almost every data point a little suspect to me.
I have to say that is why I have resisted the ubiquitous acronym “LGBT” on the Dish. It covers such a wide variance of experience and community and gender it is close to meaningless when analyzing the real world and the specific issues each of these groups grapple with. It emerged out of an ideology of shared victimology as a political device. To be clear: I have no issues with equality for all four types of human experience. But they are emphatically not the same. And when you are deducing facts from such a complex and diverse group of people, I don’t think it adds much to generalize by lumping them all in together.
Perhaps “bisexual” is a what closeted as well as bisexual people call themselves when asked. But one thing that seems to actually hold true for bisexuals, “bisexuals”, gays and lesbians is general happiness with orientation. Being gay, for most of us, is a great thing.