As we understand it today, bisexuality stands for the condition of a person who experiences a more or less equal affective and sexual attraction for individuals of either sex, whether simultaneously or consecutively.
• Ok so what a bisexual is, is mainly a straight guy who wouldn't mind having sex with a guy or anything else that mixes the 2 right? (GT, 14yo)
• For me, it means willing sex with both sexes and willing to have a real relationship with either sex. (GT, 15yo, USA, NJ)
To what extent is this label applicable to adolescence, a period during the course of which a certain proportion of those boys who identify as heterosexual will nevertheless participate in ephemeral adventures with individuals of their own sex? The Surveyteens investigation has revealed that 12% of respondents have identified as bisexuals. Let us examine their answers to the question bearing on their love life at the time of the survey (table #8).
This table elicits the following carefully weighed conclusions:
- The boys who identified as bisexuals spread their answers in an uneven distribution across the three choices presented.
- A little over half acknowledged being in love concurrently with a girl and a boy.
- The adolescents who answered that they were in love with one of more boys at the time of the survey are clearly more numerous (28.8%) than those who indicated being in love with one or more girls. (19.7%) This tendency increases with the age of the respondent.
These results must be set against the answers given to the question "When you masturbate, what do you think about?" also in this survey. 51% of the boys who indicated being bisexual on the same form had answered "One or more boys." while 21.4% has chosen "Boys and girls together." and only 3.1% "One or more girls." Is it valid to conclude that some young people prefer to identify as bisexuals so as not to confront their own homosexuality? Such a deception seems to be quite frequent, if we are to go by the intimations of many gay boys:
• I would consider coming out as bisexual, because to me, it sounds better than coming out as gay. (GT, 15yo, USA)
• I called myself bisexual for a long time because I didn't want to come to terms that I was gay since I felt that I wouldn't be accepted. But, I'm proud of who I am and glad that I can say I'm gay now (GT, 17yo, USA, CA)
• That's what I let happen, I just got on with it at 14/15 and after a while I just thought I hope it's just a very long phase but if I’m gay after all so what...and I was. (GT, 16yo, UK)
• I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I was gay when I was about 13, but said I was bi. By 15, I just said I'm gay... My mom said she knew even when I was 11 or 12 by the way I ogle boys I fancy... (GT, 16yo)
• I thought I was bi because at first I could not accept that I was gay. Then after some time and some depression I came out as gay, first to myself and then to my friends. (GT, 15 yo, USA, MA)
• I confess I told someone I was by when I was really gay, just so they would not know to what extent I was gay, and I am sure that others have done the same thing. (GT, 16yo, UK)
• Before it was to reassure myself, and to reassure the others so that it would not be so brutal. But now I am gay through and through. (SE, 15 yo, France, Pamiers)
These testimonials, among many others that take the same tack, show that the coming out of gays often occurs in two stages, with boys preferring to for some time to declare themselves bisexual ather than homosexual, because they feel that such a label is better seen, particularly by their classmates. On the American website Mogenic (now closed) which dedicates itself exclusively to gay and bisexual teenagers, each male member, at the time of signing up, must choose one of four labels: « gay », « bisexual », « curious » and « label free »; More than 80% of 16 yo boys choosing "bisexual" define themselves as gay in their profile, or discuss only homosexual relationships. On the French website SortirEnsemble, a great number of boys who, on their profile sheet asserted being bisexual, later identified themselves as gay in the various forums in which they participated. Thus it is incontestable that many adolescents who describe themselves as bisexual do so as a front, in order to mask, at least temporarily, their homosexuality.