New Gallup poll making the rounds, all about who’s straight and who’s not, and how. Unsurprisingly, the percentage of people who are willing to cop to being non-straight, in any of the many-splendored ways one can be so, has inched up again, as it has been doing for quite some time; it now stands at 5.6% population-wide, which is a ludicrous under-estimate, of course; lotta people still unwilling to come clean, obviously. But we can all be glad that more and more people are willing; hard to see any downside to that.
The stats are broken down by “generation” – boomers, zoomers, all that arbitrary horseshit. If identities didn’t exist, we should have to invent them. But I guess it’s a rough proxy for age, so okay. The interesting finding is row Zoomer, column Bi: Up to 12% of the cohort population! For Millennials it was 5%, and Xers 2%. The other consequential columns – “Gay” and “Lesbian” – grow inversely with age, too; but not nearly so fast; It’s the good old Biplane that’s really taken off.
Now this is very good news for me, since as an orthodox God-fearing Freudian I tend to believe that everybody is really Bi at heart, though we may end up specializing and mostly do – a process which deserves better theory than it’s so far got.
But the really nice thing about it is that it’s the least like an “identity”. Which is why for a long time it was a distinctly suspect category. I well remember when many gay activists regarded “bi” people as confused weak sisters at best and fifth-columnists at worst, squishy irresolutes, neither hot nor cold but fit only to be ‘spued out’, as the distinguished Patmian put it. Aisle-crossers! And straight people, curiously, saw it in much the same way, but with the sign reversed – bisexuals were just gay people who couldn’t face or admit the fact.
The study, rather confusingly, lines up a “gender” category (“Trans”) next to the Big Three “orientation” categories (LGB). No doubt the reason for this muddle is that the accepted acronym contains a T. (If the initials were listed by abundance in the population, it would be BGLT – pronounced “boggle-it”, perhaps.)
This mashup of incommensurables has led to the spilling of much virtual ink trying to read the tea-leaf implications for the TERF Wars, but I don’t think the numbers tell us anything about that. In any case, the lede is that the Bi’s are sweeping the field – more than half of all “LGBT” people now.
Whether this is because more people actually are Bi, in an operational sense, or because people are escaping from the identity boxes inside their own heads, is impossible to say. I hope for the latter, myself, though as a friend to pleasure I also like the idea of more people having more kinds of fun.