Cinderella aired on ABC Family this last weekend. I’m a sucker for a Disney marathon. Since I tend to look at Cinderella as a study in how and why people get stuck in abusive relationships, I decided to live tweet it under the #WhyIStayed hashtag in the title character’s voice. This post is a record of those tweets.
I don’t know your name yet. I don’t know anything about you. I don’t even know if you identify as a woman, a man, or both, or neither. I don’t know if I’ll be the first bisexual person you date. I don’t know if, at this point in time, dating a bi woman is something you’ve ever considered. And I don’t know if you watch Glee.
If you’re a straight cisgender man, my obsession with Glee in its early seasons is probably something you’ll laugh at me about. If you’re anything else, you’ll probably laugh about it with me. And rage with me. And cry with me. But whether or not you were watching Glee in its fifth season and saw the episode “Tina in the Sky with Diamonds,” you’ve probably been exposed to this biphobic stereotype in one way or another: thatyou will never be everything a bi woman could possibly need and want, because she’s capable of being attracted to something opposite of you. And I want to tell you right now that this pervasive, bigoted, malignant stereotype is…correct.
You are NOT everything I could possibly need and want.
No individual human being CAN be everything another individual human being could possibly need and want.
Maybe you’re white. I’ll still be attracted to Adriana Lima and Enrique Iglesias. Maybe you’re short and slender. I’ll still be attracted to Liv Tyler and Chris Hemsworth. Going beyond looks, maybe you hate my favorite tv show. I’ll still want to talk about it with a friend who does like it. Maybe you hate sewing or crafting or knitting or equestrian sports or fashion or makeup. I’ll still want to keep those hobbies/interests and share them with people who do like them. People who aren’t you. People to whom I’m theoretically capable of developing an attraction.
Whatever your best qualities are, whatever made me fall in love with you, someone else in the world has those qualities, only better. And someone else has the opposite qualities, which may also be attractive to me. You’re not the only person in the world that I could’ve happily married. No matter how compatible we are, I will, at some point in our relationship, have a problem you can’t solve and an emotional need you can’t fulfill. I’ll like things you hate and hate things you like. I’ll want to try something in bed (or elsewhere) that you won’t, and I’ll veto something you want to try.
But I will always choose you. Out of all the women and men and everything in between that I could’ve had, you are the one I’ll decide to spend my life with. You are the one I’ll want to be the mother/father/parent of my children. And I’ll make that choice for the simple, inexplicable, irrational reason that you are you and no one else is, and I’ll have fallen in love with you.
Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, or actively label-free, I’m trusting that you’ll choose me for the same reason. And that even though I can’t fulfill your every need and desire any more than you can fulfill mine, you will always choose me. Because I am me and no one else is, and you’ll have fallen in love with me.