Anna Paquin: ‘Being Bisexual Is Actually A Thing.’

AnnaPaquinBiTrue Blood actress Anna Paquin caused a stir in 2010 when she came out as bisexual, and two years later the topic continues to fascinate. Well, it fascinated a Zooey magazine journalist who broached the subject during a recent chat with the 29-year old.

"I’m sure for some people saying they’re bisexual feels less scary than making a statement that they’re gay," Paquin, currently married to co-star Stephen Moyer, said about her sexuality.

"For me, it’s not really an issue because I’m someone who believes being bisexual is actually a thing. It’s not made up. It’s not a lack of decision. It’s not being greedy or numerous other ignorant things I’ve heard at this point."

Paquin went on: "For a bisexual, it’s not about gender. That’s not the deciding factor for who they’re attracted to."

I would say that Paquin's advocacy on this topic is just as important as campaigning for same-sex equality. She's totally right: a lot of people dismiss bisexuality as a cop-out for people afraid to admit their they're gay. Paquin proves that, yes, actual bisexual people exist, and naysayers need to get over it.

Comments

  1. Wow says

    Your last paragraph is mind-bogglingly stupid (even ignoring the their/they’re confusion, and the construction of that particular sentence generally). Andy, stop letting this guy editorialize. The site is at its best when you let the news speak for itself. For some reason, this guy NEVER allows that, injecting banal, vapid commentary at the end of everything he posts. It really degrades the quality of the site.

  2. Bastian says

    @WOW, I came here to post an almost identical comment with the same sentiment. I know almost immediately when Belonsky has posted something here because I am rolling my eyes or looking at my screen with a ‘WTF face’ before I make it to the end.

    Pro tip to Belonsky: if you’re writing in the first person, you’re doing it wrong.

  3. RJ says

    ‘I would say that Paquin’s advocacy on this topic is just as important as campaigning for same-sex equality.’

    Thanks for the recognition, but do we really need to say ‘bisexuals rights are totally kind of like gay people rights’?

    I’d say that bisexual advocacy is exactly the same as advocacy for same-sex equality, and I really don’t understand why ‘allies’ (gay allies especially) have trouble comprehending this in 2012.

  4. Wow says

    @Bastian – the grammar errors are usually a pretty big tip-off, too.

    Belonsky – you reported the story in the first four paragraphs. Why the last paragraph? Do you actually believe all of the stuff you inject at the end of your posts? Do you even think about it? Also, what is “same-sex equality?” Is that a thing? At least proofread the crap you post.

    Andy – I’ve loved your site for many many years, but every time you let this guy take over, the quality plummets.

  5. BenR says

    I like Belonsky’s comments. I think he’s right. A blog isn’t hard journalism, so no, writing in the first person isn’t “doing it wrong.”

  6. scottevill says

    Raise your hand if you’ve ever met a girl who tells you she’s bisexual and you believed her. (Let’s assume that many hands go up.)

    Raise your hand if you’ve ever met a guy who tells you he’s bisexual and you believed him.

    …crickets chirping?

    I believe that the B in LGBTQ actually is a thing, as Paquin states, but that said, it appears to be a thing that’s way more common in women than in men. For men, the evidence suggests sexuality is akin to a switch. For women, it’s more like a continuum.

  7. scottevill says

    As far as the Belonsky-bashing. Jeez, you guys, calm down. I don’t necessarily disagree with the subtance but there’s a way to be a person, you know? If you take issue with the guy’s style, fine, but maybe send Andy an email about it rather than sliming him publicly?

  8. MDK says

    Bisexuality is a really COMMON thing. A great many people are secretly bisexual and/or they mistakenly believe they are are heterosexual because they still believe in the old “everyone has an occasional same-sex attraction” idea.

  9. says

    If it was that common in men, you’d think there would be more anecdotal evidence of it. You hear about men stepping out on women to hook up with men all the time but I have personally never heard about a man stepping out on his boyfriend to hook up with a woman.

    As far as bisexual thoughts go, well that’s hard to measure. We can’t quantify what’s in someone’s heart. Actions, on the other hand…

  10. RaleighRob says

    @Scottevill — Uh no. Open, noncloseted bisexuality may be more common in women than men. But that’s not the same thing. There’s no way to tell how many bisexuals are out there.

    Anna is right…it is a real thing. The sad thing is many bisexuals are less likely to come out as full-bi. Especially the men. And it’s for two reasons—homophobia from straights and overly-critical gays who brush them off.

    As someone who has dated some wonderful bisexual guys in the past, I truly believe they are what they are. One even sat up late one night in bed telling me what he liked to do with females and was completely sincerely and honest about it. And I encouraged him to be open about it too. That’s the way it should be.

  11. RJ says

    @Scott – “I believe that being gay is actually a thing, but that said, it appears to be a thing that’s way more common in women than men. For men, the evidence suggests sexuality is akin to a switch. For women, it’s a continuum”

    That’s no less offensive when applied to gays than when it’s applied to bisexuals.

  12. RJ says

    Also @Scott – A gay man telling people that ‘since no one talks about bisexuality, it doesn’t exist’ is baffling. Nearest I could tell, the vast majority of the gay plight over the last few centuries has revolved around having to exist in secrecy, with the whole of the world refusing to acknowledge that they exist.

    Can you understand why a bisexual might be incredulous to your response?

  13. Bisexual Man says

    The social constraints on men to be straight are so strict that the only people who are going to pubicly disavow them are going to be men who are really, really gay. The punishment for being a little bit gay is too severe — why risk it? Then we have gay men who, resentful of those who won’t come out like them, create the same type of enforced sexual binary. You can’t be occasionally attracted to members of the same-sex. It’s a social feedback loop, not “they way it is.”

  14. Brian says

    Good grief, people. If you’re all such superior writers and copy editors, then send Andy your résumé and clips or shut the f— up.

    By the way, it’s been my experience that people often only cry “editorializing” when the viewpoint offered differs from their own.

  15. RJ says

    @Brian – No. I will neither be silent nor accommodating when my sexual identity is condescendingly as ‘maybe equal’ to gays. No, I will not be silent because you told me to do so, and you’re ridiculous in telling me to do so.

    Perhaps it’s my own typecasting, but I really did assume that those who self-identified as ‘gay’ would be better self-conscious of treating people like that.

  16. nando6990 says

    I totally agree with the comments about the dropping in quality when Belonski takes over for Andy. I don’t want to be mean, and a blog is not really the same as a newspaper, but I think that Andy has always strived to keep the tone even and journalistic, and whenever Mr. B takes the reins all that goes out the window.

    I took can feel that it’s not an Andy post before I even get to the end and see the name.

  17. Bastian says

    @Brian, Since you’ve insinuated otherwise, I’ll be clear: I don’t have a negative opinion about bisexuality. If someone says or believes that they are bisexual, why should I doubt them?

    Why bother to bring up the ‘editorializing’? This site is normally well edited and a joy to read. As NANDO pointed out, that all goes out the window when certain bloggers take over. Andy obviously care a lot about this website. Why not let him know when we think he can do better?

  18. Sean says

    It’s irrelevant how common bisexuality is. A bisexual person is someone who has hetero- and homosexual attractions and acts on them. That’s the behaviour. A genuinely bisexual person already has rights for half of their inclinations. The other half – the homosexual part – is just that: homosexual. I campaign for gay rights, not bisexual rights, and they should be campaigning for gay rights along with the rest of us.

  19. Molc says

    It’s laughable to put gay men or women in the same category as bisexuals and pretend that their rights are equally important. They are not. Bisexuals are not discriminated against-they are not beaten to pulps and told they’re perverted. Besides they can get married whenver they want. For some reason (hence the ‘B’ in LGBT) they think that there issues are the same as gays and lesbians. They are not.

  20. Jeff says

    Mamma always told me, before I speak to ask myself three questions with respect to what I’m about to say, and if I answer no to any one, then to button it: 1) Is it true? 2) Is it necessary? 3) Is it kind?

    In a similar vein, I think declawing cats is rather sadistic. People? Not so much.

  21. John says

    That editorial at the end made zero sense.

    Same sex equality? What does that even mean?

    Assuming you mean marriage equality…

    That would be like saying… “Multiracial advocacy is just as important as the right for African-Americans to vote (in the 1960s)…”

    I understand the need for validation on all sides, but the gay community has bigger fish to fry than praising and holding up our bisexual brothers and sisters and their mostly opposite sex relationships. Including Ms. Paquin’s.

    If there are degrees of urgency when it comes to the gay rights campaign, ‘advocacy’ for bisexuals is pretty low on the list when it comes to marriage equality, freedom from discrimination, etc etc.

    Silly, silly statement.

  22. Paul R says

    Why in the world are there so many angry comments about the term same-sex equality? What do you possibly think Andrew meant? I would guess equality for same-sex couples. Is that so hard to grasp? What site do you think you’re reading?

    Jeez. I’m an editor, and I didn’t stumble over that. Get over being catty.

  23. keith33 says

    i think what most people have a problem with is female celebrities saying they are bisexual after they are in serious relationships eg after anna married stephen moyer it would be intresting if she and stephen broke up if she would openly date a woman

  24. Brian says

    @RJ – In Andrew’s last paragraph, “…Paquin’s advocacy on this topic is just as important,” “just” means “exactly.”

    You seem to have incorrectly inferred that he meant “maybe equal” or “kind of like.”

    There are plenty of comments in this thread far more offensive to bisexuals. Your outrage is better directed at them than at a question of semantics.

  25. Rick says

    The quality of posts does decline when Belonsky takes over. I don’t want to gang up on the guy; but someone needs to steer him in the right direction. The episode some days back, when he said that Dr. Spitzer was engaged in ex-gay therapy, was kind of the last straw.

    As I said this morning, there’s a reason we come HERE for our news, rather than Queerty. Save the first-person snark for over there.

  26. Zlick says

    John, where do you get that bisexuals have mostly opposite sex relationships? How many bisexuals do you personally know and have inquired of on this issue? I’m a bisexual man and the vast amount of my relationships have been with other men. But I have had plenty of, and plenty of enjoyment of, sexual relationships with women.

    This is perhaps the most petty comments thread I’ve read on Towleroad, and that’s saying a lot. Half of it outraged complaints about the style of an editorial paragraph, and the other half typical gayboy bashing of bisexuals.

    Sheesh.

  27. Sonneillon says

    I just love how most of you, who aren’t bisexual, are talking about bisexuals as if you know what we’re about. As if we have to live by your rules to be ‘bisexual enough’. As if we have to compete for your ‘cred’.

    It’s only slightly less ignorant than the general standard of Towleroad commentary when trans* issues are on the table.

  28. John says

    It’s alright, Zlick – you can ignore us ‘gayboys’ and our bashing.. even when we’re not.

    I didn’t attack your sexual orientation, you shouldn’t get petty with mine. Just because you can claim ‘bisexualboy’ privilege doesn’t mean you should be allowed to denigrate all gay men, whatever chip you carry on your shoulder.

    You can be an advocate for the bisexual community, but to pretend it’s “just as important” as the fight for gay marriage… give me a break.

  29. John says

    Sonneillon,

    I don’t have a problem with bisexual men and women. I have a problem with muddying up the gay rights mission.

    I have a problem with rejecting a national nondiscrimination bill outright because it leaves out transgender folk.

    One thing I’ve learned very hard is that you can’t allow perfect to be the enemy of good.

    Compromise is good… enough. For now. You can’t build on something with no foundation. You add to it… but all these additional concerns, extremely legitmate concerns, are bogging down our fight.

  30. says

    There are a couple of understandings of bisexuality in the comments which don’t match my own at all. I’ve identified as bisexual for 36 years, and here’s what my bisexual identity means to me:

    I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.

    Also, I disagree with MOLC. My rights are equality important. EVERYONE’S rights are equally important. And don’t tell me bis are not discriminated against: I’ve experienced employment discrimination. I’ve been told I’m perverted. I’ve experienced death threats. And — until 8 years ago in Massachusetts — I couldn’t get married whenever I wanted. Because, you see, my partner of the past 15 years is a woman. I too was denied the right to marry the person I loved (and still do).

    And finally, many bi people are staunch advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual AND transgender equality. I’ve served on the Board of MassEquality for the past eight years. And it’s a fair bet I’ve donated a whole lot more money than most of my lesbian and gay friends have to LGBT advocacy groups. (Folks reading this: please consider taking out your credit card right now and donating to one of the statewide or national equality groups.)

    Bi folks–of all genders–exist. And “gay rights” are OUR rights too. Let’s work TOGETHER for equality against our REAL enemies: those who are trying to deny us our rights.

  31. says

    PS: And thanks to Anna Paquin for standing up as an out and proud bisexual woman. Believe me, it’s not easy, because SOME lesbians, SOME gay men, and SOME straight people really don’t get it. If you’re one of those folks, please consider educating yourself. Read _Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World_ or _Bi Any Other Name_, or one of the other bi books out there. Visit biwomenboston.org, or binetusa.org, or biresource.org, or biyouth.org.

  32. MikeTheInfidel says

    @SCOTTEVILL “You hear about men stepping out on women to hook up with men all the time but I have personally never heard about a man stepping out on his boyfriend to hook up with a woman.”

    Being unfaithful has nothing to do with being bisexual. Being monogamous has nothing to do with being bisexual. A bisexual man who doesn’t cheat on his boyfriend is not gay. A bisexual man who doesn’t cheat on his girlfriend is not straight.

  33. stranded says

    Actually under the circumstances, Paquin’s comments only perpetuate the notion about bisexual people being “promiscuous”, with bi women “going through a phase”, and on the other hand, bi men being “simply in denial about being gay”.

    To me, what she’s saying is a fallacy. It’s not about whether her words make sense or not, but she is actually in a heterosexual monogamous relationship. Is she acting on her bisexuality? No, as her present includes a person from the opposite gender whom she’s seemingly in love with to the point of wanting to start a family with him, so it didn’t make any sense for her to say it, IMO.

    I don’t doubt that she’s felt same-sex attraction in the past, but she could’ve leave it at that. She could’ve said something among the lines of what Gillian Anderson said and leave it at that. That is why I think people should be more careful about the labels they try to ascribe to.

  34. B says

    Most of the comments here are proving Paquin’s point entirely.

    MOLC- So now we get to decide which person’s rights are more important? Seriously?
    As a bisexual I HAVE been told I’m perverted, I HAVE faced physical violence. Except instead of just from the straights I get it from everybody, including the people who should be most understanding! Everything Ms Paquin said is true.
    Maybe a little more tolerance within the LGBT spectrum would solidify the entire fight for rights, instead of squabbling over who has it worse.

    You said:
    “It’s laughable to put gay men or women in the same category as bisexuals and pretend that their rights are equally important. They are not. Bisexuals are not discriminated against-they are not beaten to pulps and told they’re perverted.”

  35. RJ says

    How in the hell are so many gay men not able to imagine a bisexual man being assaulted/killed when people saw hum with his same-sex partner? prevented from marrying a partner of our choosing, if the person we love completely is our same gender.

    It doesn’t matter if bisexuals make ‘same-sex’ rights more complicated. When I’m with a partner, I’m in a same-sex relationship. Deal with it.

    @Brian – One – I don’t care about the offensive messages in the comments. The comments are read by forty guys, over and over again, hoping someone noticed them. I care about the article that’s going to influence people – the one that actually gets read – and I care about how Andrew’s flippant choice of language will negatively influence the perspective of non-bisexuals reading along.

    Two – I never had a problem with his editorializing, dumbass. I had a (relatively) minor problem with the implication that same-sex rights doesn’t cover bisexual rights – they are the same thing. This is a factual error. These deserve to be addressed.

    Three – I have seen you in these comment sections losing your crap over the dismissal of gay identity. You’re a myopic hypocrite and a petty little dude.

  36. Stuart says

    – Paquin went on: “For a bisexual, it’s not about gender. That’s not the deciding factor for who they’re attracted to.” –

    This same line (gender doesn’t matter to us. We love people for who they are!) comes up way too often when dealing with bisexuals or pansexuals.

    No one cares how “special and cool and unique and superior” you are. At the end of the day, you are still in it to get laid, just like the rest.

  37. rollz says

    wow, there is nothing wrong with the last paragraph. are people that sensitive? advocating bisexuality and homosexuality is different. the people posting on their high horse insulting the author of this post and voicing their opinions as fact need to come down. they’re different things and people here saying otherwise are just showing their ignorance. and what about the last paragraph is offensive? he’s in full support for both and yet you guys chastise him? cause his opinion isn’t identical to your’s? I know you’re thinking.. that’s not why, but it’s obvious. because the only way for someone to be offended by this supportive post is to be so wrapped up in your own thoughts that when seeing someone that slightly feels differently it rubs you the wrong way. i mean, what’s so stupid about it? people DO shrug off bisexuality all the time. I have never seen people not doubt a man’s bisexuality. I’ve been in conversations with people telling me that they’re just confused. I even know women accusig other women who say they feel like everyone around her is coming out as bisexual and that it’s for attention. there’s nothing stupid about it. it’s truth. even if you disagree, what makes it stupid? literally, do you even know what that word means anymore? naysayers really do need to get over it….

  38. AC says

    Let’s come from another angle. We should be pointing out that ALL CITIZENS of the U.S.A.
    should have the same Constitutional rights under the law. Not just some, whether they be gay or whatever.

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