Jessie J, bisexuality, and Ribena
Jessie J’s sexuality is the subject of speculation again. A new book has come out, in which it is alleged that the singer is really a lesbian but was told to market herself as bisexual so that she would not repel her fanbase. To quote Chloe Govan, the author of this unauthorised biography, “Jessie might have been with boys in the past but she is 100 per cent gay. Jessie was openly lesbian and didn’t hide it. She was advised not to come out though. Certain people thought being bi was trendy, exotic and a fashion statement. It would increase her allure.”
For a moment, let’s set aside the fact that, in the pop world, the one thing sure to repel a fanbase is music that is not catchy. Let’s talk about Jessie J’s sexuality. This allegation is amazing, it is incredibly important, because – wait, I’ve just looked outside into a nearby stream and seen an empty floating plastic bottle more interesting than the gender of who Jessie J is sleeping with. I think the bottle is Ribena. Ah, wait – there’s another one just a few feet down from it. Cool! I wonder if they came from the same bag of shopping. Ah – sorry. I was distracted there. You see, it’s hard to be fixated on the issue of someone’s sexuality all that long. I can usually manage about a couple of sentences, and then I start drifting.
I wasn’t always this blasé, though. Coming as I do from a fairly conservative background, it took me a good few years to get the homophobia out of my system. And I’m not so naïve to think that that there aren’t a great many people who care furiously about whether Jessie J, or other public figures like here, are openly gay or bisexual. After all, those people, many of whom are at the head of large, powerful, brutally intrusive institutions, are the reason why so few professional athletes, politicians and other entertainers are studiously silent about their same-sex partners.
I read a very good piece on this subject by Lucy Brisbane in the Evening Standard. She examined the issue fluently and with great care, and finally asked that more bisexual men in the media would stand up and be counted, as their female counterparts have done. I know from personal experience that coming to terms with your sexuality is much easier when you can see others like you living well-adjusted lives. That’s why I think that, where possible, our visibility is important. What’s more, I have this blog, so I guess that puts me in the media: it’s not quite Perez Hilton, but it will do. And so, following Lucy’s encouragement, I will take her up on her offer.
Here’s the thing about bisexuality. It’s not, to quote those people in Govan’s book, “trendy, exotic and a bit of a fashion statement”. Don’t get me wrong – from an anthropological point of view, there is something exciting about having no idea which gender of person I am going to click with. Some friends remind me that it doubles my chances of pulling. Well, there’s a flipside to that: I get to crash and burn in both genders. (Trust me, it is not for the faint-hearted.)
I suppose this post I’ve written is a bit of a polemic, although very mild, against people who make out that bisexuality is this edgy, mystical thing. Honestly, I wish it were. But the truth is that, to me, it is just life. Lucky me, I guess. I am so much more fortunate than people who have never had the – Wait, what’s that out there, floating in the nearby stream? An empty plastic bottle. I think the bottle is Ribena.Tagged in: bisexuality, Chloe Govan, Evening Standard, homosexuality, Jessie J, Lucy Brisbane, Perez Hilton
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