What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Daibhid C: Is Captain Jack's origin really a spoiler, given it was established in his first appearance in Doctor Who, a year before Torchwood started?

Ununnilium: I say thee nay. Taking it out.

Silent Hunter: Yes, but the "Utopia" reference is.

Mister Six: Where did it say that Vamp from MGS 2 was bi? Or that they called him that because of his sexuality?

Rich: Early on in the Tanker mission, if you keep calling Plisken on the codec, he'll fill Raiden in on the history of each of Dead Cell's members. It's revealed during one of these conversations.

Mister Six: Oh, cool. I think I was probably too busy throwing Raiden down stairs to keep bothering with that.

Scrounge: Frankly, I'm surprised more sitcoms haven't used bisexuality as a gimmick in and of itself... The obvious basic gag being, as a friend of mine (Kimiko Muffin from this wiki, as a matter of fact)puts it, "I'm bi. That means I can't get a date with twice as many people."

Schol-R-LEA: I can attest to this personally. Twice zero dates, is in fact, zero dates. Of course, most bisexual-identified folx are probably a wee bit more successful in these matters than I...

bluepenguin: Or as one anecdote I read somewhere put it, "Bisexuality: twice the rejection in half the time!"

Ununnilium: Okay, reading the El Goonish Shive archives, and from what I can tell, Ellen has been bisexual all along, though the attracted-to-men part has fallen by the wayside since she and Nanase hooked up. (And the explanatory strip wasn't about how the transformation gun didn't make you bisexual — it was about how the pheremones that made other people bisexual around you didn't last long.) So, unless someone else can point out something that I missed...

Later: Oh, there's another explanatory strip. Okay. ...but Ellen's still bi.

Even later: No she isn't. Never mind. >>v Man, I really did need to read through this again.

Krid: Oh, she's still Bi. She's just more attracted to women than men, and she finds it weird to be attracted to men in the first place.

Man Called True: Which is functionally no different than having her be a lesbian in the first place. The results are still the same - Dan Shive frantically backpedaling away from the idea that anyone can be attracted to both men and women.

Colin: And when did they say Grace was bi?

Krid: Mind that bisexuality does not require equal attraction, nor the willingness and/or ability to act upon it. Ellen is bisexual because she's attracted to both sexes, and her being ill at ease with her attraction to men doesn't make her a lesbian any more than being in denial would make a homosexual straight. If you break it down to only straight/bi/gay, then Grace would also count as Bi. She is attracted more to whatever sex she isn't at the time, but the other attraction doesn't vanish. More important to her sexual preferences are the personalities of the respective subjects of her affection, and since this metric has no meaningful ties to the sex of the subject that means that it would classify as bisexuality on it's own. I believe that both would best be classified as bi.

Seth: Grace has a mix of human heterosexual sexuality and alien sexuality which makes her attracted to the opposite gender of her current form (Human Hetero) and attracted to people based on their personality (The alien sexuality) disregarding gender and/or species. Since she is primarily attracted to tedd, depending on his and hers gender at the time she fluctuates between straight and bi but in their default grace=girl tedd=guy forms grace is straight but "bubbly" which comes off as bi (She just really likes hugs). I agree with dan though - its simpler to say she is "Teddsexual".

Ellen is bi, but due to being previously male and her other life having bad experiences with having sex with a man she is uncomfortable with men (But not unattracted). For the same reason (Ie. Previously male) she in naturally attracted to women (Which is the reason V5 makes people bi, it adds the hetero sexuality but due to prior experience they remain attracted to the gender they were always attracted to, which is why a gay person transformed becomes straight not bi - Eg.Justin). As Elliot she had a relationship with nanase previously and sara was taken so from a pairing cast members off perspective it makes sense.

Nanase just thinks boys are ucky :D Tedd is turned on by transformation but has hang ups about being with guys no matter what form he is in. Elliot is straight as a barrel as it sara and Jeremy is the cutest pet in the world.

Its a good comic.

Twin Bird: I've edited the page. It was never said that the gun didn't make people bi - in fact, it was specifically stated that it made straight people (but not gay people) bi.

Ununnilium: Except it said later that it didn't, IIRC.

Twin Bird: Sorry, I'm almost sure that YRI here. This is the latest reference I could find to the gun and sexual preference, and that's what it says.

Ununnilium: Okay, I think I figured it out; there was a later comic which specifically said that the person transformed by the gun didn't make other people bisexual (through pheremones). Originally, it was said that it did.

Twin Bird: Ah. Yes, that is there, although it was actually earlier by about two years, and just says that the pheremones only work for a few days (whereas the bodily effect lasts a month).

Ununnilium: Okay, I remember this one webcomic that was about homosexuals getting superpowers from a comet passing by the Earth. (Only male homosexuals, mind - all the lesbians on Earth vanished, except for one.) Anyway, IIRC, it didn't even mention if anything had happened to bi people. Can anyone tell me a.) the name of this comic, and b.) if my memory is correct?

Twin Bird: Should we really be including webcomics here at all? They're mostly exempt from this trope; just on current and former Keenspot, you've got Diana and Paul, Trevor Moore, Chelsea and Corrine Chattan, Fox Maharassa, Cecilia Lisa Peck, Angela, Celesto Morgan, various characters in Road Waffles, Skids, Jordan Kennedy, Squad 48, Billie Billingsworth, and probably some others from strips I'm not familiar with. And once you leave Keenspot, you get diary strips...

Ununniliukm: We should be including the webcomics where it is true. Just because some webcomics don't have it doesn't mean there aren't any webcomic examples.

Twin Bird: I'm not sure what you mean by "where it is true." The trope is mostly one of the genre - note that most of the examples on the list are "the exceptions that prove the rule," cases where it isn't true, in a genre that makes it stand out. The cases of where it is true are mostly where writers appear to hedge their bets to avoid alienating viewers. (Will and Grace, South of Nowhere, The Bill, etc.) Except in comics intended for print or specific audiences, this impetus simply doesn't exist in webcomics. Maybe a case could be made for situations that seem strange to people who take bisexuals for granted (Chuck & Larry, Seinfeld, etc.), but I don't see El Goonish Shive or Dominic Deegan meeting this criterion; everyone seems to think in terms of "gay, straight, or bi." In any case, the phrase "webcomic exception" seems laughable; I could double the size of the page with "webcomic exceptions" off Tangent's links alone.

Maybe we should try to make it clear which genres this applies to and doesn't? (For example, it sure as hell doesn't apply to mass-market lesbian erotica, BL/GL, or period dramas set in Ancient Greece.)

Twin Bird: Oh, come on!

Okay, I know it's bad etiquette to make an edit to prove a point, but after all, This Is Not Wikipedia. For those of you who didn't see until my edit, someone took the list I made a few lines up and used it to make a list of webcomic aversions. So what I'm going to do is go through my own webcomic bookmarks and pad out the list with every "aversion" I can find...after all, There Is no Such Thing as Notability.

At least anime hasn't made an appearance yet...let's see, Suzumiya Haruhi, Yuki Eiri, Uatsuhizuneimu Hiroshi, Noriko, everyone named in Bait-and-Switch Lesbians...

Solandra: That's probably because it's stated in the entry itself that anime is a MAJOR exception to the No Bisexuals rule, so major that listing the anime aversions to this rule would swallow up the entry. The examples are focused on Western media.

All of the webcomic aversions seem to occur in "transgender" webcomics, so they can be summed up in one sentence: "Averted in just about any transgender or Gender Bender webcomic." Maybe a short explanation could be tacked on the end like "This is most likely because webcomic creators have a wider choice of subject matter than mainstream producers, and many webcomics are Animesque in concept."

Twin Bird: Except they aren't. Three transgender comics in the whole list. (EGS, VE, SGVY.) Five if you count brief storylines in Umlaut House and It's Walky, but none of the others have even touched the issue. And webcomics are said to be an exception in the same paragraph (admittedly, I put that in there, albeit some time ago). A bisexual webcomic character is about as surprising as a bisexual glam rocker. I mean, I can think of webcomics with no obvious bisexuals, but that seems like an absurd criterion if there ever was one.

Twin Bird: Maybe we should try to define exactly what this trope means. What's described in the blurb is a noticeable absence of bisexuals in Western (principally American) TV. This is true, when you go across dozens of shows, many with a significant gay cast, and find very few. Since, as described, this isn't a trope applicable to any particular show, most of the examples are the very few shows with a bi character, to illustrate the paucity.

This, however, is not all of them. Some of them are examples of people who appear to think in a binary paradigm, i.e., not to consider that the person they're dealing with could be bi, or who understand bisexuality but try not to deal with it. Some are writers trying to backpedal on a bisexual character, e.g., killing him or pairing him off. Other examples are TV from Western countries other than the US, where bisexual characters are more common, or other media entirely.

I'll drop the argument over webcomics for the moment. Film has one example, and that's of the "binary paradigm" variety. Literature has no examples. Anime has no examples; it's mentioned in the description that this is because there is no rule to prove. Videogames have one, that's somewhere between "binary paradigm" and "exception that proves the rule." Film and literature also presumably have no rule to prove; I could think of plenty of examples in film, where bisexuals are stock villains in the vein of albinos (Mr. Ripley, Buffalo Bill, Lestat, the average Lesbian Vampire, whatever Sharon Stone's name was, etc.).

However, the description has nothing to do with people thinking in a binary paradigm. In fact, it doesn't even mention media other than TV, except that anime is a counterexample. My point here - again, I won't further fight everyone over webcomics - is that we've made something else of this trope, and I think the description needs an update. Can someone less biased than me do it?

Twin Bird: Actually, I'm kind of getting the impression that I'm the only with with an eye on this page, so I'm going to go ahead and change the description myself, and pare down "webcomics." Any objections?
arromdee: "Also subverted in Torchwood, wherein the entire main cast is bisexual (the Word Of God is that the characters' sexualities are mutable, which amounts to the same thing)."

That doesn't seem to be a subversion. In fact it seems to be another example of the same trope. Claiming that sexuality is mutable seems like a way to *avoid* making them be bisexual and to instead define them as "oh, the character shifts between straight and gay depending on this week's plot, they aren't bisexual, honest".

Fire Walk: Eh? It's not shifting between straight and gay, it's attraction to certain individuals, without major regards to gender. I don't see how that's different from Bisexual (except the presence of Phlebtonium, occasionally).

arromdee: Saying that sexuality is mutable means that it changes. If someone was bisexual, their sexuality wouldn't need to change since their orientation would allow for attraction to either sex without any change in themself. "Mutable" is a way of saying "they're straight this episode, and they're gay this episode, but honestly, they aren't bisexual.

Fire Walk: Fair point. It's not shown as that, but the terminology used here is misleading. Hmmm, "Flexible", "adaptable", "pragmatic", maybe? It's not that sexuality changes, just that enough charm, beauty, or supercharged alien pheromones can get around it, and not be "evil mind control" type style. It's not shown as "flipping", though.

Mister Six: Not that it matters. At least three of the team (Jack, Tosh and Ianto) are confirmed bisexuals, which is enough to warrant an aversion listing.

arromdee: Jack is "omnisexual", which seems like a blatant attempt to say "he's attracted to men and women and he *still* isn't bisexual".

Scientivore: That's an interesting point, arromdee. Since this trope has apparently ended up being about the taboo against identifying as bisexual, I think that you have a very strong case that Jack is an example, not an exception. Edit: But why would that be the case on a show with other bisexuals?

Ununnilium: On the contrary, IMHO; saying Jack is omnisexual is saying "he'll have sex with men, women, and seventeen-gendered Plant Aliens from the Horsehead Nebula".

arromdee: I don't recall the word "bisexual" being used to describe other Torchwood characters either. It's like Nuclear Weapons Taboo or Never Say "Die"; characters can be bisexual as long as they're not called that. And I think that Russell T. Davies has to have left out the word "bisexual" intentionally.

And I don't think Jack is really omnisexual. He may flirt with strange aliens as a joke, but in Torchwood when he met that old woman in the fairies episode who he used to know, he didn't offer to have sex with her. He's never shown sexual desire for children, either (even if he wouldn't actually do anything with them). We really wouldn't want Jack to be truly omnisexual.

Mister Six: FFS, Davies has said several times in interviews that Torchwood's cast is suppoed to be all bisexual. Honestly, arromdee, it looks like you're trying to find things to be upset about. Anyway, here are some quotes from Davies:

"We only ever booked him for five episodes" of Who, Davies said. "I mean, a bisexual con man from the 51st century: did you ever think that was going to work?"

"Without making it political or dull, this is going to be a very bisexual programme. I want to knock down the barriers so we can't define which of the characters is gay. We need to start mixing things up, rather than thinking, 'This is a gay character and he'll only ever go off with men."

"Weve got Captain Jack. Hes American. Hes gorgeous. Bisexual. Fantastic."

As for the other thing, the "pansexual" and "omnisexual" terms are there to encompass non-human lifeforms as well (Tosh and Gwen both get it on with aliens). As for why Jack doesn't want to shag an old woman - well, would you? Jack doesn't discriminate based on species, but he does discriminate based on "gorgeousness".

As for "mutable", I suspect it's more about showing that sexuality is not a three-option thing. People aren't 100% straight, 100% gay or 50% either way. There are men who predominantly want men but find some women attractive. There are women who predominantly want men but find one particular woman attractive. And there are people for whom the ratio is 80/20, 70/30, etc. Sexuality can be mutable in a very real sense - there are men who have never felt a twinge of homosexual (or heterosexual) attraction who find their eye caught by one particular person when they're 45...

arromdee: Okay, I agree, if RTD describes Jack as bisexual outside the show, then he's probably not deliberately omitting it (unless someone turns up another interview saying "we didn't call the characters bisexuals because we feel that's too limiting" or something like that).

xwingace: Jack isn't having sex with the old woman because he's having her think he's his own son, the son of the man she used to love. This has nothing to do with the gorgeousness criterion, which I personally believe she fulfills (because beauty can be on the inside and Jack sees her as much younger anyway).

Also, because he's a hero also on Doctor Who, all sorts of things might be implied in a way that will go over the kids' heads, but they'll never be explicitly shown.

Nentuaby: Hi guys, pansexual here. They didn't make us up for the show. I won't go into the massive philosophical discussion behind the identification here, but it basically means that you don't believe in shoehorning everyone into two sexes any more than you do into "straight" and "gay."

arromdee: While we're at it, shouldn't the last part of the Willow entry be removed because it's a Justifying Edit?
Scientivore: I've watched a lot of ER over the years — admittedly, mostly just on in the background while I was doing something else — and I honestly couldn't tell you for sure who Kerry Weaver is without looking it up first, let alone how he or she is an example of this trope.
  • Kerry Weaver on ER.

Mister Six: She's the redhead doctor with the crutch. She's been in it from the start. To be honest, I don't know what you could add to that other than "Doctor". If you don't pay enough attention to ER to recognise the name "Kerry Weaver" then elaboration probably won't make much difference. That said, wasn't she a lesbian anyway? Did she ever have a relationship with a man?

Scientivore: I apologize for my excessive crypticness. I don't care who she is, just why she's here. As far as I'm concerned, the entry could say just "a character on ER" as long as it explained how that character was an example or subversion of this trope.

Daibhid C:
"Mandy, a recurring villain on 24 both seduces and has genuine relationships with both men and women over the course of the show (although it's hard to tell which is which)."
Um, this means it's hard to tell which is seduction, and which is a genuine relationship, right?
I'm not sure what the Tokyo Mew Mew example example has to do with bisexuality. Isn't it a female character and a male one in both cases? —Document N

Twin Bird: and Mint are both female.
Twin Bird:
Since the name of the show is "House M.D.", this may have an interesting impact on House's sexuality as well. Again, this editor can hope.

Lexi Dizzle: Cut out this bit:
** Actually, an incident of Hilarity Sues occurred when Wilde sued a man for libeling him, apparently by calling him homosexual. In the trial, it apparently was shown that Wilde had a penchant for males, whereupon Wilde himself was criminally prosecuted for being a homosexual, and ended up doing time in prison. The harshness of 19th century prison life probably shortened Wilde's life as a result, and he most likely died sooner than he would have otherwise.

Because, while it is an interesting note on one of the real life examples, it has nothing to do with the trope, since the law was not against homosexuality qua homosexuality (since the very concept of sexual orientation did not enter the mainstream vernacular until the 1920s), the law was simply against "gross indecency" between males.

Twin Bird: Hmm...I'm not sure film "aversions" should be listed, since a Western film with a bisexual character, even a male one, really isn't that unusual. The token bisexual isn't as ubiquitous as in webcomics, however, so I'm not going to put up a fight over this one.

Trouser Wearing Barbarian: Removed this, because it has nothing to do with this trope.
  • Rome features a lesbian affair between Servilia (Caesar's jilted lover) and Octavia (one of Caesar's relatives.) Octavia (who had been heterosexual up to this point) most likely used the affair as a refuge from her cruel, domineering mother. Sadly, Servilia turned out to be equally cruel and manipulative, even going so far as to goad Octavia into sleeping with her own brother in a plot to gain valuable information from him.

Red Sweater: Hmm, I thought Rock Hudson was gay. Is there any good evidence to support the claim that he was bisexual? I'm not trying to be rude, by the way; I'm genuinely curious, because I've never heard this claim before.

Also, I'm pretty sure the Brokeback Mountain main characters weren't supposed to be bisexual. I got the impression that they were gay men who married (and had sex with women) due to intense societal pressure, which is exactly what a lot of gay people have done (and continue to do, sadly).