[Mary Poppins author P.L.] Travers was a feisty, stereotype-breaking bisexual — a single mom who adopted a baby in her 40s, studied Zen meditation in Kyoto, and was publishing erotica about her silky underwear 10 years before Walt had sketched his mouse. Now that’s a character worth slapping on-screen, instead of this stiff British stereotype determined to steal joy from future generations of children. With her longtime girlfriend and then-adult son erased, this frigid Travers seems like she may not even know how babies are made. Maybe Mary Poppins could sing her a song about it.
Why does it matter that Saving Mr. Banks sabotages its supposed heroine? Because in a Hollywood where men still pen 85 percent of all films, there’s something sour in a movie that roots against a woman who asserted her artistic control by asking to be a co-screenwriter. (Another battle she lost — Mary Poppins’ opening credits list Travers as merely a “consultant.”) Just as slimy is the sense that this film, made by a studio conglomerate in a Hollywood dominated by studio conglomerates, is tricking us into cheering for the corporation over the creator.
Biphobia manifests in a number of different ways in the LGBTQ community, where getting into a heterosexual relationship is a form of betrayal. My last girlfriend was an oddity and a curiosity amongst my friends, as if I were the gay best friend she just happened to be dating, and her friends assumed we were dating for the threesomes. Such stigmas and misconceptions around bisexuality are so rampant that I don’t often disclose my sexuality to the partners I date. If I feel comfortable “coming out” to them, sometimes it’s a non-issue, as if I were telling them I had blue eyes. However, it’s more often than not a dealbreaker. A guy I was dating once told me that he “could never date a bi guy,” because he felt like he could never be enough for him. A bi guy would always want something more.
I’ve also heard that bisexuality is a “hippie new age affectation” and a “cheat,” as if you only have to come out halfway — but bisexuals will have to continue coming out for the rest of their lives. They will have to repeatedly explain themselves, which can be exhausting when you have to deal with prejudice both outside your community and from the people you expect to support you. Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time that Gaga will have to remind us that she’s bisexual, fighting for her place in the spectrum. Lady Gaga belongs in the LGBTQ community, waving a flag alongside the rest of us. It’s biphobia that needs to be erased.
Yes. All of this. As a bisexual woman, coming out to people I date has always been awkward. Women are suspicious of me and a lot of otherwise great dudes are creepy as shit about it. It’s actually a little depressing how genuinely excited I got that the dude I’m currently seeing was neither weird nor creepy about it.