In 2011 pop star/songwriter Jessie J first told an interviewer she has dated men and women.
“I’ve never denied it,” she told In Demand. “Whoopie doo guys, yes, I’ve dated girls and I’ve dated boys–get over it.”
Since then the British personality has spoken about her bisexuality with several other outlets, expressing the sentiment that it was no big deal and that the people in her life have known about it and accepted her relationships with women for years. Which is why it came a surprise to fans yesterday when Jessie J tweeted in a very roundabout way that she was no longer identifying as bisexual; that it was simply a phase and she wished people would understand.
In a now deleted tweet, Jessie J wrote:
What’s left on the feed, though, is more of an explanation of what she considered a phase.
The 26-year-old then said she was not interested in being a role model, but that she loves her fans.
While Jessie J, like any other human being, has the right to identify however she would like, she’s done the queer community a great disservice by referring to her interest in women as a “phase,” something that bisexuals have been plagued with for as long as they’ve been out and proud. The consistent notion that bisexuals are flip floppers or that queerness in general can be erased within an individual are not only untrue sentiments but ideas that the homophobic tyrants use as arguments against our demands for equality.When a public figure like Jessie J says she is no longer bisexual because it was a “phase,” she is telling the world that romantic or sexual feelings for the same sex can pass on, that they were somehow less real or sincere than those felt for the opposite sex. In short, you can become an ex-bisexual just like you can become an ex-gay once you get the experimenting out of your system.
As someone with a huge LGBT following, Jessie J is likely to disappoint many with this kind of statement that she felt she needed to make. The other facet of this is that many will not see her as “truly” bisexual, and anytime someone’s sexual identity is being decided by other people, it can become a dangerous situation, one that can lead to ignorance and violence, including things like corrective rape of lesbians and other related hate crimes.
Jessie J must have felt like she was being somehow dishonest or her sexuality was misconstrued, despite many of the statements on her bisexuality having come from her directly in the past few years. While it’s clearly something she wanted to make known for her own sanity or personal gain, it is a very unfortunate tactic for the rest of us who cannot turn our queerness off, and more often than not, don’t want to.