Chasing My Sexuality (Life)

Chasing Life, an ABC Family show mainly based around how the main character, April Carver, has cancer, has various subplots. One of them being about April’s younger sister Brenna and her continuous struggle to find herself and search for acceptance within the community. In the beginning of season one, Brenna discovers that she is bisexual. In early episodes when first discovering she is bisexual she meets a well-known, well-liked preppy lesbian named Greer. They hook up, eventually turning things into a relationship, and things get messy because Geer’s parents are set on getting her out of the ‘gay phase.’ So they break up when things got too complicated.

Later during season two, Brenna joins a LGBT+ group at her high school. When telling the group that she is indeed, bisexual, they make fun of her for it and say she’s attracted to whoever she feels like on any given day and that she’s just attracted to anything that walks, bringing out the bisexual stereotypes of that ‘they’re just not sure yet’ or that ‘bisexual girls are straight and bisexual guys are gay.’ Even when she tries explaining herself, another member of the group cuts her off explaining what happened when her ex bisexual girlfriend left her for a guy.

“I’m not going to apologize for my heart, okay?”

Although the one leader of the group seems to get it, no one else in the group does. While in a room full of minority groups, knowing how awful it is to be mislabeled, misrepresented and misjudged on sight, they do the same thing to her, expecting her to either be a lesbian or straight – bisexuality being out of the question. As that portion of the episode concludes, the leader of the group points out that there is a lot more to discuss about bisexuality, at that point, we meat an agender character who also feels that the others need to learn more about that as well.

 

This portion of the episode ties into Judith Butler’s gender performativity, in how gender is an ideal, in that when being attracted to someone, it should be one or the other, not both, or neither, or anything in between. Even in the end, when the agender character, Jerry, says that they need to explain what being agender is, proving that the group doesn’t understand nearly enough about the LGBT+ community. There is also a need to realize that gender is a fundamental concept that is for the most part, irrelevant. There isn’t a need in today’s society to define what gender you are along with your sexuality. Society needs to realize this and accept that it’s not just straight and gay anymore, there are so many more genders and sexualities that those need to educate themselves about.

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