Alan Cumming recently sat down with TV host Larry King in an effort to once and for all put to rest any confusion over bisexuality. The Cabaret star, who has long been a vocal advocate for the LGBT community, told King he's never felt ashamed about his bisexuality. Cumming appeared on Larry King Now to promote his new memoir Not My Father's Son, in which he discusses living with an abusive father and coming to terms with his sexuality.
"I never felt it was wrong," Cumming told King. "I thought perhaps certain times it was going to be difficult because people weren't really receptive to it, but I never felt there was something wrong with me."
This revelation in itself is noteworthy, considering the 49-year-old Cumming grew up in a much more oppressive era, one in which feeling shame for one's LGBT identity was the norm, not an exception. "Did you think you were strange?" King asked, wondering if Cumming had feelings for "both" as a teenager, which Cumming confirmed.
While LGBT rights continue to make substantial gains across the country, there continues to be a lot of confusion when it comes to understanding and accepting bisexuality in America, something that contributes to biphobia.
According to a recent report released by the Human Rights Campaign, about one-third of bisexual youth "reported they have been harassed frequently or called names at school, and 56% said they didn't have a supportive adult in their family. Only 5% described themselves as 'very happy,' compared with 21% of non-LGBT youth."
But there's hope yet. The efforts of stars like openly bisexual actress Anna Paquin and Cumming, who continue to gently correct heteronormative ideas of sexuality, are helping to create an environment that will allow the bisexual youth of today to never again have to feel ashamed about their sexuality.
This is actually not the first time that King has broached the subject of bisexuality on national television. Earlier this year he invited Paquin for a chat that quickly turned to what he termed "non-practicing bisexuality."
"If you were to break up with [a partner] or if they were to die, it doesn't prevent your sexuality from existing," Paquin told King. "It doesn't really work like that."