"Why don't you just come out as gay already?"
YouTube viral sensation R.J. Aguiar is known for speaking his mind in a series of hilarious videos that tackle everything from sex to gay slang to pumpkin carving. Aguiar uses his unique style of commentary to setting the record straight on his bisexuality.
Aguiar came out as bisexual four years ago when he started dating current costar and fiancé Will Shepherd. Their YouTube channel, cheekily named Not Adam and Steve, has a large gay following, prompting many fans to insist that Aguiar admit he's using bisexuality to mask his homosexuality. In his binary-busting rant, the YouTuber notes that in fact, "coming out" as gay would be dishonest to his sexual orientation.
Aguiar begins by dispelling some of the most common misconceptions about bisexuality. "First off, bisexuality exists," he says. "It is not a stepping stone to coming out as fully gay. It does not mean a person is indecisive and can't choose what team to play for."
Explaining that biphobia is evident in both the straight and gay communities, Aguiar points out that sticking to his guns is actually the more difficult choice. "My life would be ten times easier if I identified as gay instead of bi," he says. "Because then I wouldn't have to be constantly validating my experience not only to straight people but to gay people as well... While we're on the subject of commitment, my bisexuality has no bearing on my ability to commit to someone."
The video has clearly struck a chord within the LGBT community, not to mention Aguiar's fans, who have viewed it hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube.
"I'm obviously thrilled that the video is doing so well," Aguiar told Mic. "I'm getting all these messages from Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat and Tumblr and email, from people all across the sexual spectrum, telling me that my video helped them make sense of their identity or someone else's, and they make me so happy. It's crazy that something I shot in 20 minutes in my underwear is making such a splash. The only weird part is that now, people are finding it who knew me long before I came out, and they're sharing links with my mom on Facebook."
Describing what he thinks is the bisexual community’s biggest struggle, Aguiar told Mic that it's frustrating to see bisexuals still having to convince their fellow Americans. "The whole concept of sexual binary is just so ingrained in so many people's minds," he said. "Not to mention the fact that a lot of people are just now getting around to accepting homosexuality, so how would they then begin to start contemplating bisexuality? The media is also partially to blame, since bisexuality is often portrayed as something sexy that women experiment with in college. Google a list of 'bisexual celebrities' and at least 80% will be attractive women."
Image Credit: Getty
He's certainly got a point there: Although bisexuality has been getting a bit more attention recently, both on LGBT-centric sites and even the New York Times, it's clear that there's still a serious lack of mainstream awareness. Recently, a Slate advice columnist told a bisexual woman to stay in the closet, likening her sexual identity to an erotic kink fetish. It's essential to realize that these types of controversies don't occur in a vacuum: Bisexuals continue to report disproportionate rates of mental health issues, including suicide, making out and proud bisexuals like Aguiar important role models for a consistently underrepresented community.