Apparently, the TV show Blind Date is being rebooted and it was going to have an episode where one woman got to pick from three other women. Hmm, presuming that's how she identified, it'd be better labelled a 'lesbian Blind Date', wouldn't it? Anyway..
this weekend will see the show's first ever LGBT matchmaking.
If there wasn't a bisexual contestant in the eighteen years the original ran, I will apply to go on myself because I bet there was.
Dating shows now feature people looking for love across the spectrum, and it's refreshingly commonplace, and these days, it largely goes unnoticed. ITV's Dinner Date often has same-sex couples, as does Channel 4's First Dates. Without including people who identify as gay and straight and the areas in between
And. The. Areas. In. Between.
If only there were names for people who are attracted to more than one gender..
Talking about Naked Attraction, Channel 4's 'never mind the face, look at the body' dating show, it says
A recent episode featured a woman who defined as poly, choosing from a selection that included cis men and women, and trans men and women.
Hmm, as she was given that range of people, what else do you think she identifies as??
(Especially as if she didn't identify as something on the bi spectrum, you'd expect one of The Guardian's resident TERF's to have been outraged that she was being offered trans people.)
There are, too, dating shows in which the nature of the format requires boy-girl pairings. It would be hard to work out how to do Love Island and Take Me Out, in particular, which need that clarity of definition, though clearly both would suit LGBT versions brilliantly, and would gain the added frisson of never knowing whether those in a position to couple up would pick from the other side, or their own.
Leaving aside the gender binary there, and from someone who could write 'cis' earlier, what would you call people who would be open to be sexual with more than one gender? They obviously couldn't be exclusively lesbian or gay, because we'd already know,* wouldn't we?
Neither has yet been attempted, but I'm still hopeful.
Someone who watches more reality TV than me will be able to say if it has – I've a tiny memory of at least one production company that was looking for bi participants for an 'anyone could shag anyone!' show after the success of the first series of Big Brother – but I'd be surprised if no-one's done one.
If anything, it seems peculiar now that it's taken this long for Blind Date to catch up, and that the original show, which ran from 1985 to 2003, never thought to, or maybe dared to, go there. You can look at shows such as First Dates and Dinner Date, with their casual approach to sexuality, as a sign of just how much social attitudes towards homosexuality have shifted in the last two or three decades.
The UK version of Blind Date made a feature of being 'safe', hence the choice of the middle aged Cilla Black as host rather than someone seen as being more sexual and the active discouragement of sexual questions or boasting / shaming in the post-date interviews.
But articles like this are a sign of how much social attitude to bisexuality still has a long way to go, because this is what erasure looks like.
* Yes, I know how many gay-identified men are sexual with women in any year – it's more than do BDSM – but given that the author assumes that straight people aren't going to get off with their own gender…