’80s-Style Musical Number Celebrates and Validates Bisexuality
From rock anthems about sending an embarrassing text message to electro house numbers about one-night stands, the cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend regularly bursts into humorous song. The most recent episode of the half-comedy, half-musical CW series features an '80s-inspired pop song about bisexuality—and debunks some harmful stereotypes along the way.
Dressed in a white suit, the character Darryl Whitefeather (Pete Gardner) jubilantly comes out to his coworkers as bisexual in “Gettin’ Bi.”
“I don’t know how, I don’t know why. But I like ladies, and I like guys,” Darryl sings to his bored colleagues, who are less interested in their boss’ sexuality than in the reason he’s wasting their time with a company-wide meeting.
A middle-aged lawyer and goofy boss to titular character Rebecca Bunch ( Rachel Bloom), Darryl has slowly discovered his bisexuality over the course of five episodes, becoming one of a handful of bisexual characters to grace the small screen. About 2 percent of characters on broadcast television openly identify as bisexual, according to GLAAD’s 2015 TV report.
Along with showcasing a genuine romance between a gay man and a bisexual man, the show also confronts some stubborn questions bi people still face.
“Some may say, ‘Oh, you’re just gay,’ ” Darryl croons, “but that’s not it, because bi is legit.” Through song, Darryl assures his coworkers that he’s not confused, nor is he a “player or a slut.”
Bisexual people report bias from both heterosexual and gay people. A common misconception is that bisexuality doesn’t exist or bi people are afraid to come out as gay. Not only do such stereotypes undermine a bisexual person’s sexual orientation, but they leave them disproportionately in the closet. While more than 70 percent of gay and lesbian people have come out to their families and friends, just 28 percent of bisexual people have done the same, according to a 2013 Pew Research survey.
For Darryl, a dad in the middle of a divorce, feeling attracted to a man was confusing and took time to recognize and accept. But while past episodes have shown Darryl choosing discrete restaurants for fear of being seen with a man, his song signifies self-acceptance and pride in his sexual orientation.
“I’m letting my bi flag fly,” Darryl sings. “I’m a bi kind of guy, and there’s no reason to be shy.”