Chris Huhne and his bisexual lover
Chris Huhne had an affair, got divorced and is now in prison for perverting the course of justice. You would be forgiven for thinking that this alone was a ‘juicy’ enough story for the British media to sink their proverbial teeth into, apparently not. No, instead they feel the constant need to remind their readers that Chris Huhne had an affair with a bisexual woman, about his bisexual lover.
‘The Sun’, in a piece titled ‘Huhne MP to HMP’, stated ‘expert Pryce was furious at being dumped for his [Mr Huhne’s] bisexual PR aide’, while ‘the Daily Telegraph’ noted how Mr Huhne ‘currently lives … with his former aide, bisexual Carina Trimingham, 45’. In 2011, the Daily Mail wrote how ‘Mr Huhne left Vicky Pryce—his wife of 26 years—last year after his affair with bi-sexual Miss Trimingham’. The previous year, the paper ran a piece called ‘Chris Huhne’s bisexual lover: Life and very different lovers of the PR girl in Doc Martens [calling card of the lesbian, apparently]’, in which its readers were able to gorge themselves on the details of her sex life over their cornflakes—according to a ‘friend’, ‘Carina has had relationships with both men and women, but generally not at the same time’.
Why do we need to know? Why is the fact the woman Mr Huhne has had an affair with is bisexual so remarkable? Why can certain papers not even print Miss Trimingham’s name without fixing ‘bisexual’ before it? Why has it come to define her media existence?
Clearly, the fact Miss Trimingham self-identifies as bisexual is considered a suitably perverted, freakish footnote in this political drama. It’s a juicy detail the ranks of middle England can shake their collective head at. ‘Oh a cabinet minister has slept with a bisexual woman, how wild, he would be a Liberal Democrat!’.
Such attitudes are endemic of a wider suspicion of bisexuality in our society. I’m bisexual. It’s not a fact I’ve ever wanted to tell people, and, up to this point at least, only a handful of my friends were aware of it. I have always felt deeply embarrassed and awkward about telling people, partly because certain sections of society consider it to be such a freakish and promiscuous thing to be.
Indeed, some people I have encountered have maintained bisexuality does not actually exist. Others have merely called bisexuals ‘greedy’ or ‘weird’. Some doubt whether bisexuals can be in loving relationships. ‘Surely they’d never be satisfied, always thinking about the other sex?’. This last misconception I have always found particularly hurtful. Mainly, because I’m in a loving relationship with a woman, a woman I adore, a woman I have absolutely no intention of leaving so that I can sleep with men. Nor am I constantly ‘frustrated’. It’s akin to saying that because a man might find tall women attractive, he would be unable to have a relationship with a small woman who he loved.
Studies have suggested that bisexual employees feel, on average, more uncomfortable about being ‘out’ in the workplace than gay men or lesbian women.
I’m not saying I fear facing ridiculous levels of abuse, especially not at university. But nonetheless bisexuality is still treated with gory suspicion by some in society, it is considered part of a promiscuous ‘other’. Well, all I can say is that if I ever have an affair with a cabinet minister, I sincerely hope I will be identified merely as ‘Alec Burt’ and not ‘bisexual Alec Burt’.