The other day, BiCommunity News tweeted a link to a year old article about Santana's sexuality in Glee.
The gist of the article is that the writer is disappointed that Santana was getting labelled as a lesbian and not a bisexual because of her history with boys. A choice paragraph is as follows:
Even clueless Brittany tries to help Santana’s self-identify by making her a T-shirt that says “Lebanese” (oh how I want one of those, early birthday present anyone?). Now hang on one cotton-picking minute. It’s not the first or the last time that someone in the show alludes to Santana being a lesbian, but everything Santana has done and said so far screams bisexual. A bisexual girl who doesn’t like labels (welcome to the club), and is firmly in a closet, but most definitely bisexual.
However, this isn't the case with Santana, the author correctly quotes Santana as not liking labels, but during the very same episode Brittany gave Santana the Lebanese T-shirt (Born This Way), Santana identified herself as a lesbian. Also, when Santana said she wasn't interested in labels (during Sexy), she was so far in denial that she couldn't even admit to herself that she was in love with Brittany.
It's true that Santana had had trysts with boys before she was with Brittany, but they never seemed to matter to her like Brittany did and still does. And I don't mean just that she wasn't in love with them, she didn't seem that in to the sex, having looked bored after sleeping with Finn (The Power of Madonna) and only wanting to be with Puck if he could get her things (breaking up with him for not having a good enough credit rating in Acafellas).
Again in Sexy, after Brittany tells her she can't break up with Artie, Santana retorts:
Of course you can. He's just a stupid boy.
Not exactly words I'd expect to hear from a bisexual girl!
In fact, for me, this is the conversation that cemented in my mind that Santana is a lesbian but Brittany is a bisexual, because Brittany loved Artie at the time and didn't want to hurt him and Santana didn't care about any of the boys she'd been with. If you want to read more of the coming out speech from Santana, I posted it here.
Putting aside the author's presumption to decide Santana's sexuality for her, what disappoints me most is the fact that she didn't write about what an amazing character Brittany is and what a positive portrayal of a bisexual teen we have in her. By doing so, it seems to engage in bi erasure which is apparently what the author was railing against (I will put this right in a later post as I think the portrayal of Britt deserves its own post).
By complaining that a lesbian character was labelled as a lesbian and citing this as an example of bi erasure the author has managed to weaken the whole argument for challenging bi erasure, which is a very real and important issue. Because of this, I'm disappointed the article was published in the first place, and even more disappointed that whoever handles the Twitter account for the magazine chose to tweet a link to it almost a year later, particularly as Santana has now publicly declared she's a lesbian.