Do you think seeing 2 girls make out is hot?
"Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!"
group of teenagers is gathered at a party. Music's playing; smuggled
booze is flowing. Two girls grin sheepishly at each other as a crowd
goads them on.
Finally, the teens relent, rewarding their audience with some mouth-on-mouth action.
It's not an unusual scene, according to South Florida high school students,
who say the newest trend for teen girls isn't wearing the latest
designer jeans or driving a cool car, but declaring themselves to be
"Some do it for attention. Some do it because guys like
it. And some do it just because they can. It's definitely a fad," says
Stranahan High student Christy Shalley, president of the Fort Lauderdale
school's Gay Straight Alliance.
Jessie Gilliam, program manager for Youth Resource -- a national
Web site created by and for gay, lesbian and bisexual young people --
says the trend is known as "bisexual chic," or in many cases, "faux
bisexual." It usually starts with some hand-holding or grinding on the
dance floor, then progresses from there.
"It's a countrywide thing," she says.
to parents: If this seems particularly shocking, try turning on a TV to
see why most kids aren't as fazed. There's the infamous kiss between
Britney Spears and Madonna at the recent MTV Music Video Awards. There's
the popular singing duet Tatu, two Russian teenage girls who, depending
on whom you believe, are really in love with each other or just part of
a brilliant marketing scheme that simultaneously appeals to gays,
misunderstood adolescents and the Lolita lust of straight men.
to another channel, and you'll see beer commercials where guys
fantasize about two female friends "catfighting" in a fountain.
Despite this constant stream of images, students say moms and dads generally are clueless that it's really happening.
parents know," says David Sternberg, a senior at Spanish River High in
Boca Raton. "And if they think they know, they really don't know."
He adds that some girls may truly be questioning their sexuality, but others just want to be perceived as hot.
go for the whole mystery thing. And guys usually think it's attractive.
It's a turn-on. It's more of a teasing thing. At parties, girls
randomly kiss, and guys are like, `Oh! That's awesome!'" he says.
Sharon Friedlander, head of guidance for Broward public schools,
says adults in the school system are well aware of students' growing
flirtation with bisexuality. But she doesn't necessarily see it as an
entirely new phenomenon.
"The questioning process is part of growing up," she says.
CHILDREN ACTING OUT
the past, young people may have waited until college to explore their
sexuality. Today, it's common for that process to start at a younger
age, Friedlander and other educators say.
really just straight children acting out that natural pubescent
rebellion, of stepping out of the boundaries the previous generation set
up," says Clarence Brooks, a teacher at Bak Middle School of the Arts
in West Palm Beach.
Sam Deblaker of Wilton Manors says she first experimented with girls because of the way guys reacted.
liked the attention," the 17-year-old says, adding that though she has
had a boyfriend for two years, she occasionally kisses girls in front of
him. "He likes it. It's fun."
But not all students are so accepting.
"It's wrong. God made us male and female for a reason," says Jenny Saint Jean, 15, a freshman at Fort Lauderdale High.
Karla NM-zM-qez, 16, agrees: "I don't go to those kind of parties."
Forman, a sophomore at Cypress Bay High in Weston, says the trend is
sort of "disgusting," but she's used to seeing it.
"Guys are like,
`Kiss, kiss, kiss!'" she said, adding that some behavior carries over
onto campus. "Parents shouldn't freak out. It's just for fun."
one perspective, Sternberg sees the trend as a sign of greater
tolerance toward gay people. He came out with an article in his school
newspaper this year and says most people have been accepting.
the other hand, he says, the girl-girl trend, and the relative casual
reaction to it, also shows how males aren't allowed the flexible
sexuality females are.
"It's all fine and good for women, but if a
guy is experimenting with a guy, he'll feel the consequences,"
Sternberg says. "Someone could really hurt you or make a point of
The double standard is part of the reason Gilliam doesn't think the fad will do much for gay rights in the long run.
a bisexuality that's focused on heterosexuality in that it's still
focused on pleasing a man, a heterosexual audience, and in that sense
it's not progressive," she says. "Sexism plays into it. Girls in our
culture aren't supposed to have a sexuality on their own terms."
for the issue of girls who may be "faking" bisexuality to get
attention, adults say this could be the new equivalent to young women
who experiment with lots of boys for the same reason.
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