“Chasing Life” recap (2.7): Bi and Bye

Previously on Chasing Life, April collapsed in the church so Leo married her in the chapel where they first bonded, Leo started working for his father’s philanthropy, and Brenna was forced to switch schools even though her new brother-in-law is independently wealthy and her grandmother can afford to go on a worldwide adventure because Charton was fresh out of plot points.

We rejoin our friends a month after the wedding; April has moved into Leo’s apartment, where they have spent the first few weeks of wedded bliss avoiding responsibilities like doing the dishes and taking out the trash. April decides enough is enough, but rejects Leo’s offer to get a housekeeper. All they need to do is split the chores. While they make a half-hearted first attempt to clean up, Leo makes sure April has someone to go with her to her transfusion and mentions how much he loves his job, because he’s the best and everything’s fine and dandy. He tries to pass the buck on dinner because he has a headache and because neither of them heard me shouting profanities at my television, April plays the cancer card and the comment goes unnoticed.

Beth does indeed go with April to get her transfusion, and there they meet a sleazy pharmaceutical rep who we shall call Pharkas. He is cocky and flirty and gives Beth his card, but Beth is so not interested.

Chasing Life 207-1Though you can’t blame him for trying.

At the Carver house, Sara is trying to make small talk with Brenna, but is only giving moody teenager responses. That is, until Uncle George comes home and gets her whole life story basically without prompting. Including the fact that she joined a Gay and Lesbian club at school since they have no film club.

After Sara rushes off, George asks Sara if she’s okay, and Sara overcompensates in her answer and ends up telling him that she’s dating William. A lie George doesn’t seem to believe, but he lets her have it.

Okay so then Brenna goes to this Gay and Lesbian group she spoke of and hoo boy is it a hot mess. We’ve got the transkid who calls Caitlyn Jenner “Bruce,” the asexual who shouts the letter A every time someone starts the LGBT alphabet, a couple that consists of a righteous gay dude and a gay dude who isn’t really up on queer culture, and a non-white lesbian who I was all excited to see until she started throwing shade at Brenna for being bisexual. Brenna is sitting here like, “What the hell did I just get myself into?”

Chasing Life 207-2 I miss Greer.

(The only person I’ll give a pass to here is the leader of the group, because it’s possible this episode was written/filmed in the period after Caitlyn came out as trans but before she revealed her true name.)

Then poor Brenna is doused with an onslaught of biphobic things, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF WHICH I have actually heard (or read) actual humans say in all seriousness to other humans. These things include, but are not limited to, the notion that bisexuals are attracted to literally everyone, that they decide which gender they feel like being attracted to on any given day, and that maybe they’re just confused. And bless Brenna’s heart, because she stands up for herself, and therefore bisexuals as a whole, batting away each stereotype with a shocked but firm response.

And you know why she’s shocked? Because she’s sitting in a room full of minorities. LGBTQIA people who all know what it’s like to be mislabeled and misrepresented and misjudged on sight. People who have probably experienced first hand the kind of crude generalizations they’re putting on Brenna right now. And you know what’s even sadder? I can’t even chalk it up to them being teenagers, because I’ve seen these same types of comments on this very website, this place meant to be a safe space for queer people. Why do we do that to each other? Don’t we get it enough from the people outside our community?  

One thing the kids said struck me as something I want to elaborate on a little, briefly, because a lot happens in this episode. Mariah (who I’m going to start calling Mariah the Pariah if she doesn’t smarten up soon) said the last girl she dated claimed to be bi before going “back to men.” Which, okay, I get that it sucks. The first two girls I dated ended up not only dating exclusively men in the future (the first of which gave me my first Santana-Lopez-esque HE’S JUST A STUPID BOY moment), but one just stopped identifying as queer altogether, talking about the LGBT community as if it was something she was never a part of—which hurt only because it made me question our whole thing and if anything she ever said to me was true. Was she lying then, or is she lying now?

So, I get how being burned in that way can make a teenager quick to snap to “never dating a bisexual again,” but it’s also misplaced distrust. I was just dating the wrong kind of people, is all—how they identified had nothing to do with it. And even if there was a whole subset of crazy bisexuals (which, arguably there is, only because there’s a crazy subset of any group of people, lesbians, Italians, people who are 5’7″, people whose name start with K…), that doesn’t mean that every single bisexual you ever encounter will have the same result. Can you imagine what life would be like if we eliminated future dating prospects based on generalizations like that? “Oh, her birthday’s in March? I dated a girl whose birthday was in March once and she cheated on me. No can do.” How quickly our pool would dry up! So why are some people so quick to do just that with bisexuals, who have no more say in being bisexual than a person does being born in March?

Chasing Life 207-3 “I’m not going to apologize for my heart, okay?”

(By the way, the best part about all of these Brenna scenes is that you know the WRITERS know what’s right. You can tell by the way they made the annoying new kids say the stupid things and let Brenna say all the smart things.)

Anyway, after group, Brenna runs into Finn and tells them about the biphobia, and jokes about starting a One-Legged/Bi Alliance.

Chasing Life 207-4 More like the ADORABLE HUMAN alliance.

Mariah and Andrew come over to be terrible some more, and they rapid-fire start accusing Brenna of dating Finn and therefore being straight now. One of them says something about pulling an Amber Heard, which confused me because as far as I know Amber Heard didn’t flip flop about her sexuality at any point? She’s just still married to Johnny Depp??? BISEXUAL WOMEN ARE STILL BISEXUAL WHEN THEY ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A MAN. You can quote me on that.

Also, ALSO, one specific phrase that they use is about Brenna going “back to men,” which is a phrase that I have read in the comments section in these very recaps of this very show about this very character. But guess what? Brenna has declared herself as bisexual/not straight from day one. She has never doubted it or rescinded it. And you can’t go “back” to something you never left. So she might date a few guys, she might date one guy, she might only date guys from now on, she might never date a guy again. She’ll still be bisexual, unless she does some soul searching and decides to identify otherwise (which doesn’t seem likely—she seems comfortable in who she is). But that will be for her to decide, not you, not me, not Mariah the Pariah.  

ANYWAY. Things get really tense and ridiculous and Brenna finally loses her cool, shouting that she’s not into Finn like that AT ALL and to just leave her alone already. Which doesn’t make Finn feel all too great.

Meanwhile, April realizes that, in order to write her book, and be a sane human, she needs a door to shut, so her and Leo decide to get a new apartment because they’re happy and perfect and everything is FINE.  

Chasing Life 207-5LET’S GO PLAY IN THE BALLPIT OF DENIAL

They do have one last hurrah in their apartment though, a happy hour with some of Leo’s new coworkers. It’s adorable and cute and normal until someone asks Leo and April if they’re going to have kids and they both answer differently, making April feel weird and sad about it.