A staple at any Fringe, the ubiquitous one-person monologue gets a coming out story of sorts as Mark Cohen details the process of embracing his bisexuality inside a heterosexual marriage in Bi, Hung and Married.
Having already penned a book of the same name, Cohen (photo right) moves from paper to stage to tell his coming out story as bisexual to his wife of 15 years. As Cohen recounts, it is surprising to hear that it wasn’t the fact that he was attracted to men that upset her, it was that he had been having sex behind her back that became the biggest obstacle to their remaining together.
“She wasn’t upset by my experimentation but that I had lied about it. That was the wound that cut the deepest” admitted Cohen.
Rather than simply tossing their away the life they had built together though, he and his wife began to delve deeper into their relationship and discovered that the thing that had drawn them together in the first place would help them get through his revelation.
“We were always adventurous,” says Cohen. “Throughout our relationship we had continued to explore and have adventures together, and she decided that this latest revelation was just another extension of that. At that point we began to explore our sexuality and open up our relationship.”
Going public with his story has been somewhat of a cathartic experience for Cohen, but more importantly he says it has led to a stronger, more intimate relationship with his wife
“Intimacy is created when you open doors to yourself that you don’t open to others,” he explains. “Even though she was angry at me, we were pulled closer together and when we started to embark on this new adventure we were like two teenagers doing exciting, bad things together. It was fun, it was titillating.”
With his own now stronger relationship, Cohen says he is proof that there is someone out there willing to meet them on their terms and it is this message he hopes audiences hear in his story.
(A version of this article first appeared in the August 23, 2012 edition of Xtra!)
Bi, Hung and Married
Part of the 2012 Vancouver International Fringe Festival
7 – 16 September 2012
Studio 16, 1545 West 7th Avenue
Visit http://www.vancouverfringe.com for exact showtimes and tickets.