Was Simon Hughes being hypocritical when he recently denied to the Independent that he was gay, only to 'come out' to The Sun (of all papers!) and state: "I am perfectly willing to say that I have had both homosexual and heterosexual relationships in the past"? Is he just 'bisexual' as this Guardian blog comment reports?
On balance, I suspect that his politician's soul got the better of him here and that there is a degree of hypocrisy to what he has said previously and now. HOWEVER, as is typical for the British attitude to sex and sexual activities, I do think that there is not necessarily a contradiction per se in Hughes stating he is "not gay" and admitting to having had homosexual relationships. Is the tag of bisexuality is sufficiently adequate?
In the excellent book Gay New York, writer George Chauncey argues that identification as 'being gay' would have made no sense to those in pre-WWII America, and many men would have engaged in sexual acts with other men without this precluding them from 'being heterosexual' or even restricting them to 'being bisexual'. I don't think that the passing of time should dictate that these problems with 'being' something have been resolved.
Additionally, there is the issue of how, or whether, the status of heterosexuality is implicitly privileged: given that seemingly one gay relationship or act can undermine your full identification as heterosexual, does this suggest that actually homosexuality is the privileged action since it has such an impact on identification? I would argue that the peception of such binaries as heterosexual/homosexual (black/white; male/female) is not so clear-cut: the pairing is not perceived to be of equal status. The homosexual act has the impact that it does on clear identification of heterosexuality not because homosexuality is privileged but precisely because it is perceived as so OTHER, because it taints the security of identifying the privileged group as "pure" / "normal" *. Moreover, the identification of biexuality does not entirely resolve such dichotomies, as is explored in Marjorie Garber's book Vice Versa: bisexuality is "not just another sexual orientation but rather a sexuality that undoes sexual orientation as a category."
* Please note that I do NOT believe that heterosexuality is a state of being that is "pure" / "normal", any more than I would see women as secondary to men, or those of non-white races as secondary to whites.