This might be an unpopular opinion, but the fact that Ianto said “It’s not men. It’s just him [Jack]” made their relationship feel even more extraordinary, more special, to me.
It was an unconditional love with no labels. It doesn’t matter that Ianto was sleeping with a man. Before that, he’d only been with women. He expresses no interest in other men during the series as far as we can see. It was just Jack - it was only Jack, and it would only ever be Jack.
But that’s just it, we don’t know if Ianto had never been with a man before. That was never stated in the show. And besides, even if Jack was the first man he’d actually slept with, that doesn’t negate his bisexuality. You don’t become straight or gay only once you sleep with someone, and the same goes for bisexuality.
It’s made very clear in the book Twighlight Streets that Ianto sees himself as bisexual and has for a long time. Plus, in season 2 he and Gwen share comments about the old Torchwood operatives (a man and a woman) being attractive. Even that little moment when he mentally considers Captain John’s offer of an orgy (joke or not) implies his sexual interest in more than women.
Look, I understand why people want to simplify this relationship to Ianto falling in love with Jack just because he’s Jack and that he somehow magically makes a same-sex relationship ok for Ianto where before it wouldn’t previously been. It makes it sound all special and magical. But to do so is naive and insulting to bisexual men. The capacity to love and be sexually attracted to a man had to have been already inside of Ianto. You don’t go through life 100% straight and then all of a sudden turn gay or bisexual because of one person.
Besides, according to Russell, Jack and Ianto were sleeping together long before they fell in love. In other words, Ianto was sexually attracted to and sexually responsive to Jack before any emotional attachment was involved. In other words, Ianto was bisexual. Jack does not have a magical penis that makes straight men forget their straight.
ALL OF THIS.
Agreed! Just because you are sleeping with the same sex doesn’t make you gay. Nor does it make any of you’re past sexual encounters with the opposite sex less significant or true now that you’re with the same sex. Bisexuality exists and Bisexuals walk among us!
There is more than just Gay or Straight. There is a lot of gray area in-between. Let’s not put people in boxes fictional or not.