June is Pride month. What better way to celebrate this colorful community. It’s also the perfect time to talk about different LGBTQ+ issues that aren’t always fun. We have come a long way but there is still a lot to do. Stereotypes and stigma are still massive burdens on many people in the community, no matter your identity or sexuality.
Bisexuality has the ability to do something that no one else can do: Be eradicated and non-existent as well as overly-sexualized and judged at the same time. It’s fascinating how the largest group within the LGBTQ+ community faces so much erasure from all sides. If you are looking for resources and more information check here. So, let’s get right to it and debunk some of our favorite bisexual myths.
Bad Puns, finger guns, and other funny stereotypes
Maybe this one isn’t a myth. Even if it is, it’s a fun one. Bi-culture has claimed the “bi-chair”: Bisexuals can’t sit properly. We also never know what to do with our hands (enter finger guns and peace signs). Oh, and “bi” the way, our puns are bi-conic. We have to give ourselves a bi-five for them. If your Bi-Fi is working you can find more of them online. Okay, I am done now. Let’s get into some of the more serious myths we have to tackle.
We don’t exist
It is a very common statement that bisexuality does not exist. “It’s just a phase” is a sentence every bisexual has heard probably one thousand times. Either you are gay but don’t want to admit it or you are straight and just do it for attention. This suggests that sexuality is a binary construct, which is just not true. We are not half-gay and half-straight and we don’t have to pick a side. People also often say that if you haven’t dated multiple genders or at least have been in a year-long relationship, than you can’t be bisexual. To be clear: You can know your sexuality without having to date. You don’t tell someone they aren’t heterosexual because they have never been in a relationship either.
A big thing is also to say that women say they are bisexual just to attract hetero men. Yes, there is nothing more exciting than to be overly-sexualized by men. Our sexual identity surely revolved solely around them and what they think of us. Another statement is that bisexuals are just confused about what they want. I may be confused about quantum physics but I am not confused about this.
Monogamy doesn’t exist
Probably the biggest myth about bisexuals is that we are unable to be in a monogamous relationship. We are promiscuous and neurotic. We are notoriously unfaithful, preferably want to date multiple people, or all the people at once, and if we are in a relationship we automatically would rather date a person from a gender our current partner is not. Being attracted to multiple genders also makes us greedy and somehow attracted to every single human being on the planet. For the people in the back: Being bisexual does not mean we want to date you. Just like straight or gay people, we are still only attracted to certain people. The only difference is that we are not limiting ourselves to one gender.
The Unicorn myth
I never expected to one day not like unicorns anymore. But the amount of times straight couples are looking for their “unicorn” because they want to spice things up and go on an “adventure” together is crazy. I am assuming the cliche that bisexuals are always happy and eager to be part of a straight couple’s threesome goes back to myth number three. Sneaky, greedy bisexuals not being satisfied with only one partner.
It’s a 50/50 “distribution”
I saw this really cool post a while ago that said: “If you put blue and red together it makes purple. Purple is not referred to as half red—half blue though because it is, on its own, a color. Some shades are much more blue or much more red, but they’re still called purple.”
Sexuality is not a pie you can cut in half, say each piece equals one sexual attraction, and then be done with it. Sexuality is fluid and changes over time. For some it might be relatively clear for most of their life. For many people it is not. While many people might have some preference for one gender or another, even this preference can change throughout a lifetime. It’s not a fixed thing you have to stick with just because you used to like someone from a certain gender. Your past attractions are not an indicator for what your future might hold.
Bisexuals have it super easy either way
When you are attracted to more than one gender it must be super easy to find someone. Let’s just ignore the fact that bisexuals face more prejudices than other members of the LGBTQ+ community. This does not just come from heterosexuals but also from other LGBTQ+ people. Mental illness is another increased issue as well as higher rates of domestic and sexual violence. Moreover, bisexuals are far less likely to be “out” to people in their life which doesn’t make the situation any easier.
Guys may talk negatively about other women in front of us because we are “one of the boys”
This is a weird one. Once you as a girl openly identify as being attracted to more than one gender, guys suddenly seem to think that just because you are also attracted to women makes it okay for them to say really vulgar and disrespectful things about other women. You suddenly turn into “one of the boys” which apparently makes it all right to talk smack about your gender and it is expected of you to agree to that. It’s not happening my friend.
I hope this article has clarified some common myths about bisexuality and has also shown that sexuality is a complex and non-binary issue. You should identify however you feel comfortable. Whether it is gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or any other sexual orientation. If you don’t want to label yourself as any of these than that’s okay, too. If you do put a label on it remember that you define what that label means to you. Don’t let anyone else tell you how you should describe yourself. Do what makes you most comfortable, not what others want you to do. If you identify as a bisexual now, or maybe will one day, just know that there is a huge community awaiting you with open arms.
Until next time.
As NSYNC said: Bi Bi Bi 😉
If you want to know more about how my sexuality has influenced my life as a vegan check out my other article here: How Coming To Terms With My Sexuality Made Me A More Compassionate Vegan
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Photo: Mahrael Boutros via Unsplash