On Bisexual Visibility Day, here are some things we need to say. It’s estimated that bisexuals make up the largest part of the LGBTQ community, with the Williams Institute and Human Rights Campaign putting that number at around 50%. Despite this, bisexual people are often erased both from outside and within the LGBTQ community.
Often we’re called ‘greedy’ or ‘confused’ or even faced with outlandish claims that we’re more likely to cheat or have an STI. So, on Bisexual Visibility Day, we’d like to confront some of the myths surrounding the ‘B’ within our community.
“Bisexuals are just confused”
Arguably, this one has some truth; bisexuals are very confused over how people fail to understand our sexuality. We just like more than one gender identity in the same way that people like more than one type of food, or just one TV show.
“Bisexuals are greedy”
Sticking with the food analogy, just because someone likes different items of food, it doesn’t mean they want to be eating them all the time, it just means the option is on the table. If we were greedy, we’d all constantly be after someone, but many bisexuals are happy in committed relationships or just not pursuing anyone.
“Bisexuality is just a stepping stone to being gay”
For some people, bisexuality is a stepping stone, and that’s okay – but for many others it’s their sexuality. I came out as bisexual when I was 16/17, and I still identify that way almost six years later. Looking back on my life, I had bisexual feelings in primary school, I just didn’t recognise them at the time. As a wise person on the internet once said: “For some, bisexuality is a journey, for others it’s the destination.”
“Bisexuals are more likely to cheat”
There isn’t a single study out there that proves this. People of all sexual identities cheat, and it’s crap. But there is nothing out there to suggest that bisexuals are more likely to cheat on you other than your own insecurities. And that’s on you, not us.
“Bisexuals are more likely to have an STI”
Bisexuals still know how to use protection, no matter the gender identity of our sexual partner. Like the notion that we’re more likely to cheat, this myth reduces us to sexual acts rather than acknowledging that sexuality is only one aspect of a person’s identity.
“Bisexual attraction is 50/50”
Some bisexuals do experience a 50/50 attraction to different gender identities, but many others have preferences. However, please don’t ask us for our ‘percentages’. Firstly, the chances are they shift quite a bit rather than remaining static for the rest of time, and secondly, we don’t need to justify our sexuality by giving some arbitrary figure we’ve probably thought about for two seconds. Just know we’re 100% bisexual.
“Bisexual people in relationships are always thinking about other genders”
Gay and straight people don’t fall for someone just because they have the same or different gender identity. They fall for people because of their looks, or their personality, or maybe because they have money. Bisexuals are exactly the same, it just means your gender isn’t something that bothers us. If we were secretly yearning for another gender, we would never be in relationships.
“You can only be bisexual if you’re single”
Going back to the first point, this one does genuinely confuse bisexuals. Our sexuality doesn’t just change because of our partner, it’s not a little meter that just swings all over the place. We’re bisexual no matter who we’re dating.
“When a bisexual person settles, they’ve made their choice”
Like the previous point, a bisexual is still a bisexual no matter who their partner is. If we’ve married a partner, it doesn’t mean we now exclusively like that gender, it just means we’ve married our partner, like in any other relationship where someone gets married.
“Bisexuals aren’t attracted to trans people”
Trans women are women and trans men are men, and seeing as bisexuals are attracted to both men and women there’s no reason for bisexuality to erase the trans community.