Say Bi Bi Bi To These Bisexuality Myths
By Caroline Moira
Sexuality is a spectrum of many beautiful colors. For example, I’m bisexual. Learning I was bisexual changed my perception of the world and helped me grow as an individual.
Unfortunately, many people, both straight and in the LGBTQ+ community, have a very warped view of bisexuality. This view is fueled by some negative stereotypes and creates biphobia - a dislike of or prejudice against bisexual people.
Bisexuals exist in a sort of limbo, where we are neither “straight enough” nor “gay enough” for anyone. Often, we are treated as invisible, a problem also known as bi-erasure. Basically, it means that the existence and legitimacy of bisexuality is dismissed or completely denied.
I’ll unpack some of the myths surrounding bisexuality for you and we can kick biphobia/bi-erasure out the door together.
Myth #1: Bisexuality is a “phase.” The assumption is that being bisexual is a phase, mostly for young women who want to experiment but will eventually return back to heterosexuality. Usually this assumption is made by people who are dismissive of LGBTQ+ identities in general or bisexuality is called a phase because certain people believe that bisexuals are actually just gay and don’t want to admit it. Both of these reasons are ignorant.
Sexual identification is complicated and fluid, and sometimes people choose one label on the path to discovering who they are, only to settle on a different label or identity later. For example, I had a friend who identified as bi for years and recently determined she is actually a lesbian. This is different than a phase. She wasn’t saying she was bi because she didn’t want to admit she was fully gay, bisexuality was just a stepping stone on her journey.
Myth #2: Bisexual people are just “confused” gays. This one is pretty similar to #1 - a lot of people can barely wrap their heads around people being gay, so to tell them that more sexual identities exist is a bit of a mindf**k. But guess what? We’re not confused. We know exactly what we want. Thank you, next.
Myth #3: Bisexual people are greedy and untrustworthy. People like to say that bisexual people are just greedy sluts who want to sleep with anyone they can get their hands on. As many people as possible, whenever possible. This isn’t true either. Liking more than one gender does not make you greedy or promiscuous (also, it’s 2018, so there’s nothing wrong with being slutty, as long as you don’t harm anyone). Just because one person you know was cheated on by a bisexual partner, don’t assume all bisexual people are unfaithful to their partners. That’s like assuming all straight men cheat because there are so many stories of well-known men cheating on their partners.
Myth #4: Bisexual people are always down for a threesome. Nope. Sexual identity does not correlate with sexual preferences. Liking men and women doesn’t necessarily mean you want both at once. So stop asking a bisexual person to be you and your partner’s “unicorn” or assume that even if you barely know them, they’d be down to have a threesome with you, just because they’re bi.
Myth #5: Once bisexual people settle down with a permanent partner, they become either gay or straight. Bi ‘til we die, bitches. No matter who I marry in the future, I will always be bisexual. If I never get married but have a long-term girlfriend, I’m still bi. If I only date men for the rest of my life, I’m still - you guessed it - 100% bisexual.
Myth #6: A person can’t identify as bisexual unless they have been in relationships with both men and women. Similar to #5, this is also super wrong. An individual can have never been in a long-term relationship or never even been kissed and still be bisexual. The only thing you need to claim bisexuality is to know if your heart that it is the right label for you. That’s it.
Myth #8: Bisexuality is transphobic / Bisexuality enforces the gender binary. A bisexual person is someone who can be attracted to more than one gender. Many bisexual people also like the definition of bisexuality as being attracted to their own gender and others. And bisexuality is not transphobic! Many transgender people can be bisexual. Sexual orientation and gender identity are two separate concepts and people of any gender identity can be bisexual.
Bisexual people are real. We exist, we want visibility and representation, and we are not greedy, crazy monsters. Oh, and we make up about 50% of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re people, just like everyone reading this.
To be a great bi ally, call out these biphobic myths whenever you hear people bring them up in conversation. Human beings are all unique, flawed, incredible individuals - no matter their sexuality. Every bi person is different, just like every straight person is different. And all people deserve respect! So please, don’t be biphobic. You’re better than that.