Bisexuality is often joked about being “invisible” within the community. Although the number of bisexual people is about equal to gay and lesbian people combined, there is a lot of misinformation about it. So what is bisexuality? There are many different definitions, but the most popular is “attraction towards two or more genders”.
Now let’s go through some of the misconceptions about bisexuality:
1. Bisexuality is transphobic
Bisexuality is not inherently transphobic. Someone who is bisexual can be attracted to men and women, women and nonbinary people, or any other combination of genders as long as it’s at least two. Trans men and women are men and women, so if a bisexual person is attracted to men and women, trans people are included in that. Some bisexual people can be transphobic, but it has nothing to do with their sexuality.
2. Everyone is a bit bi
Maybe you are bisexual, but not everyone is. This is completely untrue, and it’s mostly used to discredit bisexual people. Some people are gay, some people are straight, some people are ace, some people are bi, and so on. Everyone’s sexuality should be equally respected and acknowledged, instead of pretending that everyone is bisexual. The beauty of sexuality and gender is that we are all different; we shouldn’t destroy that.
3. It’s just a phase/internalized homophobia
Some people do identify as bisexual before realizing they’re gay, but many more people identify as straight before realizing they’re not. It’s okay to realize you aren’t actually bisexual, but the majority of people don’t suddenly realize they were wrong. Most people who are bisexual are as certain about their identity as straight people. No matter what, everyone’s identity should be respected.
4. Bisexual people are more likely to cheat
Bisexual people are as likely to cheat as straight and gay people. They may be attracted to more genders, but just like a straight man doesn’t want to date every woman he sees, a bisexual person does not want to date every person they see.
5. Bisexual people get straight-passing privilege
Yes, bisexual people are usually assumed straight when dating a gender different to their own. No, this is not a “privilege”. Anybody is able to pass as straight if they hide enough of themselves, and that is why “coming out” is a common event in the LGBTQ+ community. The ability to be ourselves is the entire reason the LGBTQ+ movement started.
6. Bisexual people are just pretending to be bi for attention
Ok, you caught us, all bisexual people want attention. That’s exactly why I dislike everyone in a classroom watching me to the point that I can barely remember to not speak at 1000 miles per hour. In all seriousness though, bisexuality is no more a plea for attention than being straight is. If anything, the biphobia and homophobia that come with being bisexual make it a terrible way to get more attention.
7. Bi people are half gay, half straight
Bisexuality is its own sexuality. It is not half of anything. One metaphor to explain this is the color purple. You don’t say, “Oh, that color is half blue and half red”, you just say it’s purple. Bisexual people can have different amounts of attraction towards different genders, but they’re still bisexual, just like different shades of purple are still purple.
8. Bi people in a “straight” relationship on TV aren’t real representation
Any relationship with anyone from the LGBTQ+ community is not straight, no matter what gender the people in the relationship are. Although some representation, like a woman leaving her girlfriend for a guy, contributes to other stereotypes and is bad representation, a bisexual man dating a woman is as valid as a bisexual man dating a man. Bisexual people already face a lack of good representation, so the representation we have is very important.
9. Bi people love puns
Yes, because puns are pan-tastic. I know, I can’t bi-lieve I made such a terrible pun either…
Some bisexual-inclusive charities: