Bisexuality: Fact vs. Fiction



Let's clear up some misconceptions...

Fiction: It’s just a phase or you’re just confused
Fact: Yes, it is true that some people identify as bisexual before they identify as gay or lesbian, but this doesn’t mean that every bisexual person is going through a phase. Much like the common, “you’re too young to know,” telling bisexual people that they are confused makes it seem like we are too immature to decide who we are attracted to. Besides, if a bi person is too young to know that they're bi, wouldn't a straight person be too young to know that they're straight? Bisexuality is fluid and people who identify as bisexual deserve to have their identity respected and recognized.

Fiction: Bisexuals are more likely to cheat
Fact: This harmful notion comes from the fact that people refuse to understand bisexuality. People assume that because we are attracted to more than one gender, we must want all the options all at once. This takes away the responsibility from someone who cheats and blames it entirely on sexuality. But really, the probability of someone cheating boils down to what kind of person they are. 

Fiction: You can’t be bisexual if you’ve only dated people of X gender
Fact: Plenty of bisexual people know that they are bisexual before having any “experience” and this is perfectly normal and valid. Think about it this way—most straight people know they are straight without having been with anybody, so why wouldn’t it be the same for bisexual people? Not to mention that determining someone’s sexuality for them, especially based on something as irrelevant as their sex life, is insensitive.

Fiction: Bisexual people must like men and women equally
Fact: Bisexuality is different for everyone! Some people are split down the middle, and others are attracted predominantly to one gender over another. Sexuality is fluid and nobody defines it the same way. Glaad.org put it best when they stated, “The only thing that bisexual people have in common is that they are attracted to people of more than one gender.”

Fiction: Bisexuality is exclusionary of transgender people
Fact: Most importantly, this implies that trans men and women are not real men and women. However, there are plenty of bisexual people who are trans and date trans people. This also intersects with the previous stereotype in that bisexuality doesn’t necessarily mean that you are attracted to only men and women--many bisexual people are just as attracted to nonbinary people. 

Fiction: Bisexual people aren’t as oppressed because they are half-straight

Fact: First of all, it’s difficult to compare or quantify oppression. But bisexual people face much of the same discrimination that gay people and lesbians face, along with biphobia and the struggle to be visible. Non-monosexualities are constantly erased, whether it’s in daily life or in the media.

These are only some of the negative stereotypes and misconceptions bisexual people face. A lot of them seem like off-hand comments, but these microaggressions have bigger effects than you might think. For example, this study shows that stereotypes about bisexuality often influenced peoples' decisions to come out. As I said before, everyone defines their bisexuality differently. Personally, I define it as the attraction to my gender and other genders. Some people define it as attraction to both men and women. However someone chooses to define bisexuality, remember that people deserve to have their identity respected and not ridiculed. 

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4
Collage by Heather

1 comment:

  1. this was such a good article, i love!! I especially like the part where you mentioned that bisexuals don't have to like any gender more than another, and that it's fine if you've only dated 'X' gender- really great!

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