"Straight people say, 'You know you're just gay,' and gay people say, 'You know you're just gay.' There is such a thing as bisexual!"
Bisexuality is a hot button issue amongst all parties. There are those who say that bisexuals are just "trying to be special," they’re "not really gay," and a multitude of other offensive comments. It’s an awkward place to be bashed by those opposing LGBT*QIA rights and to be cast off by the community as well. It’s especially difficult for bisexual women, who already have to deal with the built in misogyny of the world. So, in order to help my fellow bisexual women (or female identified persons), here are five things we are tired of hearing:
5) "You can’t be bisexual"/"Bisexuality doesn’t exist!"
Doesn’t exist? In a world where there are as many possible sexualities as you can imagine, where we have finally recognized that some people are just born the wrong sex, where many, many revelations have finally come forward, how are there still people trying to claim that bisexuality doesn’t exist? I first heard this horrible remark on the popular show “The Talk," when they were discussing a revelation in the popular singer Adele’s love life that her bisexual lover had left her for another man. One of the women immediately stated that "bisexuality is a soft way to say that you’re gay." This is a massively overstated remark and tends to be thrown at women coming out. We are accused of "experimenting" and not really meaning to be the sexuality we have come out as.
4) "If you’re dating a ______, you must be ______!"
What? Why does who we date determine our sexuality? Why can’t we be a certain way and date who we love? It never ceases to astound me how people will look at me and say that I dated men in the past so I had to be straight, or that I’m dating a girl now, so I have to be a lesbian, even though I have said to them many times that I am bisexual. It seems to be a common belief that once a woman dates a man, despite saying that she’s bisexual, she is suddenly straight, as though changed by his magic penis powers. This fact is not left up to be determined by the woman, but rather is decided by the people speaking to her about her relationships.
3) "Bisexuals can’t be committed to one person!"
Because bisexuality indicates your ability to commit. Obviously. This is nonsense; your sexuality has nothing to do with how you commit to a person. Some people commit to relationships and some people don’t. It has nothing to do with what kind of person you like to take to bed. Many bisexuals have held down long, monogamous relationships, or they have held many short relationships, or even a handful of open relationships. Cheating is not related to your sexual preference. It’s related to your personality, your morals, and your self-control. Many people assume that bisexuals cannot be monogamous based on the fact that this means they are missing out on another gender that they like to be with. I have been approached with this, with people saying that my girlfriend can’t fulfill my desire for a man. Usually, I tell them that because I’m with her, I don’t normally desire a man. She takes care of me, and there’s nothing for me to crave from another person or gender.
2) "Bisexuals are more accepted in straight society!"
This is something I commonly hear from those in the LGBT*QIA community. They assume that because bisexuality has straight elements, that heterosexual people are automatically okay with it. This is rarely the case. More often, bisexual women are met with just as much, if not more, contempt in straight society for daring to choose a woman over a man, or for daring to not live up to lesbian stereotypes. Bisexual women are often portrayed as cheap girls kissing other women to thrill the men around them, as women aiming to turn on their man by having a quick, lesbian "fantasy." Either this or they are considered "bitches" who are spurning their ex-boyfriends or their male friends by turning to a woman when they so obviously want to sleep with a man. We are at an impasse in both societies, and often question our sexualities, wondering if it would be easier just to pick a side to fit in.
1) "Everyone is a little bisexual."
This is something I heard from my family for years. I was told that I wasn’t special. I was going through a phase and that it would pass and I would move on to another man. Still to this day, I am being told that everyone is bisexual and that I should just suck it up and turn to a man for companionship. No, everyone is not bisexual. This belief insinuates that no one is correct about their sexuality. It says that society knows best, so they should just be quiet and do what is expected of them.
There are many more assumptions that we’re tired of being passed around. These assumptions are wrong, silly, and sometimes even dangerous to our health and our relationships. My suggestion is that if you’re curious about something that you’ve heard about bisexuals, ask one. I’m sure you know many of them, and most of the time, they’ll be happy to correct these incorrect statements that are often passed around. Just remember, you are only as ignorant as you allow yourself to remain.