I celebrated Bisexual Visibility Day the same way I’ve always done every year: clad in a purple shirt and holed up in my room, (the room being a metaphor for the closet ‘cause the bitch ain’t out out yet) and Hayley Kiyoko’s “Feelings” on blast to nurse my perpetual burnout. It was sad, kids.
Bisexual Visibility Day may have passed but the stigma against bisexuals is, sadly, still here every fucking day. We’ve been excluded by both straight and gay people, the latter being more heartbreaking because imagine being excluded from the same community that promotes inclusivity.
Might as well lock me in a glass box at a zoo with a placard that reads “Local bisexual. Indecisive, greedy, always angry. Do not feed, will bite.” That’s how it feels like to be bisexual: with people ogling at you, as if they can’t wrap their heads around the fact that you refuse to conform exclusively to a preference.
While we’re happy to sit down and talk with people who genuinely want to understand bisexuality, there have been too many misconceptions thrown our way. These are often passed as jokes, but keep in mind that such a mindset is harmful and oppressive. Just like how we advocate for respect for all walks of life, the same goes for every gender identity.
So let’s settle this once and for all: the myths, the legends and the god-forsaken biphobia (whether intentional or not) that needs to stop.
“It’s a phase. Y’all need to pick a side: You’re either gay or not.”
Contrary to the notion that we’re using bisexuality as a stepping stone to being “fully gay,” (actual words someone told me, I kid you not) a lot of us knew we aren’t straight since we were young.
It’s also true that some bisexuals identified as straight before embracing their identity later on. But to box it in as merely a phase is honestly hurtful and dismisses bisexuality as something anyone grows out of when, to many people, it’s their identity.
To have that identity invalidated within the same community that promotes inclusivity is hurtful, even if they’re passed as jokes (read: microaggression) by your own friends. Truth is, I can’t really pick a side: I like who I like, and I’d like to believe that’s valid.
“Bisexuality is being half-straight.”
See, this is what I don’t get: The shit biphobic people concoct just contradict each other, it’s amazing. No, it’s not 50-50, “I’m half straight, half queer” as if bisexuals are supposed to be hybrids.
I don’t know who started that but attraction in bisexuality is not as easily determined as you would visualize data on a pie chart. Even I can’t draw a pie chart and determine the percentage of my attraction to certain genders.
“Bisexuals are greedy and more likely to cheat.”
Obviously, because how else am I gonna win Monopoly if I won’t sneak in a few bills from the banker?
Nah, but seriously, how exactly are we greedy? Being bisexual doesn’t mean we “have more options” henceforth we’re “greedy” all of a sudden. Dating as a bi isn’t like picking your next meal off a menu.
But thank you for bringing up cheating because cheaters will cheat regardless of their sexual and gender identity.
“Bisexuals are smooth flirts.”
As much as I’d love to claim this is true, it’s not. Don’t let the cuffed pants and fishnet stockings fool you.
We bisexuals may have broader gender preferences, but it doesn’t mean we’re all experts at wooing everyone. Heck, I’ve been rejected by both gay and straight people. I work as a writer but I still fumble over my words when I’m in the same room as an attractive person.
“So… you into threesomes?”
Thank you, ignorant cis-het men I’ve met on dating apps because not a single one of you failed to ask me this. Yes, I would like to explore more about my sexuality. But no, not with you.
“So you have both a boyfriend and a girlfriend?”
Ma’am, I believe that’s polyamory, not bisexuality. Though you can argue that polyamorous people are real and they could be bisexual, I’m personally not interested in building a harem.
“Bisexuals are transphobic because they only like cis men and women.”
This is probably one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve heard people say about bisexuals. Transwomen are women, transmen are men and they’re all lovely people.
Being bi doesn’t mean we’re only attracted to cis men and women. Bisexuality is being attracted to the same sex (the pink strip on our flag), the opposite sex (blue) and the overlap of both (purple), which includes trans people.
If you wish to be a better ally to bisexuals, it starts with accepting that the ‘B’ in LGBTQ+ is there for a reason. Bisexuals have existed for a long time, just as there have been gay and lesbian people even way back.
I can’t speak for all bisexuals, but a lot of us are down to talk about bisexuality when it comes from genuine interest. There’s something comforting about being truly seen and heard in a community that shares your struggles and lives by the inclusivity it promises.
Art by Jan Cardasto