One in 50 in the UK are said to identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. That’s a lot of people, and yet there’s still a lot of misunderstanding surrounding this community. And today folks, I’m focusing on bisexuals. If I had a penny for every time somebody makes a narrow-minded, false assumption about bisexuality, I wouldn’t be eating beans on toast for tea.
1. It’s just a phase.
Bisexuality isn’t just something you try at a party. It’s not just an ‘in between’ phase either, for those too scared to come out as gay. Yes, people change and, yes, sexuality is fluid, but bisexuality isn’t some mandatory check point along the way – it’s a whole identity in its own right.
2. You can only be bi when you’re single.
Girl likes guys and girls: girl is considered bisexual. Girl dates another girl: suddenly she’s a lesbian. Girl dates guy: wait, she was straight all along? Wrong, she was bisexual the whole damn time. If you are in a monogamous relationship, you will only be committed to one person. That means an individual is committing themselves to one gender, but that doesn’t invalidate their attraction to another.
3. Bisexuals are more likely to cheat.
Let’s make one thing clear: if you cheat on somebody, this is not a result of your sexuality. It is a result of you being an asshole. A bisexual woman dating another woman will not necessarily run away with a man because she’s ‘missing the penis’. If she respects her relationship, she should be just as committed to it than anyone else. This myth filters back to the idea that, as a bisexual, you are attracted to more than one gender, increasing cheating opportunities. But bisexuals aren’t attracted to everyone. Maybe a particular bisexual is very picky, with very high standards, whereas a straight individual is attracted to a bigger pool of people. Is one person more likely to cheat than the other? Maybe, but that’s down to their personality, not just their sexual orientation.
4. You have to try it all to know it all.
I know plenty of heterosexuals who have been single their whole lives. But does anyone have a hard time believing that they’re straight? No. “Are you sure you’re straight? How can you know for certain if you’ve never been with anyone?” As if anyone would say that. But for bisexuals on the other hand, this regular questioning is a common occurrence. Just remember that a) it’s nobody else’s business and, b) you know who you are. If you’re a bi girl who’s only had boyfriends, so what? You know who you’re attracted to.
5. It’s a 50/50 split.
I’m sorry, what? The number of women vs. the number of men you’ve been with aren’t equal? How outrageous. Another fraudulent bisexual. Not only is this way of thinking absolutely ridiculous, it’s also irrelevant. Bisexuals don’t need to be evenly attracted to men and women anyway. Sexuality is a spectrum and you can fall wherever the hell you like on it. Just a little attracted to men? You can still call yourself bisexual. Only fancy a few females? If you want to wear the bi label, own it.
This is only scratching the surface, but each of the above are common misconceptions that we need to shut down. Right. Now.