People that identify within the LGBT community are often targets for violence and misunderstanding as they are apart of a stigmatized minority. In response to tragic events, queer people have found a community within themselves. Whether facing bigoted family members or calculated attacks, the queer community prides itself on being open and accepting to fellow queers in an increasingly patriarchal and homophobic society.
But discrimination even exists within this small community. It’s heartbreaking to realize that queer people are judging other queers for the way they love.
One group that truly suffers from this are bisexual people, who are one of the most ignored and stereotyped groups within the LGBT community. This is because they often face backlash from both gay and straight people, especially when it comes to intimate relationships and dating.
Bisexual people often have a tough time dating because there are so many negative stereotypes surrounding their sexuality. Yet, these stereotypes are built off misunderstandings and put hurtful labels on all bisexual people.
So, what’s a myth and what’s reality about dating a bisexual person?
Myth 1: Bisexuals will cheat on you (with the opposite sex!)
Reality: Dating a bisexual person can mean entering into a fulfilling and healthy relationship if you both are willing to put in the work. Someone who likes both men and women can still be apart of a happy monogamous relationship. Many people fear that they will not be enough to satisfy their bisexual partner, and that they could be left for someone of a different gender. But it’s important to remember that sexual orientation does not coincide with morals. A bisexual person is not more likely to cheat on you simply because they are bisexual. This stereotype comes from an irrational fear that all bisexual people are an unstoppable force of nature that will give into temptation and throw their long-term partner to the wolves at the first opportunity. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?
Myth 2: Bisexuals are just greedy and all they want is sex.
Reality: When bisexual people come out of the closet to their straight male friends, something very interesting happens. Bisexual women could be propositioned with a threesome and it is assumed they are secretly straight and just pretending to like girls to impress the man. On the other hand, bisexual men are thought to really be gay and they’re just confused about what they want. Of course, this is all nonsense, but isn’t it interesting that men will always assume that you like them?
So many people have the mindset that bisexual people are greedy because they refuse to pick a single gender to focus on. They think that bisexual people have twice the dating options (and are twice as likely to cheat on them). But this generalizes all bisexual people into a terribly narrow category. It doesn’t take into account the individual personalities of your significant other, or their experiences.
Myth 3: Being bisexual is just a phase or you’re just confused.
Reality: This myth is the one that is most often spread by television shows and movies that feature queer characters. While gay representation is slowly getting better, bisexual representation is still worlds behind. The few canon bisexual characters on television are usually one dimensional and riddled with stereotypes. Or, even worse, queer characters flat out refuse to identify as bisexual. One example of this can be seen in Orange is the New Black as the protagonist, Piper, has both male and female love interests at the same time but refuses to don the label of bisexuality. Queer fans have watched 5 seasons now, waiting for a character to utter the word “bisexual” to no avail. This is one of the most damaging things that could be done to the community because it removes any chance they had for representation.
Myth 4: Everyone is either gay or straight.
Reality: Sexuality is a fluid and ever-changing part of our identities. One way sexuality is measured is on a scale, such as a Kinsey scale, which plots sexual preferences.
As we go through life our sexuality can change and take shape as we experience different things. Just like your taste in music can change over time, the way you identify yourself can also change as you become more acquainted with yourself. With that being said, bisexuality is a completely valid and normal way to label yourself.