So, if Bisexuality Isn't "Real"...What Does That Make Me?

Frankly, it’s ridiculous that in 2019 I still have to hear people say that bisexuality isn’t real, or that bisexual people (such as myself) are just greedy, or that we’re inherently disloyal to our significant others, or that we’re gay and in denial, or any other hurtful misconception you can think of.

 I could deal with all of that if it just came from biphobic straight people, but those opinions are all too common within the LGBTQ+ community. A few months ago, a girl broke up with me over my sexuality. In her eyes, I was just a gay guy who was in denial. 

More recently, a guy that I’d been talking to for a few weeks told me that he was tired of being a straight guy’s experiment and blocked me without even giving me a chance to respond. I was confused and hurt, but most of all I was fed up. 

There are a lot of misconceptions about bisexuality in our culture and in the media. One of those is that being attracted to men and women means that you’re split exactly down the middle. 50% of you likes women and 50% of you likes men. That’s not true—bisexuality is a spectrum, and there’s certainly no rigid guidelines regarding who you have to be attracted to. Some bisexual people go their whole lives without being involved with somebody of the same gender, and some bisexual people don’t ever date another gender, but those people are still bisexual. 

Even when people are genuinely accepting and open-minded, I’ve had to deal with innocent ignorance. One of my best friends, who was in fact the first person I ever came out to, asked me a few months after I came out to her if I’d made up my mind on if I liked guys or girls. I realized that she thought I was just experimenting and trying to figure out if I was gay or straight. It was upsetting to realize that even my closest friends didn’t understand me.

This is a seriously overlooked problem in the LGBTQ+ community, but it seems like nobody really cares about changing it. When I was at a pride parade last June, I saw representation for everybody except the bisexual community.

On one hand, I was overjoyed just to be at a place where I could be open and proud about who I was, but at the same time it broke my heart when I didn’t see any bisexual flags and I didn’t hear any of the speakers acknowledge bisexual people. Even at an event where everybody was supposed to feel welcome, I still felt out of place. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know how to fix this issue, but I know it needs to be done. I hate feeling like I don’t exist, or that I don’t matter to my own community.