I am bisexual. I am attracted to both men and women. Why is bisexuality so hard to understand and grasp? Coming out as bisexual to the people around me left me confused and unsure of myself. I got comments like “wow, you have the best of both worlds” or “you'll decide what you like one day,” as if my sexuality became a choice or something that others can have an opinion on. I am bisexual and proud but why am I terrified of telling people? Why am I terrified of others seeing me as a cheater or seeking attention or just simply not being able to make up my mind? Why is it absolutely crazy to be attracted to more than one type of person? Bisexuality is not a choice, bisexuality is who I am and it’s pretty simple. I like more than one gender… that’s all to it. Somehow, a seemingly straightforward concept has turned into a controversy, filled with degrading assumptions that can turn harmful soon if we do not address them. Below I will talk about five things that bisexuality is not in hopes of eradicating harmful assumptions about the bisexuality community. I would also like to add that I am speaking to my own experiences and every voice in the bi community is different and should be heard.
- Bisexuals are NOT cheaters
I was absolutely shocked and horrified when someone asked me whether I am a cheater after coming out as bisexual. Where is the correlation between sexuality and toxic relationship habits because I don’t see it? I do not know where this crazy assumption came from but my sexuality has nothing to do with anything else (or anyone else) besides my personal preferences. It does not make me a terrible person or untrustworthy person, it just makes me bisexual. In fact, a ten-year study found that 89% of all the bisexual women that were observed stayed in monogamous relationships throughout the test period. Someone’s sexuality does not define their behavioral traits; straight and bi people are equally as likely to cheat.
- Bisexuality is NOT a phase
While it is true that some people identify as bisexual and then decide to define it as another sexuality (which is completely fine and valid), bisexuality is NOT a stepping stone or a transitionary phase to something else. I will not “discover” who I like soon, I already know. This is one method to invalidate the existence of bi people. We are not confused, we are not too scared to fully come out, we are bisexual and that is the end of it. Just because some humans are too stubborn to look past the dichotomy that was socially made—not naturally—does not mean that is the way it has to be.
- Bisexuals are NOT only women
While it may seem that women are the only type of bisexual people that are even portrayed in mainstream media, both men and women can identify as bisexual. But if you are thinking to yourself that you have never met a man that identified as bisexual, you are not wrong. There is a significantly smaller degree of men that publicly identify as bisexual and this is completely due to the stigma around it. However, by creating a generalization that only women can be bisexual, you are dismissing and invalidating so many individuals and lived experiences and furthering the stigma against bisexual men.
- Bisexuals do NOT always like both men and women equally
Personally, I have an about 70:30 men to women preference ratio. While I am mostly joking and most people do not have a defined ratio, we don’t always like all genders equally. I am more attracted to men, but I am still attracted to women. It is okay if you do not understand this concept, but you have to accept it. Like most things that once seemed dichotomous, bisexuality is a spectrum!
- You do NOT have the right to police someone’s sexuality
This is probably the most important point I have. Sexuality is a personal matter; it is not a matter you can assert your opinion on and it is not a matter that concerns a third party. It is also not a matter that has rigid and specific rules attached to it. It is really simple, love whoever you love and give other people the same respect. Instead of policing what is and is not allowed, look introspectively and find the root of your need to police other people’s sexuality. Then, work on that. Let us fill the world with more love and less judgment.
Before questioning someone's sexuality because it may be different from yours or you simply do not understand, step into their shoes. Would you appreciate it if someone made judgments about something that makes you fundamentally you? Let us remember to always spread love, not hate, into the world and realize that it is okay not to understand someone or their choices, but it is NEVER okay to disvalue, discredit or dismiss them.