I recently came out as bisexual. While that doesn’t make me the expert of every bisexual by any means, I have gained insight from my personal experience and from others in the bisexual community things many of us deal with—misconceptions. There is no infinite list of every myth and fact when it comes to being bisexual, but I’ve included a list of 7 common misconceptions and their truths.
- We’re Not Attracted to Everyone
Bisexual means attracted to more than one gender, not attracted to everyone. Like with any sexuality, everyone has their own preferences based on many factors, many of them out of our control. Sexuality is complex so it would be an understatement (and wrong) to assume all bisexuals are attracted to everyone.
- Our Attraction Isn’t Necessarily 50/50
Because “bi” means two, and we live in a binary world, there is often an assumption that someone who is bisexual with be “equally” attracted to men and women. The truth is that every bi person is different; everyone has their different preferences for people. This doesn’t just include men or women, but nonbinary folks (people who aren’t male or female), genderfluid folks (someone with no fixed gender), and any person we find attractive. The gender spectrum is wide and diverse, and so is attraction.
This assumption is particularly harmful, because a bisexual person may feel that they are not really bi if they are not attracted to men and women at the same level. I personally am more attracted to men than I am to women, and for a long time I thought that meant I wasn’t “really” bisexual. But that’s not true. Sexuality is complex, and people feel how they feel. Your sexuality should never be invalidated.
- We’re Not More Likely to Cheat
This goes with the first misconception. There is an assumption that if someone is bisexual that they will engage in romantic and/or sexual relationships with multiple people when they are in a monogamous relationship, but that’s not true. If someone is going to cheat, they’re going to cheat; it has nothing to do with their sexuality.
- We Don’t Necessarily Want Threesomes
A desire or engagement in threesomes has nothing to do with being attracted to multiple genders. Plenty of monosexual people (people who only experience attraction to one gender) are interested in or engage in threesomes. It’s simply a matter of preference.
- We’re Not “Straight” or “Gay” If We Date Someone of the Opposite/Same Gender
Dating someone of an opposite or same gender does not mean your bisexuality just disappear. Bisexuals have their preferences for monogamous (and polyamorous) relationships just as much as any other person. (I do want to note that some people use gay as a catch-all term for the LGBT+ community. That’s not how I’m using it here, but some people will call themselves gay, and that’s completely valid, too!)
- We’re Not More Transphobic Than Others
Because bisexual looks like it means “only liking two people,” and those two people are often assumed to be cisgender men and women only, some people believe that all bisexuals are transphobic. That’s not the case. There are plenty of trans folks who are bisexual. The truth is, anyone can be transphobic (and, unfortunately, many people are). It’s not because of their sexuality; it’s their character.
- It’s Not A Phase
As I’ve mentioned, sexuality is complex. Plenty of people question their sexuality and identify differently as they go through their lives. That doesn’t mean that their past identity was ever “fake” or “just a phase.” And there many people who latch on to an identify that’s right for them—and that includes bisexuality. It’s wrong to assume that bisexual people are unsure of themselves and will “choose a side” (there is no side to choose, anyway), and it’s incredibly invaliding to imply that bisexuality is not “real.” It is real, just as real as any sexuality, and it should be treated with respect.
Bisexuality isn’t any more mysterious than any other sexuality—in fact, sexuality as a whole is very mysterious to me! I don’t completely understand it, but I’m learning to be okay with that. There are so many things we feel and don’t fully understand, but that doesn’t mean we should disregard our feelings. Embrace who you are, whether you’re bisexual or something else entirely. The more we celebrate our differences, the happier we’ll all be with our lives.