Not everyone will understand
You’d think it was a fairly simple concept, wouldn’t you? The potential to be attracted to more than one gender. But no, some people are just not having it. Remember, they know your sexuality much better than you do.
People like asking questions… and more questions
“I’ve never met a bisexual before” is a popular response to someone coming out as bi. Hm, you probably have – they make up around 50% of the LGBT population. They probably just didn’t tell you they were bi because they didn’t want the third degree. Brace yourself for some intrusive inquiries, such as how many partners you have, what gender you prefer, etc…
You might get mislabelled as gay
A lot of people do come out as bisexual as “step on the way” to coming out as gay. It’s seen as an easier choice, when in fact it’s anything but. The problem is, this means that genuine bis are often seen as “secretly gay” when we come out. Which is bit of a pain.
You may be accused of being promiscuous and/or a cheater
Bisexuals come in all sorts of relationship set-ups, just like anyone else. We’re no more likely to have an affair, enjoy multiple partners or simply get around a lot than anyone else. Fancying more than one gender doesn’t mean you actually fancy everyone, although the way some people react you’d be forgiven for thinking it did.
There will be women (and men) who won’t date you
Unfortunately, the stereotypes listed in point 4 can mean that some people won’t “trust” you. Convinced that if you’ve got more than one gender to “choose” from you can never keep it in your pants, they will stubbornly pass up your offer of a quiet life together with three cats and a cupboard full of Birkenstocks. These people are fools.
You’ll probably hear the words “straight privilege”
There’s this theory that bisexuals are lucky because they can date a man and appear “straight”. It’s true that walking down the road hand-in-hand with a bloke is easier, but in reality there’s not much to enjoy about hiding your sexuality. It doesn’t matter who you’re dating – you are still bisexual (check out the hashtag at #StillBisexual!).
You might end up in some semantic rows
The “pansexual”/”bisexual” debate is a fiery one that doesn’t look set to stop raging anytime soon - particularly online. In a nutshell, pansexuals say that “bisexual” implies a binary, and thus an attraction to only cis-women and cis-men; most bisexuals insist it doesn’t. It would be really nice if we could all just get along.
Threesome requests will happen
My internet dating profile explicitly says “monogamous”. But a lot of people ignore that bit. Bi girls are, to them, the stuff of ultimate porn fantasy. We exist only as pneumatic blondes with fake nails (ouch!), rolling around squealing and removing each other’s bikinis with the thought of the male gaze our main concern. There is of course nothing wrong with a good threesome. But to assume all bi women are up for one is plain stupid.
Someone will quote Woody Allen at you
Kick them. Hard. It is Saturday night and I am sitting here alone in a cat onesie, for a start, and also DID I MENTION BISEXUALS DON’T JUST FANCY EVERYONE? And breathe.
It’s OK to have a gender preference
Indeed, I would guess that the majority of bi people probably do. However, it can be confusing to realise that your desires aren’t “balanced” when you’re trying to get your head round your sexuality. Don’t panic. There is no test you have to take to determine that you’re a “true bisexual”. If you are bisexual, you are bisexual enough.
There is support out there
It’s not all doom and gloom, not at all. From the annual UK BiCon convention (http://bicon.org.uk/) to Bisexual Coffee London (https://www.facebook.com/groups/bicoffeelondon/), more and more bi events are popping up all the time. Facebook groups such as Global Bisexual Network (https://www.facebook.com/groups/12391992191/) and UK-based websites like Biscuit (https://www.thisisbiscuit.com) and the Bisexual Index (http://www.bisexualindex.org.uk/) are a great place to have a chat, read articles, keep abreast of event listings/groups and remind yourself you’re not alone.
Article by Lottie Dingle
Got any other points you would like to add to this article? Why not share them in the comments below.
Talking about bisexuality and normalising it is the best way to stamp out biphobia and to educate people.
Planet Nation encourages community engagement where it is supportive and informative.