Editor’s Note: This story first ran in Qnotes on June 1, 2016
Bisexuals often face biphobia from both the straight and gay communities. There are a number of myths surrounding bisexuality, despite the fact that bisexuals have existed throughout history. Here are some things bisexual people are sick of hearing and that you should stop saying, if you find yourself thinking them.
From writer and Bi Activist Eliel Cruz’s “13 Things To Never Say To Bisexuals”
1. “Bisexuals don’t exist.”
This is a tired old trope…There’s plenty of out and proud bisexuals. I’m one of them.
2. “Bisexuality is a phase.”
I came out when I was 14; 11 to myself, when I first encountered the word bisexual on Google. I never identified as gay, I’ve always identified as bisexual. I’m now . It’s been a … long “phase.”
3. “Bisexuals are cheaters.”
Cheaters are cheaters. Cheaters come in straight forms, gay forms, bisexual forms. Cheating isn’t attributed to one sexuality. To say that bisexuals are cheaters is just a misunderstanding of what bisexuality is.
4. “Bisexuals are greedy.”
(We don’t) need all the genders in order to be sexually satisfied…We have the same low to high sexual cravings as any other community, gay or straight.
5. “Bisexuality is polyamory.”
Polyamory means that you are in a relationship with more than one person. There are bisexual people who are polyamorous. There are also gay people and straight people who are polyamorous. It is not specific to bisexuality. They are two different things, but they can overlap, just like any other sexuality.
6. “Bisexuals are scared of commitment.”
If you’re scared of commitment, you need to re-evaluate your life and figure out what you want to do before you get into dating. It has nothing to do with your sexuality or the other person’s sexuality, whatever it may be.
7. “All women are bisexual.”
This has a really annoying sexualization (aspect to it) that we see a lot in media. It’s all for this male gaze, straight men enjoying women being with women but also with me. Not all women are bisexual and to sexualize them just because they’re women only adds to uphold a really disgusting archaic idea of patriarchy and male gaze and let’s not do that anymore. Not all women are bisexual. Some are, and that’s cool too.
8. “Bisexuals find everyone attractive.”
As if we don’t have standards. That doesn’t make any sense.
9. “Bisexuality is binary.”
(Bisexuals are not) only attracted to cisgender men and women…Bisexuality was never meant to be binary. It is only because we think in such binary ways that we assume that the “bi” means two as in “man” and “woman.” (Bisexuality) simply is: I’m attracted to genders that are my own and genders that are not.
10. “Bisexuals spread HIV.”
This is a really ugly stereotype that came from the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. When we started seeing women with HIV as well, people blamed a lot of the bisexual community for “spreading” HIV. Regardless of who you are, regardless of your sexuality, if you take the proper precautions, if you’re using a condom, you’re asking your partner their status, you know your status [and] you’re taking PrEP, we can stop this disease. Let’s be smart about it and let’s be safe.
11. “Bisexuals love threesomes.”
Actually, one of my friends is bisexual and he has so much anxiety that he says the idea of being in bed with more than one person is so [stressful] that he would never in his life want to be in that position.
12. “Bisexual erasure is a myth.”
There are a lot of times in media, in fictional characters but also in real life, where bisexuality is erased from the LGBTQ community, as well as the straight community. You’ll see a lot of LGBTQ organizations missing the “B” in their programming, a lot less out bisexual individuals. This has a lot to do with biphobia. Bisexual erasure is definitely a real thing and it hurts us.
13. “The bisexual community is small.”
We make up almost half the LGBTQ community.