Being bisexual, (or pansexual or non-monosexual, that is, being attracted to more than one gender) can be pretty awesome, especially if you have a supportive network and are connected with other people who share your experiences.
All of those sexualities are super legit and valid, however sometimes you can feel a bit in the middle. There are some unhelpful and untrue stereotypes about being bisexual that we’re really keen to bust wide open.
1. You're not 'Just Confused'
Bisexual people are often accused of being confused, that they haven’t figured who they’re “really” attracted to. That’s totally not true. Being attracted to more than one or even all genders is totally valid. Hey, it even means that you can find lots of people cute!
Sexuality can be totally confusing for everyone, no matter how they identify. This doesn’t mean that being bisexual isn’t valid.
2. This isn’t a stepping stone or a phase.
Being bisexual or pansexual isn’t a stepping stone to being gay. They are both valid and entirely whole as sexualities.
You’re not “half gay” or “half straight”, you’re wholly, totally, entirely you! Sometimes the identity we use to describe ourselves changes over time - and that’s cool too! But for me and many of the bisexuals I know, this isn’t going to change anytime soon.
3. If you’re currently with a partner of one gender, you can still be bisexual.
If you’re a girl and you’re dating a boy - you can still be bisexual. It doesn’t automatically shut off or become less valid because of the relationship you’re currently in.
You can be in a longterm monogamous relationship with someone of a particular gender and it doesn’t mean you’re no longer attracted to people of other genders. You’re still you!
4. You don’t “have to choose one day.”
I’m definitely looking forward to being a bisexual old person.
There’s a horrible idea that bisexual people will eventually ‘grow out’ of their sexuality. That’s NOT. TRUE. Everyone can change how they identify throughout their lives, but some people don’t at all.
5. If you’ve only ever been with people of one gender, you can still be bi!
Being bi doesn’t come down to how experienced you are, AT ALL! If you’ve only been with people of different genders than you, you can still identify as bisexual or pansexual. It comes down to attraction, not previous experiences.
6. You are not more likely to cheat.
Nup. You aren’t. Not even a little bit. We *don’t* have time for this gross stereotype.
I once had a male friend tell me that he wasn’t sure if he could date a bisexual, because their ‘pool of potential lovers’ was doubled. I felt pretty crappy and calmly explained to him that cheating has everything to do with our ethics and little to do with our orientation. Besides, my ‘pool of lovers’ (anyone else picturing a pool party?) isn’t huge at all - I’m still into only specific types of people! People who don’t discriminate against bisexual people… just sayin’.
In fact, the American Institute of Bisexuality (were you aware of such a thing?!) puts in perfectly, saying that “Just because you have the capacity for attraction to more than one gender does not mean that your sexual appetite is ravenous. Bisexual people are a diverse group with many different preferred relationship models.”
7. You ARE an important part of the LGBTIQA community.
Bi-erasure is when other people tend to ignore or relabel our bisexuality - usually as either ‘straight’ or ‘gay’, depending on who we’re dating at that moment. This happens a lot when celebrities come out as bisexual, and newspapers label them as ‘coming out gay’.
This can make it feel like we don’t quite belong within the Queer Community, especially if dating someone of a different gender, we can feel ‘too straight’. But get this - that’s NOT TRUE! You’re not straight at all. <3
Narrow minded opinions about bisexual people from other LGBTIQA people really reflect badly back on them - not on you.
You deserve to take up space in the community. You’re integral to it!
Guess what – you are awesome. This is the most important thing.
However your sexuality manifests, just know that it’s valid and you’re just perf the way you are!