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Wellbeing Editor Chloe Payne-Cook debunks some of the main misconceptions around bisexuality.
I'm Chloe, and I am a real-life BISEXUAL (omg they exist?! No but do they actually?! omg I don't know!?!). Gunna stop you right there. YEP, we do. How do I know? Because I am bisexual. For people who aren't aware (no hate I'm here to educate), bi sexuality refers to a sexual and/or romantic attraction to both women and men.
Unfortunately, we live in a homophobic and biphobic society (and world ugh) which has led to annoying and, sometimes harmful, misconceptions which surround bisexuality. I am going to discuss some of these misconceptions and hopefully, dispel them. Not only because they can be harmful to queer people, but also because they are irritating AF.
1) Don't say "Bisexual people are actually gay, they just don't know it yet"
Hmm. Well. Given that biphobia can sometimes be more prolific than homophobia within the LGBTQ+ community, I'd say bisexual people know that they are bisexual. Identifying as gay can sometimes carry less stigma and confusion with it, so honestly, bisexuality isn't necessarily an 'easier' option. As a bisexual woman, I am either seen as too straight by the LGBTQ+ community (seriously, it happens) or as too gay for straight people. We aren't 'accepted'
Additionally, some bisexual people do later go on to identify as gay. That is fine and quite honestly, nothing to do with anyone else. If somebody wants to change the way they label their sexual identity, claps GOOD claps ON claps YOU! Your sexual identity is YOURS, so do not let anyone dictate how you can or can't identify.
When you tell people you are gay, they usually don't respond with questions such as "which do you prefer though? Like if you had to pick.
2) You can still be bisexual if you are in a relationship (same sex or not).
Honestly - it's not that difficult to understand. You can be in a relationship with a partner of the opposite sex and still be bisexual. Just because you are in a heterosexual relationship, your sexual identity does not need to change! SIMILARLY, if you are in a same sex relationship, this doesn't mean you are 'fully' gay (to paraphrase a term commonly used by people who cannot grasp my sexuality). Your sexual identity and your current relationship are genuinely not so interlinked. It's all about the individual person, regardless of their gender or genitalia and it's possible to have a variety of relationships whilst maintaining your bisexuality (but you honestly don't have to defend it to anyone).
3) Bisexual people are NOT just super greedy nom nom NOM
Wow yes we are super greedy and we are going to steal all of your boyfriends AND girlfriends, just because we can and we love to see people suffer muahahahaha. But seriously, most bi+ people will have experienced somebody (even friends!) telling them that they are just greedy (one gender isn't enough for us lil bi freaks).
Unfortunately, this myth is also very prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community. I have been approached countless times (sometimes even at gay prides wtf) by queer people telling me that I need to 'pick' already. Apparently being attracted to somebody, regardless of their gender identity, means that you are a big ol' greedy guts. Basically, our society cannot cope with the idea of somebody being attracted to both men and women, and therefore, people NEED to put you in to a straight or gay category, in order to cope with their day. It's so so sad but reaaaaally true. The next time someone asks you why you're greedy, tell them that someone has to pick up the slack as they're not getting any AMMMMMI RIGHT (yes I am).
4) DO NOT ASK US FOR A THREESOME
Just because bisexual people are attracted to both men and women, this does not give you a right to a) ask us for details on our sex lives and b) ask for a threesome. No, you cannot join us. An attraction to two genders does not equate attraction to everyone AT THE SAME TIME. Surprising as it may be, we're not queer because you think it's hot or because you think you're invited. I mean credit to you for drastically overestimating how elaborate bisexual life is. Can you imagine if we fell in love with the people we do, just in hope that one day, a spotty, skinny white boy will tell us how hot we look when we kiss in public? Because, obviously, that is the dream.
5) We aren't 'sexually easy' or sluts
Firstly, if you use the word 'slut', please stop - it's disgusting and SHAME ON YOU. Secondly, bisexuality does not mean you want to have sex with everyone. It's fine if you do, of course! But please do not assume bisexual people want to sleep with/date/marry everybody they see. It just doesn't work like that. Do straight people want to sleep with every person of the opposite sex? I'm guessing no.
By Chloe Payne-Cook
Editor, Epigram Wellbeing
Featured image: Flickr / mary