I identify as pansexual, but for me, that overlaps a lot with bisexuality. I am not against being called bi, straight, or gay from time to time, as long as it’s understood that those are aspects of a larger sexuality, not my core identity. So with that in mind, I thought I’d take a list of ways bisexuals are marginalized, and turn it around into a celebration of bisexual people.
- Assuming that everyone you meet is either heterosexual or homosexual.
When someone asks “homosexual or heterosexual?” the proper response is “yes, please!”
- Supporting and understanding a bisexual identity for young people because you identified “that way” before you came to your “real” lesbian/gay/heterosexual identity.
Young people need support and understanding , end of story.
- Expecting a bisexual to identify as heterosexual when coupled with the so called different gender/sex.
We can be honest about our sexuality, even when appearances seem otherwise.
- Believing bisexual men spread AIDS/HIV to heterosexuals.
While possible, this is but one of many ways HIV can be transmitted from person to person. To scapegoat a particular group of people is to divert attention away from other necessary precautions. http://health.msn.com/health-topics/aids-hiv/how-hiv-spreads-myths-and-facts
- Thinking bisexual people haven’t made up their minds.
I know I have: “all of the above”. :D And even if someone hasn’t made up hir mind, why force the issue? Surely a decision reached slowly and with careful consideration is far better than one reached with great haste to avoid social stigma.
- Assuming a bisexual person would want to fulfill your sexual fantasies or curiosities.
We have our own sexual fantasies and curiosities we’d like to explore. This means some of us are too busy for yours. ;)
- Assuming bisexuals would be willing to “pass” as anything other than bisexual.
Why pretend I’m something I’m not? It’s so much fun being me!
- Feeling that bisexual people are too outspoken and pushy about their visibility and rights.
Many of us are willing and able to take a stand when it counts. We can make a strong asset to your team.
- Automatically assuming romantic couplings of two women are lesbian, or two men are gay, or a man and a woman are heterosexual.
We are full of happy surprises like that, once you get to know us.
- Expecting bisexual people to get services, information, and education from heterosexual service agencies for their “heterosexual side” (sic) and then go to gay and/or lesbian service agencies for their “homosexual side” (sic).
When I walk into my local LGBT centers with my boyfriend, I hope to be a positive reminder that bisexual people are whole people with whole needs. For example, don’t assume that the risk of pregnancy isn’t an issue for the members with uteri, even ones dating each other.
- Feeling bisexuals just want to have their cake and eat it too.
I think that anyone who is able to find the best possible situation for hirself should be encouraged to do so, not be subjected to judgement or resentment. For many bisexual people, this means they date one single person and stick together for the long term. For others, this means having a wide variety of experiences within a short period of time. What’s important is that we stay safe and healthy, and learn to respect others and ourselves.
- Believing that bisexual women spread AIDS/HIV to lesbians.
- Using the terms “phase” or “stage” or “confused” or “fence-sitter” or “bisexual” or “AC/DC” or “switch-hitter” as slurs or in an accusatory way.
The view from the fence is lovely - feel free to join me!
- Thinking bisexuals only have committed relationships with so called different sex/gender partners.
Ha! I know a few bisexual peeps who would love to introduce you to their committed same-sex partner.
- Looking at a bisexual person and automatically thinking of their sexuality rather than seeing them as a whole, complete person.
One of the terrific things about bisexual people is that we’re all different in our unique ways. There’s no such thing as a “typical bisexual”.
- Assuming that bisexuals, if given the choice, would prefer to be in an different gender/sex coupling to reap the social benefits of a so-called “heterosexual” pairing [sic].
We’re able to love and care for someone just the same as anyone else to the degree that we wouldn’t even think about choosing a different situation, because the current one is so rewarding. If anything, this gives those of us who have been in socially-approved relationships and socially-disapproved ones both, the ability to experience first-hand the injustice of the different responses by society. This empathy helps us be advocates for equality just as well as anyone else can be.
- Not confronting a biphobic remark or joke for fear of being identified as bisexual.
Hey, being mistaken for one of us is a compliment! You should be proud of sticking up for what is right.
- Assuming bisexual means “available.”
I know you want us, you can’t resist our charms. ;)
- Being gay or lesbian and asking your bisexual friend about their lover or whom they are dating only when that person is the “same” sex/gender.
We’re such interesting people. Don’t hesitate to ask about our lives, even the parts which are less familiar to yourself.
- Believing bisexuals are confused about their sexuality.
Being told I’m confused is confusing to me, and thus begins the recursive loop of confusion.
- Feeling that you can’t trust a bisexual because they aren’t really gay or lesbian, or aren’t really heterosexual.
We’re as trustworthy as any other group of people. Which isn’t saying much. Have you seen the rates of cheating among heterosexuals? Yikes!
- Expecting a bisexual to identify as gay or lesbian when coupled with the “same” sex/gender.
I’m too honest for that, which is a good thing.
- Expecting bisexual activists and organizers to minimize bisexual issues (i.e. HIV/AIDS, violence, basic civil rights, fighting the Right, military, same-sex marriage, child custody, adoption, etc.) and to prioritize the visibility of so called “lesbian and/or gay” issues.
Equality won on the backs of another group is not worth fighting for. We’re here for you; be here for us too.
- Avoid mentioning to friends that you are involved with a bisexual or working with a bisexual group because you are afraid they will think you are a bisexual.
Caring about other people and standing up for what is right is an attractive in anyone. Be proud of your bi-support!