There are a lot of painful and harmful stereotypes floating around about bisexuality, that are perpetuated by both the straight and gay communities. Oftentimes, bisexuals are seen as “going through a phase,” or as people who simply cannot commit, or worse still, people who are trying to convince themselves that they aren’t homosexual. Every human being is unique, so to continue to buy into these stereotypes is harmful for everyone.
“Binerdy” created a fantastic video that addresses these stereotypes and other common misunderstandings about bisexuality. Check out these common myths about bisexuality, debunked.
Myth: You Must Like Both Sexes Equally
If you think of sexuality as a spectrum with complete heterosexual attraction on one end, and complete homosexual attraction on the other, you will find that most people fall somewhere in between. In fact, that’s all it takes to be bisexual. If you find yourself mostly attracted to one gender, with the occasional attraction to someone of the same sex, you’re bisexual! Bisexuality is all about fluidity, in the same way that sexuality is fluid.
Myth: Your Sexual Preferences are Fixed
From day to day, you may find that your preferences shift. One day, you may be more attracted to men, and the next day you may find yourself more attracted to women. It doesn’t really matter. If you have experienced attraction to both genders, that makes you bisexual.
Myth: There is no difference between Bisexuality and Pansexuality
There are more than two genders out there! Pansexuality means that you are attracted to all genders. Bisexuality means that you are attracted to two genders. Pansexuality includes attraction to bigendered individuals or agendered individuals, whereas bisexuality focuses attraction on the male and female genders.
Myth: As soon as you date someone of the opposite sex, you are gay
There is a “B” in LGBTQ+ for a reason, but unfortunately — as the video states — bi-erasure is also a significant problem. Bi-erasure, or bi-phobia, happens from either the homosexual or heterosexual community and assumes someone sexual identity based on one’s partner. This is problematic because it imposes sexual identity, instead of allowing an individual to tell you how they identify. Gay and straight people are guilty of doing this. Moreover, accept it when someone tells you how they identify.
Myth: It’s just a phase
No, one’s sexual identity is not a phase. This is a very common stereotype with which bisexuals must contend, and it’s categorically untrue.
Myth: Bisexuals are promiscuous, or unable to commit
This is also a disparaging stereotype that bisexuals have been fighting against. Being unable to commit is certainly not part of one’s sexual orientation: if you encounter someone who is bisexual and also struggles to commit, then you should separate the two. An inability to commit may be a character flaw, but it is not indicative of bisexuals in general.