It's Time To Get Over These 7 Misconceptions About Bisexuality
In an age where LGBTQ+ people are gaining more rights and overall visibility in some societies than we had years ago, you'd think the general population would have a better understanding of bisexuality than they currently do.
According to Time, when "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot was asked to respond to a writer's analysis of Wonder Woman as bisexual, she described her character as “not experienc[ing] any bisexual relationships” in the upcoming film.
Wait… what is a bisexual relationship? Relationships don't have sexualities. Relationships don't have sexualities. A relationship, regardless of the people involved, is a relationship, and a bisexual person is a bisexual person.
But Gadot isn't the only believer of falsehoods and stigmas associated with bisexuality, and common misconceptions of the ins and outs of attraction to more than one gender reign supreme.
So here are seven misconceptions people believe about bisexuals that it's time to leave behind:
We're looking for attention.
Why do people think bisexuality is something we wear to elicit compliments or invoke controversy? Seriously, who actively wants to hear homophobic comments directed toward them?
We aren't bisexual for likes or shares, for the laughs or so people will think we're cool.
Bisexuality is an integral part of our identity — something we can't just put on and take off like a t-shirt. It's real.
We're jumping on the “queer bandwagon.”
There is no “queer bandwagon.” If there were, we would all be riding it into the sunset, leaving all our responsibilities and troubles at the wayside for the gold at the end of the bright, sparkly rainbow.
But as long as there have been straight people, there have been people who aren't straight. In fact, according to Nature, who we love is written into our DNA, and it always has been.
The fact that there's been a greater focus on LGBTQ+ rights and representation in today's media speaks only to increased visibility and activism — not some cool, new trend that just popped up.
We're half straight and half gay.
Come one, come all, to the greatest new attraction from Ripley's Believe It or Not!: The Amazing Half Straight and Half Gay!
By day, she operates as a completely straight individual, with eyes only for the male population. But at night, she transforms into a terrifying beast with an insatiable appetite for monogamous relationships with women.
Seriously? That's really not how this works.
Bisexuality isn't the middle area of a Venn diagram; it's a completely separate entity from heterosexuality and homosexuality. It stands alone as a valid sexual identity.
We have to be equally attracted to men and women, or else we aren't really bisexual.
A girl who's only ever dated men but has a major crush on a girl she knows can be bisexual.
Similarly, a guy who has a boyfriend but also happens to be attracted to women can be bisexual.
There's no correct ratio or quota of attraction we have to meet to be bonafide bisexuals. You love who you love, and if that love extends to more than one gender, then join the club.
Not to mention, men and women aren't the only people who exist.
We're only attracted to men and women.
In much of the rhetoric surrounding bisexuality, people who don't align with the gender binary are left out.
The tenets of bisexuality often read as such: attraction to men and women, two genders, both genders, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, many bisexual people consider themselves attracted to men, women, non-binary people, agender people and more, which some people might call pansexuality rather than bisexuality.
But the nomenclature you choose for yourself is up to you. And regardless of how you identify, you should be the “you-est” you possible.
We're actually gay, but we're afraid to come out, so we call ourselves bisexual.
Now, while this one does happen sometimes, it's not the case for everyone who identifies as bisexual.
Coming out can be scary, so some gay people feel the need to soften the blow of laying themselves completely out on the line by expressing their attraction to two genders.
Of course, there's no judgment there, as you should come out as quickly or as gradually as you want.
However, applying this notion to all bisexual people, again, erases our intrinsic identity. Bisexual people aren't secretly gay, just as much as we aren't secretly straight. We are bisexual. End of story.
Our attraction to multiple genders makes us promiscuous and more prone to cheating.
This one is arguably the most annoying myth and the most harmful.
The general public, including many popular news and entertainment sites, has this weird idea that “bisexual” is just another word for “whore.”
Not only is this negative connotation a form of slut shaming, but its use as a blanket term for bisexual people is wildly inaccurate.
For example, after news surfaced that Johnny Depp abused his then-wife Amber Heard, her innocence came into question as her bisexuality came to light.
A report by UK gossip source, The Sun, cited Heard's bisexuality as the cause for the failed marriage and for Depp's abuse.
Many other sites followed suit, adding to the negative stigma surrounding bisexuality and the toxic culture of blaming abuse victims for their abuse. Your sexuality doesn't determine your body count or your character.
Sexuality doesn't determine your body count or your character.
So why does this misinformation continue, even now, when the internet gives us access to unlimited information and educational resources?
Well, whether it's negative media representation, the stigma floating around online or just a lack of education on the subject, it has to stop for the sake of the bisexual community and its livelihood.