Misconceptions about bisexuality

In honor of pride month, I want to provide space for bisexual visibility. Bisexuality is a label that is sometimes misunderstood. People who use the term bisexual to describe their sexuality can face negativity even within the LGBTQIA community. I heard the comments of bisexuals not being ‘gay’ enough to be considered part of the LGBTQIA community. You need to pick one side. Dating someone of the opposite gender means you’re not bisexual. You’re just confused about who you like. You’re not actually gay, you’re using the label for attention. I heard these statements said about bisexuality; none of them are true.

What is bisexuality?

Firstly, it is the attraction to two or more genders (the definitions of Bisexual and Pansexual are very similar but not the same). The most common way people think of bisexuality is being 50% attracted to cis-gendered men, and 50% attracted to cis-gendered women. That might be true for some individuals, but sexuality is not one size fits all. I’ve talked to peers who identify with the term bisexual. Some think of their sexuality as, 10% attraction to one gender and 90% toward another gender. It looks different with each individual. For some, it’s 70% toward one gender 30% toward another gender. These percentages are only there to help visualize how attraction works. Some use the label bisexual and later change it. We are always learning about ourselves, and it is natural for things to change. Sexuality is fluid; it can fluctuate within an individual.

What can you do as an ally?

Understand that sexuality is not black and white, cut, and dry. Sexuality is unique to each person and is subject to change as the individual explores their sexuality and themselves. If someone uses a specific label, don’t argue with them about it. Instead, validate their choice. Let them know you want to listen and understand them if you are curious about why they chose a certain label. Ask questions in a positive tone, let them know they are valid in their choices.

In conclusion, bisexuality is not a place holder term until someone ‘picks one side.’ It is a valid sexual orientation for those who identify with it. Be respectful, be positive, and have a happy pride.

Read also:
Finding A Community From Within The Closet
The B In LGBTQ+ Is Very Much Real
Why Is Gender Such A Big Deal?