This week we are celebrating bisexuals! People on Twitter are sharing selfies, we’re all showing our pride in multiples ways, and it’s a wonderful time for all of us. Unfortunately, it’s also a time to remind everyone that we are still invalidated and erased everywhere, even within our own community.
It’s 2016 and we still have to explain to many people that yes, being bi is a valid sexuality. Even some people in the LGBT+ community seem to be having a hard time understanding that. For example, some people in the community believe that when a bisexual person is in a « heterosexual relationship » (meaning, for instance, a bisexual woman dating a man), then they are no longer part of the LGBT+ community. Strange, considering that being bisexual is, by definition, being attracted to more than one gender. It’s so sad and annoying, really.
How can we expect the world to recognize us and stop erasing us, if even our own community doesn’t do that ? As a community, we need to help lift each other up, because no one else will do it for us. So if you can help your fellow bisexuals feel more integrated and validated, do it !
Another problem is the huge stigma that is still going around bisexuality. People tend to think that bisexuals are « indecisive » and can’t decide if they want to be gay or straight – because, you know, apparently being attracted to more than one gender isn’t possible. Some people also think that if you have dated more people of one gender than the other, that makes you a less valid bisexual, and you should question your sexuality again. Just a few days ago, Halsey got criticized by Buzzfeed, because they had decided that she wasn’t a good enough bisexual (we covered this story here).
This kind of reasoning is complete nonsense, and it’s so ignorant. No matter who you date, if you’re single, if you are married to a straight person, if you’ve never been in a relationship – as long as you identify as bi, you’re valid. Even if, for example, a bisexual man has only dated women, he’s still valid. You don’t need to have had as many male and female partners to be a « valid bisexual ». Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant and wrong.
Another similar story happened a few days ago, when the Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, came out as bisexual. Even though he has said himself that he is bisexual, that his “attraction [goes] both ways“ and was married for multiple years, media outlets all claim that he came out as gay. Why is it so hard for people to understand that you can be something other than gay or straight ? Sexuality is a complex, fluid thing, not just two categories to choose from.
And finally, bisexuals have very little representation in cinema, television and media in general. There are very few bisexual characters in movies and TV shows, which is also why people are so confused and have a negative conception of this sexuality. More representation would mean a lot to us, because it would help “normalize“ our sexuality : people would have a better understanding of it, and there would be less stigma around bisexuality. Media representation is crucial, especially now. TV and cinema are what shape people’s minds. They are huge sources of information, and they are a good way to spread a message. This is why more representation would be very positive for us. That way, we could show that being bi is a normal and valid sexuality.
So in conclusion, being bisexual is definitely not always that great. We get judged by heterosexuals and invalidated by our own community. We get misrepresented in the media, and people think we’re greedy and promiscuous. People see us as a sexual fantasy, not as a person with feelings and needs. We are also more prone to mental illnesses and other issues, because we get constantly erased and invalidated. And it is time to change that.
So if you can help bisexuals, do it : boost their voices, show them love, make them feel valid. Our sexuality is normal and completely legitimate. We are not half gay, half straight, and we are valid no matter how many partners of each gender we have had. We are a proud, large part of the LGBT+ community, and it is time the world starts to accept us the way we are.