LGBT+

How Bi-Phobia Is Making Dating Difficult For Bisexual People

Image: Vicky Leta/Mashable

“No, I wouldn’t date him cause I can’t picture dating a guy who has sex with men,” my friend says in a text message. She was recently swiping through guys on a dating app and matched with a guy who caught her interest. He quickly messaged her and expressed interest in going out to lunch with her. She was excited because she thought he was attractive and went to the school she recently transferred to.

Everything was going great until he said he was bisexual. After that, all she had to say about him was negative even though he was very respectful. He didn’t have to reveal he was bisexual, but he chose to be open and transparent with her. She felt uncomfortable dating someone who has kissed men or had sex with men. He emphasized to her that he emotionally liked to be with women, rather than men. That wasn’t enough for her, and she quickly ended contact with him. He was surprised. Many times people mask their biphobia and say it’s “preference”. Biphobia is defined as dislike of or prejudices against bisexual people. It’s not preference to actively say you wouldn’t date someone because they like both men and women. Biphobia isn’t just common among straight people, but it’s also prevalent in the LGBT+ community.

Through conversations with my friend who is gay, he said he could never date anyone bisexual because they have to get the attention of him while competing with both men and women. Even Amber Rose, a bisexual woman said she wouldn’t date bisexual men. When asked she said,“Personally—no judgment—I wouldn’t be comfortable. I just wouldn’t be comfortable with it and I don’t know why.”

Bisexuality is an extremely common sexual orientation; there are more than 9 million LGBT+ people in the world and more than half of them are bisexual. Although it isn’t a foreign concept to be bisexual, there is still a huge stigma attached to it. Only 28% of bisexuals say that all the important people in their life know they’re bisexual, compared to 77% of gay men and 71% of lesbians.

“I was never planning to come out and I guess I was somewhat okay with that. I ended up liking this guy more than just a friend and we spent a lot of time together to the point where I took up a lot of my time,” says Zach. “Most people are surprised when I tell them or think I’m playing a joke on them just cause they couldn’t really see me as bisexual”

Zach

Bisexual people are stereotyped as cheaters and indecisive. People find it hard to believe that you can like more than one gender. They assume that boys who are bi are secretly gay instead.

“A couple people thought I was gay but it didn’t really bother me. I know who I am and that’s all the matters. People are always gonna think what they think,” continued Zach. “Then there’s the other half that will always bring up girls I have hooked up with and the others that will say being bi isn’t a real thing.”

Zach has a very interesting dilemma. He is also a rapper and hip-hop is very LGBT+ phobic, so he hopes people look past his bisexuality and focus on the music. “I could see it affecting some people listening to my music, but if you’re a fan of good music that shouldn’t bother anyone.”

Although I am part of the straight community, I do realize that people are biphobic and brush it off as having a “preference.”

“Don’t let ANYONE take away your happiness just because they think it’s ‘gross’ or they don’t agree with you liking the same gender,” says Zach. “I kept it away from people for so long I swear it started to affect other things but the second I had to tell was the biggest weight off my shoulder.”

For many bisexual people, dating seems like an obstacle with many already generalizing them as “cheaters.” People will continue to always be ignorant and dismissive of things that don’t align with their views. Zach isn’t jaded or fazed, he simply says, “be with someone that makes you happy no matter what.”

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Evelyn V. Woodsen

Evelyn Atieno is a sometimes journalist who enjoys binge watching Gossip Girl every other month. She has been featured in MTV,Business Insider, Huffington Post and The Baltimore Sun

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