Why the Bisexual Struggle Is More Nuanced Than You Might Think

I am bisexual. I have been for quite some time now. It’s a strange thing to be, as people tend to assume that you’re gay AND straight, have a finger in both pies, a foot in each pool. Disclaimer: it’s not like that at all. When you’re bisexual you’re neither gay nor straight. You’re bisexual. Saying “gay or straight”/having such a binary makes it easier for people to digest who you are/what your sexuality is. For some people, the concept of bisexuality is utterly confusing; the idea that a person can like both the sexes is too much, greedy, selfish. I understand genuine curiosity about bisexuality and wanting to know how relationships are different depending on whether one is dating a man or a woman, but there’s a line. And for some reason when it comes to bisexuality, people tend to ask incredibly personal questions with little regard for my own private life, and thus completely cross the line.

The term “bi-privilege” is something I’ve only recently become acquainted with. I understand that people think there’s a privilege to being able to pass off as straight, but here’s the thing: it is not a privilege to have someone mistake your identity. The bisexual struggle is more nuanced than some might think. Most bisexual people are erased and put into the “gay or straight” box. If I’m in a relationship with a woman, I’m gay. With a man, straight. According to the judgment of others, I can’t be bisexual all the time. People can understand a person being gay or straight, but they can’t conceive someone who’s somewhere in the middle. When you can pretend to be straight, why on earth would you indulge in the other side?

There are people that think that at some point, I’m going to decide upon being gay or straight and that the only reason there are both men and women in my dating pool is because I a) have had bad experiences with men, or b) I can’t get men to love me. People seem to think that women loving women is a woman not trying hard enough to love a man. It is considered that queer women are unlovable by men, and since men won’t love us, we’re worthless. It’s assumed that I’m a slut, I’m confused and can’t make my mind up, and I’m simply taking it where I can get it. Essentially, people assume that my being bisexual is all to do with my level of worthlessness and promiscuity, rather than whom I may love.

I’m so thankful for the word “queer” because it’s now an umbrella term. People are understanding the word queer now, and that for every queer person it means something different. I also like the fact that it gives me a little privacy when it comes to my sexuality. I don’t want people knowing exactly my type, exactly what I like. Frankly, it’s no one else’s business other than mine. I’m tired, frankly, of constantly having to explain myself, and constantly having to prove I exist. There’s profit in bi-erasure. But I wonder if these people who are profiting would love it as much if they knew the damage they were doing. I guess the point of this is to say that I’m bored of being painted into a box, and can’t understand why people have such a struggle with accepting the fact that there are people on this planet who have the ability to love both men and women. Bisexuality is beautiful. It isn’t a shame on humanity, nor is it privileged. It is what it is, and what it is, is fine.

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I like feminism, socialism, and art with bad colour schemes. I am mainly found under a pile of books.

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