On being Bi

Bisexuality Is Real - It ExistsI’ve wanted to write a blog post about bisexuality for quite some time now. I’ve got multiple drafts of posts running around in my head and some even on paper. The problem though is that I get so pissed off when I’m talking about the misconceptions that people have about bisexuality that I end up not being able to finish the post because I can’t get my words out right.

Thankfully however a post was made on a Facebook group that I belong to, Bisexuality Is Real -It Exists, and it’s so freaking perfect that I have to share it. I beg of you to take a few minutes to read it. Emphasis added by moi.

Bisexuality Isn’t Confusing – Bisexuals Aren’t Confused
No, they’re really not – it’s people’s attitudes to bisexuality that are confused. A bisexual is someone who is attracted to more than one gender.

Everyone accepts that it’s possible for a person to be attracted to people of more than one height, weight, hair color, or race. For bisexuals that openness also includes gender.

Bisexuals Aren’t Greedy
It’s not ‘greed’ if someone likes chocolate cake and fruit salad. Greed isn’t a wide range of desire or attraction; it’s excessive attraction. Some people seem to confuse being attracted to more than one gender with being attracted to everyone. This is rather silly – it’s a bit like saying that lesbians or straight men are attracted to all women, or straight women and gay men are attracted to all men.

They’re not. Bisexuality isn’t about ‘all’ it’s about ‘either.’

Bisexuals Don’t Have To Be Equally Attracted To Men And Women
You don’t have to be equally attracted to red-heads and brunettes to be attracted to both, and preferring lettuce to liver doesn’t make you a vegetarian, so why do some people insist that “true” bisexuals are exactly and equally attracted to men and women?

Some bisexuals prefer androgynous partners, some don’t. Some really love the differences between the sexes, others don’t see those differences. Some of us are only attracted to 5% of one gender, and 60% of the other – you don’t need to be 50/50 or have those add up to 100. And some bisexuals believe that thinking in terms of two genders is restrictive.

Sexuality isn’t black and white – and the spectrum between gay and straight isn’t greys. Think about it this way – rather than black and white, sexuality is red and blue. Purple is not the new red-blue, purple is the new purple. And there are more colors besides that between red and blue, there’s orange, yellow and green for starters!

Bisexual Isn’t About There Being Only “Two Sexes”
Some people get hung up on the ‘bi’ and protest that gender isn’t binary. They claim that identifying as bisexual is tantamount to saying Trans people don’t exist, or that you’re not attracted to them, or that you’re only into masculine men and feminine women. However many people using the identity “bisexual” disagree.

In traditional dictionaries:

Homosexual is defined as “only attracted to the same sex”
Heterosexual is defined as “only attracted to the opposite sex”

So why then dismiss bisexuality as being about “only men and women” when the definitions of hetero- and homo- don’t mention those? And why don’t the critics of the word also have a go at people using “heterosexual” or “homosexual” on the grounds of the words being even more restricted?

In this modern age with a wider understanding of gender some people choose to re-state those as:

Homosexual- “attracted to people of a broadly similar gender”
Heterosexual – “attracted to people of a broadly different gender”
In fact many people say there are more than two genders, but if two options are either “similar to me” or “different to me” then it’s clear that “both” can refer to those two options rather than two perceived sexes.

The gay and lesbian scene is full of bisexuals, many of whom know it’d be socially awkward to come out about their true sexuality in a bi-phobic atmosphere. We’re all together in our attraction to people of the same or similar genders, and in the discrimination we face for being “them” from the homophobes. For decades we’ve marched together on Gay Pride, worked in gay bars, and we’ve all been bashed for not being straight. Bisexuality needs to be recognized as part of the LGBT movement, and should be welcomed as part of the struggle for acceptance and tolerance.

Bisexuals are the targets of bi-phobia, and homophobia too. LGB & T are not rigid sided boxes to stuff people into, they’re circles of overlapping light, they are a Venn diagram.

Bisexuals Can Be Faithful
Some people ask “How can someone attracted to more than one gender be faithful to a partner of one gender?” Quite easily! Being attracted to people isn’t cheating, did you know? Some people are attracted to more than one gender, some people to more than one skin color, or height, or body shape, or age group, or background.

Would a straight man attracted to both tall and short women be unable to remain faithful to a tall girlfriend? Would a lesbian woman attracted to both musicians and engineers be unable to commit to a guitarist?

Being bisexual isn’t what makes someone cheat. Wanting to cheat makes someone cheat.

Bisexuals Don’t Have To Date Both Men And Women
Some are in happy relationships with one partner, others have multiple relationships and some swap to dating the other sex whenever their current fling ends. Some bisexuals are happily married and raising children. Some bisexuals are single, some are celibate. You do not need to have ever have had sex to be bisexual. Some bisexuals enjoy casual sex, others don’t’ have sex outside committed relationships.

Bisexuality isn’t about whom you have sex with, or who you’re in a relationship with. It’s just about you – and the genders you are attracted to.

Bisexuality Isn’t An ‘Easy Option’
Some people think that bisexuals are just gay and lesbian people who don’t want to come out as gay or lesbian, as if saying you were bisexual would allow you to sidestep the prejudices and discrimination we face. It’s not an easier option.

My Partner Is Bisexual, What Should I Do?
On hearing their partner is bi, some people wonder if this means they’ll be unfaithful, or leave them for someone of a different gender, or if this means they’ve already been sleeping around during the relationship.

But being bisexual doesn’t mean these things – just as being attracted to a range of hair colours, or ages, doesn’t mean that either. You’re the one they’re with, you!

Bisexuality is real. It exists.

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