By Grace Summerson
It’s 2015 but there is still a lot that, as a society, people don’t understand about bisexuals. A great deal of this is down to under-representation in the media where even popular and diverse television shows, like ‘Orange is the New Black’, don’t dare to use the word bisexual to describe characters attracted to both sexes. So what are some basic things you should know about bisexuality?
1. Not pretending to be less gay or less straight
Bisexuality isn’t a cover up for being mostly gay or a way for straight people to make themselves seem more sexually adventurous; it is its own thing. While not all bisexuals are attracted to men and women equally, being 70% straight and 30% gay doesn’t make a person any less bi. Sexual attraction is a spectrum and is rarely clear-cut but if you are attracted to both genders then you are probably bi.
2. It is really confusing
Before realising you are bi you might have thought you were gay and been confused by your different sexual crushes. Or perhaps you found it easy to dismiss your same sex attraction as a ‘girl crush’ or an in-depth ‘bromance’. It isn’t made any easier by the media implication that fancying the opposite sex is just a phase that people experience during late adolescence.
3. Two closets at once
Unfortunately we live in a ‘straight until proven otherwise’ society where instead of bringing home a boyfriend or girlfriend when you are ready people expect you to come out and make a big deal of it. When this happens for gays and lesbians they have a whole new community of support open to them. Bisexuals on the other hand have to fight to be recognised otherwise they are often accused of not being queer enough. Straight passing privilege is not such a privilege when you are simultaneously rejected from two communities. Remember this: a bi man who marries a woman is still bi.
4. Promiscuity does not equal bisexuality
Funnily enough no two bisexuals are the same beyond the obvious similarity. We are as diverse as straight and gay people. Bi people don’t all want threesomes and to break up your relationships. Some might and that’s their business but don’t presume you know everything about someone by their sexuality.
5. Many celebrities identify themselves as bi
That’s right, bi people aren’t just teens that have tumblr blogs, they are also successful musicians and actors. Bisexual celebrities include; Angelina Jolie, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Anna Paquin and, arguably, Freddie Mercury. Unfortunately many public figures don’t always directly identify with being bi and choose to use more ambiguous terms such as queer. Hopefully with better understanding and representation, identifying as bi won’t seem like a bad thing anymore.
Grace is a third year English and Creative Writing Student, she likes comedy tv shows, green tea and female empowerment you can follow her on twitter here.