Mainstream heterosexual society has been learning to accept, or at least is getting use to the visibility of gay and lesbian people over the last several years. With more states legalizing gay marriage like Oregon and Pennsylvania and the overturning of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, gay and lesbians have been making strides toward equal rights. Movies and Television have featured more gay and lesbian characters and more and more celebrities have come out of the closet like The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons and movie star Ellen Page. But with all this exposure bisexual people have been left out.
There has been bi-phobia not only in the heterosexual community, but also in the gay and lesbian community. That is probably because the gay and lesbian community, just like the heterosexual community, doesn’t know much about, or understand bisexuals. There are many myths about bisexuals that need to be clarified so that they are more understood.
Myth #1 Bisexuals are confused about their sexuality.
Bisexuals are not confused about their sexuality. They just happen to be attracted to both men and women. Many young people are confused about their sexuality in general mostly because of the societal pressures to be heterosexual. As young people figure out who they are they will know instinctively who they are attracted to.
Myth #2 To be bisexual you have to love both genders equally.
While bisexuals are attracted to both men and women, they are not necessarily attracted to both genders equally. It’s almost like a percentage, with 50%/50% being a person attracted to both men and women equally.
Myth #3 Being bisexual means having a male and female lover at the same time.
While bisexual people may be with both men and women over their dating career most bisexuals don’t feel like they need to be with both genders at the same time to feel fulfilled.
Myth #4 Bisexual people are promiscuous.
Bisexuals are just as likely to be promiscuous as hetero- or homosexual people. Their sexual orientation has nothing to do with their sexual life style. Bisexuals are just as likely to be monogamous as anyone else also.
Myth #5 Bisexuals are in “transition.” On the way to being gay.
Most people who are bisexual are set in, and comfortable with their sexual orientation. There have been a small number of gay and lesbian people who have come out as bisexual because the stigma of being homosexual. This offends bisexuals because it helps to maintain this myth.
Myth #6 Bisexual People have more privilege than gay and lesbian people.
This myth is both true and untrue depending on the circumstance. When a bisexual person is with, and especially married to, a person of a different sex they will receive the benefits of heterosexual privilege, but when a bisexual person is with a person of the same sex they will not.
Most bisexual people want to be included in the gay and lesbian community. They are also fighting for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights along with gay, lesbian, and transgender people. They are just as excited when one more state legalizes gay marriage thus recognizing a person’s right to love and marry whomever they want. Bisexuals are a wide and varied people. Some are with same sex partners and some are with different sex partners. Some fit the stereotypes and misconceptions of what people think about bisexual people, but most do not. They want to be understood and accepted, and the first to towards that intension is understanding the myths about bisexuals and getting past them.
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H. M. Spencer