Accepting Bisexuality: Discrimination Within the LGBT Community

Bisexuals have a unique struggle. They aren’t fully accepted in the straight world or the gay world.

Bisexual Pride Flag on canvas. By Author.

Bisexuals are marginalized in the LGBT+ community. Heterosexuals don’t think they’re straight enough and homosexuals don’t think they’re gay enough; even though, they can relate to both sides. Luckily, some people are trying to make the bisexual community more visible by educating society on what it means to be bisexual.

Stereotypes

  • Bisexual women are actually straight, but they kiss other women to get attention from men.
  • Bisexual men are actually gay; however, they aren’t ready to come out as homosexual.
  • Bisexuals, regardless of gender, cannot have monogamous relationships because they need someone from all genders to be sexually fulfilled.
  • Bisexuality does not truly exist because most people are heterosexual or homosexual.

Assumptions

  • When a bisexual is dating a different gender, it means that they’re heterosexual.
  • When a bisexual is dating the same gender, it means that they’re homosexual.

All of these beliefs are false. Bisexual women do not kiss other women merely for the attention of a guy to date or hook up with. Bisexual men are not simply afraid to come out as homosexual. The duration that a bisexual is in a relationship with another person does not narrow their attraction to only that gender. Being bisexual means that the person is capable of having a relationship with someone of either the same or a different gender. This is like when a straight person is dating someone of the opposite gender. They are still capable of finding other people of that gender to be attractive; however, it does not mean that they are more likely to cheat on their partner because of that attraction, any more than a straight person would be.

Heterosexuals may be surprised to learn of the many problems within the LGBT community concerning bisexuality. It can be difficult for bisexual women to date lesbians because there are lesbians who fear being dumped for a man. There are women who claim to be bi, but turn out to actually be straight or sexually confused. By the way, I’m not insulting bi-curious women. I’m talking about faux bisexuals; people who pretend to be bi for sexual gain make it harder for genuine bisexuals to be taken seriously, even within the community.

YouTuber, RJ from TheNotAdam identifies as bisexual. Many of his viewers have asked him to come out as “gay;” however, as stated, RJ is not gay. He is a bisexual in a relationship with a man.

Openly bisexual men are helpful in the quest to educate a society that only thinks in binaries. It requires people to think critically. RJ’s engagement to a man does not change his sexual orientation. It is frustrating for bisexuals to constantly have to explain what it means to be bisexual, as though it were an ever-changing status.

“Yes, I am a bisexual male.”

Youtuber, Amber from Amber’s Closet discusses sexual orientation and self-identity on her channel. She is lesbian and invites her friend Jody to talk about the experience of recently coming out as bisexual at the age of 54. Jody’s story proves that “it’s never too late” to understand yourself better. Many celebrities are coming out now that there is more acceptance. Age is not a factor in self-acceptance and understanding. All that matters is that you are ready.

“…Definitely the person, not the anatomy.”

Taking all of this into consideration, hopefully, LGT+ and heterosexuals will stop undermining the struggle of bisexuality in the future. Sadly, we know that this isn’t going to stop it, completely. People love to argue, regardless of how knowledgeable they are on the topic(s). Perhaps, it would help to acknowledge that there is one underlying key factor for any argument(s), such as this one: insecurity.

The heteronormative harms everyone, including heterosexuals. Each time that someone is perceived as straight and feels it’s necessary to correct the misunderstanding, they risk discrimination and safety. LGBT members experience high amounts of unnecessary stress when deciding to live openly. Many uneducated heterosexuals may assume that coming out is a quick one-time event. In reality, it never really ends. They have to come out over and over, throughout their lives.

Biphobic lesbians and gays do not realize that the coming out experience is similar to their own; however, bisexuals have to come out to two communities: the gay community and the straight, and neither side is guaranteed to greet them with open arms. Next, comes the explanation that their sexual orientation is about an attraction to someone, regardless of gender. Bisexuality isn’t an alternative label for the polyamorous or even those who enjoy cheating on their partners to satisfy an unhealthy control over them.

The harmful belief that “bisexuality doesn’t really exist” hinders progress for the entire LGBT+ community, and its quest to gain full acceptance in society. If lesbians and gays encourage the idea that bisexual orientation does not exist, that only gives the homophobic population more to use against LBGT+ as a whole. LGBT+ acceptance cannot occur until society recognizes the current discrimination, both inside and outside of the community.

Editor’s Note: This was originally posted by this author in 2015 on HubPages. It has since been revised and republished here.

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