Bisexuality is to feel sexually, romantically, emotionally attracted to people of either sex. A bisexual person may or may not be more attracted to one gender, and the degree of attraction may vary and fluctuate over one’s life. What is often difficult to understand is that there is not a one size fits all model of bisexual identity or relationships. Self-perception is the key to a bisexual identity. Many people engage in sexual activity with people of both sexes, yet identify as gay, lesbian, straight or queer. The opposite may be true as well, Identifying as bisexual does not necessarily mean that a person is engaging in any sexual activity. Also, a bisexual person does not need to be sexually involved with both a man and a woman simultaneously. Some bisexual people may engage in sexual relationships simultaneously and some do not. Many bisexuals choose to be sexually active with one person and have monogamous life long relationships. The point is, there is no standard issue bisexual, each person and couple is different.
In order to help you identify what Biphobia looks like, we have compiled a short list of examples:
- Assuming that everyone you meet is either heterosexual or homosexual.
- Thinking bisexuality is a gateway for another identity as gay/straight in the future.
- Expecting a bisexual to identify as straight when coupled with the “opposite” gender and gay when coupled with the same gender.
- Believing bisexual people spread HIV/AIDS and other STDs to straight people.
- Thinking bisexual people haven’t yet to decide if they are gay or straight
- Assuming a bisexual person is sexually promiscuous.
- Assuming that a bisexual person is “greedy” and wants “the best of both worlds”
- Automatically assuming romantic couplings of two people of the same gender are gay, or a male and female couple is straight
- Assuming that bisexual couples engage in group sex.
- Using the terms “phase”, “its just a stage”, “confused”, “fence-sitter”, or “switchhitter”.
- Thinking bisexuals only have committed relationships with “opposite” gender partners.
- Believing bisexuals are confused about their sexuality.
- Not confronting a biphobic remark or joke
- Believing that people only identify as bisexual to get attention.
Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu, Eds.
Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, & Visions by Naomi Tucker, Ed.
Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World by Robyn Ochs and Sarah Rowley. Eds.
This flyer is adapted from the Bisexual Resource Center web site at http://www.biresource.org/ Revised 08/2011