What's It Like Being A Bisexual Woman? 7 Frustrating Things About Being Bi
It's Bisexual Visibility Day, a time to celebrate — and recognize— the bisexual community. And I have to say, as a proud bisexual in a lesbian relationship, I love my orientation. Being bisexual is amazing — I mean, you're attracted to pretty much everything — but it's also frustrating as hell. It's hard to believe that so many people still have issues with bisexuality. And yet, they do. They really, really do.
One of the interesting things about being bisexual is dealing with people who think it's just not real. People who think you straight-up cannot be attracted to men and women at the same time. People who think that you're lying about your sexual orientation. It's 2017 people, it's time to get on board with it.
But that's only the tip of the iceberg. There are still a lot of misconceptions about what being bisexual means — and it can be really annoying. You get it from straight people, you get it from gay people, you get it from movies and TV shows who don't even want to acknowledge you exist. (So a big shout out to Crazy Ex Girlfriend for putting a bi character front and center!) Here's what we have to deal with. All. The. Damn. Time.
1. People Not Believing You
I mean, some people just think it's not a real thing. They think you're in a "phase". They think you're experimenting. To me, it doesn't seem that complicated. It just means that I'm attracted to attractive people, no matter what gender they are. I don't see what there is to be skeptical about, but people really are.
2. And Not Understanding
"So, are you gay now?" No.
How many times to I have to say it: I still love penises, in theory, but I'm madly in love with my girlfriend. Sod off.
3. Fake Dating Profiles
Oh, it's a cute girl! No it's not, it's a couple wanting to have a threesome. Again. Certain dating apps are a minefield of unwanted threesome requests for bisexual ladies.
4. People Assuming You Can't Be Trusted
It's a real thing. Studies have shown that bisexuals are perceived as less trustworthy and more likely to cheat. Because... because no good reason whatsoever. People like to assume that you have a super high sex drive and no ability to control it, which is totally unfair.
I didn't really understand this until I started dating my girlfriend. I really have trouble getting used to the fact that most people who meet me now think I'm a lesbian. There's nothing wrong with being a lesbian — but I'm not one. So having people say in passing, "Oh, you see, when you date a man..." or try to explain basic things about hetero sex is not only patronizing, it's just surreal for someone who's dated men for years of my life.
When you're with men, you're thought of as straight. When you're with women, you're thought of as gay. Huge parts of your identity are left out in either case.
6. People Thinking You're Going To Leave Your Girlfriend
I'm lucky because everyone is actually really supportive of me and my girlfriend, but I know bisexuals who aren't so lucky. Even after a year of dating someone, people still treated my friend as though they were going to dump their girlfriend anytime to go back to heterosexual privilege. It's really frustrating having that level of mistrust directed at you all the time.
7. The Epidemic Of Mental Health Problems In The Community
Studies — and even the Human Rights Council — have found that bisexuals have higher rates of anxiety and depression than other LGBTQ groups. And yet, because bi people can feel like they're not welcome in the queer community, people feel like they can't seek the help that they need through LGBTQ resources. "Bisexual people are the largest single group within the LGBT community, but we're not addressing their specific healthcare needs,” said Tari Hanneman, Deputy Director of the Health and Aging Program at the HRC Foundation, in a press release. “The reality is that bisexual people face discrimination not only outside of our community, but also from within. And that can discourage them from engaging in and benefitting from the work that LGBT advocates are doing to address our mental, physical, and sexual health." Feeling prejudice from inside and outside the queer community has some very real consequences.
I love being bisexual. And I've been pretty lucky in avoiding biphobia and homophobia for the most part. But I have to say, it can be frustrating at times. So for Bisexual Visibility Day, let's drop the misconceptions. We're just the same as everyone else — no more likely to cheat, we're not confused, and we're not indecisive. We're just bi. That's all.