"I didn’t realize, for the longest time, my own prejudice against bisexuality was no better than the bi-haters I’d actively accused," wrote AFROPUNK contributor Jas in a recent essay on the website. The piece, "Bi Matters: Female Bisexuality Misconceptions in the Queer Community," debunks three major myths about women who are bi, especially those that are commonly held by other women in the community.
Myth #1 – "Bi people are just gay people that haven't come out yet."
Jas debunks: "The term 'bisexuality' holds the weight of dozens of types of attraction that are far more queer, or genderqueer, than the term implies. The B in LGBT could mean anything from a person that is equally attracted, romantically and sexually, to both extremes of the gender spectrum (cis men or cis' women), to a person that enjoys sex with both men and women, but is only romantically attracted to men."
Myth #2 – "Bisexuals are indecisive or confused."
Jas debunks: "My privilege as a gay person is that my defined sexuality leaves little to no room for question from possible naysayers. Bisexuality, on the other hand, is by definition, far more fluid. The fluid nature of bisexuality makes people feel the right to question anyone that identifies as such, as if their attractions are less valid, simply because it is not as black and white…The issue with cherry picking which bisexuality is 'okay' is that we should not be discriminating at all. You see, these discriminatory thoughts encompassed me, as if the question as to whether someone is actually interested doesn’t come up regardless of that person’s sexuality. Any relationship begins with insecurity of newness and the unknown. Just because I’ve had a few bad relationships with bisexual women doesn’t mean I should discount all people that identify as bisexual."
Myth #3 – "Bisexual women only do it to turn straight guys on."
Jas debunks: "My prejudice is driven by fear. I fear bisexuality because of the complexity of the term; the idiosyncrasies that cannot be assumed simply based on someone identifying as 'bi.' Fear is always the culprit behind prejudice, and my discrimination against bisexuality is no exception. So what if some bisexuality is a Kinsey scale 2 and others are 4? Is it not best we make each romantic decision on an individual basis rather than rely on faulty stereotypes to explain an entire group? Bisexuality is no less valid than gay, queer, pansexual or otherwise. To make overarching assumptions of bisexuality is to devalue the person that identifies as such, and that’s just not cool."
Jas' essay demonstrates that, even within the LGBT community, stigma against one's peers is real and harmful. During Bisexual Health Awareness Month, the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) taught that the bi community grapples with physical and mental health disparities, often as a result of the stigma and identity erasure bi people face.
Eradicating discrimination against the entire LGBT community must start from within—with understanding, knowledge, and a willingness to evolve one's opinion.
You can read the original, full essay here.