When it comes to sexuality, even some of the most awful bigots will at least admit that homosexuality is real. They might not like it, but they won’t deny its existence. And yet, for some reason, bigots, seemingly progressive people and plenty of members of the queer community really hate to acknowledge the fact that bisexuality exists. Even some incredibly prominent LGBTQ figures like Dan Savage have made weird claims about bisexuality being a farce. Uh, what? Why is it so hard to believe that people can be attracted to people who are their gender as well as other genders? Why is that so ridiculous?
Anyway, the point is that there are a lot of ridiculous negative connotations and general confusion surrounding bisexuality. So whether you’re bi, you think you might be be bi, or you’re not bi at all and just want to learn more about it, here are the bare basics of what you need to know about bisexuality.
Lets get started, shall we? Woop woop!
What is bisexuality?
The traditional definition of bisexuality is attraction to men and women, but we’re getting more savvy as a culture with regards to sex and gender and it’s best to now describe bisexuality as attraction to any gender identity regardless of biological sex. If this sounds similar to pansexuality, you’re right, by definition they are certainly similar. But as I said, bisexuality traditionally refers to attraction to both men and women, so some in the bisexual community feel more comfortable defining their sexuality by those factors. However, there are plenty of bisexual people who staunchly define their sexual preferences as being attracted to their own gender as well as any other gender identity so…it all depends on the person. Not all bisexual people identify the same way!
Are people who are bi actually gay and are afraid to say so or don’t know it yet?
Listen, there are going to be some people who identify as bisexual before identifying as either gay or lesbian or whatever. I’m sure plenty of us have friends who did just that. But that assumption shouldn’t be made on all people who identify as bisexual.
If you’re bi you prefer one gender and/or sex over another, right?
Frankly, some do and some don’t. Either way, never erase a bisexual person’s bisexual identity just because they’re more attracted to women or is dating a man. Stop. They’re still attracted to more than one gender so leave them be and don’t make assumptions! It’s not like there is this one momentous day when bisexual people have some sort of epiphany and realize with a happy smile, “Ah, yes, I really do prefer men over women.” Stop.
Are people who are bi sluttier than the rest of us, though?
First of all, let’s not call people sluts. Second of all, the idea that bisexual people are more promiscuous or more likely to cheat than straight people or gay people is absolutely ludicrous. People are capable of cheating no matter what their sexual orientation is, period.
How do I know if I’m bi?
There isn’t one set test to determine anyone’s sexuality, but just ask yourself: Are you attracted to people who share your gender as well as other gender identities? Do you have or wish to have a strong sexual and emotional connection to folks who share your gender as well as other gender identities? If so, sure, you might just be bi. But only you can decide what label is most suiting for you.
Am I bi if I have sexual thoughts or dreams about a gender that is different than mine even though I think I’m straight?
Not necessarily. Plenty of people who have no interest in getting involved in a bisexual romance can admit to having sexual feelings about people of different genders. Brains are weird and sexuality is even weirder. Very little is set in stone, but just know that wondering what it would be like to make out with a girl even though you identify as straight doesn’t necessarily put your sexual identity into as much of a grey space as you think it should.
What if I identify more as a pansexual than a bisexual, but pansexual is so hard to explain…
Girl, you do you! It’s true, bisexuality is much more familiar to people than pansexuality is. But although the more nuanced definition of bisexuality is incredibly similar to pansexuality, you shouldn’t have to settle with identifying with whatever is easier. Identify with whatever is truly, well, you!
So I think I’m bi and I feel weird about it. What should I do?
If you take on bisexuality as an identity, then hopefully you rock it with pride. Of course, it’s understandable that that identity isn’t accepted in everyone’s environment, but it might make you feel less weird if you find a way to join some LGBT or bi specific organizations at school or at a local LGBT center. If that’s also not realistic for you, then try the internet. There are a bunch of great Tumblr blogs out there that focus on bisexuality, like bidyke, thesunnysideofbeingbi, and bialogue-group You might feel more empowered and comfortable with your identity if you see that there are other bisexual people out there who are proud of their bisexuality.
Are you openly bi? Do you think you’re bi but you’re afraid to come out? Tell us in the comments!