I’m a big believer that people fear what they can’t (or don’t attempt to!!!) understand. Case and point: Bisexuality. Girls, there are so many myths out there about bisexuality and they are oh so frustrating. And I think most are stemmed out of fear of the different. Or ignorance. You know how that goes…
No matter the origin of these misconceptions, we need to work on undoing them. Like, today. The following conversation is brought to you in part by a lovely reader named Alice who wrote in with this question:
“I’ve been really unsure of my sexuality lately. I know for sure I like girls, but I think I may still like boys as well! I often ask myself, ‘Would I like it if a boy or girl asked me out or said they liked me?’ And I think I’d like it if either gender did that! I’m sad to admit that I’m devastated that most of the signs point to me being bisexual. I often find myself buying into the stigmas that bisexuals are wishy-washy and indecisive! What if my sexuality is pointing toward a label I don’t necessarily want!?”
Let’s get right to it. The issue here isn’t that the signs are pointing to you being bisexual. The problem is the stigma attached to that label, which makes you feel “devastated” that bisexuality may be the term that best describes your sexuality. This is the not-so-wonderful world of biphobia. And it needs to stop!
Those of us who like people of more than one gender (myself included on that one) go through this nonsense on the regular. Bisexuality myths run rampant. A bisexual just can’t make up their mind. A bisexual can’t be monogamous. A bisexual is just too sexual. A bisexual is just using that label as a gateway to identifying as full on lesbian. And so on. And so on.
It’s all simply not true! Yet, people have hardcore internalized all these misconceptions about bisexuality. Why? Well, I think some people fear how bisexuality marks gender as (relatively) unimportant in the game of love. They don’t understand how that could be a thing for people because it’s definitely not a thing for them.
Of course, there are other reasons why these myths permeate our culture. But honestly, that all doesn’t even really matter. What matters is these myths are B.S., no matter where they originated. And the first step to undoing the effect these myths have on you is to really, really accept their falsity!
Sure, undoing the myths that we have all internalized about bisexual is not easy. But it is necessary. It takes commitment. It takes calling out your own effed up, prejudice thoughts right when you have them. It involves educating yourself and others. It involves becoming an ally — a real ally — to a community you may or may not be a part of.
Whether you are bisexual or not, you need to confront your own biases about bisexuality. Living with prejudice ain’t the way to be. And the first step to doing this is acknowledging that your thoughts are problematic, which you are obviously already doing given your question. So keep going!
Once you clear all this up, I think you’ll find it easier to explore your own sexuality. And whatever conclusion you come to, know that the misconceptions people have about whatever label you choose won’t change how empowering it feels to claim a label that is really right for you!
In the end, the stigma doesn’t matter. Accepting yourself does. Accepting your sexuality does. And living a judgement free life that helps end that stigma truly matters.
Identifying with any part of the LGBT community comes with stigma, misconceptions, and myths that try to bring you down. They can fill you with shame and doubt and guilt. They can cause others judge you and hurt you. They can make you feel small. I won’t ever tell you those feelings aren’t valid.
But there is also so much to love about being true to yourself and your desires in spite of all that terrible stuff. There’s so much to love about being strong enough to push against that stigma (in big and small ways) by simply existing day to day. With that said, I hope you can see the sun in the storm — and help others see it, too!
Wishing you the best on the path to (self) acceptance,
Got an LGBTQ question you want Katie to answer? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your queer conundrums so she can work her advice-giving magic!