Greedy. More likely to cheat on their partners. Scared to commit to a long-term relationship. These are just a few of the unfair, hateful stigmas people hold about bisexuality. However, these beliefs are popularly accepted as both gay and straight people squirm uncomfortably when discussing potentially dating a person who is attracted to both guys and girls.
Despite our increased acceptance of the LGBTQ community, the “B” is often left out. People use excuses for why they wouldn’t date a bisexual person — like competition with both genders for their partner’s attention or the belief that bisexuality doesn’t exist — but it boils down to this: Bisexuality is still misunderstood by a society that refuses to accept it.
While acceptance of different sexualities and lifestyles has increased within the past few decades, bisexuals are often excluded. In a recent study by Adam & Eve, only 35 percent of people reported that they would be open to dating a bisexual person, while 19 percent said that they were undecided.
Another study reported that bisexual people of all backgrounds experience large amounts of prejudice from the gay community. This problem is not solely confined to the straight community — discrimination against bisexuals is pervasive across people of all sexualities.
Bisexuality is seen as an obstacle to overcome in a relationship. However, we must collectively understand that being bisexual is no more of a choice than being gay or straight, and it is therefore unfair to consider bisexuality when deciding to be romantically involved with another person.
“I think the most important thing for people to realize is that who you can be attracted to doesn’t dictate who you will be attracted to,” said Juan Otero, president of the Austin Bi Collective. “Just because I’m bi doesn’t mean I like everyone, just like a gay man being gay doesn’t mean he likes all men, and a straight man being straight doesn’t mean he likes all women.”
We must do better. We must destroy the myths that bisexual people are promiscuous, indecisive or going through a phase. We must understand that sexuality cannot be chosen based on convenience or availability.
Love who you love no matter who they are attracted to, and see those myths for what they are: stigmas that stand in the way of love and acceptance.
Elizabeth Braaten is a international relations and global studies junior from Conroe.