Biphobia is real, and it lives within our community. The LGBTQ+ community has struggled to understand the meaning of being bisexual. As a community, we must strive to understand the struggles of our brothers and sisters who are bisexual.
There are many issues bisexual men and women face in their lives: being erased, being misidentified, being thought of as having more privilege, being rejected by a partner, and being over sexualized. These issues have grown in recent years as the LGBTQ+ community has become more recognized. Right now is a time of change; we must start accepting everybody for who they are.
Bisexual erasure exists, and it exists in multiple ways. It is easy for people to group bisexuals in with gays and lesbians. Bisexuals are not gay, lesbian, or straight. A bisexual's sexual orientation does not change based upon their partner's gender. Bisexuals face the issue of people stating, "pick a side," "you cannot be both," or "you're either gay or straight." Not only is this erasure, but this is invalidation of sexual orientation. The acceptance of sexual orientation is something we fight for as an LGBTQ+ community; we have to give the same respect to others as we expect to be given to us.
It is easy to misplace bisexuals in the wrong sexual orientation; people think of them as gay when they are with a same-sex partner or straight when they are with an opposite-sex partner. Sexual orientation is not something that changes based on the gender of your partner when we are discussing bisexuals. Bisexuals are always bisexual regardless of their partner's gender.
While some argue that bisexuality has its own set of privileges, this is a myth. People claim that bisexuals are privileged because they can appear straight, but not being recognized as your sexual orientation is an issue. Part of being one's true self includes their sexual orientation. If a person's sexual orientation is not valued, the value of a person is not recognized. Being with someone who is of the opposite sex, as a bisexual, comes with no greater privilege.
Bisexual men and women alike deal with the issue of having people who are monosexual (attracted to one gender), rejecting them. The root of this problem could be biphobic myths. Some of these myths include: bisexuals are more likely to cheat, bisexuals are gross, or biphobia. Everyone has their feelings about dating a bisexual, but understand that if these myths are your reasons for not dating a bisexual, then it comes from a place of biphobia. Bisexuals are not more likely to cheat than any other people, and bisexuals are not gross because they like two genders. The issue of rejecting a bisexual because of his or her sexual orientation is a personal problem. Understand that bisexual people are no different from any other people; if a person chooses to be monogamous with you, then he or she is committing to you.
Every bisexuals' favorite words are, "They just want their cake and to eat it, too." The oversexualization of bisexuals has been a running myth for as long as bisexuality has been so termed. Attraction to both genders does not signify that a person is oversexual; it just means that he or she enjoys two genders. Hypersexuality is alive in all sexual orientations, and it cannot be limited only to bisexuals.
Now that you know what it means to be bisexual, how is it different from being monosexual? Have you learned about the myths that plague the bisexual community? Do you feel differently about bisexuals? I hope that is a big "YES!" Underneath it all, bisexuals just want to be understood in the LGBTQ+ community. If you want to learn more about bisexuals' struggles, just use Google. You will be greeted with thousands of entries discussing what bisexuals face every day. Remember, keep an open mind and heart. We are all one; let us not divide ourselves further.