Living in this age is not particularly easy for those whose attractions and desires fall outside of what I’m going to call the sexuality-binary. People are freely accepted as straight*with no question. In fact, as a society, we’re conditioned to believe that everybody is straight until told otherwise. Recently, there has also been a huge move for gay rights, and being gay is also accepted in society, with gay marriage having recently become legal**. What isn’t so widely accepted, however, is bisexuality. This is when a person can fancy people of ‘either’**** gender. From both the straight and gay communities’ perspectives, being bisexual can have a big backlash, with many assuming that bisexual people are “greedy” or “sex crazed”. Not only that, but women get a huge amount of the “she’s only bisexual so that men think she’s sexy for kissing women when she’s drunk” mentality, especially from (you guessed it) men. And when it doesn’t come from men, it comes from women’s internalised misogyny, which in turn comes from (again) men.
So the sexuality-binary is about as real as the gender-binary, in that yes, there are those that are strictly straight or gay, but there are those who float between those two ends of the spectrum somewhere on their fluid sexuality/gender magic carpets fancying whoever they darn well please because, let’s face it, you’re allowed to fancy whoever you darn well please. Many people follow the Kinsey scale of sexuality, which allows for more fluidity of sexuality but really breaks things down into percentages [i.e. a wee bit heterosexual / mostly homosexual]. Whilst this allows for a bigger range of sexual orientations, it’s still a little bit trans*phobic, because, well, where are the other genders on this scale? The point of the matter is, most of these scales work in such a way as to focus the attentions of how straight vs how gay someone is, which is really not okay considering some people might want to work on a scale that considers how bisexual they are [the only real option on this scale is “Totally!”]. Within this society, so much focus is on the binaries, which really isn’t fair on those who operate outside of said binaries.
One of the huge issues faced by those who are bisexual is that they are often less likely to come out of the closet because of stereotypes pushed upon them by the aforementioned gay and straight communities. A study in the LA Times showed that “Only 28% of bisexuals have come out because of stereotypes […] that they’re sex-crazed or incapable of monogamy”. This is obviously entirely unfair, because just like every other person ever, bisexual people are great. The real unfortunate thing is that there is so much stigma around bisexuality. So much, in fact, that bisexual people don’t even have their own word for what they are, that doesn’t actively insult them. Heterosexual people can refer to themselves as straight, and homosexual people can refer to themselves as gay. They have their own words! Bisexual people only get a shortening of the original word: bi, which people in the other groups have too.
Really, what is trying to be said throughout is that bisexual people are much more amazing than society gives them credit for, and we should love them just as much as we love everyone else. We should be celebrating them just as we celebrate everyone else of different sexualities/identities/everything else ever that makes people as super and diverse as they are.
* The fact of the matter is that we live in a heteronormative society, unfortunately
** Yes, this is progressive, but when it comes to trans* people the legislation is lacking. Or rather, appalling.
*** Note: not especially trans* inclusive, the term for being attracted to all people of all genders is pansexuality.