If you were to divide the entire LGBTQ community into a pie, the bisexual slice would be the largest by far. About 50 percent of the LGBTQ community identifies as bisexual, yet bisexuality remains gravely misunderstood, even by other queer people. There are a ton of myths out there about bi people, such as that they aren’t faithful or that they’re just going through a phase. We all know that one lesbian who refuses to date bi women.
Bisexual people suffer significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety, domestic violence, sexual assault, and poverty than lesbians, gay men, or cis-het people. Bi people are often made invisible in the LGBTQ community, so they don’t have that tight-knit community to fall back on.
Welp, not on our watch! It’s time to knock down biphobia, one myth at a time. Here are 8 myths about bisexual women that are just flat-out wrong.
Myth #1: Bisexuality is just a milestone on the way to lesbianism.
Sometimes, when women realize that they’re attracted to other women, they come out as “bi” at first and then switch to “lesbian” later. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. It can feel less scary to announce that you’re bi.
But for lots of people, bisexual identity is the endpoint. It is the identity that feels most like home, most like the truth. Bisexuality is a real identity, not a milestone on the way to somewhere else.
Myth #2: All women are bisexual.
Another myth is that every woman is really bi deep down. Women naturally have ~fluid~ sexual identities, so they’re inherently capable of experiencing both same-sex attractions and opposite-sex attractions.
It’s a myth because plenty of women go their whole lives without ever experiencing an attraction to another woman. Moreover, this myth is lesbophobic. If all women are bisexual, then there’s no such thing as a “real” lesbian, right? Yeah, no. That idea is patently false.
The truth is simple: Not all women are attracted to men. Not all women are attracted to women.
Myth #3: Only women can be bisexual.
The flipside to the myth that all women are bisexual is the myth that no men are. For whatever reason, a lot of people don’t think it’s possible that a man could be attracted to men and not be 100% gay. This idea doesn’t hold up to evidence in any way; it’s pure prejudice. Bisexual men exist, and probably a lot more men would come out as bisexual if there wasn’t such a stigma against it.
Myth #4: Bisexuals must be equally attracted to men and women.
This myth says that bisexuals have to experience a 50/50 split of attraction to men and women in order to qualify as bisexual. If they ever lean into one direction or another, they should classify themselves as straight/lesbian accordingly.
But someone who is 70% attracted to women and 30% attracted to men can totally identify as bisexual! Or someone who is 85/15 or 60/30 or 45/45/10 or whatever other combination. If you automatically label anyone who’s mostly attracted to women as a “lesbian,” you’re both erasing bisexuals and lesbians. (Moreover, it’s never anyone’s place to dictate someone else’s identity.)
In reality, most bisexuals don’t fall smack dab in the middle of the Kinsey scale, which is why the scale exists in the first place. Also, one’s place on the scale can fluctuate over time.
Myth #5: Bisexuals are attracted to two genders.
The idea that bisexuals are equally attracted to men and women is false for another reason: bisexuals don’t only experience attraction to two genders! A common misconception is that the prefix “bi” (meaning “two”) refers to two genders, male and female. In fact, bisexuality refers to an attraction to both your own gender and other genders. Those can be any other genders, including non-binary people, agender people, genderqueer folks, and others.
Myth #6: Bisexuals can’t be happily monogamous.
Many people fear that bisexuals can’t possibly be satisfied in a monogamous relationship. They experience attraction to multiple genders, so how could they possibly be satisfied with just one? Bi women are often expected to cheat, lie, or be promiscuous, leading some people to actively avoid them as partners.
And sure, some bi women cheat. So do people of every sexual orientation. But bisexuality doesn’t cause cheating.
Myth #7: Bisexuality is a phase that straight people go through.
This last myth is that women claim bisexuality just to be edgy or different. Bi women are seen as straight people who are just testing the waters or who want to ~spice up~ their lives somehow. To be fair, experimenting with gayness for fun is definitely a thing among straight women. They make out with each other at parties, sleep with a girl one time as an experiment, et cetera.
But real bisexuals experience genuine attraction, not just curiosity. It’s a sexual orientation, not an experimental phase.