- Myths about the bisexual community are usually rooted in stereotypes, and can be inaccurate and harmful.
- Bisexual people aren’t more likely to cheat, don’t have to identify as “50/50,” and aren’t always looking to use this identity as a stepping stone to another identity.
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Myths about those within the bisexual community are often harmful, rooted in stereotypes, and terribly inaccurate. Bisexuality is often misunderstood, and because of that, those who identify as bisexual can face real-life consequences of others’ ignorance.
As an individual who claims this identity, I’m a huge fan of this definition provided by Robyn Ochs and the Bisexual Resource Center: “Here’s my current definition of bisexuality: I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge in myself the potential to be attracted, romantically and/or sexually, to people of more than one sex, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
Here’s a list of some of the most popular myths about bisexuality you need to stop believing.
MYTH: If you identify as bi, you’re a cheater.
This is one of the most common myths about bisexuality. It’s likely that this myth stems from the idea that bisexual individuals “can’t make up their minds one way or the other,” are attracted to anybody and everybody, or just the over-sexualization of this identity in general.
Writer Maria Burnham put it best in HuffPost, saying, “There is no legitimate study proving [that bi people are cheaters], nor would it be easy to [obtain] accurate results if one was to perform a study, but it appears that this myth is touted in cities all over.”
Ultimately, cheaters of all identities cheat for various reasons. Period. Sexual identity has nothing to do with it.
MYTH: People who identify as bi are always looking for a threesome
One of the main complaints you’ll hear from bisexual people is that when it comes to relationships, especially on dating apps, people expect them to want a threesome. But bisexual people don’t exist to offer other people “unique” sexual experiences – they have just been oversexualized in pop culture and, as a result, are always viewed in a sexual light.
Some bisexual people are interested in threesomes, but not all of them are, just like not all straight people are interested in the same things. Even within a community, there is diversity.
MYTH: You have to be attracted 50/50.
If you’re bisexual, you’ve probably had someone ask you what “per cent straight,” and what “per cent gay” you are. There’s this pervasive idea that bisexuals are half one thing, and half another, rather than 100% bisexual. But the latter is the truth. Sexuality exists on a spectrum, and one person who is bisexual may feel mostly attraction to men, while another bisexual person may primarily date women. Some bisexual people also feel attraction to people who aren’t on the gender binary at all. All of them are equally bisexual.
MYTH: Bisexual is a label en route to identifying as gay.
Often people see bisexuality as a “path” to becoming “actually gay,” but bisexuality is a legitimate identity. Many people identify as bisexual their entire lives. Even if some people do go from identifying as bisexual to identifying as gay, it’s important to remember that sexuality is fluid, and that doesn’t negate those who identify wholly as bisexual. It’s not half an identity; it’s complete as it is.
MYTH: You’re only bi if you’re currently partnered with, or dating people who identify with the same gender as you do.
Despite bisexuality literally meaning interest in people who have the same gender identity or a different gender identity, from you, the assumption is often that if you’re a bisexual person who is in a relationship with someone who is a different gender from you, you’re actually just straight.
Identity isn’t dependent upon who you’re dating – it’s who you are, and ultimately up to you to decide and share. No matter who you happen to be dating – or not dating – and any given time, your identity is valid.
MYTH: Bisexuality is equivalent to pansexuality.
Many people get confused about the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality. For the most part, there is a lot of overlap between what it means to be bisexual and what it means to be pansexual, with both identities essentially meaning you’re open to dating people of the same, or different, genders than you.
Pansexuality tends to have more of an emphasis on being open to dating someone regardless of gender, while bisexual people tend to say they’re interested in dating people from two or more genders. But different people define the terms differently, as well. A lot of it comes down to which term you identify with the most.
Sexuality is fluid, so it’s ultimately up to each individual person to decide which label they feel represents them best.
MYTH: Bisexuality isn’t real.
One of the biggest myths about bisexuality is that it isn’t real. Many of these other myths listed feed into this stereotype.
After all, if you think bisexuality is all about who a person is dating, what “per cent” gay and straight they are, and that it’s just a pit stop on the road to being “completely gay,” it’s not surprising that you’d also think bisexuality isn’t real. But many people identify as bisexual, with just as many if not more members of the LGBTQ community identifying as bisexual than identify as gay, according to CNN. Regardless of statistics, though, bisexual people deserve to have their identities respected.
- Read more:
- 32 celebrities who don’t identify as either straight or gay
- 20 spectacular photos of cities celebrating LGBTQ Pride around the world
- 6 celebrities who publicly identify as pansexual
- 19 people share their coming out stories
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