The LGBTQ+ Community has gained more attention and exposure over the past few years. An important part of this community which I find is still often misunderstood and is still discriminated against by many is the B: bisexual.
I am a cisgender biseuxal woman. This means that I was born as a woman, identify as a woman, and am attracted to both men and women. For me, this also includes trans men and trans women as well as nonbinary people. This can be different for all bisexuals though. I have always known I am cisgender but I haven't always known I am bi. For around 12 years of my 21 year life, I thought I was 100% heterosexual. I found women pretty but I didn't recognise that as sexual romantic attraction to women. The first time I actually fancied a girl was in school when I was around 12/13 and I freaked out. I went through a phase of asking out every boy I found even remotely attractive just to make sure everyone thought I was straight and only attracted to boys. Of course that wasn't true, but I still didn't actually acknowledge that I was bisexual until I was 15. Now, at 21, I have no problem with my sexuality. I am happy with myself and who I am, as are most of the people I love.
But I do notice that anyone who I tell tends to have questions. Sometimes they are personal questions like how did I know I was bisexual or have I ever been with a woman. Other times, they are general questions like what is bisexuality or what is the difference between bisexual and pansexual. I always try to educate people as much as I am able to when they have questions. So I thought I'd compile a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions I get about bisexuality and being bisexual and answer them for you, in case anyone reading this article is questioning their own sexuality or would like to find out more.
1) How do you know you are bisexual if you have never been with a women?
The way I always respond to this question is 'how do you know you're straight if you've never been with a member of the opposite sex?' The answers I often get include things like finding them attractive, fancying someone of that sex, feeling arousal towards certain people, fantasising about someone of that sex etc. etc. Well it is the same for bisexual people. We know we're bisexual because we find both sexes attractive. We fancy both sexes. We can feel aroused or fantasise about someone of either sex. The way you know you are straight is the same way we know we are bisexual.
2) Does this mean that you date men and women at the same time?
No. Being bisexual doesn't mean that we date men and women at the same time or that we are likely to date more than one person at once. Bisexuality and polygamy are not synonymous with one another. Some bisexual people may be polygamous and date more than one person at any one time, but other bisexual people, such as myself, may be monogamous and only ever date one person at a time. It just means the person we date can identify as a man or a woman or none of the above.
3) What is the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality?
The difference between the two is a topic which is quite widely debated and very misunderstood. Different people define it differently. One pansexual person I have spoken to said 'bisexuality is when you are mostly sexually attracted to two or more genders whilst pansexual is when you are attracted to people regardless of gender.' but another pansexual said 'pansexuality is a branch of bisexuality in which spans across all genders nonwithstanding and equally.' From my understanding, pansexuality is more about the personality than gender. So a pansexual is attracted to the personality of the person regardless of their genitals whereas a bisexual is attracted to the gender first and the personality second.
4) Aren't you attracted to everyone then?
Again, no. Think of it this way. Because you are heterosexual, does this mean you are attracted to every single person of the opposite sex? No, of course not. The same goes for bisexual people. Though we can be attracted to any gender, we are still only attracted to certain people, regardless of them being a man or a woman or any other gender. We are attracted to those we find aesthetically or emotionally attractive, just like anyone else is.
5) What do people mean when they talk about bi-erasure? Is it a real thing?
The term 'bi-erasure' refers to the act of ignoring, explaining away, or otherwise dismissing bisexuality in culture, media, or history. It can also relate to someone denying that bisexuality exists or saying it isn't real in its most extreme form. Unfortunately, it absolutely is a real thing and absolutely still exists today in modern society. Sometimes bi-erasure comes from heterosexual people but sometimes it even comes from other members of the LGBTQ+ Community. Bisexuality can be seen as being greedy, hiding somewhat so we can still enjoy 'heterosexual privilege', blurring the lines between gay and straight or trying to weaken the lesbian or gay movement. This just isn't true at all - we're just people looking for love and it's as simple as that to understand.
If there are any questions that you have which I haven't answered, please feel free to comment below or send me a message and I'll be happy to answer them for you. Please remember that being bisexual is completely okay. There is nothing wrong with it. It isn't weird. It isn't abnormal. You aren't wrong or abnormal either. You don't have to pretend.
You are perfect just the way you are - just be you.
If you would like to learn any more about bisexuality or anything addressed in this article or need any support, here are some useful websites:
Bisexual.org - https://bi.org/en
#StillBisexual - http://stillbisexual.com/
Stonewall - https://www.stonewall.org.uk/
The BeYou Project - https://thebeyouproject.co.uk
Bustle '5 Myths About Bisexuality Which Contribute To Bi-Erasure' - https://www.bustle.com/p/5-myths-about-bisexuality-that-contribute-to-bi-erasure-2418689
~ Kenzie x