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July 23, 2012 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Everything In Moderation

Dispelling some common myths about bisexuality.

Queers and straights alike, I am delighted to bring you Bisexuality 101! Or perhaps we should call it Bisexuality 303, because essentially you get taught everything wrong first, and here I am to set the record straight. Nice of me, isn’t it?

I spend my life dabbling between the queer and straight communities, and both realms have offered quite the spectrum of ideas when it comes to bisexuality. Let’s go through a few of the common myths:

“Bisexuals are just gays in denial.” – I think this idea stems from the fact that many people come out as bisexual, only to later realise they are in fact gay. This is a totally legitimate process, and I don’t think it constitutes lying. Does it make every bisexually identified person a gay in denial? No.

“Bisexuals are greedy.” – Okay, I have no sympathy for anyone who thinks this. Dude, if you feel like you’re missing out on something, come be bisexual yourself! Where does this idea come from that we’re just reaching for people left and right—for sex, relationships, or whatever? As it is in every sexuality, each person has their own preferences or circumstances influencing how often they date or sleep with people.

“When a girl says she’s bisexual, it means she’ll kiss or sleep with girls but not date them.” – Unfortunately, this is often true. All I can say is this behaviour makes being a legitimate female bisexual a struggle. It’s hard to be taken seriously, due the huge amount of girls doing this sort of thing (in high school, mostly.) I’m all for exploring your sexuality, and I’m not here to shut down anyone who legitimately thought they were bisexual before realising they were straight. It’s just a term that’s thrown about  and used too lightly, much like love. It makes it harder to emphasise when you are really serious. I’ll be the first to admit there are several problems with the word bisexual. First of all, the “bi” portion. This suggests binary, does it not? I’m not a person who believes in gender binary. The English language is constantly evolving and words are coming to mean things that are rather different to their origins. Just because someone is bisexual, doesn’t mean they’re not open to dating people who fit on the wider gender-spectrum.

A proportion of bisexual people may feel this way, but not all of them.

Secondly, since when was this whole “bi” thing 50/50? Honestly, how likely is it that the large number of bisexuals out there will all have a dead even split when it comes to their preferences? Hell to the no. I think there’s a lot of pressure out there to be one way or the other, and just choose. I’m not too sure why, but it should definitely only be of someone’s concern if they’re planning to date you. Otherwise, why the hell should they care? How is it going to affect their life?

At the end of the day sexuality comes down to each individual’s interpretation of their identity. There is no “universal truth” as to what sexuality you are, and no one should try and tell you who or what you are. Labels help us to an extent, as they allow us to quickly explain ourselves in a way that most people understand. However, there are always variations on a theme and most queers will tell you about the delightful sexuality and gender spectrum. So use bisexual if you wish; use it proudly! But don’t let anyone limit you by an eight-letter word.


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