“They’re making it up.” “They just want attention.” “That doesn’t really exist.”
In the LGBTQ community, bisexuals faces their own unique forms of prejudice. While some discriminate against gay and lesbian people because of their sexual orientations, others question whether bisexuality is even an orientation at all. It is real – but bisexuals have to dispel a number of common myths about their orientation. Here are some of those myths, along with the facts about being bi.
Myth #1: Bisexuality doesn’t exist – they’re just making it up. Bisexuality has been documented by researchers across the globe. Different studies have produced varying estimates of the world’s bisexual population, but the average is around 2%.
Myth #2: There are barely any bi people. It’s hard to measure how many people are LGBTQ. But according to surveys, there are roughly as many bisexual people as gay or lesbian people, with about 1-3% of the population in each group. Some studies have even found bisexuality to be more common than homosexuality in certain cultures.
Myth #3: Bisexuals are really “just” gay. While it’s possible for bi people to prefer one gender to the other, most have some level of attraction to both. Research shows that bi adults’ attractions remain stable over their lifetimes. However, a 2006 study did show that some teenagers who identified as bi eventually identified as gay or lesbian instead, perhaps as part of the self-discovery or coming-out processes.
Myth #4: Bisexuals are more promiscuous than other people. There is no evidence for this myth, which has been frequently used to shame bi people for their orientation. The myth is founded on the idea that bi people have more romantic encounters because they have more potential mates, but there’s no evidence to suggest that they date any differently from anybody else.
Myth #5: You shouldn’t date a bisexual because they might “switch sides.” Bisexuality means that a person feels a certain level of attraction to both sexes at the same time, not that a person alternates between the sexes. There is no evidence that bisexuals are less loyal or less monogamous than other people.
Myth #6: There’s no way to outwardly tell someone is bi, so bisexuals never face discrimination. Actually, bisexuals do face significant discrimination. One study showed that straight people are less likely to date bisexuals. Some of these falsehoods are commonly heard inside the LGBT community, too. A study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts asked over 700 bisexual people about bias and prejudice they’ve faced – and discovered that the bias from gay peers was almost as strong as bias from straight peers.
In celebration of Pride Month, North Lake College has created and curated a series of videos and articles to educate, dispel myths, and highlight issues regarding the LGBTQ community. We strongly encourage you to view this information, share these stories and join in on the conversation.To learn more about the series visit blog.northlakecollege.edu/nlccelebratespride.