Biphobia pisses me off.
To friends that know me as a person, they might think a lot of things piss me off. This isn’t at all true. Some things annoy me, some aggravate me, and some don’t bother me at all. Rain in Vancouver for instance – it’s a well known fact that it will happen and at one point you will get caught without your umbrella. That annoys me, as I’m sure it would any Vancouverite.
But what really gets my blood boiling is a phrase so simple that it just slides off the tongue like butter, and almost everyone I know has said it at one point.
“Bisexuals just can’t make up their minds.”
I have not always known that I was bisexual; it took me several years to figure out my attraction to both sexes. I also have friends who took several years to figure out they were gay or straight. These people are lauded for their realizations, for coming out of the closet, for being one step closer to having what people consider to be a ‘true’ identity. No more confusion for them, they’re firmly in Column G(ay) and they’ll always be that way. There are clothing stores catered to them, different kinds of identity they can assume, all while staying in the comfort zone of their sexuality.
When I finally came out as bisexual to myself and others, however, there was no end to the comments.
“Oh don’t worry, you’ll find a nice man to marry anyway.”
“Really? I honestly thought you were gay.”
“Does this mean you want to have both at the same time?”
“You’re just greedy. Pick one already!”
Please don’t mistake all my friends for people like this. A lot of them understand, and accept me for who I am, and for that I am always grateful. The rest though… the strangers, the people at work, the people on the street, they still give me the same responses over and over again. It’s always impossible for them to fit me into the binary world they know. Anything outside of Gay or Lesbian is completely foreign, just as those terms previously used to be. Oh, and heavens forbid that you’re a bisexual man – everyone knows girl on girl is “super hot”, but why would you be a bisexual male? Who do they have to “show off” to?
Why is it so hard to accept that to one person, someone can find peoples of both genders (and sometimes those between genders) to be sexually and emotionally attractive? Why is it wrong for me to have a relationship with Adam, and part ways, only to find myself with Eve instead? For the bisexual, it isn’t the genitals, it’s the person you fall in love with, who you’re attracted to, who you’d want to spend the rest of your life with.
I am not one of those girls who kiss each other just to attract men. I am not someone who is out to find the first one who’ll pay me the slightest attention. It’s not first come first serve. It’s love I want. It’s respect. It’s everything anyone else wants, just unlimited by gender attraction. I do not think this makes me special, or better than those who are attracted to only one sex. I think it makes me myself.
The next time someone says they’re bisexual, don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Whether it’s a potential date, a new friend, or someone you’ve only just met, they face just as much discrimination as anyone who is not heterosexual, not part of the binary ‘norm’. Not just from those outside the LGBT community, but from those within it as well.