There have always been myths surrounding bisexuals and bisexuality. While homosexuality started becoming accepted in numerous cultures across the world, bisexuality remains stigmatized and discriminated against.
When it comes down to sexuality, prejudice has often been an issue leading to depression and anxiety. People who define themselves as bisexual are often forced to confront prejudices from those who define themselves as either homosexuals or heterosexuals.
Prejudices towards bisexuals often consist of closeted homosexuals and those afraid of admitting their sexual orientation, or heterosexuals playing around with their same-sex tendencies. As a result of those prejudices, it has become more difficult for bisexuals to “come out” when compared to their homosexual counterparts, due to the long time taken in experimenting with their sexuality, trying to prove to themselves that they are on one side, as people tend to choose between left or right.
It can take years of shifting between “Am I gay?” and “Am I straight and every straight goes through this?” phases.
It is understandable for heterosexuals to be afraid of getting into a relationship with someone who defines themselves as bisexual, since they don’t read as much about sexuality, but homosexuals are supposedly well read concerning sexuality and how a “spectrum” exists.
The LGBT community has the rainbow flag everywhere celebrating sexual “diversity,” but unfortunately the reality is much different. Most of the openly homosexual community treat bisexuals just like heterosexual homophobes treat homosexuals; they see bisexuals as people who always have “the easy way-out” and can leave them whenever they want to for a “normal life,” which is not true in the case of a true relationship.
It is understandable that no one wants to be with someone who doesn’t know what they want but, in the case of bisexuality, it is more of an “Am I in love?” question rather than “Which gender should I choose to love?”
In regions where same-sex relationships are highly prohibited such as the Middle East and North Africa, it happens often that homosexuals get married to the opposite sex due to social pressure from parents and society while keeping a same-sex relationship on the side, leading to more misconceptions about bisexuals.
An article in the widely read Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Saba’a with the headline “Pio-sexuals, a dangerous type of abnormality,” (yes, they wrote “Pio-sexuals”) describing male bisexuals as “a more threatening type of abnormality” due to the fact that they can have sexual intercourse with women, thus creating a family while keeping relationships with other men.
I, personally, do not really know how on earth they got the information that a homosexual man is incapable of having sexual intercourse with women, but the fear of men having same-sex relationships is overwhelmingly scary for most societies, way more than women’s same-sex relationships.
The bottom line would be; if a bisexual was in a relationship and cheated, then it is cheating, why would it matter if cheated with a man or a woman? I don’t see heterosexuals as the role models of faithfulness anyway, but it is a fact that same-sex relationships between men terrifies the whole society for some reason and the proof would be how two girls kissing is sexy but two men kissing is disgusting, so goes with a woman in a suit and a man in a dress. In my opinion that is why the majority of studies done about bisexuality are concerned with men’s sexual behavior only.
When I started searching and reading about sexuality, the first thing that caught my attention was the Kinsey scale, which was introduced in 1948. I loved how Kinsey said
“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual” but then again, it is impossible for bisexuals to define themselves on that scale. The feeling of picking up a number from 1 to 6 gives the idea of being split into two parts. If one would choose 2 “Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual,” I would never agree that there is something such as 80 percent heterosexual and 20 percent homosexual because I see it as a 100 percent to whatever the type of a relationship it was at a given time. That is not to mention of course the misconception due to pornography that a typical bisexual would always want to have sexual intercourse with a man and a woman at the same time.
After the Kinsey scale comes the Klein sexual orientation grid introduced in 1978 in Fritz Klein’s book “The Bisexual Option.” It is more detailed than the Kinsey scale as it depends on a timeline of past, present and future along with 7 variables such as emotional and sexual attraction, behavior, fantasies, social preference, self identification and lifestyle. Despite putting all those variables into consideration, the Klein grid still puts you on a scale – and I guess that no research or scale can determine if a bisexual is going to end up falling into a homosexual or a heterosexual relationship.
Last year, a research study was conducted at Northwestern University that proved the existence of bisexual men who can get aroused by both men and women. Researchers used videos of male and female same-sex intimacy while genital sensors monitored their erectile responses to support the hypothesis. Researchers at Colombia University’s Mailman School of Public Health published a study this year concerning the mental health of bisexual men, stating that this group is on the ‘down low’ and run the risk for developing poor mental health, depression and anxiety as the majority conceal their homosexual experiences specially those who make higher income.
I don’t see how bisexuals can be one overarching group, since it is a very diverse community, despite the fact that the majority remain closeted. People are always striving for labels and that is why the “LGBT” term kept getting longer year after year until it became LGBTIQQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning and allies).
Pink Therapy, which is one of the largest independent therapy organizations working with sexual diversity in the UK, suggests the term GSD (Gender and Sexual Diversities) be used instead of LGBT in order to cover everyone, but not limited to asexuality.
Whenever anyone writes about LGBT rights, it is common to mention how hundreds if not thousands of species engage in homosexual relations. But, despite knowing this and acknowledging the existence of bisexual people by having the letter B in LGBT, they still do get questioned whether they are straight or gay. Research at the University of Massachusetts “found bottlenose dolphins to engage in extensive bisexuality, combined with periods of exclusive homosexuality.”
Bisexuals are blessed with the ability to experience more and have different kinds of relationships, but still, it is not all rainbows and butterflies. They are still judged, stigmatized and stereotyped by the majority of people as well as homosexual groups who are usually oppressed as well. I guess that even when homosexuals get their full rights, bisexuality will become the new homosexuality, taking years of raising awareness until people get the meaning of true sexual diversity.
The article was originally published by Dot429 magazine and can be found here