While certain types of sexuality are elevated and celebrated, others, like bisexuality, are exploited and frowned upon.
Although lesbians and gay men deal with discrimination and acceptance, the toxic rhetoric toward people who identify as bisexual is alarming.
Bisexuality is surrounded by misunderstanding, and there are many harmful misconceptions that lead to a horrendous environment even within the LGBTQ community.
While more than 50 percent of the community identifies as bisexual, they are more likely to experience biphobia. Bisexuals are less likely to consider their bisexuality to be a crucial part of their identity because they are silenced consistently within the community, according to a 2016 study conducted by the Movement Advancement Project.
Ignorant people often label bisexual men as confused and not ready to be gay yet, invalidating their identity. Bisexual women are often looked at as being promiscuous, greedy and attention seeking, not to mention the fact that they are oversexualized and thought of as an opportunity for a threesome.
Representation in the media unfortunately follows these trends by continuously dehumanizing bisexual people.
According to Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s yearly Where Are We on TV Report, 4.8 percent of characters on television are a part of the LGBTQ community.
Despite inhabiting such a small part of the television world, proper representation can have a huge impact.
“Grey’s Anatomy” character Callie Torres is an accurate and enjoyable portrayal of bisexual women. Her storyline does not solely revolve around who she sleeps with, portraying her as a mother and a wife. Torres has a normal character dynamic and her bisexuality is only mentioned when relevant. Her friends accept her romantic partners without jokes or remarks. Like all the characters on the show, she is a doctor and an individual, who just happens to be bisexual.
Even on shows praised for diversity and inclusion, like “Glee,” animosity toward bisexual characters still exists. In a conversation between Blaine and Kurt, a same-sex gay couple, Kurt expressed his biphobia.
“Bisexual is a term gay guys use in high school when they want to hold hands with girls and feel normal for a change,” Kurt said in one episode.
This mindset is all too common in LGBTQ spaces as well.
Unfortunately, bisexual individuals are often overlooked and stereotyped to dangerous levels. All of this filters back into their daily lives and personal health.
Among gays, lesbians and bisexuals, bisexuals are more likely to suffer from a mood disorder, according to the Movement Advancement Project.
Bisexual women are more likely than heterosexual and lesbian women to experience great emotional distress, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Bisexual youths are more likely to report not having a supportive adult figure in their lives. Overall, bisexual men and women have lower levels of social support and feel less accepted by loved ones and the LGBTQ community.
In the workplace, bisexuals who are open about their sexuality report high rates of biphobic jokes and being sexually harassed, according to the Movement Advancement Project.
Some same-sex couples will argue bisexuals experience the privilege of straight-passing when in an opposite-sex relationship, but this only invalidates their identity. Regardless of who a bisexual person is in a relationship with, they are still sexual.
Sexuality needs to be treated as equal to other types of sexual preferences.
Sexual individuals’ lives do not revolve around having sex. They’re regular people who happen to not factor in gender when it comes to attraction. That doesn’t mean they’re attracted to everyone they come across or that they’re looking to have sex any more often than anyone else.
These simple facts appear to be lost on the majority of members in the community, but if everyone could start practicing what they preach, that love is love, then the world would be a much nicer place to live in.