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Accepting Bisexuality: Discrimination Within the LGBT Community

Updated on September 24, 2015
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I have a B.A. in English with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I've been a Goth since age fourteen, and a Pagan since age fifteen.

Bisexual Pride Flag  (acrylics on canvas)
Bisexual Pride Flag (acrylics on canvas) | Source

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Bisexuals are marginalized in the LGBT community. They don't fit in with heterosexuals or homosexuals; although, they can relate to both. Nonetheless, heterosexuals don't think they're straight enough and homosexuals don't think they're gay enough. Many people are trying to make the bisexual community more visible in order to dispose of misconceptions about what it means to identify as bisexual.

Stereotypes

  • Bisexual women are actually straight women who kiss other women to get attention from men.
  • Bisexual men are actually gay men who are not ready to come out as fully homosexual.
  • Bisexual men and women cannot have monogamous relationships because they need both a man and a woman to be sexually fulfilled.
  • Genuine bisexuality does not exist because most people are more heterosexual or homosexual.

False Assumptions

  • When a bisexual woman is dating a man that means she's straight.
  • When a bisexual woman is dating a woman that means she's a lesbian.
  • When a bisexual man is dating a woman that means he's straight.
  • When a bisexual man is dating a man that means he's gay.

Male and Female Sign
Male and Female Sign | Source

These stereotypes and assumptions are not true. Real bisexual women do not kiss other women for the attention of a guy to date or hook up with. Real bisexual men are not just afraid to come out as homosexual. During the time in which a bisexual is dating another person, whatever their significant other's gender identiy, does not mean the bisexual no longer finds other genders to be attractive. Just like when a straight guy is dating a woman, he is still capable of finding other women to be attractive. Being bisexual only means that person is capable of having a relationship with someone of any gender.

Heterosexuals may be surprised to learn of the many problems within the LGBT community concerning bisexuality. It can be difficult for bisexual women to date lesbians because there are lesbians who fear being dumped for a man. There are women who claim to be bi, but turn out to actually be straight or just sexually confused. It is because of these faux bisexuals that genuine bisexuals have a hard time being understood and accepted in the community.

RJ from TheNotAdam on YouTube identifies as bisexual. Because of his gender, many viewers ask him to come out as gay; unfortunately, as stated, RJ is not gay. He is bi. Openly bisexual men are helpful in terms of educating a society that can only think in binaries. It pushes people to actually use their brains, and think outside of the box. Who would have thought? I hope everyone, now! RJ's engagement to a man does not change his sexual orientation. It is frustrating for bisexuals to constantly have to explain what it means to be bisexual as though it were an ever-changing status.

Arielle Scarcella

Another lesbian Youtuber, Arielle Scarcella uses some of her energy to inspire fellow LGBT members to question why issues with bisexuals exist. One of her most controversial videos was back in September, "What Lesbians Think About Bisexuals." Many of the responses from the lesbians were insulting and false; thankfully, Arielle gave her bisexual friends an opportunity to respond to the things said in the original video. Most of the responses these bisexuals had to clarify are beyond cliché. Some lesbians have decided to use the discrimination they have experienced on bisexuals for the same ignorant reasons discrimination was used against them: binaries!

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Amber's Closet

Youtuber, Amber discusses sexual orientation and self-identity on her channel. Amber is lesbian, and invited her new friend Jody to talk about her experience of recently coming out as bisexual at age 54. It's never too late to understand yourself better. Many celebrities are coming out now that there is more acceptance. Age is not a factor in self-acceptance and understanding. All that matters is that you are ready to come out.

Taking all of this into consideration, one may hope that non-bisexuals will stop attempting to marginalize the bisexual community, but we all know this isn't going to stop anything because people love to argue, regardless of whether or not they have any information to back up their claims. Perhaps, one key factor to remember is the underlying cause for arguments such as this one, and that's insecurity.

The heteronormative harms everyone, even the heterosexuals. Each time they are assumed to be straight, and feel it's necessary to correct the misunderstanding, they risk discrimination and/or their safety. Gays and lesbians go through a lot of undeserved stress when deciding to live openly. Many heterosexuals may figure the coming out process is a one-time thing, but it's never ending. They have to come out over and over, throughout their lives.

What the biphobic lesbians and gays do not realize is how similar the experiences are for a bisexual. Not only do bisexuals have to come out to the straight community as not heterosexual, but also to the gay community as not homosexual, and neither one will necessarily greet them with open arms. Then, comes the explanation that the sexual orientation really is about an attraction to someone, regardless of their gender. What bisexuality isn't is a label for special people who require multiple partners at a time for intimacy—which is equally as illogical as the belief that homosexuals never want to fall in love because they can't accidentally or purposely create a child with each other just through their own intimacy.

This harmful argument that "bisexuality doesn't really exist" only hinders progress for the lgbt community to gain full acceptance in the heterosexual world. If lesbians and gays push the idea that bisexuality does not exist, that only gives homophobic people more ammo for their claim that "homosexuality is a choice." It isn't until people realize the discrimination of bisexuals and homosexuals is similar, and no one has it easier, that equality can exist within the community and in the bigger society.

© 2014 social thoughts

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  • social thoughts profile image
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    social thoughts 24 months ago from New Jersey

    patbona,

    Thank you for stopping by to read and share your thoughts!

    By definition, the heteronormative society does not accept gays because of the lack of gender roles. Honestly, gender roles shouldn't exist in the heterosexual world, either, since they're not useful for anyone. I agree that maybe some homophobic or ignorant people can assume a gay couple has gender roles, but it doesn't mean they do. Two masculine gay men can date and two femme lesbians can date. There isn't a necessity for one to be masculine and the other to be feminine. It's just a stereotype.

  • patbona profile image

    patbona 2 years ago

    Greetings from France. I'm bi myself (sorry for the english).

    You wrote this :

    "This harmful argument that "bisexuality doesn't really exist" only hinders progress for the lgbt community to gain full acceptance in the heterosexual world."

    And I believe this is the heart of the problem. The heteronormative society only accepts gay couples because they can "force" them into hetero stereotypes (who is the man in couple...) denying them their sexual identity. For bi people it's more difficult for an heteronormative society to put them into an heterosexual stereotype. This is I think why they are not liked a lot.

    Very nice post btw :)