Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Stop invalidating bisexual people’s sexuality

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Bisexuality, by definition, means that someone is sexually attracted to both men and women. 

This can also extend to agender or gender-queer people, but a lot of the LGBTQ community likes to call that pansexual instead. 

Regardless of your preferred terminology, being bi means that you, for lack of better phrasing, could be attracted to anybody regardless of gender. 

Bisexual people often discuss the problem of bisexual erasure both within the queer community and outside of it. Bisexual erasure can occur in many forms, but mainly it is prevalent in the dismissal of its validity. 

If a bisexual woman is with a woman, some will say that she is really just a lesbian. If a bisexual man is dating a woman, he must not “actually” be gay. And for all of us bisexual people, the phrase “you are all just horny” is no stranger. 

These comments and ideas may not seem dramatically oppressive or damaging, but perpetuating these stereotypes is contributing to the erasure of bisexual people. 

Every year leading up to Gay Pride Festivals, there is always a discourse on social media within the queer community about bisexual people bringing their heterosexual partner with them. Most people at least in the queer community recognize bisexuality and encourage bisexual people to bring their partner regardless of if it is a same-sex or heterosexual relationship. 

Not everyone feels the same. 

Some people share the sentiment that dating a different gender than your own disqualifies you from the Queer Olympics, and that if you are bisexual in a straight relationship, you have no place at Pride. 

While there are certain privileges that come with being in a heterosexual relationship, it does not invalidate a queer identity. 

I myself am bisexual, and because I am dating my male partner, I have never felt the need to “come out” to my family or work place. However, my attraction to women is still very much present and very much valid. 

This does not mean that I will cheat on my partner with a girl, another familiar myth.

There is  an incorrect assumption that bisexual people are promiscuous or unfaithful simply for their attraction to all genders. Not every person attracted to men and women necessarily wants to be with both at the same time. 

However, I enjoy privileges that gay and lesbian people do not. I never had to tell my Christian, somewhat-conservative family about my sexuality. My boyfriend and I don’t get nasty looks or stares when we go on dates or in public together. Most importantly, I do not fear for my life when I am out with my boyfriend, as many same-sex couples do. 

Those privileges are very real and I am very aware of them. That does not mean that bisexual people evade all forms of discrimination and social backlash. 

Being in a straight relationship while being bisexual does not prevent other straight people from asking me if me and my partner have threesomes all the time, if I consider cheating with a girl to count as cheating, or other even more intrusive questions that straight people almost never have to answer. 

Being a woman attracted to other women is like putting a target on your back for straight men to fetishize everything you might do in the bedroom. Men have asked me to kiss other girls in front of them so they could “see,” and otherwise straight girls have asked to hook up with me just because they knew I was into girls and they were “trying to go wild” after a night of drinking.

I have been told before that someone “really just loved how into girls I was” despite me being with no girls, only my boyfriend, for the past year now. 

I am not your experiment.

I am not your fetish. 

I am not unfaithful.

I am bisexual, and I am proud to be.

My sexuality should be regarded as more than a porn category.

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