1. “Oh, so you’re straight now that you’re with a man, or lesbian now that you’re with a woman?”
No, no. I’m bisexual. All the time. When I go to the toilet in the morning I’m bisexual. When I make myself a coffee I’m bisexual. When I buy that polka dot dress I can’t really afford I’m bisexual. When I date a boy I’m bisexual. When I date a girl I’m bisexual. When I date someone genderqueer I’m bisexual… It doesn’t change. Saying that a relationship with one gender automatically makes me straight or lesbian, even though I’m capable of attraction to more than one gender, is like saying that my sexuality is now entirely focused on that one person. Like I’m now “Laura-sexual” or “Brian-sexual” or whatever. Which means that someone exclusively attracted to women could easily be “Lisa-sexual” or “Jane-sexual” or whatever if they’re just with one woman. Nah. Doesn’t work.
2. “Does your partner know you’re bi?”
The happiest relationships for bi people to be in tend to be the ones in which they don’t feel the need to erase their identity and history just so they don’t upset their partner. Keeping your bisexuality from your partner is pretty much the same as someone lesbian or straight deciding to pretend they’ve never had any exes and never had a crush on anyone but their partner.
3. “Don’t you miss women or men or whichever you are not currently with?”
This one crops up ALL the time. Well, newsflash. If you’re bi and monogamous and in love, it’s unlikely you’re going to wake up in a cold sweat at night thinking “I NEED COCK!” and race out of the door, leaving your partner behind. Having access to different sets of genitals at all times is not a necessity for every bisexual. Because guess what? Being bi, for most of us, means the genitals don’t really matter! It’s the person!
4. “Why do you need to tell people you’re bi now that you’re with your partner?
Again, to hide your bisexuality is to erase your identity and erase your history. I could keep my bisexuality quiet but rather than making life easier for me it would make me feel awkward and stifled. Hearing people talk about me as a lesbian or a straight person just because I’m in that particular relationship set-up, and not feeling I can put them right for whatever reason, really stings. It invalidates every intimate relationship I’ve had with someone of a different gender to my partner and makes me feel like being bi is something to be ashamed of. Why should my partner be allowed to reference previous partners while I stay silent or leave gaps?
5. “At least now that you’re with a man you get straight privilege!”
Oh yeah. Totally. Maybe if I keep quiet about the fact I’ve had relationships with women I might. But again, keeping quiet hurts. Why do people who’d never dare tell a lesbian to stay in the closet – and often even lesbians themselves – think it’s OK to tell a bi person to do just that? I might not get stuff shouted at me in the street if I’m walking down the road with a guy but you can bet I’m getting plenty of unpleasant remarks thrown my way in other situations when people find out I’m a bi dating a guy! Being bi in a het relationship is NOT plain-sailing. Often, indeed, quite the reverse.
6. “I don’t think it’s fair to your partner.”
Oh, have you asked them? Really? How can a loving, understanding relationship with a considerate and faithful person be unfair on anyone? If someone doesn’t want to be with me because the thought that I have played with someone of the opposite or same sex (depending) is a problem, then they’re no great loss.
7. “You can’t really love your partner if you’re bi.”
Whoa. OK. And why’s that? Oh yes, because I’m a greedy slut who has orgies every night and is unable to commit because of my rampant lust for MORE THAN ONE GENDER (gasp). Except I’m not. I’m a big old romantic who is looking for The One to curl up with, drink wine, and listen to Kate Bush with in front of a roaring fire. Sorry to be dull 😉 And even if I was after multiple partners, it’s entirely possible for some people to love more than one person: I have many wonderful, wonderful polyamorous friends and nothing in this list is intended to bash them in any way. Poly just isn’t for me! I feel sad for poly people just as much as I do for mono bi people that some folks are reductive enough to think that bi = poly and vice versa. They are NOT mutually exclusive. Grow up!
8. “I always knew you’d end up with a woman/man.”
That’s amazing, because I didn’t. My crystal ball needs cleaning, clearly. It’s true that many bi folk have a preference, but the bottom line is we all have the capacity to end up with more than one gender. To say that you knew someone would choose a certain gender is essentially to say “I don’t believe you’re really bi”… Which leads us to…
9. “Maybe you were never bi to begin with.”
That might be a convenient theory for you to subscribe to, if you’re still finding bisexuality confusing: “YES! She’s finally in a relationship! I can call her a lesbian and stop trying to understand all this bi shit!” Sadly, it’s not the correct theory. Sorry. You’ll have to try a bit harder to, you know, figure out the not-actually-incredibly-hard conundrum of how bisexuality works.
10. “You’re still allowed to sleep with women, though, right? That doesn’t really count?”
One of the most offensive comments of the lot. Essentially saying that heterosexual sex is real sex and woman-on-woman sex isn’t. If I am in a monogamous relationship, cheating is cheating. A man does not have to feature. Seriously, boys – telling me I’m “still allowed to sleep with girls” and you “don’t mind” when we start dating does not make you an incredibly understanding saint. It pisses me right off. Incidentally, I’ve never had a female partner offer me the reverse “agreement”!
By Charlotte Dingle via She Wired