Seven things gay and lesbian people should stop telling bisexuals

Illustration of a person of color with the words 'not a phase' written across their chest

Bisexuals are continuously exposed to insensitive, stupid questions from both straight and gay people.

For many non-bisexual people, the lines of such a sexual orientation are simply too blurred to be taken seriously.

Whatever implies a similar level of uncertainty – for others, not for bi+ people themselves – is often frowned upon and dismissed as temporary.

What hurts the most is that some of the most biphobic comments and questions come from those who should be on the side of bi people.

Bisexuals shouldn’t provide any explanations for being who they are, let alone to gay and lesbian friends who know the struggles of coming out too well to show no sympathy.

While bisexuals can count on many allies, certain gay and lesbian people seem to think of themselves as gatekeepers. Their sole job is to determine whether someone is ‘gay enough’ to be part of the community.

It all starts with a seemingly innocent question that then leads to another. And that’s when suddenly the conversation turns into the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner.

Here are seven things gay people should stop saying to bisexuals because, you know, enough is enough.

1. ‘So, *what* are you?’

An alien sent to Earth to let you know there are other sexual orientations apart from being straight or gay.

2. ‘You swing for both teams, huh?’

Aah, a sports metaphor. That’s a bad start.

There is no such thing as picking a team. Bisexuals don’t pick, rather they sometimes feel like that loser kid who’s never picked for the school team and ends up sitting on the bench for the whole year.

Certain bi people don’t feel either part of the gay community nor completely comfortable among straight people.

This can easily lead to isolation and depression. Bi men and women are, in fact, more likely to have poorer mental health and less likely to come out than gay men and lesbian women.

3. ‘Bisexuals are just greedy’

Julie, Alice and Ismaël in Love Songs by French director Christophe Honoré.

Julie, Alice and Ismaël in Love Songs by French director Christophe Honoré. | Photo: Bac Films

Whether bis get offended by it or laugh it off, this comment will always make them feel as if they were trying to steal partners from straight and gay friends on purpose.

They’re not. They’re honestly just trying to survive, like anyone else.

Don’t try to shame them for dating more than one gender. You’re better than this.

And, please, don’t tell bisexuals they’re ‘luckier’ because they are attracted to both genders.

Let’s flip the narrative here for a second. They are just twice as likely to meet undateable folks as monosexuals — I wouldn’t call that luck.

4. ‘Bis can’t be trusted’

The cliché of bisexuals being sexual machines who would do anything behind their partner’s back is a bit unrealistic.

Bisexuality is usually associated with promiscuity. As if being attracted to all genders necessarily means that bi folks pursue several people at the same time.

What’s worse, many believe bisexuals must have multiple partners without their significant other’s consent. Wrong.

Just like straight and gay people, some bisexuals are monogamous, while some are polyamorous. It’s really as simple as that.

Being poly requires a conversation with your partner, otherwise it’s just cheating. And that applies to monosexual people as well.

5. ‘In which phase are you?’

The moon has phases. The menstrual cycle has phases. Bisexuals do not.

They sometimes date people of the same gender, sometimes people of the opposite gender, sometimes non-binary folks. There isn’t a pattern. Deal with it.

6. ‘Just come out as gay/lesbian already!’

Bisexuals do come out, thank you very much.

In fact, if you’re having this conversation, chances are they already came out and you’re failing to acknowledge that.

Urging them to come out as lesbian or gay as that was the only ‘true’ coming out is crass.

7. ‘I’d totally date you if you were fully gay/lesbian’

Hey, you need to inform bi people of the Kinsey scale score they need to have in order to qualify for a date.

On the other hand, this might be just a ‘nice’ way to reject someone. Why don’t you come up with something less biphobic if the prospect of being honest is so unbearable?

Read also:

Bisexuals in straight-looking relationships: ‘I haven’t chosen a side’

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5 refreshing bisexual movies you need to watch this Bi Visibility Month

Author: Stefania Sarrubba

The post Seven things gay and lesbian people should stop telling bisexuals appeared first on Gay Star News.

Tommy Martinez on new role: There’s no ‘f**king problem’ with bisexuality

Actor Tommy Martinez posing for a shirtless selfie

Actor Tommy Martinez wants to set the record straight about bisexuality.

He plays bisexual character Gael Martinez in American drama television series Good Trouble. It follows Callie Adams Foster (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana Adams Foster (Cierra Ramirez) as they relocate to Los Angeles to begin the next phase of their lives.

They move into a communal living space and meet Gael.

Mariana develops a crush on Gael, but it’s Callie who ends up developing a romantic relationship with him. It’s also later revealed Gael is polyamorous and has a boyfriend.

Tommy Martinez.

Tommy Martinez. | @tommymartinez / Instagram

‘I learned as I research more about this character that even within the LGBTQ community bisexuality isn’t really accepted,’ he told MTV News. ‘That’s upsetting to me because it’s like you are working against the very same things that you are fighting for.’

He then added: ‘There’s still so much work to be done and to tell these kinds of stories.’

Martinez does not identify as gay or bisexual, but previously said he’s had a same-sex experience.

Tommy Martinez: There’s nothing wrong with bisexuality

Tommy Martinez revealed his big Venezuelan family never really talked about sexuality during his childhood.

‘It’s like breaking down that wall,’ he said. ‘That like, “Oh, you can’t talk about it.”

‘Here, I’m fucking throwing it out at you. Let’s talk about it. And we have.’

He then continued: ‘When I went back home for the holidays, they’ll ask me, “How does it feel to play a bisexual character?” I was like, “It’s fine. It’s fun. There’s nothing bad about it.”

‘It’s just two humans who are attracted, or are intimate with one another. What’s the problem with that? There’s not a fucking problem with that,’ he said.

Martinez previously played the role of Malachai on The CW’s Riverdale.

See also:

Riverdale will have an alternate universe episode focused on Cheryl

Riverdale Madelaine Petsch reveals her character Cheryl is a lesbian

Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser wants her coming out as bi to help young people

Author: James Besanvalle

The post Tommy Martinez on new role: There’s no ‘f**king problem’ with bisexuality appeared first on Gay Star News.

Bisexuals in straight-looking relationships: ‘I haven’t chosen a side’

Natasha McCracken and her boyfriend hugging.

In 2013, a Pew Research Center survey on LGBTI Americans found that 84% of US bisexuals in committed relationships have partners of the opposite sex.

Bi erasure is so prevalent that bisexuals in so-called straight-passing relationships – with someone identifying or presenting as the opposite gender – feel the need to signal their sexual orientation constantly.

Many bisexual celebrities have stood up to fight straight-washing. Some public figures, such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz, have been extremely vocal in stating their sexuality.

In an op-ed Beatriz penned in 2018, the actress addressed her upcoming marriage to cis straight colleague Brad Hoss.

‘In October, I will marry a heterosexual man. We’ll make vows that I will take very seriously, […] But I’ll be bi till the day I die, baby,’ she wrote last year.

What’s the straight-passing privilege?

One might argue that bisexuals are granted a straight-passing privilege in their daily life. But why should that be a ‘privilege’ at all?

Presuming someone is straight or gay because of the person they’re dating shifts the focus on their partners rather than on their own identity. And it’s something only bisexual people are confronted with.

Moreover, if you deem passing as straight a privilege, this implies heterosexuality is advantageous or somewhat easier to deal with. This assumption will dangerously reinforce an anti-LGBTI attitude from within and outside the community.

Straight-passing is far from being desirable, let alone a privilege. For bisexual people, it is a blatant erasure of their identity. It is being invisible as members of the LGBTI community.

Bisexuals don’t want to hide

Close up of Lyn Hargrave

Bisexual Lyn Hargrave has been rejected by queer support spaces. | Photo: Facebook

‘I wish this wasn’t a thing. I wish I could feel comfortable enough to go to an LGBTI support place,’ bisexual Lyn Hargrave says.

She explains she was once turned away from an LGBTI support space because it was for ‘people living homosexuality’.

‘I think the whole straight-passing does allow me to live a little more comfortably than others do, it’s true. But I don’t want to hide behind that forever. I would rather be known as my true self. Perhaps one day I won’t be scared to speak up,’ she also says.

However, bisexual non-binary Misty Farquhar says there are some advantages in passing as straight. They have been in a relationship with Rich for 15 years.

‘People don’t often assume I’m in a straight relationship anymore because of how public I am about my identity as a bisexual non-binary person,’ they say.

‘When it does happen though, I often feel invisible but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some comfort in being able to hide sometimes too.’

Still bisexual

Mick Collins with fiancée Mel.

Mick Collins with fiancée Mel. | Photo: supplied

It requires a conversation – or, in fact, a series of coming out moments – to clarify a bi person’s sexuality.

‘People who are accepting of my sexuality don’t understand that being married does not mean I have chosen a side. I’m not actually straight just because I’m with a man,’ says Hargrave, who married Matt 17 years ago.

‘I am bisexual regardless of the gendered relationship that I am in,’ says Mick Collins from Idaho, US.

Collins is about to tie the knot with Mel, who is bisexual. They have been together for more than four years.

‘I’m still bisexual whether I’m with a man, woman, enby, or sitting in a room alone with nothing but my thoughts. Who I am in a relationship with does not define who I am, who I am defines who I am.’

Is it ‘easier’ for a bisexual to be with a fellow bi?

Collins also explains he finds it easier to be in a relationship with another bisexual person.

‘I don’t even remember how I told her. She might have told me first, then I said something or vice versa. Just before we started dating, we talked a lot through Facebook, then just sitting having coffee together,’ he recalled.

‘I do remember feeling a little relieved, just because it’s easier to be in a relationship with another bisexual. It bypasses so many conversations and the need for reassurances that non-bi’s can have.’

Bisexual activist Kaylee Walker is also in a relationship with a fellow bi person.

Kaylee Walker and her boyfriend.

Kaylee Walker and her boyfriend went on their first date on Bi Visibility Day. | Photo: supplied

‘It was before we even planned the first date that we both came out as bi to each other,’ she says.

‘It was a weird race to make sure the other knew and would not be a biphobic prospect we’d be wasting time on.’

Oregonian Natasha McCracken doesn’t necessarily agree it’s easier to be with a bisexual.

‘I’ve always been open about being bisexual, it’s usually a pretty quick conversation to me. My current partner is from California, and while he hasn’t been with anyone bisexual before, he adjusted to it quickly,’ she said.

‘I told him in passing on the night we met and that was really the only discussion needed. It’s definitely an adjustment for him because of how he was raised. His mother specifically is not the most tactful woman and isn’t very accepting. I kinda just had him jump feet first into my world, and he’s very good about asking questions when he wants to know how to approach a new situation.’

Bis in monogamous relationships

Collins and his partner are in a mono relationship.

‘If I’m in a monogamous relationship then I want to be with that person. Exclusively. All their pieces and parts included,’ he said.

‘This is pretty standard with anyone that is in a serious mono relationship. It’s not any different just because we’re bi.’

He also says: ‘This idea that we’re some sort of slavering sexual dynamo who needs to be satiated by all of our desires is demeaning, untrue, and sounds way more ambitious than most of us have the energy for.’

… and polyamorous relationships

However, this isn’t true for all bisexual people.

In a 2018 study, Dr. Rhonda Balzarini and her colleagues at the University of Western Ontario found that bisexual and pansexual people are more likely to have experienced some form of ethical non-monogamy.

McCracken has always been in poly relationships. However, she said her current partner Sean is her only partner at the moment.

Natasha and boyfriend Sean.

Natasha, who is poly, and Sean are in a mono relationship. | Photo: Instagram

‘I was 19 before I even heard the term polyamorous, and the only things I knew about sexuality were what little I could find online during my limited computer time at home. I truly believe it depends on the person whether or not they’re likely to cheat because since learning about the relationship dynamic of polyamory I haven’t cheated or even considered it.’

Vivian Began from Baltimore, Maryland, told her husband she is bisexual six years into their marriage.

‘It’s been a ride but, we are fine. Stronger, actually. Our marriage is one that would confuse most by its names but, it works amazingly for us,’ she says.

‘He is in a monogamous marriage with me and I am in a polyamorous marriage as I am looking for my female soul mate. We do not interact all together in an intimate way. This is how we are happy.’

Bisexuals beyond the gender binary

Misty Farquhar at a Bi Pride in Perth

Misty Farquhar at a Bi Pride in Perth. | Photo: Facebook

Assuming one’s gender from their appearance can prove to be ultimately incorrect, explains bi non-binary Farquhar.

‘There is absolutely a need for education on non-binary sexualities and genders,’ they say.

‘Some people have never really thought about things outside of the binary, so it’s a lot to process for them.’

They furthermore add: ‘I believe that it is the responsibility of organisations that claim to be for LGBTI folk to do this educating. If they are not doing it, then they need to engage with groups who are making this happen.’

Read also:

We need to talk about bi erasure in media: ever heard of the Unicorn Scale?

Sara Ramirez withdraws donation to LGBT center failing to create Bi+ scheme

5 refreshing bisexual movies you need to watch this Bi Visibility Month

Author: Stefania Sarrubba

The post Bisexuals in straight-looking relationships: ‘I haven’t chosen a side’ appeared first on Gay Star News.