Its Twenty Bi-Teen, No Slander Allowed
By Abby Marton
Towards the end of the most recent Pride month, Lady Gaga addressed her sexuality during her performance at Stonewall Inn, the gay bar that was the start of the 1969 riots that initiated the Gay Rights Movement. Gaga stated, “I may not, to some people, be considered a part of this community, even though I like girls sometimes. I would never degrade the fight you have endured.” Gaga’s statement sparked an online debate on biphobia, something I’ve often dealt with.
Bisexual erasure, the questioning or denial of the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality, is a massive problem. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve told someone I’m bi, only to be met with the classic, “but you’ve dated boys before.” The responses I get usually range from sexual to skeptical to just downright rude.
Two years ago in a gender studies class at my university, we discussed sexuality as being more of a sphere than a linear spectrum going from straight to gay. And it's true, at least for me. I don’t like boys 50% of the time and I don’t like girls 50% of the time, and I’m sure a lot of other bi people can agree with me on that one. It’s fluctuating and it definitely isn’t a set- in- stone percentage of how much I like one gender over another, but it is real.
As a college student, I’m often told that, “I’m just going through the experimental phase that most girls in college have” or that, “I’m doing it for the attention of boys.” The best ones, however, are when people think it's a good idea to question how many men or women I’ve been with, because apparently questioning the validity of someone’s sexuality is a decent conversation topic. Even though this logic makes literally no sense whatsoever, I have learned to ignore the mindless comments that (most of the time) come from people who don’t even know me well enough to be making such statements about my sexuality. Unfortunately, that’s not even the worst of it. The most disgusting comments are usually from people who think that just because I’m bi, I automatically want to be in a threesome with them. Just because I’m attracted to men and women doesn’t mean I want to have sex with every man and woman I meet.
Although the sexual comments are gross, the most disappointing and hurtful responses are from people who have it ingrained in their head that people who identify as bisexual are promiscuous and therefore not a good choice to date because, “we can’t pick a side” or, “we want to have the best of both worlds.” I hate to break it to those people, but being bisexual doesn’t translate to being incapable of having a relationship.
It’s almost ironic how some of the most ignorant responses I get are from some of the most self-certified “woke” and accepting people. I have had countless people who say they support the LGBTQ+ community tell me that bisexuality isn’t real. But then what does the ‘B’ in LGBTQ+ stand for?