Bisexuality is a sexual identity that some people, unfortunately, just flat out don’t believe in. It’s somewhat understandable – if someone only has the ability to love one sex, it may be hard to see the other side. Additionally, media representation of bisexual people tends to not take their sexuality seriously (in ways I will expound upon below). The sad truth is that it can be difficult to change someone’s lifelong perspective on sexuality. However, thankfully, it is entirely possible with a little bit of effort.
Bisexuality is the term for someone who has an attraction to both sexes. There are other terms as well that are similar to this term but not quite the same; for example, pansexual – which is the attraction to anyone regardless of their gender OR sex.
Bisexual erasure is a term used to describe the tendency for people to dismiss, ignore, and even sometimes even completely deny the existence of bisexuality. Bisexual erasure can happen anywhere – even inside of the LGBT community itself. Some bisexual people even hide their identity, telling others that they are gay or straight, for fear of potential judgement. Media portrayals of bisexual people help promote the view that they are simply confused, indecisive, or promiscuous for flirting with people of different sexes. Some even believe that bisexuals are just closeted gay people who wish to be heteroseuxal, or vise versa. This can cause a lot of inner struggle and identity problems for those who simply can’t “choose a side” due to the nature of their sexuality.
If you are bisexual and struggle to accept yourself (or have people in your life who struggle to accept you), you need to know that you are not alone. There are myriad resources at your disposal. Mindpath Health have LGBTQ+ -specific counselors who have experience working through the difficulties you are facing. Additionally, many cities in North Carolina where we operate, such as Durham and Raleigh, also have LGBTQ Centers with further resources.
If you are not bisexual, there are many ways that you can support bisexuality. First of all, you want to make sure that you’re always kind and supportive of anyone who is bisexual, pansexual, or anything under that (or any other) umbrella of sexuality. You can also keep an eye out on the media and call out bisexual erasure in order to help educate others. Lastly, remember that you can show your support anywhere, from social media to pride rallies. Especially in the world of LGBTQ+ rights, every voice counts.