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Bi+ Visibility Day: 6 Myths about Bisexuality

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As it's Bisexual Visibility day, we are busting some common myths and misconceptions that people often have about bisexuality. Research suggests that bisexual+ people experience higher rates of anxiety and depression due to the the biphobia and erasure that they often face both outside and within the LGBTQ+ community. It's important for us to challenge these misconceptions and myths so that bi+ people can feel seen and validated.

Scroll down for 6 common misconceptions, the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality and some reminders for our bi+ community.

Understanding the terminology: Bisexual & Bi+

The Bisexual Resource Centre uses “bisexual” and “bi+” as umbrella terms for people who recognize and honor their potential for sexual and emotional attraction to more than one gender (bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, fluid, queer, asexual, and other free-identifiers). We celebrate and affirm the diversity of identity and expression regardless of labels.

DISCLAIMER: We're certainly not experts and encourage you to take a look at these brilliant charities and resources for further learning:

Myth 1: Bisexual people can't make their mind up, are confused, and/or greedy.

It's a myth that bisexuals cannot make up their mind and pick a side. Bisexuality is fluid and cannot be simplified or put into a box. It's the same way people have multiple interests, enjoy different types of TV or food. Many bisexuals are in happy committed relationships or not pursuing anyone, just because the options are there, it doesn't mean they want them all at once.

Myth 2: Bisexual people are only interested in the binary genders of male and female.

Another common misconception is that people who identify as bisexual are only interested in the binary genders of male and female. Many people who identify as bisexual, have the capacity to love and be attracted to people of any gender identity. Many bi people identify with being pansexual too. More on this below.

Myth 3: Bisexuality is just a phase or a gateway to coming out as gay or lesbian.

Bisexuality is a valid sexual orientation on its own. Most people who identify as bisexual don't change this throughout their life. Some people do go through a period of identifying as bisexual on their way to understanding their lesbian/gay or straight identity and that's valid too.

Myth 4: You can't identify as bi+ unless you've been with more than one gender.

Being bisexual+ isn't about your prior experience, it's about who you're attracted to romantically or sexually. This is true whether you act on it or not. You do not need to prove your bisexuality by being with more than one gender.

Myth 5: Being bisexual means equal attraction to both men and women.

The spectrum is different for each individual bisexual person and attraction levels can change over time. Bisexuals can be more attracted to one gender, or they can want romantic relationships with one gender and sexual with another.

Myth 6: If you’re in a monogamous relationship with someone of the same/a different gender, doesn’t that make you gay/straight?

Your sexuality remains the same, regardless of what gender your partner is. Settling with or marrying one gender doesn't mean that bisexual people have made their choice, it just means that they've married their partner. We love this werewolf analogy from Bisexual Resource Centre "Consider the werewolf – whether they are currently in human or wolf form, they haven’t stopped being a werewolf. Similarly, in the same way that straight people are still straight when they’re single, bi+ people are still bi+ when they’re dating someone."

What is the difference between Bisexual and Pansexual?

Bisexuality

Attraction to more than one gender.

This attraction could be physical, romantic, and/or emotional.

Bisexual people may experience different kinds of attraction to different genders, and their attractions may change over time.

Pansexuality

Attraction to all genders and/or regardless of gender. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind.

This attraction could be physical, romantic, and/or emotional.

Pansexual people may also experience different kinds of attraction to different genders, and their attractions may change over time.

To our beautiful bi+ community...

You don't have anything to prove.

Your partner doesn't define your sexuality.

You belong to the LGBTQ+ community.

There's no one way to be bi.

Your sexuality is valid.