What is Bisexuality?
It's Bisexuality Awareness Week! But what exactly is bisexuality?
A bisexual person is someone who is sexually or romantically attracted to both men and women or to more than one sex or gender. This does not necessarily mean that a bisexual person will be attracted to men and women equally. Someone who is bisexual may still predominantly be attracted to members of the same sex or vice versa – it can be fluid. In fact, today you may even see the term Bi+ referring to the broader collective of people who are attracted to people regardless of sex or gender identity.
Not every bisexual person’s experience is the same. Bisexuality can manifest in a range of different sexual behaviours and relationship types. Some people may also prefer to identify as ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ even though their relationships or sexual activity may be bisexual in nature. Some people prefer no label at all.
People who are bisexual can often experience discrimination from both the heterosexual community as well as other LGBTI communities due to a number of negative attitudes towards bisexual people.
These negative attitudes include the idea that some people use bisexuality as a transitional stage to coming out as ‘entirely gay’. This can stigmatise bisexual people as confused or inauthentic.
Bisexual People are not "Confused"
Over the years there has been an increased visibility of gay and lesbian people. That visibility has helped make it easier for many others to come out. But many people will feel attraction towards a range of people and this can change and vary throughout life – they aren’t confused about their sexuality.
The reality is that these negative perceptions of bisexuality are untrue. Some people may question if they’re bisexual for a time before later identifying as gay or lesbian, but many people are simply bisexual. It’s that simple. In fact, as visibility of bisexual people increases, we may see the broader community come to understand bisexuality better.