We hear about homophobia often and the important issues that revolve around it. But have you heard of biphobia? Not everyone has heard of biphobia or knows exactly what it means. At its base, it is a prejudice against bisexuals. Many still have the mindset that those who are bisexual are “playing gay,” or have it much easier simply because they can come off as straight even if they’re really gay.
People in the LGBT community continue to suffer in a world that consists of many close-minded individuals who are unable to accept anything that is different from them, combined with their fear of the unknown and their own misunderstandings.
Many people continue to feed into the harmful stereotype that bisexuals are “fake gay,” including some of those in the LGBT community. Whether you identify on the LGBT spectrum or not, make an effort to stay away from the negativity that comes from these stereotypes and train yourself to accept instead of reject.
Understand the Problem
Mounting evidence supports the claim that bisexuals experience more discrimination than those who are gay or lesbian and that biphobia from gays and lesbians is actually comparable to the biphobia from straight people. Although discrimination from heterosexuals is significantly higher, it still sheds light on a very real issue that must be addressed. Most LGBT individuals understand the challenges that come along with being true to their sexual orientation, so why do some of them have trouble accepting bisexuals?
Lesbian and gay individuals are aware of their predisposed assumptions and explain them as natural thoughts that occur when they hear about someone who identifies as bisexual — not gay or lesbian. There’s a name for this — internalized biphobia. Try to understand before you assume. There is a chance you can hurt someone by jumping the gun. Imagine the distress bisexuals feel when they’re not even accepted into their own LGBT community — a community that should be a safe place for all sexualities.
It is important that we try to be open-minded in the midst of so much change happening in our world. While it’s easier to stay inside your own bubble, it will not benefit you in the long term. Become more open-minded, and accept others who may be different by taking the first step, which is to try to understand why they believe what they believe and why they do what they do. There is no right or wrong way to live as long as you’re not hurting others.
It’s taken us years to pass same-sex marriage laws, yet here we are still debating bisexuality — something lesbian and gay individuals even question. So what it boils down to is this: Do you form your own beliefs, or are you just listening to what others tell you to believe?
Embrace One Another
The fact remains that no two humans are exactly the same. In order for the world to grow and prosper, we must appreciate and accept one another’s differences, and take the initiative to understand them. Although bisexuality remains a highly misunderstood sexual identity, it doesn’t we should run from trying to better understand it. Therefore, the community needs to get on board so we can work toward a solution that freely allows bisexual orientation and stops viewing it as a threat.
Focus on What’s Important
A person’s sexual status should not affect who they are and how they are viewed. Everyone should be respected regardless of who they choose to love. We are all human beings living on the same Earth, in search of the same thing: happiness. How others find their happiness is their own business.
Happiness is important. Acceptance is important. Don’t be the reason bisexuals feel ashamed and rejected by ridiculing them for their personal search for happiness. Focus more on who people are, not their sexual preference.
It is important for us, especially the LGBT community, to accept all sexualities. Like gays and lesbians, bisexuals just want to be recognized, accepted and ultimately respected for their choice to love who they want to. Like many sexualities, being comfortable as a bisexual can be learned, despite biphobia, but biphobia makes it much more of a challenge. Do your part, and stay open-minded and thoughtful when it comes to this sensitive subject. Your attitude can positively affect the negative attitude of others.