The LGBT+ community has won increased visibility in recent years, but too often bisexual people are excluded from the conversation.
With both the general public and even rest of the LGBT+ community often lacking understanding, bisexual people frequently find themselves on the receiving end of awkward comments.
Although questions often come from a place of genuine interest, bi people end up hearing the same remarks constantly. In some cases these questions are just ignorant, but they can also be intrusive and biphobic.
As a response to this, we have asked three bisexual people to tell us the comments they are most sick of hearing, with an explanation of why each remark is problematic.
1. “Which do you prefer?”
35 year-old Chloe Hubbard says:
This is beyond offensive. It’s basically a thinly veiled question about which sex I prefer sleeping with. This is not OK – don’t ask other people who they prefer having sex with, it’s personal. For us bisexuals, your question doesn’t make sense. It’s like asking do you prefer ice cream or ice cream?
2. “When you first came out you said you were bi. Are you gay now?”
31-year old Jesse Sperling says:
This makes it seem like bisexuality is a stepping stone to gayness, but it’s a real sexual orientation people who are attracted to more than one gender.
Even if I am never with a woman again sexually or romantically, my relationships with women in the past are as valid as the ones I have with men now, and I still feel the same attraction to some women as I did back then. The question erases all of that complexity.
3. “What percentage of gay do you think you are?”
Really? I have to validate by sexuality down to a percentage point? How exactly is that useful to the questioner? I get asked this by both gay and straight people – it is ridiculous. I’m bisexual, the clue is in the term.
4. “It must be so great fancying everybody”
Newsflash: I don’t. There is an unhelpful theme with this kind of questioning which implies bisexual people are all highly promiscuous!
5. “Guys are so annoying, I totally see why you’d get with girls”
26 year-old Lisa Green says:
This really misses the point. It highlights an assumption that that there must have to be something negative about a guy in order to get with a girl, rather than a positive reason for getting with a girl.
6. “I think you’ll eventually end up with a man/woman”
This shows a complete lack of understanding of bi people and also a lack of willingness to understand. If I don’t even know what gender I’m going to end up with (if I even choose to end up with anyone) then how do you? I’ll always be attracted to both sexes no matter who I’m with.
7. “Aren’t you worried your wife will cheat with a man?”
This is so rude. Please stop questioning the legitimacy of my marriage because I used to also sleep with men.
8. “You’re gay – admit it!”
There is a problematic idea that bisexuals are gay or lesbian people who are unable to come out, particularly in the gay community. It baffles me that people still cannot compute that some people are bisexual, it’s a thing, we exist.