Categories
Gender/ sexuality LGBTQ rights

Bisexual people still stigmatised when it comes to dating

Bisexual pride flag (from top): pink, purple and blue
Image: iStock

I know it’s nearly over, but I thought I would do this post in part because it’s Pride Month.

Writer and social worker, Deidre Fidge posted and article on ABC Everyday lamenting the stigma bisexual people still face.

According to the Australia Talks survey, 44% of nearly 60,000 respondents claimed they weren’t open to dating someone who’s bisexual. A further 15% claimed they were reluctant.

While you can’t control who you are (or aren’t) attracted to, this figure is quite alarming. And it does raise questions:

  • Do people automatically assume that people attracted to more than one gender will cheat?
  • Is there still stigma surrounding sexual history?
  • What sexual history do people assume bi/ poly/ pan people have?

Why LGBTQ+ people should stand by bisexual people

I believe that much of biphobia boils down to one pet peeve of mine: they’re reduced to what they ‘do’.

These stereotypes take away the humanity of LGBTQ+ people.

Sexual stereotypes that fuelled opposition to same – sex marriage for years.

That caused commentators to fear – monger about same – sex marriage leading to polygamy.

People assumed that same – sex couples can’t raise healthy children despite numerous studies saying otherwise. 

For years, asexual people have been told they’re broken or that asexuality doesn’t exist.

Transgender and non – binary people have become the new target. Basic reason? Because of people’s obsession of othering minorities and reducing them to what’s between their legs.

What’s disappointing is seeing and hearing other LGBTQ+ people go on the attack. Often, LGBTQ+ content creators and media personalities willingly throw other LGBTQ+ under the bus. Can we just make it stop?

Other issues bisexual people face

Statistically, bisexual people make up the biggest percentage of people that are LGBTQ+.

Bisexual people can experience hostility from both gay and straight people. Often, their orientation is not taken seriously. They are often pressured to ‘pick a side’. Bi women are assumed to be straight, but ‘experimenting’. Meanwhile, bi men are considered gay.

As a result of erasure and discrimination, bisexual people often experience loneliness, depression and suicidality.

Despite increase in gay and lesbian acceptance in the West, the same can’t be said for bisexual people. According to a study by Associate Professor, Brian Dodge. He told Washington Post that attitudes towards bisexuals have only improved slightly since the 1990’s.

But, won’t bisexual partners cheat?

People, regardless of gender identity or orientation can cheat.

There are a number of resons why a person may chest n a spouse or partner. They include: unmet needs, low self – esteem and the need for revenge.

Opportunity can be a risk factor. However, other factors listed above are usually at play.

So, can we put the idea that just because someone is bisexual or pansexual that they’re more likely to cheat to rest?

If you’re in Australia and this post has raised any issues, you can contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636, or chat online.

QLife: 1800 184 527. They also have a webchat.

If you feel like you need emergency help, call 000.

As always, feel free to add support services or emergency contacts in the comments if you’re outside Australia.

Categories
Pop Culture

Former ‘Neighbours’ actor claims drug use on set

Australian drama, Neighbours has been hit with more scandals and accusations.

In her autobiography, Nicola Charles claimed she was offered drugs while on set. She also claimed she helped an unnamed cast member who passed out after taking speed.

The human inside me couldn’t leave her there alone on the couch, barely conscious and strugglimg. Her so-called friends on the cast had conveniently disappeared and washed their hands of the situation.

In return, Charles was offered speed herself the next day in the cast’s bathroom. She declined the offer.

The actress, along with other cast members took speed to keep their weight down.

These events allegedly happened in the late 1990’s. Charles accused Neighbours’ production company, Fremantle Media for turning a blind eye.

Neighbours plagued with scandal

Earlier this year, a number of former cast members claimed they’d been victims of racism and sexism.

In April, Shareena Clanton claimed she’d been a victim of racism and sexism while playing Sheila Canning.

Meyne Wyatt (Nate Kinski) and Sharon Johal (Dipi Rebecchi) claimed they also faced racism and homophobia on set. Johal alleged that some of the perpetrators were current cast members. She accused Neighbours’ production company, Fremantle Media of not taking allegations seriously.

When I first read about racism, sexism and homophobia claims, I was shocked. Neighbours have had a string of people of colour as cast members. To me, the characters of Dipi and Yashvi Rebecchi (Olivia Junkeer), were well developed. They didn’t seem like disrespectful stereotypes of Indian Australians. I could be wrong.

Were Indian Australians added simply for brownie points? Was it just about quotas? Of course, I can’t say for sure either way.

Since around 2010 (maybe 2011), Neighbours featured its first character.

Chris Pappas’ (James Mason) coming out was based on a real person. Pappas struggled with his sexuality during Year 11. He told Summer, whom he dated. The storyline explored homophobia in sport and being ‘outed’ without giving consent.

I rememberr watching the episodes of Pappas’ struggle and it hitting me. It was so raw. I related to it to an extent, having past struggles of my own. That’s when ai stared becoming a fan and regular viewer of the show.