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
Media

Gay marriage and fluid sexuality

South Australian Senator, Eric Abetz caused an uproar when he suggested that gay people can form straight relationships on Sky News when talking about the push for same – sex marriage. This has caused outrage among members of the LGBTQ+ community with accusations of Abetz using the harmful rhetoric that was used to make LGBTQ+ people believe they could become straight; a practice that has been condemned by mainstream health bodies. Former pastor, Anthony Venn – Brown has dismissed Abetz’s claims, saying that gays and lesbians don’t change their orientation when married to someone of the opposite sex. He said it was a case of ‘situational heterosexuality. I want to play the devil’s advocate here. Researchers have suggested that sexuality can be fluid for some people. That’s been explored in the media quite a lot the past few years. Some people are bisexual (sometimes on varying degrees), so theoretically, they’ll be able to fall for a man or woman (or other gender). There must be a distinction here, though:

Some people are, always have been and always will be gay. 

Also, fluid sexuality is said to have environmental factors, whether it’s to do with epigenetics ,  (a theory that is rejected by some in the LGBTQ+ community), or not I don’t think anyone has determined… yet(?). However, that’s not to say that LGBTQ+’s sexuality is definitely going to change due to environment. 

 

To be honest, I think the theory is quite pointless in the same – sex marriage debate (which I think that’s what they were debating on Sky). So some people experience fluidity in their sexuality and/ or fall in love with someone that doesn’t fall in line with what their orientation. So? That doesn’t mean that there aren’t gays, lesbians, people who are homo-romantic, etc, that want to get married. Some in the LGBTQ+ community, along with their allies, feel that marriage is a crucial step forward towards LGBTQ+ acceptance (I still argue that’s still an overly simplistic argument, but that’s another post for another day and it won’t be a magic bullet, but that’s another post for the future).

 

While I think Senator Abetz wasn’t entirely wrong in his statement, I think it was pointless and was bound to be taken negatively by members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially given his clashes with members of the LGBTQ+ community over same – sex marriage over the past two years. And I think it’s important to reinstate – I believe that some people may experience fluid sexuality or degrees of bisexuality. But there are people who are, always have been and always will be gay. Let’s not use the fluidity theory or bisexuality to bully and shame LGBTQ+ all over again.