The sexualisation and violation of bisexual people must stop.
Bisexuality is treated as an affliction in society. Bi people are less likely to be out, but more likely to experience mental health issues (including depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation) as well as intimate partner violence, harassment and stalking.
Bisexual people are deemed unworthy of love, as cheats, as people who can’t control themselves and as moral deviants. The truth is that bisexual people are more likely to be the victim of those traits than the perpetrators.
Bisexuality isn’t anything that should remotely stand out. It’s completely natural and valid to experience attraction to different genders. Go back to early cave paintings and they depicted bisexuality. The only thing relatively new, is the hate it has attracted.
In recent centuries, bisexuality has been tarred and smeared by so-called (and often self-styled) moral purists. Bisexuality isn’t even accepted within the queer community. Many gay people see bisexuals as half gay, who experience half the oppression (which is statistically and factually incorrect). If stats are anything to go bi – pun intended – then the bi community is in a deep crisis in comparison but we’d never say gay people are only 50% bi. The logic behind biphobia in the queer community is absurd.
There’s a very real threat to bisexual people when their identities are maligned. The result is that many never come out. For some, this is tolerable. Maybe it doesn’t feel like a big issue when they might be mostly attracted to people of a different gender. No one though, should have to live in the closet. Everyone should be free to be. There are also a hell of a lot of people who can’t stand the closet but can’t come out. It’s ironic really, given Milk’s comments about destroying closets but so many bi people feel they must identify as gay within the queer community.
“There’s a very real threat to bisexual people when their identities are maligned”
Bisexual bodies though are treated as property. Bisexual people are thought of as cheats who are up for anything. It means groping. It means sexual harassment. It means being asked constantly for threesomes by strangers or by straights at a club to get off with different people in front of them.
It’s tiring, draining and eats at your own self-respect. There are only so many times someone can be routinely degraded and treated as a punchline before you question your own self-worth.
Bisexuality is not promiscuity, and hell, even if it was (because there’s nothing wrong with liking to be sexual at all) there is nobody at all that deserves to be treated without respect. Nobody should ever be demeaned that way. Nobody should have their boundaries violated.
There’s also the threat of jealousy. As a result of the horrific stigma around bisexuality, jealousy is common. Partners may scroll through texts or become paranoid that any friend is actually a secret sexual partner. Bisexuals don’t want to sleep with everyone, but that fact never really seems to register. The legacy of this suspicion can be emotional trauma, and sometimes even physical violence. Few can understand what it means to be on edge in a relationship simply because of your sexuality. It’s rare that sexuality can be so inherently weaponised against you from within a relationship. Relationships are, for many, the safe space from that. Usually when partners get together there will be a mutual respect for sexuality, but bisexual people are often made to feel at odds with the ‘ideal’ and that while they may be a part of the relationship, they are also the biggest threat to it.
Bisexual bodies are treated as though anything goes and that’s all bisexual people are seen as – bodies for people to do as they please whether that be control in a relationship or try to fuck. The humanity of bisexual people is forgotten. So too are autonomy and consent. It is even worse for bisexual disabled people, who are often treated as though they should be lucky for any attention given how desexualised disabled people are made out to be. Bisexual people of colour too are disproportionately impacted, as people of colour are routinely over- and/or hypersexualised, as well as exoticised. Biphobia compounds upon that.
Bisexual bodies aren’t yours. Bisexual people should be free to live without fear of intimidation or harassment (in any form). Society keeps trying to push bisexuality out into the shadows though, which feels like a chance to make people easier prey. Bisexual people deserve better. We are no threats. The people who are dangerous are the ones who abuse us.
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