Scroll To Top

6 Reasons It's Impossible to Escape Biphobia in the Workplace

6 Reasons It's Impossible to Escape Biphobia in the Workplace

6 Reasons It's Impossible to Escape Biphobia in the Workplace

A workplace is one of the most fascinating environments we have as humans.

We put a bunch of complete strangers together, all with different backgrounds, beliefs, morals and identities, and tell them to get along and accomplish a shared goal. We team up a bunch of people who would never actually be friends in real life and force them to spend anywhere from a few hours to entire days with them.

It's a risky game. There is no way everyone is going to agree on everything. People are going to react to things differently, and see the world differently.

When thinking about whether or not you want to be "out" at work, this is a huge factor to consider. For some, the workplace is not the place to discuss details of our private lives, especially when it's something as inherently personal as sexual attraction. For others -- like myself, for example—it's something we have to share in order to feel like we're living authentically.

Like everyone, I've had miscellaneous jobs here and there. I've always chosen to be vocal about my bisexuality (when it was both relevant and appropriate) and, over the years, I've discovered that because of all of the different kinds of people and the beliefs they hold, I can expect a certain amount of biphobia.

Ranging from the unintentional missteps to actual, deliberate hate, here are a few examples of what work can have to offer:

1. "No."

A surprisingly common immediate response to my declaration of bi-ness has simply been that one word: "No."

This kind of reaction—while not fun or ideal—has become something I'm used to. I've even found it amusing once or twice. I'd still rather not deal with it, but it's doable.

Nicki Minaj

2. "I don't think that's actually a real thing."

All bisexuals are aware that we're going to be met with nay-sayers. Bisexuality, for whatever reason, is still seen as a kind of urban legend. Sure, people talk about it, but nobody actually embodies it.

For the record: I assure you, bisexuality is very real. Consider me an expert on the topic.

Dean Winchester thumbs up

3. "I'm confused."

This is when they expect you to be their bisexual mentor.

Real world example: I once had someone tell me that they were "super confused" after I referenced a past relationship with a woman, and then commented on an attractive man a few minutes later. This person then continued to bring it up for the rest of my shift, all the while expecting me to answer their questions, educate them on my identity and what it means to me.

In most situations, I think that asking someone how they identify and what certain labels mean to them is perfectly acceptable, if not empowering. The workplace is not one of those situations. I'm here to do a job, not be your bisexual Obi-Wan.

Obi Wan

4. "I wish I were like that."

Being bi is awesome. I'm not going to deny that.

However, most of the time, when people say something like this to me, it's because they're complaining about their current romantic situation. They're having problems with women and wish they could "switch to men." They assume bisexuality means polyamory and suggest that the solution to their problems is to have multiple partners.

A lot of bisexuals will joke with you about switching to one gender after a bad relationship with someone of another gender. That doesn't mean it's actually how our brain works. Some bisexuals think that way. Others don't. That's okay. It doesn't mean that you can assume.

Additionally, bisexuality and polyamory are not inherently connected. Sometimes they intersect and sometimes they don't.

Don't assume, and please don't think of my identity as a solution to your problems.

bisexual assumptions

5. "McKenna's a lesbian."

No, though. That's not even a little bit true.

21 jump street

6. "You're straight, right?"

Adele haha no

What about you? Tell us your stories and how you deal with biphobia at work in the comments!

Banner Image OneOut Magazine - Fellow Travelers

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories