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Public Perception of Bisexuality Shifts From Nonexistent to Neurotic

Public Perception of Bisexuality Shifts From Nonexistent to Neurotic

Public Perception of Bisexuality Shifts From Nonexistent to Neurotic

Public perception of bisexuality shifted from "nonexistent" to "neurotic" and it's lame. 


More and more young people are identifying as bisexual — the numbers are unprecedented. In a study conducted by YouGov, 29 percent of Americans under the age of 30 identify as neither exclusively homosexual or heterosexual, whereas 24 percent of Americans aged 30 to 44 say they’re somewhere on the bisexuality scale, compared to the 8 percent or less of Americans over the age of 45.

Our generation is beginning to realize that, like nearly everything else in the world, sexuality isn’t dichotomous. It’s not black or white. There are hundreds of shades of gray on the sexual spectrum. Slowly, we’re also realizing that this is true for gender too, which is fabulous, and what I like to call, progress.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean everything regarding sexual and gender fluidity will be hunky-dory in the years to come. Due to larger visibility and a greater number of people labeling themselves under the bi+ umbrella, our battle for bisexual equality will inevitably change.

When I speak to older people (over the age of 45), many of them refuse to recognize bisexuality. Simply stated, they don’t believe bisexuals are real. We're mythical beings like unicorns. They believe a person is either gay/lesbian or straight, and bisexuality is only a transitional period.

However, younger people have a very different perception of bisexuality. They recognize our existence, but think bisexuals are totally neurotic. Many of them believe bisexuals cannot love deeply, are sex-crazed maniacs, can’t be monogamous and/or can’t make up their minds.

In a sense, we’re moving forward because hey, many people recognize our existence, but in another sense, we’re moving sideways. Although people know bi folks exist, they still don’t accept us, and monosexuals don’t trust us enough to date a bisexual person seriously.

Dating is hard enough as it is. Why waste time with someone who you think will be neurotic, sex-crazed, insecure and indecisive? The mainstream shift in perceptions towards bisexuality is evolving from, “Oh, you’re bisexual, you’re not real,” to, “Oh, you’re bisexual, I’m not touching that with a 40-foot pole.”

Since coming out as bi, I have dated only one cis, gay man. The rest have either been cis bisexual men, queer women or transgender men. Still, I can find a date because the greater increase in bisexual identification allows provides more options; there are more men, women and genderqueer individuals who are open, out and don't believe the neurotic fallacies associated with bisexuality.

Similar to sociologist Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s depiction of the female protagonist in The Yellow Wallpaper, men, or in our case, monosexuals, drive our neuroses with their lack of acceptance, existence and validation.

The fight for bisexual equality is not over, and probably won’t be over anytime soon. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who believe that a decade from now, bisexuality will be fully accepted. It will be a non-issue because the newer generation is so aware and progressive. I want nothing more for these people to be right. Alas, I don’t think that’ll be the case. Our push will be to show people that we are healthy, we are decisive, we’re not (all) sex-crazed, and we can appreciate and remain monogamous if we so choose. Our goal moving forward, will be for monosexuals to take us at our word.

The only way this is going to happen, is for us to continue the fight. Continue being visible. Continue identifying as bisexual. Continue demanding our seat at the LGBTQ+ table. It’ll take time, but soon the world will see how much love and good we all have to offer. Soon they’ll realize that we experience emotional and sexual intimacy just like they do, only we can see the beauty and have intimate connections with everyone.

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