One of the best things about the LGBTI community is the strong sense of diversity, acceptance and inclusiveness. Even the rainbow flag is designed to represent how all the different subgroups within our community can come together in a harmonious way. However, one group that still faces some discrimination from within our community is bisexual people.
Many of the bisexual people I have spoken to often feel discrimination from within the community based on several myths about bisexuality. One of the most damaging ones is the myth that bisexuality doesn’t exist. A lot of people within the LGBTI community still believe that bisexuals are just people who haven’t “picked a side” yet. This is not true – bisexuality is a unique sexual orientation. Occasionally, people who end up identifying as gay or lesbian briefly identify as bisexual as part of their coming out process. However, this does not mean that all people who identify as bisexual will ultimately end up identifying as gay or lesbian.
Another damaging myth is the idea that all bisexual people are promiscuous. Many people believe that bisexual people will not be able to stay faithful in a relationship. This is based on an assumption that, because bisexual people are attracted to both men and women, they will ultimately end up craving a romantic attachment with someone of the opposite sex to their partner. Most people in relationships feel as though their partner cannot fulfil all their needs – this is normal! And, like most people, bisexual people will find a way to meet their needs that don’t involve cheating
The more we combat myths such as these, the more we can increase the sense of inclusiveness that is such a great part of the GLBTI community.
Ben Walters is a psychologist at the Centre for Human Potential www.cfhp.com.au.