If you identify as bisexual, it’s essential that you understand what this term entails to reduce potential misconceptions surrounding it.
People may believe that being bisexual is simply a phase similar to being homosexual or heterosexual; in reality, however, there’s much more involved. Not to worry; in this guide, we’ll uncover the true answer to what it means to be bisexual and how you can show your support.
Some individuals identify as bisexual when they find themselves drawn to both men and women in a romantic, sexual, or platonic capacity. Their sexual orientation might be described as gay, lesbian, or bisexual depending on who they’re talking to; others may prefer not using labels at all when discussing their sexuality; some only engage in intimate relations with people of similar gender, while others abstain completely – all valid choices that allow people to feel good.
Over time, the term “bisexual” has evolved from referring to the attraction between two genders only into an all-inclusive term that refers to the attraction between all genders regardless of similarities or differences. This newer definition of bisexuality is commonly known as pansexuality, with “pan” signifying all and “sexual” representing attraction between two genders – more accurately reflecting an accurate portrayal than earlier used terminology of “two.”
No matter how they define themselves sexually, it’s essential to remember that bisexual people represent a significant portion of the LGBTQ+ community and deserve equal consideration and acceptance from its other members. Language plays an integral role in how we describe ourselves and attract others to us, yet at times, it can become restricting.
One reason it is vitally important not to refer to bisexuality as “two genders” is due to its implied belief that there are only two genders present in our society; this could create dangerous misconceptions that perpetuate harmful rhetoric towards transgender individuals, suggesting they are only attracted to people of their same gender.
Some individuals might not realize they are bisexual or be reluctant to come out as such, making it hard for them to access the support and resources they require. If you know of anyone who is or was bisexual, try reaching out and offering your support; perhaps provide online resources about bisexuality for them to explore further as well.
Who are bisexuals attracted to?
Bisexual is an expression derived from Latin for “two,” signifying attraction to multiple genders. Many bisexual people identify as pansexuals or omnisexuals, while others define themselves more narrowly as heterosexuals, homosexuals, or agender individuals. Some bisexual people may prefer one sex over another or have an equal attraction to both sexes, which is entirely normal. For some individuals, their attraction changes over time, making this condition even more unique.
Bisexual initially meant having characteristics from both masculine and feminine traits—what we now refer to as androgyny. Over time, however, its definition evolved to encompass sexual and romantic attraction between both genders, which is now considered the standard definition of bisexuality. LGBTQ+ organizations and activists now frequently use bisexual as an umbrella term to encompass any attraction among genders, with some adding “pan” or “omni” in front of it to reflect this expansive meaning of the phrase.
There are still misconceptions surrounding bisexuality that contribute to its stigmatization among LGBTQ+ people. Some common myths regarding this identity include believing it’s only experimental or temporary or that bisexual people tend to cheat on their partners more frequently. These ideas stem from biphobia, the fear of those who identify as bisexual.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that being bisexual requires being attracted to both men and women. This assumption is false and reinforces binary thinking: most bisexual people can find fulfillment with one partner, both partners, or both at once in relationships where neither partner is dominant.
Some individuals attracted to both men and women may prefer or dislike one sex over the other more strongly, which is perfectly acceptable. It does not equate to liking or disliking either gender more strongly or indicate lesbianism or homosexuality in any way.
Relationships with bisexual individuals
If you are bisexual, chances are your friends and family have misunderstood your relationship status at some point or another—or that they misunderstood someone else’s. Here is how to be a better ally to bisexual people in your life.
There are numerous misconceptions and misperceptions surrounding bisexuality that are dangerous and harmful, such as believing it’s merely a passing phase to discover your eventual sexual orientation. Such a belief implies that bisexuality can only ever lead to either gayness or straightness in its truest form.
As well, bisexuality often creates the false belief that being bisexual is somehow improper or abnormal, which must be dispelled to promote equality in our society. It’s essential that we break down these myths.
Bisexual is an umbrella term covering multiple orientations, such as pansexuality and fluidity. Many individuals identify as bisexual and are attracted to both men and women. At the same time, some prefer only one gender or are drawn toward those who do not identify as either male or female (known as agender people).
Fluidity in bisexuality refers to its changing and evolving identity over time. For example, someone attracted to men could become increasingly interested in women over time or in a short span of time. This process may occur quickly or gradually over a lifetime.
If you are uncertain if you are bisexual, specific indicators could clarify your sexuality. For instance, you might notice being drawn to people of various ages or liking characters on TV shows that don’t belong to your gender; these could both be telltale signs that indicate bisexuality.
Similar to the above, you may also find yourself connecting with characters of various genders in movies or books—another telltale sign of bisexuality! Doing this demonstrates a strong attraction towards both genders, as you feel an urge for both types. In addition, fantasizing about people of various genders is another standard part of bisexual life.
Identifying as bisexual
People who identify as bisexual often face misinformation regarding their orientation and identity, which can cause fear about acceptance in their communities and lead to feelings of inadequacy. There are, however, effective methods available to them for helping people understand what bisexuality means—something we’ll discuss further here in this blog post.
One of the greatest misconceptions about bisexuality is that its prefix “bi” refers to traditional gender binarity. According to Dainis Graveris, founder of Sexual Alpha and sex educator, this has long been misunderstood as someone who finds attraction for both genders and needs a partner of each gender to feel complete or happy with life. This assumption could prove problematic.
However, this is far from true; bisexuality encompasses an expansive definition that may involve any number of variables: people might find themselves drawn to both women and men equally, transgender people, nonbinary people, or any other individual outside the traditional binary. There may also be those who identify as bisexual, who do not experience romantic or sexual attraction toward any gender, or some who identify as aromantic, who do not experience sexual or romantic feelings toward any gender.
People who self-identified as bisexual in the past likely did so on account of being attracted to both sexes, yet today there is no need to define someone’s sexuality in such terms. Gender identities available today are wide and diverse; therefore, it is vitally important that individuals have freedom of choice when selecting what identity feels most authentic for them, relieving stress and anxiety.
If you know someone who identifies as bisexual, you can show your support in various ways. From hanging a rainbow flag in your yard and wearing pride pins to just being there emotionally for them and using inclusive pronouns without invalidating their experience by presuming what their orientation may be, all are good ways of showing appreciation. And always keep in mind that your friends should choose whatever sexual identity makes them happy; respect that decision at all costs!