Bisexual Stereotypes

As I said in May, I will be doing a series addressing stereotypes for LGBTQ+ people—talking about people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, as well as people who are intersex and asexual. I look forward to continuing through this series.

As I have already talked about lesbian and gay stereotypes, I will talk about bisexual stereotypes today. But before talking about bisexual stereotypes, it must first be understood what it means to be bisexual.

A bisexual person is someone who is attracted to more than one sex and/or gender.[1] For example, a man attracted to both men and women is bisexual, and a woman attracted to both women and men is bisexual.

Now that readers who didn’t know about bisexuality now hopefully know what it means to be bisexual, here are a few stereotypes associated with being bisexual that has been brought to my attention from other people:

  1. Bisexual people are attracted to all genders and sexual identities. No, that’s not necessarily true, though the stereotype I just stated is closer to a description of what pansexuality is, as pansexuality involves attraction regardless of one’s sex or gender identity.
  2. A bisexual man is only attracted to men and women, and a bisexual woman is only attracted to women and men. For some bisexual people, that is what bisexuality looks like. However, as bisexuality involves attraction to more than one sex or gender, a person’s bisexuality may look different from that.
  3. Bisexual people are “confused.” Someone who is unsure or confused of their sexuality usually goes under a different label: questioning. “Bisexual” does not necessarily equal confused.
  4. Being bisexual is easy because you can “pass off as straight.” Yes, it is true that the majority of bisexual individuals end up in heterosexual marriages,[2] and that therefore one might be able to “pass off as straight.” As to whether this means that bisexual people have it “easy,” I think that this question is best answered by people who have the lived experience of being bisexual themselves.

These, of course, are just a few of the harmful stereotypes associated with being bisexual. If there are other stereotypes about bisexual people that should be discussed and/or if anyone wants to expand upon the bisexual stereotypes mentioned here, please feel free to post a comment below!

Previous posts in my series on LGBTQ+ stereotypes:


[1] I should note that not all people have the same definition of bisexuality, so my definition might not be exactly the same as someone else’s definition. That being said, it seems like a lot of bisexual people have accepted that definition, so this is the definition I will go with for the purposes of this piece: https://www.hrc.org/resources/bisexual-faq

[2] A Pew Research Survey from 2015 said that only 9% of bisexual people in the survey had same-sex partners while 84% were in heterosexual relationships: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/02/20/among-lgbt-americans-bisexuals-stand-out-when-it-comes-to-identity-acceptance/

The Bisexual Pride Flag

Introducing a Series on LGBTQ+ Stereotypes

Sometimes, this blog is a smorgasbord of social justice issues, and I’m fine with that. However, given this time in history with LGBTQ+ issues, I want to spend a bit more time on LGBTQ+ issues, and particularly stereotypes that go with being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer,[1] intersex, and asexual. 

To elaborate on the time in history we are at right now (just to give a quick summary for those who aren’t fully aware), here are some important LGBTQ+ events going on, all at the same time:

  • The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is coming up at the end of June. For those who don’t know about this piece of LGBTQ+ history, these riots were a series of violent confrontations between the police and gay people at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. To read more, read this Encyclopedia Britannica piece.
  • Numerous governments across the world, including the federal government and some state governments in the United States, have tried to undermine or take away LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Several religious institutions, most notably the Methodist Church, are grappling with LGBTQ+ issues.
  • The United States Supreme Court is considering a case on whether current federal law bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Given all these events, as well as the fact that so many of the bad things that happen are the result of some of these LGBTQ+ stereotypes, it’s important to address those stereotypes here and now.

So, my plan is to dedicate a post a month (or so) to stereotypes with regards to a major group in the LGBTQ+ community. Many of the stereotypes discussed will be ones I’m aware of, but I would definitely encourage my readers (and especially people with firsthand experience of being LGBTQ+) to let me know of stereotypes that I should cover, as well.

This way, by the time the series is done, probably around December by my calculations, we are hopefully all ready to confront some of those harmful stereotypes, both within ourselves and others.


[1] The “q” in LGBTQ could also stand for “questioning.”

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