Today is Bi-Visibility Day *throws unicorns’ confetti around* and I’d like to talk about Bi-Erasure.
What is it? It means that the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality (either in general, or in regard to an individual) is questioned or denied outright.
In other words, they are saying that Bisexual people are like Unicorns: they are magical AF but they don’t really exist.
Some things that increase Bi-Erasure are:
Bisexual people face less harmful stigma than other LGBTQ+ people. This is, obviously, not true since bisexuals face a “minority stress” – a statement from the Human Rights Campaign - and have heightened risks of self-harming behaviors and attempted suicide. Bisexual people have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and other moods disorders and also increased risk of heart diseases and higher rate of tobacco use, compared to heterosexuals or other LBGTQ+ people
Bisexual people are transphobic. Sure, a bisexual person could be transphobic, but not because of their sexual orientation. While the traditional definition of bisexual historically suggested a gender binary, which excluded trans and non-binary from using the bi label, since the expansion of gender identity became more visible, that is no longer the case. The Bisexual Resource Center points out that "leaders in the bi+ community uses “bi,” “bisexual,” and “bi+” to mean anyone who is attracted romantically and/or sexually to more than one gender." Additionally, over 25% of trans people identify as bisexual themselves, and 23 percent identify their sexual orientation as queer.
Bi men don't exist, they are probably just gay/ Bi women don’t exist, they are probably just lesbians. According to a research of the William Institute of 2011, bisexual people are the 52% of the LGBTQ+ community but only the 28% is out with almost every people in their lives.
Bisexual people magically become straight when they're in a relationship with a heterosexual partner. That’s not true, of course. Bisexuality is real and valid: I am bisexual when I date a woman and I am bisexual when I date a man. "Remember, bisexuality doesn't mean halfway between gay or straight. It is its own identity", said Evan Rachel Wood. Some people like to point out the fact that bisexual people are likely to end up in a relationship with someone of a different gender; this is because biphobia and invisibility shrink the dating pool and many LGBTQ+ people still flat out refuse to date bi people due to biphobia, that majorly limits bi people's options.
Bisexual people are polyamorous. Of course, it could happen but it is not a rule. Especially straight men believe "bisexuality" equates to "threesome." The American Institute of Bisexuality says "One does not cause the other. Bisexuality is the ability to be attracted to more than one biological sex. Polyamory means that a person is able to maintain a romantic relationship with more than one person at the same time." So anyone of any sexual identity can be polyamorous or monogamous; bi+ people are not more prone to polyamory simply because of their identity.
Bisexual people deserve the same respect, support, and visibility other members of the LGBTQ+ community receive. Our identities are valid and talking about bisexuals can help save lives.
Every day is a day you can support people who identify as bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer, non-monosexual, no labels, pomosexual, bi-romantic, pan-romantic, polysexual, multisexual, transsexual, non-binary, genderfluid or any of the several dozen “labels” the bisexual community celebrates and supports as equally valid and equally brave.