Bisexuals are not liars. They’re not confused or still in the closet. And they certainly aren’t mythical creatures that appear in the light of the moon after a virgin sacrifice. Bisexuals are real and valid people who like men and women. Simple.
Unfortunately many don’t understand this. They are fascinated and turned off by the thought of someone open to the possibility of engaging in a romantic relationship with males and females. It doesn’t fit into the box they’ve created in their mind about what’s right and what’s wrong.
This isn’t limited to that white bigot that your mind has suddenly conjured up. Lesbian and gay people are thrown off by bisexuals too. They want them to pick a side and end up not trusting bisexuals or thinking that they’re part of the lesbian or gay community because of it.
All of this leads to bisexual stories being ignored or erased from TV shows and movies. They’re hypersexual, on the prowl 24/7, and can’t hold down a relationship with anyone. Fear leads to misunderstandings and people giving up on telling these stories, thinking they’re not worth the trouble or time.
For Bivisibilty Week we’re going to break down some of the myths surrounding this sexual orientation that makes it harder for these stories to be told in the first place and some of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to bisexuality, like that they make no money so why invest in them.
All lies. All misunderstood. All about to be explained to those confused, lost, and looking to understand.
1. Bisexuals are gays/lesbians afraid to step out of the closet.
The men and women that make up the bisexual community aren’t liars afraid to step out into the light. They’re already there waving their pink, lavender, and blue flag with pride! They’re not confused or going through a phase that will eventually go away. Bisexuals are here and ready to explore life, love, and relationships with men and women. Period.
Humans naturally draw lines and hope that people around them fit into the little boxes they’ve built up and that are acceptable to them. When someone falls outside of those parameters our first response is to call it out as wrong and shy away from it. As humans we have to resist this temptation and give those that are a different a chance.
You never know how they’ll change your life or what you’ll learn.
2. Bisexuals can’t be monogamous
Quite often when we see bisexuals on TV or movies they’re hypersexual. Every relationship they’re in is threatened by the fact that they are insatiable and every woman or man on the street catches their eye. When you continue to paint such a narrative people can only assume one thing, that bisexuals can’t be monogamous.
Bisexuals can carry on in relationships with men and women and be monogamous. Like straight couples, bisexuals date, marry, and have kids. There is no difference between bisexuals and straights besides the fact that the former aren’t limited to liking someone of the opposite gender. Bisexuals aren’t special unicorns that are exempt from the rest of life’s proclivities. They choose, they live, just like the rest of you.
P.S. If you’re looking for a monogamous couple, where one person just happens to be a bisexual, check out Wayhaught. You won’t regret it.
3. Bisexual stories make no money
As of September 20, 2017, Wonder Woman has made $411,600,007 and is the top grossing live-action film by a female director. Money doesn’t lie. Bisexual stories sell. (For those of you confused and a little late to the party, Wonder Woman comes from an island solely comprised of women. What do you think they were doing all that time together?)
Another bisexual story this past summer was Charlize Theron’s Atomic Blonde. As of September 20th 2017 this action heroine movie has made $51,435,785 and stolen all the hearts of those who saw her kicking ass and showing James McAvoy’s character how it’s done.
Both stories had bisexual leads that weren’t defined by their sexual orientation. It was just another part of them and not the central focus of what was happening on screen. And no matter who you were or what you identified as, you could connect to Wonder Woman’s naivety and Lorraine Broughon’s loss.
So for those in positions of power with the ability to bring more bisexual stories to our screens, take note of the numbers.
4. Bisexuals don’t make up a substantial part of the LGBTQ community.
According to a 2014 report, “Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans,” by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), BiNet USA, and the Bisexual Resource Center, bisexuals made up 52% of LGB community. They aren’t a once in a blue moon kind of occurrence or a rare unicorn. They are a significant part of our community that deserve to see themselves represented, respected, and portrayed on TV, film, and any other media out there.
For those out there who see risk congruent with money, think of this as an opportunity to tap into a market that most people ignore because it’s too “hard” or not easily understood. The rewards to be reaped from investing in the bisexual community are far and many. So take a chance, do some research, and put together a team that can tell a different kind of story, a bisexual story.
5. It’s hard to write a bisexual story
Bisexual stories are human stories. You don’t have to cook crystal meth to understand Walter White’s struggles with supporting his family on Breaking Bad. You don’t have to be stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse to understand Michonne’s pain at losing a child on The Walking Dead. And you don’t have to be a vigilante that loves green to understand the need for revenge. These are human stories of people who love, learn, suffer, grow, and change like every other person on this planet.
Additionally, there’s a simple way to make sure that you’re telling a story that connects with bisexual viewers, just in case writers/showrunners are afraid to dive into something they don’t know, a diverse writers room! There are bisexual writers out there. And I’m not saying hire writers by their LGBTQ status from your application or put that in your wanted ad. I’m saying to keep an open mind and allow others aka non-white hetero writers to be the only send your writer’s room consists of.
How has bi visibility and bi erasure affected your life? What kind of bisexual stories would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below!