1. “Oh you’re bi? You must be into threesomes then.”
I don’t even know where to start with this particular brand of ignorance. Bisexuality means that I am attracted to my own gender and to other genders, it doesn’t mean I want to have sex with multiple people of multiple genders at the same time. My sexuality is not for anyone else but me, and I decide when, where, and who I have sex with.
2. “Can you make out with another chick? That’s so hot!”
Let me be incredibly clear: my sexuality does not exist for your pleasure, desire, fetishization, or to get you off.
3. “You’re just experimenting, it’s just a phase.”
I love who I love regardless of gender. Maybe your heterosexuality is just a phase?
4. “Just go full lesbian already!”
If I was a lesbian I would identify as such. But I’m not. Say it with me folks, bisexuality is real.
5. “You’re just a straight girl looking for attention.”
I pretended to be straight for 19 years because of people like this. The attention bisexuality garners from straight people (and sometimes other queers) is mostly negative, so why would anyone want that? We identify as bi not because it’s trendy or cool but because it is who we are. We shouldn’t have to reject our bisexuality anymore that you have had to reject your straightness.
6. “Wow *insert female celebrity here* is so hot! I guess I’m going bi or going gay for her.”
Stop, stop, stop and re-evaluate this statement. Of course you think Laverne Cox or Ashley Graham are attractive (who doesn’t?). But do you have genuine sexual and/or romantic feelings for them? If you do, then that is definitely a feeling worth exploring. If you don’t, you’re making it seem like our sexuality is a light and airy choice that we made on a whim and acting like our struggle for justice in a hetero and cisnormative society isn’t valid.
7. “How do you date? Aren’t your partners scared that you’ll cheat on them?”
Just because I’m attracted to more genders than a hetero does not mean I will cheat on them. Can someone point me to this major study saying that we’re all a bunch of cheaters that all straight people must have read? Oh wait there isn’t one? Hmm.
8. *From an ex-boyfriend* “I don’t care if you sleep with other girls while we’re together but don’t sleep with another guy.”
You can see why he’s an ex instead of a current boyfriend. Cis men that don’t consider sex with other women cheating obviously do not see homosexual sex as real or valid. Fellow queer ladies: run when you hear this.
9. “But you don’t look queer?”
I have long hair, present as a femme, as wear clothes that show off my curves. None of this excludes me from the LGBTQ+ community. There is no one universal look for queer women (though I do love me a good flannel shirt).
10. “Being LGBTQ+ isn’t a big deal anymore. I mean you can get married now and have the parade, what more do you want.”
People globally are systemically oppressed for their queer identities. We still face violence, homelessness, and even murder for who we are. Our struggle is not over, so either support us or at least be quiet about your ignorance.
Illustration by Niti Mueth