Bisexual Invisibility (And Why The 7.5% Matter Too)

November 5, 2017

In light of the release of my debut teen novel, My Colorblind Rainbow I wanted to touch on a subject that plays an important role in the story. Bisexuality.

 

 

Bisexual invisibility is when someone ignores the idea of bisexuality being a thing. This has been a common issue forever, not just among straight folks, but surprisingly (but not that surprising) among the gay community as well. I've heard many males and females who identify as gay, saying they would never date someone who identifies as bisexual in fear that the person won't take the relationship seriously, or eventually run off with the opposite sex. So you can imagine how hard it must be in the shoes of someone who identifies as bisexual. 

 

According to a 2013 article by Daily Mail, 15% of people, mostly males, don’t believe that bisexuality is a thing. There was also a study done by a professor at the University of Pittsburg, "Bisexuality Not Deemed A ‘Legitimate Sexual Orientation’ By Heterosexual Men, Women" (source: HUFFPOST)

 

"“Overall, respondents were generally negative in terms of their attitudes toward bisexual men and women, with almost 15 percent of the sample in disagreement that bisexuality is a legitimate sexual orientation. However, women, white people and people who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual had less bias and prejudice against bisexual people.

 

Of note, respondents who identified as gay or lesbian responded significantly less positively toward bisexuality than those identifying as bisexual, indicating that even within the sexual minority community, bisexuals face profound stigma. In addition, these findings indicate that male bisexuals likely suffer more stigma than female bisexuals.”   -Dr. Mackey Friedman of the University of Pittsburgh

 

Bisexuality among males is strongly dismissed as being undercover gay, while bisexuality among females is treated as a joke, phase, or sexual fetish. Take twitter for example:

 

 

 Now, I'm not denying that being "gay for the camera" is a thing, especially on a reality TV show like LAHH that thrives on people doing silly things for attention, but I don't think I need to explain why the idea that a woman can't be with a man after having a previous relationship with another woman is problematic. 

 

Bisexuality is a THING, and always has been. According to a 2016 article by The Verge, 2% of  American men and 5.5% of American women identified as bisexual. While these numbers seem small, the people affected by the negative stigmas of being bisexual need a voice too. Which was also one of the many messages I wanted to convey in My Colorblind Rainbow. 

 

 

 

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