Myth Busting: Bisexuality
In the first instalment of our new Myth Busting: LGBT+ series, we’ll be tackling some common fallacies surrounding bisexuality. The idea around this blog series is that to fully support LBGT+ colleagues, you must clear up any stereotypes or misinformation you or your employees might hold.
Busting the following myths will allow for a more inclusive workplace that better supports bisexual staff in their identities.
What is bisexuality?
Before we get into the myths surrounding bisexuality, let’s set out what it means to be bisexual. Being bisexual is generally defined as the attraction to two or more genders. Someone of any gender can identify as bisexual, and they can be attracted to any two or more genders.
Now, that definition may have already cleared up one or two myths you’ve heard about bisexuality. However, let’s now go into more detail about some harmful bisexual stereotypes you don’t want circulating your workplace.
‘Bisexuals are always attracted to men and women’
While many bisexuals are in fact attracted to men and women, this isn’t true for everyone. Because bisexuality is defined at the attraction to two or more genders, the genders each bisexual person is attracted to can be different. They can also include non-binary genders like agender and genderqueer.
Even those bisexual people who are attracted to both men and women may be attracted to other genders in addition to this. For example, a bisexual man could be attracted to other men as well as women and non-binary people.
‘Bisexuals are more inclined to infidelity’
Another common myth surrounding bisexuality is that those who identify as bisexual will cheat on their partner. However, bisexuality is the attraction to two or more genders and has nothing to do with whether a person thinks cheating is okay.
Just because bisexuals have a larger dating pool doesn’t mean they are more likely to cheat on their partner. An inclination towards infidelity relates to a person’s morals, not how many options they have.
‘Bisexuals are greedy’
Just like you didn’t choose your sexuality, your bisexual colleagues didn’t choose their attraction to multiple genders. So how can they be greedy? The stereotype that bisexuals are greedy likely comes from the fear that they may cheat. Like we just established, however, being bisexual does not make you more likely to cheat on your partner.
‘Bisexuals need to pick a side’
Unfortunately, this myth can be heard both inside and outside the LGBT+ community. This is likely because those who are only attracted to one gender, whether they are straight or gay, can sometimes find it hard to imagine what it is like to be attracted to multiple.
What can someone do if they are finding it hard to understand attraction to more than one gender? Remember that the human experience is incredibly diverse, and it is impossible to fully understand every single person’s perspective. The most important thing is to be respectful anyway.
‘Bisexuals are impure’
Another myth around bisexuals is that they are less pure than their heterosexual or homosexual counterparts. This is usually said because bisexuals are attracted to, and may have had relationships with, people of different genders.
Sadly, this is another fallacy that circulates the LGBT+ community, such as in the term ‘gold star lesbian’. This phrase refers to lesbian who has never dated a man, and it is offensive for many reasons. In short, though, being attracted to people from multiple genders has no relation to sexual or moral purity.
The more you know
It is no myth that the more you know about something, the better you can understand it. This is particularly true when it comes to LGBT+ identities such as bisexual. Understanding the truth behind an identity’s biggest myths can help you become a more inclusive employer.
To learn more about LGBT+ identities so that you can create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, keep an eye out for future posts on the Your D+I blog or take a look at our workshops.