Let’s talk about Bisexuality and Biphobia


Many always ask the question, ‘what does it mean to be bisexual? I am aware that there is a lot of confusion out there about what bisexuality means. However, contrary to popular opinion, bisexuals are not confused. The confusion is from the many who simply do not understand what bisexuality means. So what is Bisexuality?

BISEXUALITY is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior toward males and females; it also encompasses attractions to all gender identities and biological sexes. Yes, Bisexuality is not binary. It encompasses same and other genders.

Everyone accepts that it’s possible for a person to be attracted to people of more than one height, weight, hair colour, or race. For bisexuals that openness also includes gender. Bisexuals are very much capable of Genderless love.

Genderless love is a term I coined to describe an attraction that transcends biological sex or gender identity barriers. Genderless love is not about biological sex or gender roles, it does not focus on the genitalia. It is neither gender ascribed, imposed nor chosen roles. It is about the freedom and ability to be attracted to another irrespective of biological sex or gender identity.

It is sad when people say things like

  • Bisexuals are confused
  • Bisexuals are greedy
  • Bisexuals do not know what they want
  • Bisexuals just want it all.

Oh no, these are not true.  Bisexuals are not confused, Bisexuals are not greedy. Just because I am bisexual does not mean I want to sleep with you or I want to sleep with everyone that crosses my way. We always say that Love i602622_355933007813101_1036137844_ns tender and knows no gender and this is what applies to Bisexuals and also Pansexual.  For us, it is not just about gender, it is about the person. It is about seeing beyond body parts and loving the person irrespective of the gender package they come in.

I love you, not your body parts. Yes, I might be attracted to your body parts, like, well, nice boobs, but it takes more than body parts to fall in love and stay in love. I fall in love with a person, not their body parts.  That is what most bisexuals are about. We are not about body parts, we are not about gender, and we are not about ascribed or biological sex. We are capable of loving and seeing beyond body parts.

When people say Bisexuals are greedy, that bisexuals are confused, that bisexuals don’t know what they want, it hurts. These are stereotypes that are simply not true. Education never hurts but ignorance hurts. Ignorance begets fear, hate, anger and even murder! It is important to for us to dispel those stereotypes and try to educate ourselves on what it means to be bisexual instead of just casting aspersions on people’s sexual orientation.

Some even claim that Bisexuality does not exist. Well, bisexuality exists. I am bisexual and my sexual orientation exists. It is not a fabrication in my head or a fantasy. Some of us are attracted to people regardless of gender. Bisexual people can be found in all walks of society, and everywhere in the world. A lot of myths and misconceptions surround it though. For example, I have been asked if my bisexuality means I have both male and female body parts.

Bisexuals are not object of fantasy. We are people, we are humans and we have feelings Do not treat us like we are there to spice up your love life. When I say I am bisexual, I am not saying I am here to get it on with you and your girlfriend or boyfriend. It is not a declaration of my availability for a threesome or some girl on girl action for you to watch. No, that is not what my sexual orientation is about. I am saying I have the capacity to be attracted to same sex or other genders. I have the capacity to fall in love. I am not saying look at me , I am a porn object, oh look at me I am the object of your fantasy come to life.

Some have even accused me of trying to promote bisexuality. Bisexuality is not a “thing” you promote, it is a sexual orientation. One can only educate and enlighten others about the different sexual orientation but you cannot promote it because it is not a fashion accessory or a product. We are born with our sexual orientation and no amount of promotion or discrimination can change our sexual orientation.

It is also sad that within our LGBT community, there is also a lot of biphobia going on. Some just believe that you are either homosexual or heterosexual. That sexuality is just plain black and white and there are no in-between colours. A lot of people are capable of moving between the spectrum of homosexuality and heterosexuality. There are many other colo44318_1494353793440_1077049_nurs in the rainbow.

As a bisexual I do not want to feel left out in the LGBT community. I used to take it for granted that I didn’t need to explain myself within the LGBT community but more and more, I realized that identifying as bisexual means I have to constantly defend my sexual orientation within this circle of LGBT activists, I just wonder what they think the B in LGBT stands for?

It seems we still have to remind LGBT activists and systems put in place to enforce Equality Laws that LGBT Rights and “benefits’ are not limited to LG, but also covers the B and the T. When I fight and advocate for LGBT rights,  I am not just advocating for lesbian or gay rights, it is with the understanding that my BISEXUALITY is covered in the rights I am fighting for, it is actually shocking when we realized it is most often not the case

 It hurts when we ask for tolerance but within our community we lack that tolerance. We fail to understand the diversity that makes up our rainbow. Even within my small circle of LGBT activists, I have heard things like

  • Bisexuality is not real
  • You just don’t want to identify as a lesbian.

I say, no, no. I am a bisexual; I cannot deny that part of me. When I identify as the B in LGBT, you have to accept it. Don’t try to force the L on me, do not force the G on me, and do not force your label on me,  just as we must not force a label on another.We can only put a label on ourselves; no other can define us

 And don’t tell me bisexuals are not real. It is not a fantasy. When people say bisexuality is not real, this is an example of biphobia. When people deny that biphobia exist, even within the LGBT community, believe me, this is not just ignorance, it is an example of biphobia. I wouldn’t expect that I will still have to explain my sexuality within the LGBT community, but unfortunately people still expect you to explain what the B is within the LGBT community.

 I am getting used to this blatant skepticism from my lesbian ‘activists’. Most of them feel i should explain why I identify as Bisexual and not Lesbian, never mind that I never feel the need to ask them why they identify as Lesbian and not Bi or hetero. The sense of entitlement from the homosexual community is so off-putting!

It is also sad that even the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) community also perpetrate this discrimination and does not give the B and the T in the LGBT as much voice and visibility as it should. Understanding and tolerance is the key to enjoying our diversity.

Bisexuality isn’t confusing. Bisexuals aren’t confused or greedy, we just happen to be capable of feeling attraction to same or other gender.  Even if I am not having much activity with the opposite sex or same sex as it is, it still does not change my sexual orientation.

if I am married or in a relationship with the opposite sex, it does not change my sexual orientation. If I am married or in a relationship with the same sex, it does not change my sexual orientation. I don’t stop being a bisexual because I am in a same sex relationship; it does not make me a lesbian. Also being in a relationship with the opposite sex does not make me a heterosexual. The gender of the person I ma dating does not change my sexual orientation.

For us bisexual to be heard in the LGBT community, we need to be visible, we need to be more vocal, and we should not be silenced.  It is just a pity that when I attend LGBT programs, it is always all about the gays. We have to understand that when it is a lgbt program, the B and the T should not be ignored. It is a community; we must be given equal opportunity to be heard. None of us should be silenced.  You attend a LGBT program and all the speakers are lesbians or gays, and you wonder where is the B in this community, where is the T in this community.  If it is an lgbt program, we should really try to represent every voice that is there. The B and the T must not be silenced.

We should say enough of the stereotypes, enough of claiming  bisexuals are confused, enough of bisexuals are greedy, enough of the ignorant statement that bisexuals can’t stay with just one partner. This is not true. The fact that I can be attracted to more than one gender does not make me greedy. For example, the fact that I like Ice cream and cookies, and also like all flavours of ice cream does not mean I am greedy. It does not mean I will eat it all at the same time. Liking different flavours does not make me greedy. And it does not mean I cannot control myself.

Even heterosexuals have many choices. There is the tall person, the short person, brunettes, blondes, blue–eyed, brown eyes to choose from. You have so many choices too and you don’t say because you have all the choices you are going to have them all. It is the same with bisexuals too. It is just that our choices encompass same or other gender. It does not mean we are going to have them all as our partners.

Just because I am bisexual does not mean I want to sleep with you.  It is eventually about who we are comfortable enough to have a relationship with.  It could be one person, it could be two. It is not about our sexuality, it is about our person. It does not mean I want it all. Bisexuals are capable of having a monogamous relationship; they are also capable of polyandrous relationships. It depends on the person.38487_1379649330408_1299469_n

It is possible for us to like all flavours but not gorge on all flavours . I can be monogamous, I can be polyandrous, it depends on the kind of sexual activities or lifestyle I want, but this does not change my sexual orientation., My sexual orientation is natural, it is inborn.

Bisexuality does not equate greed, it does not equate confusion, it does not equate wanting it all. Please remember, Bisexuals are not greedy, bisexuals are not confused, Bisexuals don’t want it all. We are just born with the ability to be attracted to same sex and opposite gender.

Some have asked if I have the opportunity to come again, will I still wish to come back as a bisexual. Of course I will want to come back as a bisexual. Just imagine if you were allergic to milk, if you are lactose intolerant and you have the opportunity to come again, won’t you want to get rid of the lactose intolerance? Yeah, for me, I am happy that I am not allergic to any gender. I love my bisexuality, and I wouldn’t want to change that. I feel blessed, if I may use that word. I feel lucky. So why would I want to come again and be allergic to gender.  I can love a person and not just their body parts. This means a lot to me.

Stop the biphobia. If in the LGBT community, we do not tolerate homophobia, why should we tolerate biphobia. We don’t have to tolerate biphobia, not even from our lesbian or gay friends. We speak out against homophobia, we should be ready to also speak out against biphobia even if it is coming from the LGBT community. Speak out, speak out, speak out. Let us stop the bi erasure, let us stop the biphobia.

KISS ME TWICE because I AM BISEXUAL

Excerpts from my poem, My Genderless Love

I am bisexual, not a player264251_240895435929789_1041013_n

So don’t make me a slayer

I am bisexual not confused

Like you I choose my companion

It is a natural attraction

Not just a mere selection

With love I embrace my lover

It matters not the gender

All I want is tenderness

For my love is genderless.

Comments

  1. says

    I adore your poetry, thank you for sharing it.

    Thank you for writing this. I recently came out as Bi and I’ve been struggling with my identity and how to handle it. This helps so much to clarify my thoughts. It’s comforting to know that I”m not alone in this. That someone else understands what I’m dealing with.

  2. leftwingfox says

    There’s an obvious statement that biphobes seem to forget, and it’s a statement with deep ties to rape culture:

    Just because one has feelings, doesn’t mean one can, or should, act on those feelings.

    When I commit to a monogamous relationship, I don’t stop finding other people attractive: I commit to not acting on that attraction. The fact that I’m occasionally attracted to men as well as women doesn’t change that commitment to my partner.

    Many religions get this backwards, blaming women for being temptresses rather than men for lacking self control. There is a parallel between evangelical christians who force women to be modest and out of the workforce to avoid tempting men, and arguing that legalizing and normalizing gay sex will lead to an uncontrollable explosion of homosexuality.

    We can be deeply attracted to someone without acting on that attraction, if the outcome is rape or adultery. We can navigate the boundaries of our relationships, whether that’s monogamy or polyamory, in a way that makes all participants happy. People need not be accountable for their feelings, but we are all accountable for our actions.

  3. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Timid Atheist -- l am glad this was of help to you.

    ‘Coming Out’ is no doubt a daunting task and Coming Out as Bi could be even more daunting since the community you were hoping to rely on for support could turn out to be not very supportive. I know Biphobia exists within the LGBT community.

    I hope you can find some supportive Bisexual groups in your area or online to join and make the journey a bit less lonely. From one Bi to the other, I wish you all the best. :)

  4. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    leftwingfox:

    When I commit to a monogamous relationship, I don’t stop finding other people attractive: I commit to not acting on that attraction. The fact that I’m occasionally attracted to men as well as women doesn’t change that commitment to my partner.

    Exactly! Unfortunately, this is a point always overlooked by biphobes

  5. voidhawk says

    A gay friend of mine will not date a bisexual as, ultimately, he fears that if the going gets tough they are more likely to settle for the easier life of living with the opposite sex, than stick it out. Is this sort of comment common in your experience?

    (In fairness, he is getting better, he used to deny bisexuality was even a thing.)

  6. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @voidhawk- Unfortunately, that is very common. In my experience, heterosexuals are more open to dating bisexuals than homosexuals.

    Most lesbians I know do not want to date bisexual women for a serious relationship. I have a lesbian friend who has had series of bad relationship with lesbian lovers; still she goes on about how she would not trust a bisexual. I was forced to ask her what worst thing a bisexual partner could do to her that her lesbian partners have not done. Leave her? What is the big deal about the gender of the person you are left for?

    Our heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or pansexual partner can leave us at any moment; the gender of the person they left us for should not matter!

  7. thecalmone says

    A beautiful piece and I enjoyed reading it. And yet… You frame bisexuality in terms of love, not sex.

    I only fall in love with women, yet I occasionally enjoy sex with men (I’m a man). I still consider myself, and self identify to a few close friends, as bisexual.

  8. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @thecalmone- Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed reading it. As for your reservation

    And yet… You frame bisexuality in terms of love, not sex

    I do not think I framed Bisexuality in terms of Love alone, I touched on both aspects. Even the definition I gave at the very beginning defines Bisexuality as

    BISEXUALITY is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior toward males and females; it also encompasses attractions to all gender identities and biological sexes

    Yes, Romantic or SEXUAL ATTRACTION, it does not mean both most be present for it to be bisexuality.

    Also, even though my poem is titled My Genderless love, it actually touches on both Love AND sexual Attraction to same or other genders. Here is a link to the full poem

    You can identify as a bisexual if you are attracted to same and other gender, the key word is ATTRACTION. Attraction could be sexual or romantic and it could be both.

  9. says

    i love this post. You put this so well… so much better than i could have. i’ve gotten biphobia from my local LGBT community, and i’ve even experienced a subtle form of it in my local Freethinkers group, so i understand where you’re coming from… and being male i’ve even got the “Well there is such a thing as bisexual females, because female sexuality is more fluid, but you can’t possibly be a male bisexual!” Guh…

  10. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @simon I am glad you loved the post. It is sad that you were exposed to biphobia within your local LGBT community and even Freethinkers group as most of us have also been. Their denial does not invalidate our existence. We will just have to keep educating them and when that fails, tell them to grow a brain. :)

  11. Maddie says

    As always, a great read, and your poetry is great, too. Biphobia gets on my nerves, because I’m bisexual and don’t fall into any of the stereotypes. For example, I’ve been monogamously married for nearly ten years now, which defies the thought that bisexual people are going to cheat on you with the same gender when you’re not looking. Or this idea that bisexual people are promiscuous, which my dad told me as a youngster, to which I replied, “You know, Dad, I find that offensive, because I’m bisexual, and I’ve never been promiscuous.” I have nothing against promiscuity or promiscuous people; I was just socialized out of that behavior before it could emerge. Anyway, my dad’s come a long way. He’s got some married lesbian neighbors, now, and he says, “They’re very nice.” I had to ask, “So, Dad, does this degrade the quality of your marriage to Mom, any?” And he said, “Nope!” A smart person can change their mind when presented with evidence, but it is admittedly trying to try to talk to smart people with stupid opinions.

  12. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Maddie Thanks. Bisexuals are very much capable of long term monogamous relationships. Sexual orientation does not determine whether or not one would be faithful, unfaithful, monogamous or polyandrous. It is good to know that you dad has become more open minded. We need more people to be open minded. :)

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