By Ed Jones.
“Bi? It’s just a phase, you’re gay” is one of the most common expressions I hear when people ask whether I am gay, or not (asking in the first place is a whole other story).
Bisexuality can sometimes be treated as a non-existent sexuality, and this treatment isn’t limited to those who identify as heterosexual, but also others who identify under the LGBTQ+ Community flags. It can be a very dangerous thing to say to someone “you’re gay, just accept that”. You can’t determine what someone else’s sexual identity is, the only person that can determine that is the person themselves.
I am twenty-three now, and since the tender age of fifteen I identified as bisexual, hearing the same expressions over and over again about how “I don’t believe you’re bisexual, you’re as gay as they come” (whether it was this meaning of the word, or another, I couldn’t tell you). To hear this from heterosexual peers is disappointing, as they clearly do not think about the ramifications of what they’re saying, and of course sympathy to those who aren’t educated in how to accept others. However, it is more upsetting, and frankly, quite offensive, to have fellow LGBTQ+ Community members comment that “bisexuality isn’t real”, that it’s “just a phase”. Considering the ‘B’ for BISEXUALITY comes right after the ‘G’ for GAY (in the traditionally written identifier of the Community) it pains to hear those who identify as gay treating their fellow with such flippancy and disregard and disrespect.
For some, maybe bisexuality IS a phase, but for many others, it isn’t, it’s how they feel, and having a lack of support from both heterosexual and LGBTQ+ people can be daunting for those of us that do identify as bisexual. Seeking support from those that may receive the same ill-treatment from heterosexuals, and not receiving any, is awful.
At fifteen I was of course unsure of my sexuality, but at twenty-three I am certain now this is who I am, and who I will always be. I only wish the LGBTQ+ Community would support their fellows and think twice before blurting out “it’s just a phase” next time someone opens up to you about their sexuality. Spending a little less time defining someone else’s sexual identity, and a little more time accepting them for who they choose to be, would go a long way.