By Leslie Santibanez-Molina
The “B” in LGBT is often forgotten and taken as a joke within the community
Bisexuality is a topic not frequently addressed in LGBT movements.
Just mentioning the word “bisexual” makes some people run for the hills.
As a bisexual chicana, not only does it feel as if I’m an outcast within the Latino community, but the LGBT one as well.
According to the Pew Research Center, I shouldn’t feel like an outcast since bisexuals make up the majority of the LGBT population, but still there is a stigma attached to the label.
My identity is taken as a joke.
I’m tired of having to prove my identity time after time. I expect to be met with ignorant statements from heterosexual people, but have been surprised to have gotten most of the ignorance from people within the LGBT community.
The community is supposed to be a place for all to feel safe and accepted but that isn’t always the case.
According to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, “Bisexuals experience high rates of being ignored, discriminated against, or rendered invisible by both the heterosexual and the lesbian and gay communities.”
It still surprises me when I have hear LGBT people calling bisexuals cheaters, promiscuous, easy and attention seekers.
These stereotypes make dating difficult. There is a sentiment in the lesbian community that bisexual women will eventually leave them for a man.
Some gay men and heterosexual women believe bisexual men are actually gay men in denial.
In the eyes of others we are always either straight or gay, we can never be bisexual.
This outright rejection of bisexuality and biphobia translates into people’s refusal to date a bisexual person due to disgust or fear.
Biphobia leads to bisexuals not being outspoken about their identity. According to The Pew Research only 28 percent of bisexual people have come out to the most important people in their lives.
This rejection from gay communities causes a feeling of isolation. A feeling I know a little too well.
Being rejected by people who are supposed to give you a sense of security is horrible. It is depressing and feels as if you have nowhere to go for support.
According to Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, bisexuals have higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to heterosexuals, gays and lesbians.
Bisexuality is misunderstood. People don’t get commonly exposed to it and in turn fall prey to the harmful stereotypes.
People should provide support. It was not too long ago that it was illegal to be gay in America.
Just like being gay is a valid identity, bisexuality is too. I certainly didn’t choose to be bisexual. I just am.