Biphobia and Homophobia
Biphobia: Aversion toward bisexuality and bisexual people as a social group or as individuals. People of any sexual orientation can experience such feelings of aversion. Biphobia is a source of discrimination against bisexuals, and may be based on negative bisexual stereotypes or irrational fear.
Biphobia & Bi-Erasure? :: JamesPMBerry
When we say something is biphobic, what do we mean? Many people are familiar with homophobia, but is there a specific different ‘biphobia’? And do bisexuals face homophobia too?
What many people don’t expect, and the above definition does set out, is that bisexual people suffer from homophobia too. The idea that identifying as bisexual is a way to avoid homophobia, or easier/safer than coming out as gay is a myth.
The people who hate us don’t distinguish between us. In fact it’s entirely possible to be discriminated against and bullied for being gay without actually being LGBT at all – it’s about the perception (here’s an example – Stephen English) that the bullies have of us. We’re “wrong”, “unnatural”, “filthy”. These people often don’t distinguish between homosexuality and bisexuality – it’s “not-heterosexual” and therefore to be feared, hated, distrusted. As a blanket term, some people prefer “heterosexism”, and instead of biphobia “monosexism”, but these aren’t in common useage – perhaps because ‘homophobia’ is so widely known but also because they aren’t as clear: ‘monosexism’ sounds like a version of sexism (maybe for people who believe there’s only one gender?) whereas ‘biphobia’ is clearer that it relates to bi people.
But as bisexuals we face biphobia too, both from people that are homophobic and from ones who aren’t. It’s possible to be biphobic without being homophobic, as sayings like “you’re either straight, gay or lying” make clear.
Biphobia and homophobia together make our society into one where bisexual people don’t want to come out, even to other LGBT folk. We need to stand up to it, we need to disprove the myths, we need to start recognizing bisexuals.