Bi-Erasure: Is There Even A B In LGBTQ+?

As the quarantine dragged on with no foreseeable end in sight, I had decided to begin watching Sex and the City- a show set in New York, with four powerful female leads. This show has gained cult status in the years since it has aired (spanning over six seasons, two feature films and even a TV show that serves as a prequel for its main character), however the show wasn’t exactly a front runner in its depiction of LGBTQ+ characters.

Something that stood out to me was in Season 3 when the main character dates a male bisexual man, and is truly horrified by it. On discussing it with her friends, she concludes that bisexuality probably doesn’t even exist and it is just a ‘layover to Gaytown’, with someone even calling it being ‘greedy’ and ‘double-dipping’.

Before watching this, I hadn’t known that someone’s sexuality was widely held to be just binary.
Going over on GLAAD’s* website, one can find this to be an instance of bi-erasure.

Bisexual erasure or bisexual invisibility is a pervasive problem in which the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality (either in general or in regard to an individual) is questioned or denied outright.

Bi-erasure, like something muttered under one’s breath, is something many cis-het folks and even some LGBTQ+ members perpetuate as an unsaid truth. Being bisexual is usually viewed by people as a stepping stone either to be straight or gay. Being a bisexual man or woman already comes with its own unique set of problems- a bisexual woman faces the ordeal of being fetishized as the go-to person for a ménage a trois whereas bisexual men often struggle to come to terms with their sexuality, having to battle internalized homophobia sans emotional support. Bi-erasure only adds more twists and turns to the path out of the closet for unsure bisexual young adults.

By invalidating bisexuality, several myths around bisexuality have been validated instead: like being in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex would make them straight (nope) or that bisexuality equates to polyamory (bigger nope). Ranging from innocent misconceptions to outright biphobia, these beliefs liken bisexuality to greed, indecisiveness and promiscuity (wrong, wrong and wrong).

Being bisexual is not a fifty-fifty signed agreement either; it exists on a spectrum. It’s far more
substantial than wanting to seem ‘edgy’ or ‘just going through a phase’.

So let’s talk more about bisexuality, bisexual celebrities, the bisexual community,
And you might just realise that some people do indeed have both a Man Crush Monday and a
Woman Crush Wednesday.

Written by Nitya Sai T for MTTN

Edited by Mihika Antonia Dean for MTTN

Featured Image and artwork by Instagram-

*GLAAD- It is an American non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by LGBTpeople in the media.

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