As someone who came out bisexual a few years ago is been a huge relief to tell my family and loved ones my sexual orientation; however this hasn't stopped people in my life being prejudiced towards it.
As a child I was often told by my mother (her unknowing about my sexual orientation) that bisexual people are greedy and are only bi as they cannot make their mind up on their orientation. Obviously after I came out she later stated all of these were just mere jokes however it still made me feel pretty disheartened about my sexual orientation; this being only one of the comments that have been made about my sexuality.
In relation to mental health.
Overall it has been recorded that bisexual people are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety issues over homosexual and heterosexual orientated people. Over half the people of included in the LGBTQ+ community identify as bisexual yet only 28% of bi people come out to friends and family compared to the average of 70% of people who are gay and lesbian.
In a study released at the start of the year the American Psychiatric Association stated that substance rates are higher for bisexuals in addition to a study conducted by Manchester University revealed that bisexual people are six times more likely to self harm over their hetero and homo counterparts.
Bisexual people in general are seen as greedy, indecisive and even untrustworthy. Greedy and indecisive as we are attracted to more than one gender; which is a stupid remark to make as we cannot help our attraction to others. And untrustworthy as apparently being bisexual leads to infidelity, which again is another stigma of bi people as someones sexual orientation doesn’t equate to them being unfaithful.
Another negative depiction of bisexuality is that bisexual people are hypersexualised; just because we are attracted to more than one gender we are framed as being a slut. Often bisexual women are fetishised; that our sexuality is a show for more often than not straight men, mostly featured in pornographic media.
Even from other members in the LGBT+ community, particularly homosexual people, see bi people as being ‘in denial’ over their true sexuality; and that we are ashamed to come out as ‘properly gay.’ This is ridiculous as no one else should police what one's sexuality or identification is. In addition to this bi people in the LGBTQ+ community are ridiculed for being able to ‘pass off’ as being straight.
Being bisexual, expecially in youth, it is often seen that they are just experimenting; that it is just ‘a phase.’ Which for every other sexual orientation there is no second guessing or reason as to why they align with a certain orientation.
Bisexual people are often told to prove their sexuality over others, whether it to be account the people they have dated or even slept with; which is again a ridiculous thing to do as even a virgins, someone with no sexual experience, for the most part have a sexual orientation despite not being sexually active yet. Even from members already in the LGBTQ+, this is particularly present when a bi person is in a monogamous heterosexual relationship, even though their relationship doesnt reflect their sexual orientation completely. Even then being bisexual means to be attracted to more than one gender, this doesn't dictate whether you feel more attraction to one gender or vice versa.
It is often found that bisexual people are both alientated by the LGBTQ+ community in addition to already being alienated by heteronormative people. Often people will label themselves as queer instead of bisexual to help avoid the negative connotations that comes with being labelled as bi.
I feel like it's important to be comfortable with who you are and how you identify as well as being able to be in a safe space in which you can express this. It's important to educate others and yourself on the different issues and problems surrounding people who identify as LGBTQ+.
Coming out to family and friends is a very brave thing to do, but as an outed bisexual person myself I couldn’t recommend it enough; feeling free to express myself and my sexual orientation to others around me is a great feeling and is something that others should be able to feel as well. If you find yourself unable to express your orientation to those who surround you due to political and religious beliefs here is some advice and contact details to help.
And even then being bisexual is just a label, just because it describes you for a certain amount of time doesn't mean your set to only be bisexual the rest of your life; explore your sexuality and try to enjoy yourself!