Biphobia is a term used to describe prejudice, discrimination, or negative attitudes and beliefs directed toward individuals who identify as bisexual or who are perceived to be bisexual. It is a form of bias and discrimination based on a person’s bisexuality, which is the capacity to be attracted romantically, emotionally, or sexually to people of more than one gender.
It can manifest in various ways, including:
Stereotyping: Bisexual individuals may face stereotypes that inaccurately portray them as promiscuous, confused, or untrustworthy.
Invalidation: Some people may deny the existence or validity of bisexuality, suggesting that it is a phase or that individuals must eventually “choose” to be either gay/lesbian or heterosexual.
Erasure: Bisexual individuals may experience erasure, which involves ignoring or dismissing their sexual orientation. This can occur in both LGBTQ+ and heterosexual contexts.
Microaggressions: Subtle, often unintentional acts or comments that demean or invalidate bisexuality, such as assuming a person’s sexual orientation based on their current partner’s gender.
Exclusion: Bisexual individuals may feel excluded or marginalized within both LGBTQ+ and heterosexual communities.
Mental Health Impact: Biphobia can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression, and lower self-esteem among bisexual individuals.
Violence: In extreme cases, biphobia can contribute to physical or emotional violence against bisexual individuals.
It’s essential to combat biphobia by promoting understanding, respect, and acceptance of all sexual orientations, including bisexuality. Education, advocacy, and creating inclusive and safe spaces for bisexual individuals are vital steps toward addressing and eradicating biphobia. Building a more accepting society benefits not only bisexual individuals but also the broader LGBTQ+ community.