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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
socraticus
The unexamined life is not worth living.
05:24 PM on 01/13/2012
I am bi and I am so glad I have always been honest about it to everyone, my parents, colleagues, neighbors, etc. I don't "shove anything" down anyone's throat (which is ALWAYS the accusation of bigots when a gay or bi person is simply being honest). My mother has made an incredible journey of acceptance as well. To the point where she wants me to settle down with a guy rather than a woman because she "sees me happier" when I am in a relationship with a man. At any rate, I have never experienced explicit bi-phobia in my community, but I often wonder. I often wonder what some people really think. I think the bi-phobia dissolves as they get to know bi-sexual people in real life.
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nzchicago
02:00 AM on 01/14/2012
It's good to hear from a bi guy. I know lots of bi women but no men. Theyseem a little invisible, somehow.
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Maria Burnham
Creator of Jesus Loves Lesbians, Too
01:02 AM on 01/15/2012
Thanks so much for sharing your story. Your mother sounds like a sweet woman, and I am glad you have grown together. I agree about the bi-phobia dissolving after people get to know me, and I am hoping that is how change will happen!
04:01 PM on 01/13/2012
You forgot threesomes or that we all want a guy and a girl at the same time. Bisexuality does not equal polyamory. It's stupid to assume otherwise.
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jmichaelmunger
Tired of Fear...
03:22 PM on 01/13/2012
I am all for LGBT rights, but her claims--those which are empirical and objective--are not backed up by sources. I didn't know if bisexuals are more likely to carry disease or not. And I still do not know because the author neglected to cite anything.
Same thing with the fidelity claim; no stats = no proof.
04:56 PM on 01/13/2012
I think her point there was. Not stats - No proof either way. Therefore not a fact.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
jmichaelmunger
Tired of Fear...
05:29 PM on 01/13/2012
Those two are claims that can be proven or disproven empirically. She cannot just dismiss them as though they are not viable research studies. She can say that the claims are inflammatory, hurtful, and shameful, but she cannot outright deny that they are not true.

Of course, I am speaking as a public policy person, dedicated to research methods. I agree with her message but she cannot claim that they are "myths" without evidence to the contrary.
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nzchicago
01:00 AM on 01/14/2012
Shouldn't the onus of proof be on the side claiming a negative - ie that bisexuals are disease carriers? Let's see...if I want to make two statements: "White men are no more prone to homicide than any other group of men" and "White men are more likely than non-white men to murder their spouses." I would expect the first to go fairly unchallenged, whether or not it is factual, while the 2nd would be challenged for stats which should have been provided in the first place, as it is a negative accusation. If someone wanted to challenge the first statement, I think the onus is on the challenger to find the stats. It's a bit like being innocent until proven guilty.

Mind you, this says nothing about whether bisexuals are more likely to carry disease or not.
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jmichaelmunger
Tired of Fear...
02:38 PM on 01/14/2012
Two statistical wrongs do not make a right. If she truly wants to dispute these heinous claims, then she needs to bring the weight of facts and statistics.
"No they don't" is not a viable retort.

This isn't a court of law where the burden of proof is on the accuser; in science, both sides are responsible to provide legit facts.
02:41 PM on 01/13/2012
I can't tell you how many times I've heard all of these myths from everyone, including my own friends! As a bisexual woman, I've had girls tell me they didn't want to date me because I am bisexual. I've had men date me thinking they would get threesomes. I've had people tell me that I'm not bisexual because I've dated more men than women. It's ridiculous!
06:15 PM on 01/13/2012
Ugh, THIS.

Exactly, exactly this.

It was kind of nice to discuss this article with my partner the other night and have him look at me cockeyed and say, "No, honey, you're REALLY bisexual." It led to a really amazing discussion about how we each define our own sexuality.

Still, the sting of what you described is still there.
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
Maria Burnham
Creator of Jesus Loves Lesbians, Too
01:05 AM on 01/15/2012
Thank you both (hhellig and houblonchouffe) for sharing a bit about your own stories. It is so comforting to know that other people have experienced the same hurt or frustration. And I hope we all can continue to have amazing discussions about our sexuality with our partners, friends, family, etc.
12:48 PM on 01/13/2012
I decided about the time I was 30 to try and solely date women who were bisexual. There are usual straight dude reasons for that (and I'm poly which is another topic completely) but it was also because most of the bisexual women I'd met knew who they were sexualy and were more aware of it. They were more comfortable with who they were. I know this isn't always the case, but it certainly felt like it.

I happened to meet a bisexual woman and start dating right about the time she met her now wife. When she decided she would rather date her wife and be friends with me, I was fine with that but her new lesbian friends were not. If we got together to have lunch or hang out, they would call or text her every few minutes to check in on her, or occasionally 'happen' to be in the same place we were. She said that several of them thought because she was bisexual she would just flip flop at a moments notice and they didn't trust her with anyone who had a penis. As if my heterosexual cooties would be too much to resist. That continued some even after she and her wife had their commitment ceremony. I always wondered if they did the same thing when she went out with another woman.
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Tikvah Bethany Adler
06:56 PM on 01/23/2012
i always pictured myself primary-partnering with a bi-dude for similar reasons, but ended up marrying a straight dude who isn't all too interested in us being poly with another woman (and definitely not with other guys). go figure
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BartStratton
12:35 PM on 01/13/2012
In an efficient market there's a sell-sexual for every buy-sexual.
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paganmist
Girl gamer geek armchair activist
11:51 AM on 01/13/2012
I was active in a group called BiUnity for a few years (in Philly, they should still have meetings at the William Way center if you're in the area and interested), and the majority of the bi people I met were MONOGAMOUS. They were usually there because they thought they were heterosexual until they fell in love with someone of the same gender, but they were still attracted to the opposite sex in general. We attended pride parades and handed out literature to educate people about bisexuality, and we experienced a lot of discrimination from hetero and homosexual people. 

If I didn't know then, I quickly learned that underneath the skin, the gender, and the orientation, people are the same-- they can be good and kind and tolerant, and they can be bad and cruel and judgmental.

There was a smaller community of bipoly people-- bisexual and polyamorous-- and I lived that life for years. There was also an overlap with the kink/fetish community. I've met all kinds of people, involved in all different relationships. I've met happy and well-balanced people, and unhealthy and self-destructive people. Everyone had their reasons for being who they were, for good and for bad, and those reasons were the exact same reasons that heterosexuals have for being who they are.

And every time I was convinced that I was about as open-minded as could be, I'd encounter someone else whose ideas triggered a feeling of "this is wrong!" in me. Unlike most people, though, I always asked myself, "Why am I having this reaction?" and didn't stop asking until I had an answer. I've never liked being manipulated, not even by my own unknown motivations. 99% of the time, they weren't the problem, my ways of thinking were. I was applying MY religious upbringing to their behavior, or applying MY idea of how things should be to them. Learning to get past that knee-jerk reaction has given me a very rich life. I've met people, gone places, done and seen things that most people haven't. I know more about how people work than most.

Underneath it all, underneath the skin, the gender, the orientation, the labels, the EVERYTHING, are these people who are all motivated by the SAME EXACT THINGS:

Everyone wants acceptance.
Everyone wants to be loved.

No matter how many people in the relationship, no matter their genders or orientations or political ideologies, all the relationships I've been in or observed lasted or ended for the exact. Same. Reasons. If there was trust in the relationship-- open communication, honesty, humility... the relationship lasted. If not, it failed spectacularly.

As long as consenting adults are making sane decisions in their relationships, I can't find room to criticize or judge.
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nzchicago
01:04 AM on 01/14/2012
I'm wondering what percentage of the bisexual people you met were men and what percentage were women?
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Maria Burnham
Creator of Jesus Loves Lesbians, Too
01:07 AM on 01/15/2012
Thank you for this. I appreciate what you had to say and I think you were spot-on in many of your comments. I can also relate to much of what you said. Thanks.
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karen1963yorks
My micro bio was empty. Good.
10:30 AM on 01/13/2012
At the end of the day I am in love with one person so I dont cheat.
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Watersisland
Broadcasting from somewhere in the Caribbean
04:37 PM on 01/13/2012
Do you mean that you are in love with one person (monogamous) so THEREFORE you don't cheat? Or do you mean that you are in love with one person so THAT you don't cheat?
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Watersisland
Broadcasting from somewhere in the Caribbean
08:04 PM on 01/17/2012
So, uhm, like, what about in the early part of the day then. ---LOL!
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karen1963yorks
My micro bio was empty. Good.
11:55 AM on 01/18/2012
In the early part of the say I wake up with my partner.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
TruthBSaid
08:06 PM on 01/21/2012
Excellent! LOL
09:45 AM on 01/13/2012
All you need is a good hermaphodite. !
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LintLass
"When you can balance a tackhammer on your head...
09:56 AM on 01/13/2012
Always thinking it's about genitals, you 'superior conservatives.' :)
lofttypeofaview
I pledge allegiance to the poor!
07:23 AM on 01/13/2012
The simple fact that a person can't exist without being created by both a man and a woman means to me that everyone is bisexual. The only difference is the percentage.
03:23 AM on 01/13/2012
While stereotyping may be part of our neurological hardwiring--it can be roughly accurate and useful as a shorthand of sorts--I think we run into difficulties when we attempt to place people in categories. While one may experience general tendencies and exhibit a basic temperament, I personally think that sexual and romantic attraction is highly individual and more complicated than one might suppose. I consider myself a heterosexual male, as I find a broad range of females attractive--yet there are some who don't fit into my personal parameters of what is 'attractive.' Physical appearance isn't everything to me, either; a woman can be physically attractive (say, Sarah Palin) but intellectually and philosophically and spiritually unappealing (say, Sarah Palin)--and that's a turnoff, a dealbreaker, exclusion, no go, no way. As for males...I can conceive of being sexually and romantically attracted to a man, but my search parameters there are so narrow and restricted that, for all practical purposes, it's not going to happen for me. So maybe I'm 95-99% hetero, but could be considered marginally bi. At present, though, I'm happily monogamous with my amazing girlfriend and wish to continue this relationship indefinitely as I find her totally worth my very best.
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LintLass
"When you can balance a tackhammer on your head...
09:55 AM on 01/13/2012
Well, part of the problem with trying to stereotype bisexuality is that when it comes down to it, we don't really know how many actual bisexual orientations there *are,* ....Or even possibly how to discuss that. I don't know if anyone's really tried since the Kinsey scale, actually. It's kind of hard to stereotype what might in actuality be a whole bunch of very different 'types' to begin with. (Even compared to how stereotyping obviously has its limitations anyway.)

I'm pretty sure monosexuals exist, but I also think there are a *lot* more bi people than bi-identified people. It seems to be very possible for people to be 'a little bi' without even noticing or acknowledging it until they fall in love or something, and there's very likely a *lot* of people trying to 'choose' to be straight precisely because they *have* both attractions to some degree. :)
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nzchicago
01:09 AM on 01/14/2012
I'm curious what your narrow search parameters for males are? I considered myself bi as a young man, and had a number of girlfriends, but now I would say I am 99% gay and have no sexual or romantic interest in women whatsoever. The extra one percent is because I consider it gratuitous to make dogmatic statements that I could "never" feel a certain way in the future. But if I did have some attraction to women, I would think I would want to explore that, at least on occasion. Thus my question to you...
07:05 AM on 01/14/2012
...and a fair question it is! :) Bear in mind, please, that this is my subjective, individual preference (and we all have such). A man would have to be quite 'feminine' as our society defines that...though not 'effeminate.' Does that make sense? Slender or lightly muscled, relatively hairless, and I'm a snob about hands and feet anyway...long and graceful. But personality can allow for a widening of those parameters. Again, that's just me; we're not all the same. To each his/her own! :)
This comment has been removed.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
isfturtle
11:55 PM on 01/12/2012
A guy I dated in high school seemed to believe #1...At the time I suspected that he felt some attraction to men as well as women and was confused about it. It didn't bother me, though, which was one thing I think he was afraid of. In a recent conversation, he mentioned that he had hooked up with both guys and girls. I guess I was right. It still doesn't bother me.
09:07 PM on 01/12/2012
As a person who identifies as asexual, I've found that some of these apply to me, as well (and apparently that holds true for others, as I found this article through an asexual twitter account).

I've had people hint ever so slyly that I'm a lesbian. Recently, my mom's friend (also my hairdresser) and one of my closest friends. It got to the point with my friend that I told her how I identify, but regardless, she continues to joke about how I'm a lesbian. I don't really mind, because if I were a lesbian, then so be it... I wish she would be a little more accepting of my true orientation, though!
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
Maria Burnham
Creator of Jesus Loves Lesbians, Too
11:24 PM on 01/12/2012
Isn't it strange how others can feel strongly that they know us better than we know ourselves? Well, I hope she will come around.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!
07:56 PM on 01/12/2012
Good article. I would revisit the term "bisexual" however; it leaves out attractions to and relationships with all who reject or define themselves as outside of the gender binary. In fact, usage of the term might allude to another myth--"bisexuals are not willing to date those who are transgender."
12:29 AM on 01/13/2012
Heard that one as well. I find myself attracted to some transgenders, so it's ridiculous when someone says that I wouldn't date one, because I'm bisexual.
06:57 PM on 01/13/2012
If you are bisexual then your sexuality definition is one who has an attraction males and females both. Because of that, it is understandable for one to say that a bisexual person would not date someone who is transgender. I personally feel the same. If you are bisexual then you like men and women only, in my eyes. That is just my view though and I won't argue with those who feel different then me, on your side. I just had to state this though because I started off as straight, then bisexual as I admitted to my attraction to females. But as I grew, I learned my sexuality is not just limited to male and female. If I had known about polysexual, I would have most likely identified with that but I am happy with my identification with pansexual since I have yet to find a single sexuality in the LGBQT community that I don't feel attracted to. Thus, all sexual.
03:26 AM on 01/13/2012
Good point. I would choose to be with ANYone I found attractive in the right ways. Simply because I am labelled 'hetero' does not limit my choices, given the right combinations.