02/14/2013 07:43 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Bisexual: Not Such a Dirty Word

In this magnificent world full of diversity, there are people of different races, colors, genders, religions, beliefs and sexualities. It's wonderful, and it is something that should be celebrated, but that's not always done, particularly when it comes to sexuality.

I'm not one for putting labels on people, and I believe in everyone having the right to define himself or herself, but I'm sure we are all aware of the terms "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual" and "straight" when referring to a person's sexuality. I am a gay man. I am free-thinking and open-minded, and I accept people for who and what they are. I don't mind or even care that someone else may be male, female, transgender, lesbian, bisexual, black, white, green or purple. I take people as I find them and think our differences are what make the human race so wonderful. Sadly, not everyone is as enlightened.

In general, the world is becoming a more tolerant and accepting place. Differing sexualities are more acceptable in society now than they were in the past. However, there's one aspect of sexuality that remains misunderstood, feared and not as accepted as one may think: bisexuality.

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding bisexuality. People often say that bisexual people are greedy and should simply pick one gender and stick with it. Others say that bisexuals cannot be trusted and will always be unfaithful in relationships due to needing to get physical with someone of another gender. I think that's all rubbish, and I do not agree with those opinions at all.

What I find interesting is that bisexual people don't seem to come out like gay and lesbian people do. I know bisexual people but can't think of a single one who has actually come out. In contrast, most of the gay and lesbian people I know have come out, and only a few remain in the closet. I have wondered why that is, and I think it's for the reasons detailed above: worrying about people thinking that they are greedy or that they can't make up their minds about which gender they prefer. Then there's the prejudice within the gay scene.

Bisexuals are generally not very accepted in the gay scene, which many of you will be aware is largely an extremely shallow place anyway. As an example of this, I refer to an experience I had about one year ago. I was out with some friends at a gay bar for a karaoke night. When I got on the stage to sing, the drag queen hostess thought I looked rather butch and asked me if I am straight. Before I could answer, the drag queen asked the large crowd what they thought. The crowd cheered very loudly when asked if they thought I am straight. When asked if they thought I'm gay there were more cheers, although not as many as before. Then the drag queen asked the crowd if they thought I might be bisexual. I was shocked at the reaction. Nearly every person in the bar started to boo and heckle, as if being bisexual was disgusting and not something they accept. I then revealed that I am gay, to huge applause. I sang my song and continued with the night. I thought about that moment a lot, though, and I still think about it today. Although some of the booing and heckling was probably a bit of a joke for some people, there was a definite undercurrent of biphobia in the room. That bothers me.

A further example I have regards bisexual people (men in particular) being reluctant to come out, and the use of sites such as Grindr and Gaydar. As a former user of both of those sites, I am all too aware of the masses of bisexual men on them who are not out but are looking for some "fun." Many of them have girlfriends, and some have wives and children. I don't condone infidelity, and I think the attached bisexual men should not be on gay dating sites looking for some extramarital activity, but I can understand why so many men are in that position.

When a man realizes that he is bisexual, it can sometimes be easier to live the straight life and have encounters with other men when it suits him. However, in the long term, it does damage to the individual, because he can never be open and honest about who he is and has to live a life of secrecy and betrayal.

Bringing our focus back to other people's opinions of bisexual individuals, let's have some facts about bisexuality.

  1. Bisexuals are not greedy or confused. Being greedy is eating a whole packet of biscuits or having a massive slice of cake. Being attracted to both males and females is not. It's just a natural part of human sexuality, in the same way that being gay, lesbian or straight is. As for being confused, we all have our preference, whether it be someone older or younger, taller or shorter, and the same rule can be applied to sexuality.
  2. Bisexuals are not equally attracted to each gender. It may be that one bisexual person likes males more than females, but then another bisexual person could like females more than males. It's as individual as the person is.
  3. Bisexuals can be faithful. Yes, it's true! Anyone can be faithful if they want to be, and the same goes for bisexuals.
  4. Not everyone is bisexual. Some people think that every person on the planet is bisexual and that many just haven't tapped into that part of themselves yet or simply supress it. I don't think that is the case at all. There are varying sexualities, just as there are varying genders, colors, races and religions.

So there we have it, my thoughts on being bisexual. It's not a dirty word. Bisexual people do exist, and we should embrace them just as we embrace everyone else.