Queerty Query

Queerty Query: Are Bisexuals Pariahs Of The LGBT Community?


Ronan Farrow and the bi guy hot list have put the bisexuals front and center around these parts, but apparently not in the “dateable” column of most guys or gals. Though you may be able to stack up against another dude’s dimples or six-pack, it’s safe to say that competing with completely different genitalia is just too much for even the hunkiest gay guy to overcome. Bi visibility is increasing, but still isn’t completely there yet or even truly accepted.

So we pose the query, Queerty members: Are Bisexuals Pariahs Of The LGBT Community?



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  • Cam

    We’ve already had this discussion on here multiple times.

    What I have noticed is that an article will come out where a celeb is denying that they are gay after being accused, and then somebody will come on and say maybe he is bisexual and attack gay people for suggestion that they are gay.

    The disagreement seems to me to be in two areas.

    1. Gays have seen so many people claim to be bisexual when they fist come out as a first step before coming out as gay and not many who stay “Bisexual” they have a hard time believing that there are a huge number out there.

    2. Bisexuals seem to not want to admit that a large number of gay people coming out will first claim bisexuality as a form of testing the water, claiming instead that these people really are bisexual and are being pressured to claim “Gay” later. Since gays have many friends, or they themselves who went through this step, bisexuals unwillingness to concede that it exists, makes gays disbelieve much of what else they claim. i.e….if they are lying about that.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Bisexuality is a tricky topic. On one hand they are the impetus for why many people believe that sexuality is a choice. On the other, they’re lucky because they have all of humanity to choose their mate from . . . and yet they’re frequently stigmatized for being “too gay” or “not gay enough” due to their varied attractions. And if a gay man has sex with a woman, does that automatically make him bi?
    Again: Tricky topic.

  • tardis

    @BJ McFrisky: Adam Lambert is “bi curious” which I think is quite interesting.

    But, the problem here, I think, is that we’ve grown way too accustomed to the idea of labels. People are people. Yes, some people easily fit “gay” or “straight” but sexuality is fluid. Maybe not to all, but it changes for some.

    I’m bisexual, but I just like to think of myself as open. Sexuality varies from person to person.

    Even then, sometimes I don’t even understand my sexuality, and I think that’s because of labels.

  • Thedrdonna

    I would say that bisexuals are one of the red-headed stepchildren of the LGBT rights movement. Trans folks and people of color are also pretty well ignored, although that looks like it’s starting to change. The issue is that none of these groups are pariahs or outcasts (unless the anti-trans contingent gets their way) but rather one of neglect.

  • Cam


    I get what you are saying, but also look at it this way. Are they really neglected? Can you point out an area of civil rights that the community is fighting for that leaves bisexuals out?

    If they want to date their own sex, they have the protections of all of the “Gay” laws that have passed recently. If they want to date a member of the opposite sex, then they are completely protected by the hetero-normative society and it’s laws.

    So it isn’t as if the LGBT community has said “Lets fight so gays can be in the military…but not those damn bisexuals!” the complaint would seem to be more one of perception.

  • CoolBeansandChili

    I agree with the statement that Bisexuals are pariahs within the community. I think it stems from the fear that bisexuals would reject any inklings of same sex experiences to fit in mainstream society. Also, we’re all have major hang-ups about sexuality in general. Any kink or preference that is seemingly threatening to our own view of sexuality is frowned upon.

  • Phraja

    @tardis: true that labels make thing easy and hard at the same time

  • ouragannyc

    I find it hard to believe that bi men are pariah.
    On dating websites and apps, being bi is a badge of honor, a sign of masculinity versus the “others” who are fem, dramatic ect…
    Often, you find bi only looking for bi and rejecting gays.

  • Thedrdonna

    @Cam: Oh, definitely. I would argue that in terms of legislation, bisexuals are reaping the same benefits as the rest of the LGB section. I think the issue is that while LGBT rights groups have been pretty aggressive about changing the public’s image of what it means to be gay or lesbian, there hasn’t been much or any attempts to rehabilitate the image of bisexuals as wishy-washy or deceptive/cowardly about their “true” orientation.

  • viveutvivas

    I think most gay people are accepting of bisexuals in the abstract, but tend to recoil at anything more serious than a hookup with a (known) bisexual. Of course bisexuals can be monogamous too, but I think too many of us have been burned in the past by the lame excuses bisexuals tend to use for bad behaviors.

  • GayTampaCowboy

    Here’s the issue for me on bisexuality. Whenever this topic comes up it ALWAYS centers around the SEX! A bisexual is sexually attracted to both genders….or as is often said, “they get to have their cake and eat it too.”

    Over the last decade, the fight for gay rights (specifically marriage and adoption rights) has centered on the fact that gay couples can and do enter into monogamous, LOVING, long-term relationships and therefore deserve the equal protection due any other heterosexual couple.

    With bi folks, the discussion is NEVEr about love – it’s about sex. I’m a firm beliver that, of course, there are millions of bi folks in the world. BUT, i also firmly belive that every individual is GENETICALLY coded to ONLY be wired to ONE GENDER when it comes to a long-term, loving relationship.

    I can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard a bi friend say, “Yea, i like messing around with guys and gals, but i could only marry a . Some call that denial – and for some it may be – but i belive that in the deepest parts of our soul we ALL know the gender of the person we’ll make a life-committment to.

    Just saying!

  • Pistolo

    My issue with bisexuality’s role in the public dialogue is that it always seems to coincide with either 1) a crusade against “labels” 2) the assertion that “everyone is bisexual” or 3) the age old “open-mindedness” argument. All of which make want to rip my hair out.

    1) What you identify as is your choice. The reason we have “labels” isn’t to oppress people, it’s to give that faction or group of people recognition and advocacy to help build community and spread awareness. Everyone is an individual but I think dividing ourselves that much is taking it waaay to far. Finding commonalities between one another, I think, is much better for bringing people together. Also, again, you have a choice. If L, G, B, or T doesn’t suit you, that’s why we have the Q for queer which is pretty open-ended. Using words to express concepts is what people have done for centuries, it’s not a way of keeping people in stables like barnyard animals.

    If I never got the courage to identify as “gay” and find other gay people and communicate with people on that concept then I wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy as I am today. I found when I could finally call myself gay without hating myself very empowering. People forget there used to be only ONE sexual orientation that was publicly accepted and non-straight people would just have to assume they were perverted and live in shame.

    2) To say “everyone is bisexual” is ignorant. It’s scarily similar to what straight people have been saying for centuries. Not to mention, if we were all bisexual then why would homosexuality be so controversial? Why would bisexuality be controversial? Why would our societies be built on a structure that heeds to heterosexual conventions? It’s that way across the board. We just need to accept we’re in the minority.

    What’s true for one person can’t possibly span across the whole human race. And by the way, ASEXUALS are a real thing which shoots that argument to crap.

    3) The whole idea that if you’re more “open-minded” you’ll be more open to different sexual partners is just ridiculous. I’ve known men who had sex with women before they realized they were gay and open-mindedness had nothing to do with it. They weren’t happy, they felt they had to, and they weren’t enjoying sex. Being in touch with their sexuality identity was what got them to a place of open-mindedness because they became more accepting of themselves and thus, more accepting of others.

    You don’t have to fuck a varieties of people to be open-minded. It’s such a silly and pretentious way of going about life. PLUS, you can bisexual and still be closed-minded. I know some people who banged both but only go for blonds or are afraid of uncircumcised dicks…I mean, come on.

  • 2eo

    @GayTampaCowboy: Your firm beliefs are full of shit, and will be treat as such.

  • Dixie Rect

    Short answer, yes. So are the T’s. They have their own issues, not related to G/L.

    As an aside, every Bi-guy I met was really gay, just didn’t want to admit it. I don’t think Bi exists among men.

    Bi Guys = endless emotional trauma and trouble. Don’t waste your time.

  • bkh

    Are some bisexuals pariahs yes. I would say in my opinion though that those select few have made themselves pariahs. That small select group seems to live up to the stereotype, of I want rights when I’m dating a same sex partner but don’t give a shit about gay rights when I’m dating a opposite sex partner. I gave an opinion it won’t be popular so have at it.

  • 2eo

    @Dixie Rect: The direct correlation between the lesser members of our community and the idiotic fringe dimwittery is shown yet again by Dixie.

    As one of the least, he speaks for many subnormals.

  • Jake357

    I wouldn’t mind jettisoning a few of those letters that are always lumped together like some sort of mixed bag of nuts. As for the bi. My experience has been a lot of guys that like to get their dick on but when it comes to relationships, I think they feel it’s too weird to date a guy and so they have relationships with women but also do guys. Like I knew a gay dude who thought it was completely weird for two men to dance together. It just bothered him fundamentally. Total social conditioning.

  • Rockery

    I don’t think many people are actually bisexual. I myself am gay but I don’t have a problem doing every sexual act with a female.

    I guess its my rigid idea that a bisexual should like both equally, but maybe that is a flawed definition….but I have always seen that “bisexual” people have a clear preference and because they didn’t mind dabbling in a sexual experience opposite to their usual orientation they call themselves bi. To me that is not really bi.

  • QuintoLover

    @CoolBeansandChili: I don’t think it’s so much of a fear as it is just a ‘why bother’ situation. As a gay male, finding a guy who is bisexual just seems like a lost cause. There’s a huge chance that he’s probably just bicurious and more into women than men and if you give him five years, he’ll probably be settled down with a woman and starting a family while you’re still trying to find a guy to put his drink down and take you on a serious date.

  • jimbryant

    Women have harmed the image of bisexuality. Keep in mind that women can very easily fake their bisexuality, and they do.

    There are countless women who perform sexually with women because they’ve been paid for it, and not because they want to do it. Indeed, it is a dominant theme in almost all adult movies that contain both men and women. It’s a porny form of bisexuality as performed by women.

    The other theme is the supposedly bisexual woman who blurts our her sexuality in order to impress her boyfriend who is strictly straight. These women are quasi-prostitutes. They usually invent their bisexuality for the purpose of titillating their straight boyfriends.

    The truly damaging thing about this form of female bisexuality is that it is designed to appeal across the sexuality divide. In other words, it’s designed to appeal to straight men. Usually, these straight men have absolutely no sympathy for GLBT rights. They think that any man who has sex with men is dirty and disgusting. Lesbianism, on the other hand, is “hot”.

    We need to flush these fake female bisexuals out of our movement. They are harming each and every member of the GLBT community.

  • viveutvivas

    Well, Jim, many of the actors in gay male porn are “gay for pay” too. I don’t see anything particularly wrong with it, and neither do I find female bisexuality for straight male titillation objectionable. As gay individuals, we should be the first to fight for the right of everyone to have their sexual fantasies, and that includes straight men. Your view that “whoever is not for us is against us” is too black and white.

  • jimbryant


    Homosexual male porn is not designed to appeal across the sexuality divide. It’s designed to appeal to gay men.

    Porn that contains homosexual activity between women is designed to appeal across gender and sexuality – ie to men who are straight. These men don’t support GLBT rights.

    As for sexual fantasies, fine, go right ahead. However, don’t market it. Don’t distort human sexuality using the prostitution of porn.

  • Teleny

    As a transwoman I have noticed that bisexual men in particular rarely if ever want to be stigmatized by being public with their same sex activity. They are willing to have sex with gay men or trans women and admit to their partners they are bisexual, but rarely to the world. I’ve noticed that bisexual women are more open, but their relations with lesbians are always jeopardized by their desire to return to the ‘easier’ life of public heterosexuality. I think true bisexuality can exist: Iits often common among trans. It’s kind of silly for us to get too hung up on body parts. :). I am often drawn to gay men & women (and other Transpeople) because I admire our strength of character to be public members of our community.

  • viveutvivas

    @jim, I don’t know what your problem is with appealing “across the sexual divide.” There is no harm. And a lot of straight men support gay rights, so there your argument fails.

  • jimbryant


    There is enormous harm done to the image of bisexuals by fake bisexual women. These women are prostitutes. Prostitutes always harm that which they touch.

    The fake bisexuality of women harms bisexual men because it creates the impression that male bisexuality is fake too. Male bisexuality is never fake. That’s because males can never fake their sexuality, unlike women.

  • viveutvivas

    No they don’t. No it doesn’t. Yes they can.

  • Dixie Rect


    You love to comment on everything I say! I love that you are so obsessed with me!

    Subnormal? hahahahahaha! Look in the mirror for that baby!

  • jmmartin

    In the 1960s and 70s when the “gay liberation” movement was pushing for equality with no thought to same sex marriage and other lofty goals, there were voices like Carl Wittman’s (“A Gay Manifesto”) that came close to denying the existence of bisexuals. Wittman saw calling yourself “bi” as a “cop-out,” something one said because one had not accepted their homosexuality. Gays who married and either had children or did not were seen as denying their essential gayness, hiding behind skirts (or pants as the case may have been). Wittman argued that proclaiming oneself bi was akin to saying “I might go for guys [women] but at least I have sex with women [men] too”.”

    Gore Vidal put it another way when he was quoted as saying that “there is no such thing as a bisexual, there are only uncommitted homosexuals.” (In retrospect, given that some Vidal watchers believe he himself was bisexual, the statement may be apocryphal or else one of his agit-prop bombs, the work of an agent provocateur.) The Wittman et al. position has relaxed over the years, to the degree that bisexuals were added to the alphabet soup that is lgbt (and in a later development, “queer” was added to that). Finally, gay people of both sexes were recognizing that there really are people who are bisexual.

    On the other hand, Dr. Richard Isay, M.D., in his groundbreaking “Becoming Gay: The Journey to Self-Acceptance” (1996) expresses the opinion that true bisexuals are rare. All of the polemicists seem to ignore the fluidity of human sexuality that even Kinsey acknowledged. Why can’t a person be gay one day and straight the next, making one “bi” by definition?

    I tend to appreciate the semanticist Korzybski’s famous observation that “the map is not the territory,” just as I admire the Buddhist notion that putting people into nifty categories or slots is inherently hurtful. I experienced some prejudice over the years when I told gay friends I am bisexual, but then some of us spend our entire lives trying to figure out exactly what we really are. I no longer think it makes any difference and I wish others did not as well. We seem to be headed in that direction. It’s uplifting to say the least.

  • boring

    Being wildly unattractive has hurt me far more than being bisexual, especially amongst gay men.

  • viveutvivas

    @boring, touché, gay men tend to the superficial. Like all men, really.

  • Teleny

    Maybe bisexuals should come out as gay or lesbian, share our public oppression and then do what they want sexually? Coming from a smaller city I’ve seen all kinds of gay m/f/trans hook ups. But the next day everyone was still Queer. :)

  • boring

    @Teleny: That would be insincere, misleading and unfair to the whole-hog gays?

    No interest in doin’ that. I’m fine doin’ what I’m doin’.

    Which is leaving Gs out of words, apparently.

  • halfahomo

    As my user ID implies, I AM bisexual myself. There is no doubt to my sexuality as there is no doubt for those of you who identify gay, lesbian, straight. You KNOW how it is you feel and who it is that attracts you and contrary to some voiced opinion on this here it has NOTHING at all with what is between the legs, at least for this bisexual. In fact, I am also attracted to transgendered people so to “sociologically” label myself correctly I am really pansexual. I do not let society label and pigeonhole me, I am what feels right to me.

  • ouragannyc

    @Dixie Rect: Male bisexuality does exist, I read it this year.
    As to : “Bi Guys = endless emotional trauma and trouble. Don’t waste your time”, AMEN to that!!!

  • Kangol


  • Wooly

    Labels Labels Labels, they do nothing but terrify people. Bisexuality is just as legitimate as any other orientation. Even if someone strays just once from their self Identified orientation, they could be considered bisexual. I’m sure a good percentage of straight men at times wonder what the fuss is all about or if they are missing out on something. Some even take it to the next step and venture to try things out. Then there are threesomes a whole other topic to be sure. Let everyone enjoy their sexuality and it will be a better world.

  • etseq

    @jmmartin: Ugh…The only thing worse than a smug queer theorist denouncing “labels” is one who justifies it with cliched westernized Buddhism. It’s easy for bisexuals to be so nonchalant about “identity” and dismiss sexual orientation as a social construct but the revolution in gay rights would be impossible without essentialist concepts like identity. How do you mobilize a social movement to confront homophobia and effect legal and social equality without it? Only the privileged who are beneficiaries of the hard work done by the gay rights movement can be so contemptuous of “labels” that people have died for.
    Also, Korzybski was quack and was dismissed by mainstream science because it repeatedly failed empirical validation. His concept of General Semantics was airchair philosophy that was later adopted by the self-help movement and motivational speakers.
    I agree with Cam above – gay men are attacked for because we challenge these myths of universal bisexuality and we know that homophobia causes many gay men to claim to be bisexual. There is no social pressure for a gay man to deny attraction to women but there is massive social pressure for a straight or bisexual man to feign attraction to women.
    Finally, there is a lot truth to the “stereotype” that bisexual men use gay men for sex but claim they are only emotionally attracted to women. Why shouldn’t they in a homophobic society that rewards heterosexuality? You can have the best of both worlds – hot gay sex on the side but all the trappings of being straight. I can’t really blame them but at the same time they can’t then criticize gay men for not trusting them.

  • etseq

    Also, who decided Ronan Farrow was bisexual? He hasn’t come out yet and if the rumors are true, he most likely gay. Deal with it.

  • crazycorgi

    Are Bisexuals Pariahs Of The LGBT Community? I know that I will be vilified and attacked for my opinion, but if bisexuals feel that they are pariahs of the gay community they only have themselves to blame. Personally, I feel that bisexuals have never wanted to be included in the LGT community. Why put yourself out there for public scrutiny and stigmatization when you can marry a female and live an accepted heterosexual life and get your fill of men on the side? And all of the comments such as, “don’t label me”, and “my sexuality is fluid” are yet further proof.
    Gay men and lesbians have been labeled for centuries. They have been fighting the battle for equality in this country since before I was born. We tell each other to “COME OUT”, and be visible, so that our existence cannot be denied. Do bisexuals really do that?
    What is added to the struggle of L/G/T people when you have a part of the community speaking words such as “I USED TO BE GAY/LESBIAN”, when they are now with an opposite sex partner? All one has to do is watch a show like “Orange is the New Black” to hear that particular line spoken. I even had a woman tell me that once at a party to my face. What is added to the cause of the L/G/T fight for equality when you have married men posting on gay hookup sites looking for sex with men behind their spouses backs? All this does is strengthen the perception of the bigots that gay people choose to be so.
    It has always been my opinion that bisexuals have their own issues, if they so choose to even make them public, and should not be part of the L/G/T movement. They do not need to fight for equality since they already have it. The vast majority of bisexual men and women will always marry someone of the opposite sex so that they can fit into mainstream heterosexual society. The men have Craigslist to fall back on, and let’s face it, straight men love to watch girl-on-girl action, so what husband doesn’t want a bisexual wife?
    In the end I do not think that bisexuals are pariahs of the gay community, I blatantly do not think that they should even be considered a part of it.

  • pan_duh

    It’s ignorant attitudes like many of those above that help keep bi people, men especially, in the closet, in straight relationships and out of gay ones, and alienated by the gay community. I’ve been in love with men, I’ve been in love with women, I do drag and play sports. SO WHAT? Everyone is not like you, get over it. Is Queerty exclusively read by old gay Internet trolls? I can’t imagine any of my queer friends under the age of 35 even discussing this topic, less saying some of the phobic crap spewed here. Don’t trust us? Think we’re pariahs? Great. We don’t want to hookup/date/dance/hang out/organize with you anyway. Buy some wedding rings, a couple matching Subarus and disappear into the suburbs. We’re going to the party.

  • viveutvivas

    A lot of gay people have (stupidly) invested an awful amount of political capital in the (wrongheaded) argument that we deserve rights because we are “born this way.” (We certainly deserve rights but not for that reason.) These gay people (wrongly) find the existence of bisexuals, who can choose either sex, an existential threat to their identity and a political threat. They are afraid the bigots will get a wrong idea – what a sad way to live life. Who cares what the bigots think? They are bigots.

  • etseq

    @viveutvivas: Nope…this is typical of the smug and dismissive attitude of bisexuals. You would rather gay people lose our rights so long as your ideological purity tests are met. We know we were born gay so if you don’t like it, go found your own rights movement. You can be the “choose this way” or the “bad parents made me this way” or the “I was molested as a child this way” and see how far you get. This very question was one of the reasons bisexuals aren’t trusted – this same fight over tactics was hashed out in the 70s and 80s and the bisexuals lost and took their toys and went home and pouted. So, too late now – tell that gay teen that he is being an ideological sell out or better yet tell him he chose to be gay or that he is really bisexual. You are no better than the conversion therapists. Then when he kills himself, the bisexuals can have a big laugh.

  • etseq

    @pan_duh: Yea its all a joke and a party to bisexuals. Its all about your heterosexual privilege. Go back in the closet where you belong

  • etseq

    @Wooly: Keep telling yourself that – bisexuals think everyone else is really bisexual. All this fixation on converting straight guys is just a form of self-loathing.

  • etseq

    @viveutvivas: Sexist and homophobic responses like this are rife among so called bisexuals

  • AuntieChrist

    @2eo: The direct correlation between the lesser members of our community and the idiotic fringe dimwittery is shown yet again by Dixie…. You seem terribly intolerant and judgmental. You often attack people here and insofar as fringe mentality your observations and theories often border on the absurd. Not always but it smacks of a guy living in a cabin waiting for the guvment to bust in and take your laptop and chemistry set… LESSER MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY!!!???…Where do you get that elitist CRAP. I am pretty sure that your shit don’t smell like Chanel.No.5….. Me, I want to like everyone or at least give them the benefit of doubt. I think you need to spend less time on the internet and your IPhone and more time outside riding horses in the park or going for a nice long walk or bike ride.

  • AuntieChrist

    Oh yea. Bi-sexual folks. Never gave them much thought really. I am what they call a gold star gay. Never been interested in woman sexually. I came out when I was 15 and never looked back. I hear people talk same as what’s on this board. We need the GLBT umbrella to further our struggle for equality. We also need to be kind to one another there is too much in-fighting in the gay sub-culture. I have a great deal of trepidation calling us a community. I just don’t think we are there yet, if we were we would not have to be asking inane questions like is this, that, or they a pariah. But hey what do I know? I’m just some poor schlub killing a half hour online.

  • viveutvivas

    @etseq, you might have more than zero credibility if you actually attacked me for something I said instead of inventing straw men just to have someone to take your rage out on.

  • Fitz

    Of course not! But I have to tell you, I am not sure how many there really are.. I don’t know anyone (except a few vocal people here) who still identify as Bi after about age 40 or 50. Which I know makes Bi people cringe, but it does lend me to thinking along the lines of “this is just a phase”.


    @etseq: Wow. That was the most intellectually dishonest distortion of another’s views (@viveutvivas et al) that I ever seen here. Extra kudos for way you cynically coopted the tragedy of teen suicides to serve your cheap one-upmanship. You’re quite a piece of work, aren’t you!

  • jar

    I have noticed a lot of whining lately by bisexuals deriding the gay community for not being more accepting of them. Usually, it takes the form of- the gay community is worse than the straight community. This argument comes from a presumption (fostered by our general openness) that bisexuals are owed something from the gay community. I disagree with this falsehood. The alphabet soup is a political alliance, not a statement that we are all one community. Hell, even gay men and lesbians are not always members of the same community.

    What the comments above about “not labelling” or “sexuality is fluid” fail to consider is that sexual orientation is also a political statement in the times in which we live. It is not surprising that bisexuals do not see this because they have always been erstwhile compatriots in the battle for equal rights (participating when in same sex relationships and not when in hetero relationships). Experience indicates and a recent Pew study confirms that most bisexual people wind up in heterosexual relationships. That is the crux of any tension between G&L’s and bisexuals.

    The same study also concluded that a large number of bisexuals are not out acrosss the board. The key to resolving any conflict between the two communities is the need for bisexuals to be out in the straight and gay worlds. If bisexuals did this, any wariness about [using the gay community for pleasure while retaining heterosexual privilege will be alleviated. Until that time, I would entreat bisexuals to stop complaining about how they are treated by the gay community. If you don’t like it, form your own community, one that will meet your needs/desires.

    Hat tip to etseq for his/her astute analysis.

  • BrandoPolo

    No, ugly gays, fat gays, gaysians, elderly gays, and (in densely populated Aryan-worshiping gayborhoods like WeHo and Chelsea) blacks are the pariahs of the gay community. But bi guys take a lot of crap too.

    That in 2013 some gay Internet trolls are still claiming that bisexuality doesn’t exist just shows how entrenched biphobia is. Like racism and homophobia, it’s never going to go away completely because you will always have ignorant, uneducated bigots around.

    The Kinsey scale has been around for sixty years and it’s still fairly accurate: most people are exclusively hetereo. The second-largest group (which is not all that large relative to straights) are exclusively gay.

    The rest fall somewhere in the middle — but that group is diverse. Most bisexuals are clustered towards gay, and a smaller group of bisexuals leans straight. 50/50 bisexuality is the smallest and rarest group. This is one of the reasons that bigoted douchebags claim bisexuality doesn’t exist — most “bisexuals” in fact lean one way (straight) or the other (gay). The image of bisexuals as a uniform group equally attracted to men and women is not demographically accurate.

    Openly bi males in American culture tend to end up living almost 100% gay lifestyles because 1) most bisexuals prefer their own sex, and because 2) it is almost impossible to find an American woman who will seriously date a guy who admits he’s bisexual. Closeted bi males tend live straight lifestyles, out of fear and discrimination. So bi guys tend to be quiet about their bisexuality. Why? Well, those who want a relationship are eventually going to end up “picking” straight or gay for all practical purposes, settling down with either a guy or a girl. So why scare off partners by trumpeting bisexuality?

    In my experience as a Kinsey 4, most young, informed, intelligent gay guys I’ve met know they have nothing to fear from open, honest bi dudes — because chances are he prefers men and will end up with one for the reasons above. Of course a clueless minority of gay dudes will continue to spew biphobic nonsense, but thankfully they’re dying off.

  • BrandoPolo

    @jar: “Until that time, I would entreat bisexuals to stop complaining about how they are treated by the gay community. If you don’t like it, form your own community, one that will meet your needs/desires.”

    Nice. Do you also think blacks like Martin Luther King who “whined” about their treatment by the American community should have gone back to Africa?

    Gays never cease to amaze.

  • etseq

    @jar: Thank you! The lack of empathy by privileged bisexuals always shocks me. In my experience, the online social justice warrior/tumblr types who constantly scream “biphobia” are mainly white middle class liberal arts college graduates who took a “Queer Theory” class and mistook it for a religion. They usually have little or no science or history background so they have conception of evolution, biology, or the significance of the Enlightenment in delegitimizing “magical thinking” which is basically what post-modern theory is. The internet, of course, magnifies their number and influence. Part of the problem is exactly what you stated – bisexuals need to adopt an essentialist identity model if they ever want to make the social change that gays did. They never seem to realize that heterosexuals are their enemy and that making these bizarre claims that everyone is really bisexual or exaggerating this “fluidity” theory makes enemies of both gays and straights. Also, by labelling legitimate grievances that gays have as “biphobia” they minimize the real harm of homophobia – its like victim blaming.
    Of course, they benefit from alot of what we accomplished in fighting homophobia but they will never acknowledge this – its just thrown back in our faces as “biphobia”
    I have my doubts hows many male bisexuals there really are – women seem much more flexible in their orientation than men. Even this so called “poly” movement is almost always one heterosexual man and multiple bisexual women. Seems sexist to me but who am I to judge.

  • ouragannyc

    @crazycorgi: Really well spoken.

  • etseq

    @BrandoPolo: Yes, its all the fault of evil gay men. No one denies that there are bisexuals – I completely agree with your schema of sexuality distribution. And I pretty much agree with everything else you said except for the part about most bisexual men staying with their gay partner. I’ve seen the exact opposite – in fact, I have rarely seen a gay-bisexual male couple last, unless its just casual sex. Homophobia almost always drives them back to a woman or worse, it perpetuates this theory that men are for sex and women are for love. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard bisexual men say that they are attracted sexually to men but romantically/emotionally to women. Sorry, even if thats true, what an insult to gay men.
    Ultimately, I don’t see how the dynamic will ever change unless bisexual men come out and basically partner with each other. Gay men were in the same boat until they came out and took on homophobia head on and created a community. I know that sucks but most gay men just aren’t going to take the risk of being humiliated by being dumped for a woman.

  • etseq

    @viveutvivas: Nope – I’m just pointing out the flaws in your “we all choose to be gay” political strategy. You think gays are self-loathing or not “evolved” enough like bisexuals when we say we are born gay. You dismiss our lived experience and insist we adopt a non-essentialist libertarian messaging strategy that everyone has the potential to be bisexual. That will go over so well with the public, primarily because its not true.
    FYI – there is an entire field of psychology that has shown the heterosexuals are significantly more likely to approve of gay rights and become less homophobic if they believe sexuality is innate and fixed. It is the one example where essentialism has a positive effect in reducing prejudice – the exact opposite occurs for women and racial minorities. Thats why coming out and claiming our sexuality is effective. It has nothing to do with being ashamed of being gay – if that were true we would still be in the closet!

  • etseq

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: Says the princess of Snarkness – its a reductio ad absurdum to illustrate the logical flaws in an argument.

  • BrandoPolo

    @etseq: “No one denies that there are bisexuals” is not true. There are people on this very thread who deny it — scroll up. And please note that the distribution of sexuality I’m referencing is not “my schema” is the schema discovered and refined by sixty plus years of research by academics far smarter than I am.

    If some gays would rather take the risk of being humiliated by being dumped for man that open their minds and hearts to a not-100%-gay dude who is intelligent, honest, and well-adjusted, that’s their prerogative. However, it has not been my experience that any male couple between good guys has not lasted due to the issue of bisexuality, simply because most bi guys simply don’t make it an issue by bringing it up.

    So I’ll repeat it, most sincere, aware bi dudes who want a serious relationship end up with men because they actually prefer their own sex, like most bisexuals of both genders. I’m speaking of a very small sample because bisexuals are such a small minority, and ones who have their crap together emotionally and mentally are an even smaller minority. Of course, LGBTs who have their crap together tend to have failed relationships anyway, whether they date bisexuals or not.

    Good guys among LGBTs will find each other, and bisexuals need to worry not about partnering with each other but partnering with good people who are right for them. The rest will take care of itself. *shrug* Bigots, weirdos, ignorant tools, and liars will have relationship problems — gay, bi, or indifferent. I haven’t experienced this epidemic of bisexuals claiming men are for sex and women are for love, but I don’t hang out with emotionally disturbed people of any sexuality.

  • jar

    @BrandoPolo: Your analogy is wrong for obvious reasons. To remain in the same vein, my position would be the equivalent of the members of black liberation groups telling white people that they are welcome to come along as soldiers, but that movement must be controlled by black people. (There’s a very interesting lecture by Jimmy Baldwin in London is which he (and Dick Gregory) address this point. He is compelling, as always.) I have never heard of any instance of a bisexual being ejected from a gay establishment for being bi. I am happy to be challenged by you on my knowledge and experience. The complaints that I have heard tend to center around gay people saying that they would not date a bisexual or do not trust bisexuals to remain a part of the community/movement. That is not an expression of biphoiba IMO. I reserve the right, without being maligned, to choose whom I will enter into a relationship with. I would not date a bisexual because I prefer to partner with someone who has the same sexual desires as I do. There is nothing phobic about that.
    I do not deny that bisexuality exists and I wish happiness for everyone. But the bisexual experience is different from the gay/lesbian experience, most notably in our inability to traverse the world of heterosexual privilege (I note again the Pew report that found that most bisexuals ultimately end up in long term heterosexual relationships; my experience comports with this finding, as all of the bisexuals I have known in my life ultimately took this path). It is unfair and selfish of bisexuals to expect the gay community, wich has its own struggles, to not acknowledge this fundamental difference in experience.
    As for your assertion that gay-leaning bisexual men end up in same sex relationships, I would be interested to see your support for this claim. As etseq noted, one often hears the claim from bisexuals that they are sexually attracted to men, but not romantically/emotionally. That strikes me as a reaction to social pressure, as opposed to an expression of a fluid sexuality.

  • jar

    @viveutvivas: I hear this attitude being ascribed to gay folks a lot (we’re afraid that bisexuals threten our existence), but I have never encountered it in my life. I have encountered, however, a reaction to the disrespect shown to G&L folks by bisexuals who argue that true sexuality is genderless, that it is about relating to the person. That sentiment presumes the developmental authority of bisexuals over both homo- and heterosexuals. Surely, you can understand how that would piss people off?

  • jar

    @etseq: I agree that there is a lot of homophobia among bisexual advocates. Robin Ochs, for example, constantly argues about biphobia in the gay community, but is much more circumspect when addressing the straight community. She also rarely, if ever, assumes responsibility for the state of bisexuals (ie, does not focus on the obligation of bi people to be open and honest about their orientation in all environments). There’s a perception that if we criticize bisexuals we are being intolerant, coupled with a tacit acceptance of intolerance in the straight world. They want to deny the heterosexual privileges they can enjoy, while blaming the marginalized for not uncritically embracing them. It’s like the bachelorette party that goes to a gay bar and expects to be showered with attention and then blames the community when they are not.

  • wakeupscreaming

    Bisexuals are the new gay – Outcasts that are misunderstood and judged.
    I’m gay, but I have many bisexual friends. Mind you, 95% don’t identify with the label “bi”. And they definitely don’t identify with ‘gay’.
    Bisexuals are judged by straights who lump them erroneously into being gay. And gays judge them as ‘closet cases’ who haven’t figured it out. So they are misunderstood by straights and gays — they get hostility and frowns from all directions.

    I was once one of those gays that judged, until I met my former coworker who was bi. I got to know him and his relationships almost 13 years ago. If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it. Since that time, I’ve met dozens of bi guys and girls — including colleagues, ex lovers and friends.

    I think the takeaway is that gays can be as judgemental and intolerant as straights are to them, as they can be towards bisexuals.

  • iggy azalea

    I 4 1 love it when occupational queers get all btt-hurt just because i can flip the script and go from hetero pussy pounding to homo ankle grabbing in 1 second flat.

  • etseq

    @wakeupscreaming: Well, your own experience reinforces my point. If 95% don’t identify as bi or gay, then they are by definition presumed to be heterosexual and thus closeted. So, I assume they are in heterosexual relationships and just screw gay people on the side. And don’t say they “refuse to be labelled” because that is a cop out that allows them to still exercise heterosexual privilege. I’m sorry but heterosexuals (or closeted bi) are not the new gay – there is no new gay, just gay.
    U seem to have alot of straight (or closeted bi) friends but you didn’t mention dating any of them. Why not?

  • etseq

    @iggy azalea: You sound like a wonderful catch – I’m sure you will make a nice sexist heterosexual husband. We don’t want you anyway….

  • iggy azalea

    @etseq: Monogamy is for Monotheists.

  • etseq

    @jar: Yes, she has set back gay-bi relations for over 30 years. She denies the concept of heterosexual privilege and has done the most to foster this fraudulent notion of “biphobia” She was aligned with Fritz Klein, the fraudulent pseudo-scientist who tried to replace the kinsey scale with the “klein grid” that was a blatant attempt to redefine bisexuality so expansively that it would have erased gay identity almost completely (which is ironic because she complains about “bisexual erasure” constantly). Klein thought he was being clever by creating a test that had over 20 or so questions but it was proven useless by statistical factor analysis. Basically, all his factors correlated with the basic 3 orientations but anyone who read his work knew that – he was upfront about wanting to derail gay identity.
    Ochs was actually honored by the NGLTF “Creating Change” conference a few years ago, which is no surprise considering NGLTF is stuck in the 1960s radical politics. Gay rights are way down the list for them – they want to solve racism, sexism, and replace capitalism, and then maybe work on gay rights. They tried to sabotage the marriage equality movement in the mid 2000s when they published that “Beyond Marriage” manifesto that attacked gays as assimilationist and heteronormative for seeking marriage rather than second class civil unions, polygamy, cohabitation, and ultimately abolishing marriage. The right wing had a field day with that one….

  • wakeupscreaming

    @etseq: this is exactly the kind of intolerance of bisexuals from both heteros and gays I was talking about. It’s unfortunate you haven’t evolved past your line of thinking. Don’t fret. I was almost 31 years old before I finally accepted bisexuals. It’s just one of those things that comes with time. Many gays don’t have the patience to understand bi people. This intolerance is the exact hate that spews from homophobes. Open your mind and your heart.

  • GeriHew

    Are Bisexuals Pariahs Of The LGBT Community?

    Yes, of course we are.

    The word ‘biphobia’ wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for all the crap that many gay and lesbian identified people have heaped onto bi identified people.

    Most straight people aren’t even aware of the term. It isn’t in most dictionaries yet. Unlike homophobia and transphobia it hardly ever appears in mainstream media. But everybody in the LGBT community is aware of the word regardless of whether they are prepared to admit that biphobia is a problem within the LGBT community or not.

    If ever a word was born out of internalized oppression, it’s ‘Biphobia’.

  • etseq

    @GeriHew: Projection much? I will agree with you on one thing – you sound like you do suffer from some internalized and externalized homophobia….

  • AuntieChrist

    @BrandoPolo: I am offended by your claim that older gay men are less tolerant than younger gays and that thankfully we are dying off. Being myopic and narrow minded is not limited to the older generation.(most young, informed, intelligent gay guys)( a clueless minority of gay dudes will continue to spew biphobic nonsense, but thankfully they’re dying off.) This infers advanced age. As a gay elder I have seen and also experienced many things that thankfully younger gays will not. Making age distinctive comments is an excellent example of the discrimination that we elders experience every day at the hands of younger gays. Just sayin. HERE’S one for ya. ELDERPHOBIA.

  • AuntieChrist

    Also it is quite rare to see any articles about elderphobia in any of these online rags.

  • GeriHew

    So says the person who said: There is no such thing as “biphobia” there is only homophobia.” & “Bisexuals have done nothing for gay rights – they sit back and reap all the rewards for the hard work that we have done.”

    Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/photos-nine-notable-bisexual-men-20131113/#ixzz2kv5kXeyB

    I responded to you there by the way with the names of some notable bi people who did a lot for your gay rights you ungrateful child.

    Anyway, you are clearly full of crap about bisexual people. Maybe because you’re insecure in your own sexuality. Or maybe just because you need a group to hate and tell lies about in order to feel good about yourself or something.

    Whatever your problem is, I hope you grow out of it soon.

  • Pistolo

    @wakeupscreaming: So they’re bi but they don’t want to say they’re bi yet they want to assert and distinguish themselves to combat misconceptions? Sounds like a roundabout way of just saying they’re too pretentious to be apart of any bigger group of people, they have to be special. So annoying.

  • CoolBeansandChili


    Wouldn’t that scenario apply what the bisexual stated he wanted out of the relationship? And wouldn’t it be up to the gay male to state his intentions?
    I know I wouldn’t want to waste mine or anyone else’s time being attached if I’m not on board with what they want for our relationship.

  • jar

    @GeriHew: Yes, biphobia wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the horrible gays. Of course, to adopt this view one must disregard the experiences of gay and lesbian people, but that’s easy in the service of one’s victimhood. The gay community and the gay experience are different from the bisexual experience. I really don’t know where this attitude comes from that somehow the gay community must absorb bisexuals. Of course, we are aligned politically and share minority status, but we also have different experiences with different struggles. That should be accepted by all. The key to fighting biphobia is not to rail against the gay community (the preferred deflective tactic), but to come out at work, to family and friends, and elsewhere in one’s life. But I suppose that it too threatening, when there is an easy scapegoat to flog.

  • jar

    @CoolBeansandChili: I think Quinto’s point is that there is a fairly common phenomenon of bisexuals entering into committed same sex relationships that do not last because eventually they tend to settle down with opposite sex partners. A recent report from Pew confirms this tendency.

  • CoolBeansandChili


    I do believe that happens. I wonder if the Pew report has data on the reasons why the same-sex relationships fail. Was bisexuality a constant problem for the couples?
    Maybe the reason why bisexuals commit to opposite-sex partners is because there at least some level of understanding. Or it’s completely hidden.
    Maybe it’s hard for bisexuals who are insecure within themselves to be with someone (and in a community) who constantly reminds them of their insecurity.
    I need a therapist just thinking about it.

  • jar

    @CoolBeansandChili: I have not read the full report. The report indicates that only 28% of bisexuals are out (33% of bi women and a woeful 12% of bi men). I think these statistics create an inference that resistance to identifying themselves as not straight probably plays the significant role.
    I do not know what you mean by saying opposite sex partners have “some level of understanding.” Considering how few of them are out (and I would bet they are more likely to be out to gay and lesbian folks than straight ones), it seems more likely the issue is passing.
    I note that you insert a hackneyed jab at the gay community. Yes, we harrass and belittle bisexuals to the point of sending them back to opposite sex partners. And we’re the reason they stay in the closet, too, I assume.

  • Atomicrob

    While true bisexuality is plausible, most of the ones I’ve known were gay and married, not because they we’re actually bisexual, but because they learned to conceal their homosexuality by having a wife and a kid or two. Those who use their families to present themselves to the world with a veneer of heterosexuality, tend to use homosexuals for sexual satisfaction. Then, when the relationship gets a bit too serious, they run the other way. Doesn’t make for a happy and emotionally fulfilling life.

  • GeriHew

    @jar: With reference to: “Yes, biphobia wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the horrible gays. Of course, to adopt this view one must disregard the experiences of gay and lesbian people, but that’s easy in the service of one’s victimhood.”

    I said “many”. That’s many as in “too many” i.e. a significant number. Not “many” as in “most” – let alone “almost all” or “all”.

    Also (and every bit as importantly) I didn’t say “gays” I said: ” gay and lesbian identified people.” I also said “bi identified people.”

    I acknowledge that sometimes straight identified people can be specifically biphobic even when they are not generally homophobic. But generally speaking if a straight identified person has it in for bisexuals they will also have it in for gays. So if it is serious violent abuse coming from a straight identified person it’s much more likely to be just plain old homophobia than actual biphobia.

    I also acknowledge than some people who identify as bisexual aren’t actually really bisexual. However by that same token there are many (i.e. a significant number) of people who are bisexual who don’t identify themselves as such, or only identify themselves as such in certain situations.

    The key word in all this is: “identified”.

    With regard to specific biphobia as opposed to general homophobia, what this all means is that not only do bisexual people get biphobically abused by people who aren’t bisexual, it also means that they get biphobic abuse from other bisexual people as well. It’s also perfectly possible that people who aren’t really bisexual but identify as such get biphobic abuse from people who are bisexual, as well those that aren’t bisexual.

    So, with the best will in the world, all this thoroughly unpleasant tomfoolery leads me personally to conclude (as a bisexual person) that people who are bisexual but identified as straight, gay or lesbian are probably much more of a problem than people who identify as bisexual when they aren’t really bisexual.

    Finally, the reason why the gay community cannot help but absorb bisexuals is that bisexual people have relationships with gay people as well as straight people and other bisexual people. No one can prevent this from happening anymore than they can stop people from being homosexual.

  • Aires the Ram

    I am a gay man who came out in his late teens, and am now 55 years old. I grew up and spent my 20’s through 40’s in a very rural & intolerant area of the Midwest, I worked at a large company where “gay” was certainly not accepted, to say the least. I now live in a large city on the East Coast. I have become acquainted with a guy my age at my gym, who has been married to the same woman for the last 30 years and has fathered 4 children who are all teens/20’s now. He tells me he is bi, and he’s confided his gay sexual experiences to me; nude gay beaches, bathhouses in European cities when he’s traveling on business, and the occasional bl&w j&b in the sauna at the gym. He’s a nice guy, educated, open minded, and he asks me questions about gay issues, gay this, gay that, and I indulge him. All of that being said, I cannot help having a bit of antipathy towards him, as he gets back in his car and goes home to his heterosexual privilege. Yes, he can dibble & dabble in male sex, but here’s where my antipathy comes in:
    He has not:
    1. lived his life from a very young man forward, fearing and hiding from a local population that was, and still is, horribly homophobic
    2. gone through the pain of being disowned by several relatives because they found out he was gay
    3. endured the leers and sneers from straight males that I did in the workplace
    4. endured “religious” neighbors, when they found out we were a gay male couple, start crossing to the other side of the street when they reached our house on their nightly dog walk
    5. have not been denied a hotel room with one king size bed when attempting to check in for the weekend with a boyfriend……………..and the list goes on and on. He has been able to wear the veneer of heterosexual privilege his entire life, and has never endured ANY of the abovementioned. Yeah, I feel antipathy towards him and his ilk, justifiably so.

  • iggy azalea

    @Aires the Ram: Sad, bitter old queen.

  • Aires the Ram

    @iggy azalea: then you obviously did not read, nor understand, my post.

  • BrandoPolo

    @Aires the Ram: So you had a negative experience with a self-professed bisexual at the gym, and now you have antipathy towards “him and his ilk”…

    ..how is this different from people who use a negative reaction to one person of a certain race to justify racism? Gays continue to astound with bigoted hypocrisy.

  • Aires the Ram

    @BrandoPolo: Once again, please read my post and try to understand the general theme of it, being that there are some pretty solid reasons why gay men feel the way they do towards “bisexual” men. Self-professed “bisexual” men have the comfort and convenience of stepping right back into hetero privilege. And, they for the most part haven’t been through the negative reactions from society at large that out gay men have had to endure. To argue that gay men don’t struggle with homophobia in their families/friends/work/society, would be like saying racial minorities don’t struggle with institutional racism. They do. Straight men and “bi” men do not experience those types of struggles, based solely on their sexuality.

  • BrandoPolo

    @Aires the Ram: No, a negative experiences with a member of group is not pretty solid grounds to have antipathy to every member of the group — that’s called bigotry, and it’s the same lame excuse that people use to justify racism and homophobia.

    Your claim that out bisexuals haven’t been through negative reactions that out gay men have endured is laughable on its face. The bigotry and biphobia in this very thread is proof positive of that statement’s inaccuracy. Gay men haven’t been through the the negative reactions from gays on top of that from straights that out bisexuals as a double minority have had to endure, and continue to.

    To argue that bisexuals don’t struggle with biphobia as well as homophobia in their lives is not just outright false, it’s ridiculous.

  • BrandoPolo

    @jar: The key to ending biphobia is not for bisexuals to stop calling it out, it’s for for biphobes to stop being biphobic. Bisexuals have to be visible and well as intolerant of bigotry — the same double tactic used to combat all forms of discrimination. Activists should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    The negative experiences some gays have had with some bisexuals is not a justification for biphobia, any more than the negative experiences some races have have with some members of other races makes racism okay.

    You misrepresent the Pew report on bisexuality, which did not say that most bisexuals end up with heterosexuals — but implied the opposite. It confirmed that bisexuals make 40% of the LBGT community, a larger total share than lesbians, gays, and trans. The reason this seems startling is because most are leading gay lifestyles — only 28% of bisexuals are vocal about their sexuality.

    This debunks what you claimed and confirms what I wrote earlier: bisexuals tend to prefer their own sex and tend to be quiet about their bisexuality. These facts are inconvenient those who think their personal experiences and hearsay are gospel, but my analogy comparing their victim-blaming to other forms of prejudice stands. I do not subscribe to the black supremacy of Dick Gregory, who was at odds with the inclusiveness of Martin Luther King which I prefer. Generalized prejudice based on stereotyping is not acceptable.

    People can date whom they want. The bisexual plurality of the LGBT community happily existing in relationships romantic and platonic with smart, informed, self-actualized gays and bi men aren’t missing out on anything by being avoided by bitter and ignorant.

  • bipaganman

    I personally think biphobes (and transphobes as well) are the pariahs of the LGBT community

  • Clark35

    Yes; but if you are bisexual and come out to people who are supposed to be your supposed allies in the so called LGBT “community” 9/10 times you will get told you’re lying, it’s not true, and other BS. People who are biphobic are just as bad as homophobes and it’s even worse if they are gay or lesbian.

  • alphacentauri

    @etseq: I don’t know of any bisexual people who believe this, but I do notice quite a lot of gay men who need the fantasy that they’ve had sex with a real hetero/straight guy or they talk about how they could make a hetero/straight guy “gay”, or they believe that all men are really bisexual but don’t know it and other BS.

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