“Would you date a bisexual?”
Among the many insensitive questions I’d like to see disappear in 2019, this is in my top 10. Firstly, it sets up the answer to be either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and when it comes to dating and romance, things are rarely this simple. It also assumes that the person answering the question isn’t bisexual/pansexual themselves. The way some of these questions are phrased are also leading: “Would you date a man who had sex with a man?” The person asking this question is often looking for shock value; a reinforcement of their own ideas. I’ve seen many youtube vids where this question is aimed at people assumed to be intolerant or bigoted. Type the words, “Black bisexuality” into the search box of youtube, and you will find zillions of reactionary, depressing vids of black people, whether they are gay, lesbian or straight. Tempers quickly flare at just the thought of dating a bi/pan person – how dare the interviewer even ask them such a thing? Stereotypes abound, voices are raised, faces become twisted. Bisexuals cheat; they spread sexually transmitted diseases, they can’t be faithful and will always want to be with another gender. The potential for emotional and physical violence is evident in the disgust of many responses. As a black bisexual person watching these videos, it makes me despair – having been out and open as bi for 25 years, these are the same responses I heard right at the very start. So little has changed for bisexuals of colour.
Bisexuality and Pansexuality is about attraction to more than one gender: you can be bi/pan and a virgin/celibate/aromantic. But to bigots, bisexuality is about having unsafe sex with as many people as possible, so that means they don’t deserve respect at even the most basic level. The chances of the people answering this question, having dated/slept with/fallen in love with/been attracted to a bisexual person who was closeted, is pretty high, but their knee-jerk “NO!” ignores all that. It lets the world know the responders aren’t that kind of person – sullied by any theoretical closeness to bi/pan people.
Would you date someone you were attracted to? Would you be with someone you love, but many straight and gay/lesbian folks hate? Would you accept that people who cheat or exhibit unsafe behaviour, come from all sexual orientations? If the answer to the above three questions is YES, then I want to say THANK YOU for being an okay human being.