10 Questions You Should Never Ask A Bi Person

4/30/2017

Coming out can be a difficult process, not just for the individual who is coming out, but for their friends and family. It is normal to have questions, but, as with every social situation, there is a line that should not be crossed. Coming out as bi, I’ve found that many people have a hard time filtering out the inappropriate or uncomfortable inquiries they want to direct at me. While I’m happy to address some of their questions, there are a few that either do not or should not be asked because they are particularly intrusive or rude.

While there are surely many more, here are my top ten questions you should never as a bi person:

1. How do you know?

This is a question that just doesn’t need to be asked. It’s rude and implies that you don’t think the person coming out is capable of understanding their own sexual orientation. If they are telling you, then they know they are bi…that should be all the proof you need.

2. Are you sure this isn’t just a phase?

Bangs are a phase. Baggy jeans are a phase. Bisexuality is not. Yes, some individuals do initially come out as bi and then determine that they are in fact gay, but that does not invalidate all other bi people. Even if that is the case, it is up to the individual to figure that out on their own,  without pressure from others telling them their sexual orientation isn’t real.

3. Are you more into men or women? Is it like a 50/50 split?

Honestly, for many bi people attraction can fluctuate from day to day; it’s hard to predict who you’ll meet, who you’ll be attracted to and why. But asking a bi person to put a numeric value on their levels of attraction to each sex is just pointless; it’s not always straightforward, simple, or any of your business.

4. Are you going to marry a man or a woman?

I always like to reply, “I’m not sure, do you already know who you are going to marry?” It’s incredibly frustrating when people boil bisexuality down to just being attracted to a man or a woman solely because of their sex; there is so much more that goes into a serious relationship. Straight people don’t get married just because they are different sexes and gay people don’t get married just because they are the same sex, because there are clearly so many other factors to consider when entering into that kind of commitment. So there is no real answer to this question, just irritation on the part of the bi person for being asked it.

5. Have you slept with both a man and a woman? How could you know you’re bi if you haven’t?

Again, I have a couple questions I like to respond to these with. “How many men/women did you sleep with before you knew you were straight/gay?” “How many men/women did you have to sleep with before you were accepted as straight/gay by your community?” “Did you get a ‘Congrats! You’re officially straight/gay’ card in the mail after?” Do these sound ridiculous to you? They sound just the same when you ask a bi person them.

6. How many individual men and women have you slept with?

Sexual orientation isn’t determined by numbers. There are undoubtedly plenty of gay individuals out there who have slept with more members of the opposite sex than the same sex, but that doesn’t change their sexual orientation. Would you ask a straight or gay person who you barely know how many people they have slept with? No? Then don’t ask a bi person the same question.

7. When was the last time you slept with a man or a woman?

Sexual orientation isn’t determined by when or who you last slept with either. If that was the case, how would anyone know what their sexual orientation was without sleeping with both a man and a woman? The logic just doesn’t add up.

8. How can you be in a relationship when you’re attracted to both men and women; won’t you wind up cheating?

This question, quite frankly, is stupid. Just because you’re attracted to someone doesn’t mean you are going to act on it; if that were the case very few (if any, whether they be straight, gay, or bisexual) people would ever find a lasting relationship. This question implies that somehow, bi people lack the willpower to remain faithful and are inherently promiscuous, which just isn’t the case.

9. So you’re really into open relationships?

There are surely bi couples that are in open relationships…just as there are gay and straight couples in the same situation. Similarly there are bi, gay, and straight couples who are monogamous. It really comes down to the couple and their choices, it’s not decided by their sexual orientation.

10. Aren’t you scared you’ll never find someone because you are bi?

This question is just straight up rude. You’re asking me if I’m scared that I am too abnormal to find a regular, long-term relationship? The answer is no, at least no more so than any other person in this world. The truly scary thought, isn’t not finding a partner because I’m bi, it’s listening to these inane questions for the rest of my life.

A good rule of thumb is don’t ask a bi person a question you wouldn’t ask someone of any other orientation and try to be polite. It’s really that simple.

Blaize Stewart
Blaize Stewart is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a BA in broadcast journalism and a MA in journalism. He currently lives in Chicago, IL and works as an influencer relations associate for a full-service influencer marketing agency called Faam and as an adjunct instructor at Robert Morris University. Additionally, he runs the LGBTQ+ blog Out Loud, a space for members to share their experiences and thoughts on current events and more.