Advocate.com Op-Ed: Biphobia and Dating Bi Guys

Originally published on advocate.com by Eliel Cruz

Vagina Cooties.

That’s what my date told me I had for being bisexual… seriously.

I’m not sure what I was more upset at — the biphobia or the immaturity of a 24-year-old gay man who seemed like a viable suitor. Mind you, he told me vaginas had cooties just after telling me they also had teeth. Needless to say, I didn’t call him the next day.

I’ve noticed this as being a reoccurring theme among lesbians and gay men who say they’re not attracted to bisexual people simply due to our sexual experiences. Somehow we’re less dateable, less attractive, and unworthy of romantic involvement, compared to the valiant gold star gays. The repulsion is masqueraded as some sort of “preference,” not to be mistaken with biphobia. Except it actually is biphobia.

If the only reason you’re not interested in me is because of my bisexuality, your distaste stems from my sexuality. There it is. Biphobia.

I shouldn’t be hindered from being in a relationship with someone I’m interested in solely because of my innate attractions to more than one gender. I didn’t choose my sexual attractions, but I do choose to be with that person. If my choice and commitment isn’t enough, you have much more problems in your love life then your biphobic aversions.

This response to dating bisexuals is really common among gay men. I’m seen as a flight risk for the possibility of when I come to my senses and either end up choosing to be straight or gay (because we choose our sexualities am I right?). Or that I’m sullied, damaged goods due to my attractions to women because vagina is just ew but remember — it’s just a preference.

Because your preference to not date a bi guy is the same as not liking guys with blonde hair and blue eyes. Actually, no. It’s not the same thing at all. This has nothing to do with the person’s appearance, it has nothing to do with their personality, or morals, or character; you know, the things you should be looking for in a partner. It’s simply that dating a bisexual guy would force you to face your own prejudices of bisexual people.

Sexuality is not a binary; it’s not all gay or straight. There’s a pretty good chance you’re going to date someone who has, in the past, been romantically involved with someone of another gender. You may date someone who, in the future, will date someone of another gender. It’s not the end of the world, and it shouldn’t affect your relationship.

What will affect a relationship, however, is someone shutting down the possibility of a partner, maybe even the love of your life, simply because of their sexuality. What will affect your relationship is believing that a bi person is going to cheat on you, just because they’re bi, as if innately bisexual people are cheaters. No, a cheater is a cheater. Your possible relationship will be affected by your own insecurities of dating a bisexual person and have absolutely nothing to do with your partner’s sexuality.

Telling someone you won’t date them just for being bi feels very similar to the rejection people face just for being gay. There’s nothing I can do to change my sexuality any more than a gay person can change his. If I’m a nice guy and fit your usual parameters of a partner—what gives?

My date never apologized, and I doubt he ever will. But I encourage gay men to at least reconsider their views and prejudices on bisexuality.

Speaking as a bi guy, if I’m attracted to you, it’s you who I’m attracted to. My sexuality shouldn’t be the deal breaker for a possible relationship. My workaholic nature, or the fact I snore should be (if it’s any consolation, I make a great breakfast in bed). At the end of the day it’s your choice. Some of my future interests will just choose not to understand their lack of interests to bisexuals is biphobic. And you’ll be missing out, because quite frankly — I’m a catch, with or without vagina cooties.

 

ELIEL CRUZ is a writer on issues related to bisexuality. In addition to The Advocate, Eliel frequently writes on the topics of sexuality, religion, pop culture, and media at The Huffington Post, Believe Out Loud, and Mic. You can follow Eliel on Twitter @ElielCruz.

Mike Szymanski
Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]




  • Steven

    That is a rather narrow minded way how the guy you went on a date views life. I happen to be gay and I have zero problems with bisexual men. Any dating or relationship scenario needs to have complete honesty and trust. I think some gay men have a fear that a bi guy will cheat or get with a woman. I think this fear is ill founded and illogical. Guess what, I have witnessed many different kinds of cheating and it involved all sexualities. What I find more disconcerting is how the guy described a part of a woman’s anatomy. Granted, I would not want to discuss the various aspects of being with a woman because I am gay, but if I was genuinely interested in a guy that identifies as bisexual, I would not shut myself away to discuss his past experiences with a woman. The way I see it, the relationships we get involve in defines who we are now, so I would want to hear about the past experiences a bisexual guy had with both men and women. Just like I think he would want to hear about my past experiences.

  • Robert

    In my experience Bi dudes tend to project an aire of supiriority to any gay man they are dating. Ive dated 4 bi men and 3 out of 4 of em somehow made me feel bad about who I was. Like being gay. It was really weird and I can’t really put it to words. Just gotta experience it I guess. But its not bi-phobia. Most gay mens views on such things are based on empirical evidence and personal experience. Most of their views are legitimate. Its happened to me: dated a bi guy for over a year. Was awesome, and started getting serious. He claimed its about the “person,” but somehow still always made me feel like I was missing something. I understand that he is who he is. He is bi. So yes, there is something I was missing that he possessed. It always irked me and living in a relationship like that slowly makes you feel shitty about yourself. No matter how much he loved me or wanted to be with me, he still had a way of making me feel inadequate, like I would never really have all of him. He couldn’t help it, he was bi, and I couldn’t have all of him. And I hold no ill will against him. There was also the aspect that bisexuals think differently from gay men. And they look at sexuality in a different way. Even though he was with a gay man he still kind of view me and all men as bros or whatever, which as a gay man, I can for sure play along with, but I dunno, I am not like a bisexual or straight man. Im gay. Eventually when it got really serious he started distancing himself, and eventually we broke up and he started seeing girls. 4 years later he is still with the girl he went with after me. Bottom line, we basically broke up because of a rejection my sexuality, not his. In my opinion, based on my experience and relationships with bisexuals (who are, in general very hot, and the sex is better… haha) its my belief that gay men and bisexual men are two different species. They both think and perceive differently; they’re not compatible. I don’t think gay men should date bisexual men, but I would never tell anyone not to. Just my experience has taught me that it doesn’t really work, and 9 times out of 10 the “hetero” side is going to win. Bisexual men tend to only settle down and commit to another man if they already have kids or don’t ever want kids. If they are young (under 30-35) then they tend to, more often than not, just be experiencing another life experience if they are dating a gay man. A temporal situation. The ones who percieve themselves as part of the hetero community and plan on having kids will always go with women. Period. Gay men aren’t biphobic in general. They are just experienced and jaded when it comes to bisexual men. No one likes a pitty party or when people play the victim. People just need to understand both sides and try to understand how the other thinks and one can come to terms and harmony. Peace and love.