And how to overcome them....
Though the LGBT community has won some important victories recently all over the globe (the most important being the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges case, where same-sex marriage is recognized as a fundamental legal right under the 14th Amendment), those wins can create a false sense to the outside observer that the LGBT community finally has everything sorted out for them.
Yet, many members of the LGBT community will quickly tell you that they still find themselves surrounded by a plethora of prejudices, technical problems, blatant violence and downright ignorance about their ways.
The "B" in LGBT is definitely facing those problems.
No one, not even the members of the LGBT community, seem able to properly define and completely accept those who "prefer not to prefer." This can leave some bisexuals completely confused and makes it difficult for them to deal with all the hardships of life. In fact, bisexual women are more susceptible to mental illnesses than their straight or lesbian counterparts.
Defining bisexual-ism is really hard, and a lot of more clever (and better informed) people than myself have tried and failed, so I will just leave that as a still unsolved question. Meanwhile, if you are bisexual (or might be), here are 6 struggles you likely face on a daily basis.
But I assure you, as frustrating (and ridiculous) as these challenges are, there are ways for you to overcome them:
1. You're flagged as a cheater by default.
The very nature of bisexual-ism invites this most prevalent of stereotypes. Most people believe that because the whole market is open to you (and not just one of two options), it makes it possible for you to tap into that market whenever you feel like it, whether you have a partner or not. They might think along the lines of, "If I do something bad, he/she will immediately cheat with someone of either gender, because, well, he/she just can."
This leaves your partner with a lot of insecurities (which they basically bring upon themselves) and insecurities almost always lead to relationship problems. Even if you have never cheated in your life, you're regularly confronted with this stereotype.
The solution here is to straight up talk to your partner about it. Explain to them that just because you fancy both sexes does not mean that you’ll actually go and do something about it. Being bisexual does not make you promiscuous nor mean that you will stray with any person (male or female) who passes your way. If the trust issues persist after having this conversation, perhaps it’s time to find a new, more relaxed partner. No relationship lasts long if there are trust issues.
2. Your straight friends think you're "just experimenting."
Another equally prevalent stereotype is that bisexuals are not actually interested in both sexes. Instead, you're just experimenting to see which gender you prefer. This makes it seem like your sexual identity is a temporary one.
While this might be true for some in the teenage or college years, a great number of people actually remain bisexual for the rest of their lives. However, public perception still stubbornly insists that bisexuals don’t know what they want.
You will have to learn to navigate this stereotype, but first things first, decide not to care what others think. What you prefer is solely your own decision. However, have a good talk with yourself and decide whether you really are "just experimenting" or if you're down for a permanent ride.
3. You're constantly sought after for threesomes.
When people think of a bisexual's sex life, they often think threesomes. It's understandable why they might think this way (because it logically feels more natural for a bisexual, since both genders appeal to them). But, bisexuals actually prefer the same things as 'ordinary people' (and yes, that does include an occasional threesome. However, bisexuals don't go around having only threesomes).
It’s hard to change stereotypes, and going around explaining that you seek emotional stability and a loving relationship just as much as anyone one else probably won't help you much. Just ignore all the threesome and physical satisfaction prejudices and do what you like. If you like threesomes, go for it. If you don’t, then just stick to finding that perfect partner.
4. A lot of people (straight and LGBT) will refuse to date you.
Speaking of finding a partner, you’d think that it would be much easier for a bisexual person to find a long-term love than it is for those who prefer just one sex. After all, the options are everywhere, right? Actually, not so much.
Not every gay or lesbian person will date a bisexual. Straight people are even less understanding of bisexuals, being that they’ve never experienced being with a person of the same sex.
What does this leave you with to date? A pool of bisexual people (after all, you will both understand each other), or people who have no problems with you being bi. Going out to pubs and cafes to meet new potential partners is difficult because you don't know whether people you meet have the same preferences as you. A lot of bis prefer looking at bisexual dating sites, because, if nothing else, they're on their own playing field, and do not have to worry about whether that guy/girl is actually bi.
5. Your gay and lesbian friends refuse to acknowledge bisexuality as a legitimate thing.
You’d be really surprised how dismissive gays and lesbians are about their bisexual friends. It has a lot to do with number two above. Basically, in the LGBT community (not everywhere, of course), they consider bi people as "neither here nor there". Though you're often called 'gay' by straight people, actual gay/lesbian people often label you 'just confused.' What no one will acknowledge is that you actually truly prefer both sides.
Do not let this bother you. The person that needs to understand this will understand it. For others, you just shouldn’t care. No one can tell you what you are or aren’t, only you know that.
With everyone being dismissive towards bis, it's extremely hard to find someone who understands your problems.
If you're keeping your sexual orientation a secret, confiding in your partner is out of the question, obviously. Having straight or gay best friends will usually yield no satisfactory conversations either.
If you do, however, have best friends whom you can confide in and who can provide meaningful advice, by all means go for it. If not, perhaps it’s time to change friends? Bisexuals understand other bisexuals' plight, so finding someone to talk to who has the same problems as you is the best for your mental health.
This article can't change the world or the narrow-minded attitudes some people have, but if you take heed of some things here, it might just make your life (and both your sexual and romantic experience) a lot easier. Don't make this harder on yourself than it already is. Always strive to keep yourself happy, and your partner, as well (if you have one). The rest is unimportant.