What does bisexual mean? The lowdown

Someone who is bisexual is attracted to more than one gender, or to genders similar to and different to their own. 

Some people think that you can only be attracted to one gender – meaning either you’re gay/lesbian, or you’re straight. But that’s not true.

Let’s look at some myths and truths about bisexuality:

Myth: Being bisexual means you are scared of commitment.

Truth: People who are bisexual have committed relationships, just like anyone else. There’s nothing about being bisexual which makes you more or less able to commit to a partner. Commitment problems can come up for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with sexuality.

Myth: Being bisexual is just a phase, and people grow out of it.

Truth: Even if someone who is bisexual only has relationships with people of one gender, this doesn’t mean they’ll never be attracted to people of other genders. People who are bisexual stay bisexual their whole lives, just like with any other sexual orientation.

Myth: Bisexuality isn’t real. The person is actually gay or straight, but they haven’t realised it yet.

Truth: Bisexuality is real – it’s a sexual orientation, just like being straight, gay or lesbian.

If you think you might be bisexual, or you have a friend or family member who is, do your best to learn about and understand this sexuality. If you or someone you know needs to talk about it, speak to a counsellor or psychologist, or contact OUT’s helpline on 0860 688 688.

To learn more about sexuality, read our article What does LGBTQIA+ mean?

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