Bisexual – not homo, not hetero, not visible?

In modern times, being bisexual is no longer a problem. It’s even trendy, some argue. But still, the presence of bi people is surprisingly scarce. Why?

Bisexuals have a variety of ways to describe their sexual orientation - being attracted to women and men, or to more than one gender or to people of their own or different gender.

Some bisexuals also say that gender does not play a role when falling in love, making the transition to pan-sexuality quite fluid.

Many people, in the course of life, fall in love with people of different genders or have sex with them without identifying as bisexual.

How do bisexuals live?

Some bisexual people have already had experiences with partners from different genders, others have not. Some experience bisexuality as a phase, for others it is an important part of their identity.

There are those who are sexually interested in only one gender, however, romantically they’re interested in several genders (or vice versa). Just like mono-sexual people, bisexuals can also live in different types of relationships - either with one partner, alone or in an open constellation.

Why is bisexual visibility so little?

Bisexuals are often wrongly identified as homo or heterosexual, depending on whom they’re seen with. A man who is married to a man is assumed to be gay. If he kisses a woman though, he is surely thought of as heterosexual.

Wherever bisexual behaviour is registered, various prejudices play out which prevent bisexuality to be recognized as an independent sexual orientation. Bisexuals are perceived as being actually gay or lesbian; or as heterosexuals who followed a trend; or people who have not yet reached maturity in terms of their (mono) sexuality; or as people who are confused or indecisive.

Are bisexuals being discriminated against?

There is little research available on bisexual people in Germany. However, individual studies suggest that bisexuals could suffer from higher degrees of exclusion and more severe health issues than gays or lesbians. Often bisexuals experience double exclusion – from the heterosexual majority and from lesbians, gays and/or trans*people.

Even if lack of visibility of bisexual topics in most LGBT organisations doesn’t make it so obvious - bisexuals have always been active in these organisations and have made decisive contributions to the LGBT emancipation.