Tag Archives: Anna Paquin

Bi-Erasure & why It has to stop.

Bisexual erasure is term I recently learned, I’ve always known it was a ‘thing’ but I never knew a term had been coined to describe the tendency to dispute a person’s bisexuality. There is a ‘B’ in LGBT but I feel like bisexuals get the short end of the stick in the community sometimes.

Personally, I have been told by other members of the LGBT community, as wells as those who identify as heterosexual, that bisexuality doesn’t exist. I must admit, hearing these words hurts more when it comes from another member of the LGBT community. It hurts more because as a community, I feel like we should try harder to understand and accept each other for who we are.

According to the popular website Urban Dictionary, bisexual erasure is described as:

The tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media, and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists. 

There have been many bisexual  characters on T.V and in films over the past few years. Even though these characters identify themselves as bisexual, other characters often refer to them as homosexuals. There is a big difference between being homosexual and bisexual.

Bisexuals prefer both male & female, while homosexuals prefer their own gender.

I think one of the reasons for the confusion about bisexuality and the questioning of it’s legitimacy, is because many people use it as a pit stop before coming out.

Most people feel that it is a lot easier to say that they are bisexual, than admit to themselves and others that they are homosexual. I have many homosexual friends who’ve claimed to be bisexual at first, to ease themselves into coming out. That isn’t their fault at all, it’s societies fault.

It does however, make bisexuality seem illegitimate at times.

Calling bisexuality a “phase” or “just being greedy” is also extremely inconsiderate and ignorant. Even some of my favorite show’s have had bouts of bi erasure in their scripts. Willow Rosenberg, from Buffy The Vampire Slayer was referred to as a being gay because she dated Tara. Willow also had a deeply loving relationship with a male character named Oz, in previous seasons.

Yet, she was never referred to as a bisexual character.

Or take the popular Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, where main character Piper Chapman is referred to as a “former lesbian”, despite her past relationships with men.

True Blood actress Anna Paquin shut down Larry King after he questioned her bisexuality, referring to her as a “nonpracticing bisexual”. Skip to the 11 minute mark for her response!

So let’s get this straight (pardon the pun!) women who identify as bisexual are not straight when they are dating a male, nor are they lesbians when dating a female. The logic applies to bisexual men also, of course. Bisexuality is a legitimate sexuality, regardless of what the media and social norms may lead people to believe.

Bisexual people have a lot to deal with, we get told that we are liars and are more likely to cheat on our partners because we like both sexes, which is just preposterous. We are not ripping off our pants at the sight of every person we meet on the street, like everyone else we have our preferences.

I suggest checking out this fantastic article about Bisexual Women Discussing Their Long-Term Relationships With MenNot to disappoint you but we’re not closet lesbians and we shouldn’t have to defend ourselves as part of the LGBT community.