11 Things Never To Say To A Bi Woman Dating A Man
Or other non-female-spectrum person.
1. “Oh, so you’re straight now?”
Being a female-spectrum person dating a non-female-spectrum person does not stop someone being bi any more than being with someone called Alice makes you suddenly "Alice-sexual." I have used this analogy before and I will use it again. We all have pasts (and futures, if relationships don’t work out) and as monogamous as we might be, as in love as we might be, our current relationship doesn’t erase that. Plus, dating a guy doesn’t stop bi women lusting innocently after Ellen Page through the safety of a TV screen any more than dating another woman in a mono relationship does so for lesbians.
2. “You’re so lucky. You get straight privilege.”
Having your identity completely denied and ignored is THE BEST. No, actually, it’s not. Pretty much one of the most awkward things ever is having to say “my ex-girlfriend” to someone casually in conversation (especially the boyfriend’s parents) when they think you are “straight” and then be grilled about how/why you “changed [your] mind.” Dating a guy isn’t the “safe option” if you’re bi. It’s just an option, because you’re, like, bi and that’s how it works. You fall for who you fall for.
3. “I bet you have threesomes all the time.”
Some bi girls do. Some bi girls don’t. If it’s all consenting adults and everyone is smiling, so what? Just don’t assume that all men/male-spectrum folk are constantly hankering for some soft-porn fantasy just because their girl has got down on it with other girls before. Plenty of them are quite happy with just one woman, Netflix and chill.
4. “Why do you still need to tell everyone you’re bi if you’re with him?”
Because I was ostracised and had my head stuck down the toilet for the whole of high school for liking girls, just like maybe you did as a lesbian. Because a bi woman basically launched the whole Pride movement but endless books and documentaries misrepresent her as straight (her name is Brenda Howard, look her up!). Because it’s part of my identity and I will not pretend to be someone else.
5. “I always suspected you preferred men.”
Well, did you now? I’m so grateful for your off-the-cuff Freudian analysis of this latent sexual preference I had been hitherto unaware of. Some people prefer blondes, some prefer brunettes, some prefer blondes but fall in love with a brunette… Even if we have admitted a “preference” in the past, or have one that we haven’t told you about, that doesn’t mean you have any right to smugly tell us you “knew all along.”
6. “I hear you’re with a guy now! I can never keep up!”
Perhaps we can’t keep up with you either. Except because you only date girls, we are less likely to be allowed to comment. Your consistent attention to one gender and our lust for more than one gender can render you immune to our complaints that we don’t know if it’s Sarah or Carla you’re dating this week yet allow you open season on the fact that we dated Gemma last week and we’re with Carl now. That’s just not fair.
7. “I’m sorry we didn’t invite you out to The Cave this weekend. Now you’re with Carl we figured you wouldn’t be interested.”
It’s LGBT+, not LG -“B if you’re dating a girl, not part of the community if you aren’t”- T+. Please don’t exclude us from the regular queer adventures we all used to enjoy just because our current partner isn’t female-spectrum. We are STILL QUEER!
8. “What do you mean, can I give you a lift to Pride? Why? You’re with a guy now… You’re not bringing him, are you? What will people think?”
Being bi and in a couple perceived to be straight is really hard in LGBT spaces. And Pride is probably the worst example of this. We are seen as tourists, people only there for the party (because let’s face it, Pride is totally losing its politics, worldwide – but that’s a completely separate article) or just idiots who’ve wandered in on someone else’s parade that we happened to spot from across the street, our minds empty of understanding beyond “Oh look – happy people and pretty rainbows”.
9. “Gonna give your parents grandchildren at last, then?”
For most of us, entering into a relationship with a guy is not usually a choice driven solely by an urge to procreate. It generally happens due to the fact that we like the person we are in a relationship with, regardless of gender. There are of course exceptions to absolutely everything but to just outright assume potential procreation as a primary motivation in our choice of partner is really rather offensive.
10. “Don’t you miss tits?”
Oh. God. Honestly? I didn’t say that to you when you broke up with your DD-cup girlfriend and civil partnered up with the AA-cup love of your life. So don’t say it to me. That “hearts not parts” cliché to explain bisexuality is what it says on the tin – a cliché. A glorious, bright, true, unashamed cliché. I will never quite get why your attraction is limited by gender and you might never quite get why mine isn’t but that’s all part of the old rich tapestry, isn’t it? Let’s play nice.
11. “How much are you selling your tan Birkenstocks and Melissa Etheridge albums for, then?”
No way. No way. No way. Get your paws off.
Charlotte Dingle is a freelance journalist, fine art tutor and mature (ahem) creative writing master’s degree student. Writes regularly for Cosmo, DIVA and Occupy. Ex-editor of the Stonewall award-winning g3 magazine, for lesbian and bisexual women. Current editor of Biscuit, a Stonewall award-nominated website for bisexual women. Bisexuality and mental health crusader. Hobbies include hanging with a lovely, smelly, weird, 23-year-old cat. Too many tattoos and piercings (well, that's what my mum said).