11 Things To Never Say To A Bisexual Girl Who's Dating A Girl
It shouldn't be considered offensive to continue calling myself bisexual when I'm with her.
1. “Oh, so you’re a lesbian now?”
No, I’m still bisexual. Being with a woman doesn’t erase my past or mean that I am suddenly only attracted to my girlfriend, anymore than it does the same for her. It shouldn’t be considered offensive to continue calling myself bisexual when I’m with her. It’s what I am.
2. “I knew you’d make your mind up.”
I made my mind up when I came out as bisexual. What are you trying to say here? Bisexuality doesn’t mean being undecided until you meet the “right” person. It’s a continuous attraction to more than one gender.
3. “You’ll change your mind again.”
If you mean I might decide to date a man next, that’s not “changing my mind”. That’s called being a person with the capacity to be attracted to more than one gender, who comes out of a relationship and meets someone else. Someone who happens not to be female-spectrum.
4. “Doesn’t it upset your girlfriend?”
First of all, that’s kind of between me and my girlfriend. Secondly, let’s talk about why you think it would upset her. If you’re in a monogamous relationship, being bi doesn’t mean you’re going to cheat. Neither does it mean you arrive in the relationship dripping with syphilis and dirty man germs, ranting about how hot the guy next door is.
5. “I would never date a bisexual. Your girlfriend’s crazy.”
Well we wouldn’t date you either, with that attitude, so you’re safe. I can’t say it enough times – “I would never date a bisexual” is a really, really, really hurtful statement. Yet even otherwise fairly enlightened people seem quite content to say it. To the bisexual hearing it, it easily translates to “You’re not worthy of being loved, because I don’t believe a confused mess like you could ever love anyone back or be faithful.” And who wants to hear that?
6. “I thought you were straight... you were dating that guy?”
Yes, yes I was. Dating that guy, not straight. And now I’m dating her. And I’m still bisexual. Assuming someone’s sexuality is based on who they’re with doesn’t always work. It’s kind of fun thinking about it, really. Maybe even your seemingly super-straight boss has had boyfriends. Maybe your grandma had a girlfriend.
7. “Don’t you miss sleeping with men?”
Don’t get me wrong, sleeping with someone with male parts is very different to sleeping with a woman. But when it comes down to it, for most bi folk the level of attraction is more important than the parts you express it with. This question also assumes the relationship is monogamous – it might not be. However, bisexuals do not have the monopoly (see what I did there?) on open or poly relationships. Plenty of straight and gay folk embrace them too. It’s not a necessity for every bi girl to experience multi-gendered lovin’ on a regular basis. Many of us are quite happy with just one warm body to share our lives with.
8. “Welcome to the club!”
If I’m not completely mistaken, there’s a “B” in LGBT. I was always in “your club”, thank you very much. You just chose to ignore it until I somehow validated myself by getting with a woman again. Bisexuality has a long history of being quietly kicked off the rainbow, represented only by that tokenistic “B” that everyone forgets about, and frankly we’re pretty mad about it.
9. “I always suspected you preferred women.”
Lots of bisexuals have a gender preference, and that’s cool and part of the rich tapestry of life. But many don’t – or are dating someone who doesn’t fit their usual gender preference. Again, assuming a wider preference based on who someone is with at the time is dangerous. It’s like telling someone who generally prefers blondes that they prefer brunettes now they’re dating one. Maybe they just really, really like this brunette, and always knew deep down they had the capacity to love brunettes too, even though they’ve usually dated blondes.
10. “I hear you’re with a woman now! I can never keep up!”
This one seems to be a stock response even if you’ve begun dating said woman after 75 years of celibacy. It’s 100% guaranteed they’ll remember that guy you were engaged to back in 1941. Even if they got five women’s phone numbers this weekend and are on girlfriend number three this month.
11. “Hey, wanna come to a lesbian bar with us this weekend?”
This is, of course, not a bad thing in and of itself. The problem arises when the person inviting you has only decided you’re worthy of attending when you’re dating a woman. You can invite bisexual girls to “lesbian” clubs whoever they’re dating. They’re #StillBisexual (yes, it’s even a hashtag now).
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).