This post originally appeared on Bustle.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, was Bisexual Visibility Day, and man, do people need to made aware of us. We may not be a big group -- only 0.7 percent of Americans identify as bisexual -- but that doesn't mean we aren't here. In fact, our small numbers just might represent the fact that as a group, bisexual people are often especially stigmatized.
Don't get it twisted: Bisexual individuals can definitely benefit from heterosexual privilege, in so far as they have the ability to be in "socially acceptable" relationships, where as gay and lesbian people may not.
But from being told our orientation doesn't exist, to being accused of lying to get attention, the experience of coming out as bisexual comes with its own list of unique difficulties. The misconceptions about what it means to be bi are so common that even Anna Paquin had to school Larry King on bisexuality when he asked her some quintessentially ignorant questions earlier this year.
As a bi woman, I, along with every bisexual person I've met, have heard the same handful of these ill-informed questions whenever I've chosen to open up about my orientation. Here are 11 things we bi women are just plain tired of hearing.
1. You're just bi to get guys' attention.
Women definitely hear this one more often than men. Sure, being bi-curious may be different from being bisexual. But the trick to figuring out if someone is "really bi" is simple: If they say, "I'm bisexual," then they are bisexual. End of story. They don't need to pull out their bisexual license or pass any other qualifying exams for you.
2. But you've never kissed/slept with/dated a girl, so you can't really be bi.
I think you and I both know you didn't make out with Channing Tatum before listing him as your sexuality on Facebook. What I've done is totally irrelevant.
3. Are you sure you aren't a lesbian?
People on both sides of the spectrum are guilty of this one. I'm pretty sure the first question you ask yourself after you realize you're attracted to someone of your same sex is, "Am I gay?" But for those of us who are bi, the answer is clearly no.
But no, you're right, this is obviously just some denial-based delusion we've all conned ourselves into over the years in order to avoid admitting to ourselves that we're gay. We're so delusional we've even made a flag for ourselves and opened up exhibits about our history. But now, thanks to you, we'll never have to lie to the world and ourselves ever again.
4. I bet that I can change your mind.
Nope, and now you're definitely not getting in my pants.
5. You just want to sleep with everyone.
Being bisexual means being attracted to men and women -- not all men and women, just the ones we find attractive. It's absurd that we still have to make this distinction, but apparently we do.
6. You'll grow out of it, I bet.
This isn't a phase for me. Why, is your sexuality just a phase for you?
7. Men are so annoying. I wish I could date girls!
Uh, you can. But I'm not bi because I sometimes get tired of guys. It's not like women are the other white meat.
8. But you'll have to eventually become gay or straight if you get married, right?
While for most of us marriage means settling down with one person and being faithful to them, it's not like there's a switch we can flip on our butts somewhere to make us gay or straight. Our partner will just have to respect that its something we can't change, the same way we will respect their orientation.
9. I don't date bi girls because they'll just leave me.
People leave their significant others for other people every day, regardless of orientation. To insinuate that bisexuals are more likely to do so than others, and to shun them as a result, is just ignorant.
10. My boyfriend wants to have a threesome, and we were just wondering since you're bi and all...
No. Being bi doesn't make me any more inclined than anyone else to want to sleep with you and your boyfriend.
NO, gross dude. Just, no.
In a 2011 Esquire interview, Megan Fox confirmed her bisexuality, stating, "I think people are born bisexual and then make subconscious choices based on the pressures of society. I have no question in my mind about being bisexual. But I'm also a hypocrite: I would never date a girl who was bisexual, because that means they also sleep with men, and men are so dirty that I'd never want to sleep with a girl who had slept with a man."
Billie Joe Armstrong
The Green Day front man opened up about his sexuality in a 1995 interview with The Advocate: "I think I've always been bisexual. I mean, it's something that I've always been interested in. I think everybody kind of fantasizes about the same sex. I think people are born bisexual, and it's just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of 'Oh, I can't.' They say it's taboo. It's ingrained in our heads that it's bad, when it's not bad at all. It's a very beautiful thing."
Twice-married record executive and music mogul Clive Davis came out as bisexual in his 2013 memoir, The Soundtrack Of My Life. Davis opened up about two long-term relationships he had with men after his divorce from his second wife.
Anna Paquin is adamantly open about her bisexuality. The actress told "Zooey" magazine
in a 2009 interview, "For me, it’s not really an issue because I’m someone who believes being bisexual is actually a thing. It’s not made up. It’s not a lack of decision."
After telling The Advocate in 1999 that she was bisexual, Mullally clarified her statements in an interview with Queerty,
telling the blog: "I said that I thought that everybody is innately bisexual. I think there are different levels of awareness attached to that, so I may believe that everybody is innately bisexual, but somebody who is very homophobic may not see that quality in themselves in any way, shape or form. That’s on a very philosophical or even metaphysical level, you know what I mean? It’s not something that I think people are ready for yet. I think if you ask the average guy on the street if he was innately bisexual, he’d be like, ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ and then he’d punch you in the face. So, we’re not quite there."
The rapper has been openly bisexual
since the early days of her career: "I mean, I'm bisexual, so it makes sense. But I don't want to be that girl who says all gays necessarily hang out together, of course! I have people say to me, 'Oh wow, my friend is gay, too,' and I'm like, 'Yeah, so?'"
Many people mistakenly assume that Andy Dick identifies as gay. However, he told The Washington Post in a 2006 interview
that, "just because I've been with guys, and I'm bi, doesn't mean I'm gay."
Actress Bai Ling is openly bisexual -- and the identity category has often provided some humorous mix-ups involving her first name. According to GLAAD, she discussed it in-depth in a 2009 interview with Entertainment Weekly: "[A]t first when I was in the United States I didn't always have an interpreter in interviews and I didn't speak English so well. There was some confusion. My name is pronounced 'bi,' so when I was asked, 'Are you bi?' I said, 'Yes, I am Bai.' Do you like men? 'Of course!' Do you like women? 'Why yes!' And later I found out what that means and I said, 'Sure, I am bi!' But I think the interpreters and the reporters thought that I didn't know what I was saying because I was so open about it. They were uncomfortable about it. Such a thing is not important for me."
The "Portlandia" star and former guitarist and vocalist for Sleater-Kinney is often assumed to identify as gay. However, she told "Willamette Week" in 2012 that, "It’s weird, because no one’s actually ever asked me. People just always assume, like, you’re this or that. It’s like, ‘OK. I’m bisexual.’”
Though David Bowie has historically played coy surrounding his sexuality, he clarified the subject in a 1976 interview with "Playboy."
"It's true -- I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well. I suppose it's the best thing that ever happened to me."
The always-polarizing Snooki sat down with The Huffington Post in February 2012
and sought to clarify her sexual preference. "I would consider myself bi. I've done stuff with girls before. But I would never be with a girl because I like... penis. But I've experimented."
Amber Heard has been openly bisexual
for quite some time, and discussed this aspect of her identity in "Elle." The model and actress told reporters: "[I] didn't want to look like I was hiding anything."
Angelina Jolie has been open about her sexuality for quite some time, having had numerous encounters and relationships with women. She reportedly told OK Magazine that
, "I have loved women in the past and slept with them. I think if you love and want to pleasure a woman, particularly if you are a woman yourself, then certainly you know how to do things a certain way."
Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood came out on Twitter
in 2012: “I myself am bisexual and have always ‘joked’ about Miley giving me gay vibes. Not a bad thing! Just an observation.”
The author of Push,
the book that inspired the critically acclaimed film "Precious," describes herself
Drew Barrymore originally came out in an interview in Contact Magazine in 2003
, saying, "Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual... I love a woman's body. I think a woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else."
This former "American Idol" and "The Voice" contestant came out in 2012, telling her fans
that she had been in a relationship with a woman for the past year and had dated men and women.
Musician Vanessa Carlton came out publicly
at 2010's Nashville Pride, announcing to a crowd of 18,000 that, "I've never said this before, but I am a proud bisexual woman!"
The Black Eyed Peas front woman confirmed speculation surrounding her sexual identity in 2009 through an interview with The Advocate
: "Q: After you discussed past sexual experiences with women in an interview with 'The Sun' in May, headlines everywhere read, 'Fergie Admits She’s Bisexual!' A: The funny thing is that I was very open and honest about that from the very beginning, and everyone was acting like it was some new trend. Go back four or five years, people, and you’ll see the same answer. "
In his book, Who I Am: A Memoir by Pete Townshend
, this musician confirmed
that he is "probably bisexual" and cited his attraction to Mick Jagger, calling him "the only man I've ever seriously wanted to fuck."
Tila Tequila is not one to shy away from anything. The former Myspace celebrity did several reality shows
centered around identifying as bisexual, beginning with "A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila." She was also the girlfriend of Casey Johnson, the Johnson & Johnson heiress, who passed away in 2010
Amber Rose has long been perceived to be openly bisexual without actually addressing the way she identifies. In an interview with Complex magazine, the model sought to clarify the rumors
: "They label me a bisexual freak stripper that fucks Kanye on a daily basis. To answer that: I’m extremely open with my sexuality. I can be in love with a woman, I can be in love with a man. I’m not into bestiality, but as far as humans go, I definitely find beauty in everybody, whether they’re heavy-set, super-skinny, if they’re white, black, Indian, Asian, Spanish. I can see beauty in anybody. I’m not into threesomes or orgies and shit like that. If I see a women and I think she’s beautiful and I like her, and she likes me back we can definitely try to be in a relationship together."
The first lady to ever come out in "Lady's Home Journal" as bisexual, "Biggest Loser" coach and personal trainer Jillian Michaels told the magazine in 2010
: “Let’s just say I believe in healthy love. If I fall in love with a woman, that’s awesome. If I fall in love with a man, that’s awesome. As long as you fall in love… it’s like organic food. I only eat healthy food, and I only want healthy love!”
Former "Real Housewives Of Atlanta" star Kim Zolciak was in public relationships with both the mysterious "Big Poppa" and DJ Tracy Young before marrying Kroy Biermann. In a 2010 interview with Life & Style, interviewers posed the following question for the reality queen
: "Q: Do you feel you're giving a voice to other bisexual parents? A: I'm among the millions of parents who have been in a gay or lesbian relationship. It hasn't been an easy road lately, but I feel there are no mistakes in my life. Everything happens for a reason. To have the opportunity to speak for myself and to have people understand what I'm going through is really special. I myself was confused and scared at first. Being able to speak from my heart and get this all out, it's a huge relief for me."
Lady Gaga has been open for quite some time about her bisexuality, initially coming out in a 2010 interview
with Barbara Walters.
'Mama June' Shannon
Charles Norfleet via Getty Images
The star of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" revealed that she's bisexual in an "Inside Edition" interview in April 2015. Her daughter "Pumpkin" Lauryn Thompson also came out as bi at the same time.