When I was in sixth grade there was a boy in my class who I found attractive. I remember thinking, “I can’t like boys, I’m straight. I still like girls.” So I kept living that way, ignoring my feelings towards guys by telling myself I was straight.
I thought that if your weren’t straight you were gay. You could only be attracted to one gender or another.
I had never heard the term bisexuality until about eight months ago when I realized I couldn’t keep telling myself that I was straight and started searching for answers. After realizing I was bisexual I asked myself, “Why haven’t I ever heard about bisexuality until now?”
I can tell you why; because of something that the bisexual community has been dealing with for a long time now — bisexual erasure.
If you don’t know, bisexual erasure is defined on the LBGTQA+ media platform GLAAD as, “a pervasive problem in which the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality, either in general or in regard to an individual, is questioned or denied outright”
The reason why this is such an issue is that it keeps people from being informed on what bisexuality really means. This leads to the invalidation of bisexuality as the uninformed calling it “just a phase,” or even flat out saying that it is impossible to be attracted to two or more genders.
People say that this isn’t that big a deal because not all that many people identify as bisexual, which is completely wrong.
In 2019, the CDC did a survey to see what percentage of students in the U.S. defined their sexuality as.
Nationally, almost 9 percent of students identified as bisexual, over triple the amount that identified as gay or lesbian, 2.5 percent. It is a big problem that is affecting almost a 10th of the youth in our country.
There is a solution to this problem. Bisexual erasure can be stopped. It all starts by talking about the problem, bringing awareness to it. Merely talking to a friend about bisexual erasure is already doing more good for the cause because it being ignored is the problem.
If someone you know is confused on what bisexuality is or doesn’t think it’s valid, explain it to them. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you’re attracted to you can help end this one conversation at a time.