1. We’re still bisexual. Sexual identity is not automated based on the gender of the person you happen to be in a relationship with at the time. Bisexuality is not a placeholder orientation. A self-identifying bisexual woman is always a bisexual woman, even if she’s in a heterosexual relationship. Sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, etc. are all different things, and it’s surprising how infrequently that’s common knowledge.
2. We’re usually more transparent about our heterosexual relationships because, oh, you know, even walking down the street holding hands with someone of the same sex/gender incites nasty looks and comments. Please remember that you may not have the whole picture, especially if all you know about our sexual or romantic history is what you see on Facebook.
3. Please don’t assume we’re just “experimenting” because you’ve seen other women “go back to men.” We don’t call your marriages “experiments” and we don’t see those last often either. (Also, there’s an identity for ‘experimenting,’ it’s called Questioning, it’s part of the acronym, we got our biddies covered.)
4. We’re not “in hiding” if we aren’t transparent about our sexual orientation. Nor are we in denial, or not “out.” Too often people confuse being “out” with “making sure every single person you are conscious of is aware.”
5. There’s no faster way to completely erase us from the spectrum or deny our identity altogether than with this winning phrase: “but I thought you were gay!” “Gay” is not the overarching term for “not cis,” in the way some people use “queer.” Certainly this question is valid if someone was out as “gay” and is now… not (though the delivery could use some work). Regardless: there are about a thousand frustrating layers to this particular mess of an assumption, mostly revolving around the dismissal of bisexuality altogether. (Sigh.)
6. Don’t ask whether our boyfriends “know,” like it’s some sort of disease we should fairly warn them about. They probably know, only because they know a lot about us – not because we must disclose this information so they are being made privvy to what (you seem to think) could be a turn-off or deal-breaker.
7. We haven’t “gone back to boys” because that’s just “what happens!” That’s not… what happens… and it’s an idea that’s backed fully by the idea that men legitimize everything – our intimate relationships and identities included. (Another sigh.)
8. It’s really weird when you ask whether or not we have frequent threesomes, please stop. This is only really an issue when it comes with the assumption (or implication) that bisexuality is a sort of vanity orientation… that it’s something we do because it’s “hot.” Oh, speaking of:
9. This isn’t for attention, nor is it just being “slutty.” (We won’t get into the politics of that word right now) because the point here is that truthfully, it’s easier to pass as “straight.” Believe me when I say: we would not choose an objectively more difficult path in life unless the opposite – not being true to ourselves – wasn’t even more so.
10. Bisexual men, objectively, have it harder, but for the same (weird, false, annoying) reason that we do. They’re totally erased from the picture (Channing Tatum is bi and you’ll never hear about it – Megan Fox is bi and it’s the cover photo of every photo gallery under a completely unrelated article.) It revolves around the fact that we think a penis makes a relationship valid – so bisexual men will “go gay” and bisexual women will “turn straight” eventually.
11. This is not the “gateway drug” of sexual orientation. It’s not a stop on the road trip to gayland. You may know of people who first identified as bi before coming out as gay, but that doesn’t mean bi is just what happens before you see yourself fully.
12. There’s nothing to “choose.” And that’s the phrase bisexual women hear the most: “So… when are you going to choose?” If you’re refering to when we’re going to choose whether we’re straight or gay – you fundamentally misunderstand the spectrum of sexual orientation altogether. It’s not categorical, and does not shift based on what you appear to be (how you dress, who you’re having sex with).