Staff Opinion: My identity is not a phase

By Natalie Rubio-Licht | November 9, 2017 2:29pm

Natalie Rubio-Licht is a freshman reporter for The Beacon.
by Brennan Robinson / The Beacon

“Don’t worry, you’ll find a man! You’re so pretty!” 

“Why don’t you just pick one?” 

“I’d only kiss a girl at a party.” 

“Don’t bisexuals fall for everyone?” 

Coming to college has given me numerous chances to meet new people and create long lasting friendships. With the icebreakers and familiar greetings of orientation, with the questions such as “What’s your major? Where are you from?”, a more daunting set of questions comes to my mind; “Should I tell them? If I should, how long before I do? Will they even respect me?” 

If I do finally feel close enough to someone to trust them with such sensitive information, which I’ve misjudged more than once since my arrival, I often receive responses like those above. Sometimes from my female friends, I’ve even gotten the response, “You don’t have a crush on me, do you?”. 

Bisexuality is often equated to promiscuity. The notion that bisexual people have no self control and want to flirt with everyone they see is widespread and ingrained in society. Terms like “greedy” and “easy” often accompany talk of bisexuality.

Bisexuals are often accused of simply being “confused”. Telling us that we’ll “settle down” in a heterosexual relationship and asking us to “pick one” further invalidates our identities and makes us feel as though bisexuality is simply a phase. 

Despite being the “B” in LGBT+, bisexuals are often not accepted in both heterosexual or LGBT+ communities. The negative connotations with bisexuality often lead to us being ostracized in the LGBT+ community, and the discrimination we face is not seen as important or prevalent. 

This lack of acceptance in either community only deepens for bisexuals who choose to be in relationships. If a bisexual person chooses to be with someone of a different gender, their identity is thrown out the window, and they are automatically seen as heterosexuals that were, to use the worn out phrase, “going through a phase”. If they choose to be in a relationship with someone of their same gender, they are seen as having finally “picked one”. 

A bisexual in a relationship with a person of the opposite gender does not make them any less bisexual. As best described by an analogy by Phil Fragasso, reporter for Huffington Post in his opinion-editorial Bisexuality and Promiscuity in Fact and Fiction, “A redhead who marries a blond doesn’t become blond. If you’re a redhead at birth, a redhead you’ll always be. Sure you can dye your hair, but you’re still a redhead.”

So to answer the question asked by numerous female friends, no, I do not have a crush on you.