For many people who are still figuring their sexuality, bi erasure and stigma can make it hard to realize you're bisexual. But identifying a label that feels like home to you — whether that's bisexual or another term — can make it so much easier to feel confident, happy, and comfortable in your own skin. The term bisexual refers to a person who's attracted to two or more genders. Though bisexual folks make up a large portion of the LGB people, they are often face stigma from inside and outside the community. These myths can make it even more difficult for people to realize that bisexual is the identity that fits them best — and that can lead to years of frustratingly searching for other labels that never seem to feel or fit quite right.
My best friend and I were on the bus coming home from school in the seventh grade, and we were almost at our stop. For the entire ride, she had been avoiding telling me the name of her new crush, who had been leaving her forlorn and mopey for weeks. I was getting impatient. I had never heard that word before. Bisexuality is more complicated than that, of course. Like her sister identities, such as pansexuality and omnisexuality, bisexuality implies an attraction to multiple or all genders.
In , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 5. While some say they knew they were bi as soon as they started crushing on boys and girls, others say it took decades for them to identify as bisexual. Note: Submitted responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity.
Being bisexual isn't quite as cut-and-dry as being gay or straight, and figuring out if it feels like the right fit can be confusing. In fact, according to research from the Pew Institute , only 28 percent of bisexual people say they've come out about their identity to loved ones, compared to 71 percent of lesbians. The best way to bash stigmas surrounding bisexuality? Share experiences!