Bisexual erasure (also known as bi erasure) is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re-explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media, and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include the belief that bisexuality itself does not exist. Read this full article to find out what it means, how you can help prevent it and be a great ally to the bi community.
Heads up: Some of our articles are sponsored and/or may contain sponsored links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you. This is how we keep the Nonchalant magic alive. We only work with brands we truly love.
Bisexual erasure can take many forms, such as:
- Assuming that bisexual people are gay or lesbian. This is perhaps the most common form of bisexual erasure. It can happen when people assume that bisexual people are only attracted to one gender, or when they pressure bisexual people to choose a side.
- Assuming that bisexuality is a phase. This is another common form of bisexual erasure. It can happen when people tell bisexual people that they will eventually “grow out of” their attraction to both men and women.
- Invalidating bisexual people’s experiences. This can happen when people tell bisexual people that their experiences are not real, or that they are not “bisexual enough.”
- Excluding bisexual people from LGBTQ+ spaces. This can happen when bisexual people are told that they do not belong in LGBTQ+ spaces, or when their experiences are marginalized within the LGBTQ+ community.
Related article: The Bisexual Flag: Its Meaning, History and Colours.
How Bi Erasure Affects Bisexual People
Bisexual erasure can have a negative impact on bisexual people’s mental and emotional health. It can make bisexual people feel isolated, invisible, and invalidated. It can also lead to bisexual people experiencing self-doubt and shame.
Bisexual erasure can also have a negative impact on bisexual people’s physical health. Bisexual people are more likely to experience mental health problems such as depression and anxiety than heterosexual, gay, or lesbian people. They are also more likely to experience substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.
How to Prevent Bi Erasure and Biphobia
There are many things that we can do to prevent bi-erasure and biphobia. Here are a few ideas:
- Educate yourself about bisexuality and biphobia. The more people who know about bisexuality and biphobia, the better. You can learn more by reading books and articles, watching documentaries, and talking to bisexual people.
- Speak out against biphobia. If you see or hear biphobia, speak out against it. This can help to create a more inclusive and accepting environment for bisexual people.
- Support bisexual-owned businesses and organizations. There are many bisexual-owned businesses and organizations that do important work for the bisexual community. You can support them by buying their products or services, or by donating to them.
- Be an ally to the bisexual community. This means standing up for bisexual people when they are being discriminated against or harassed. It also means supporting bisexual people’s rights and causes.
Here are some specific things that you can do to prevent bi-erasure and biphobia in your own life:
- Be mindful of your language. Avoid using language that erases or invalidates bisexuality. For example, instead of saying “I’m not gay, I’m just experimenting,” say “I’m bisexual.”
- Challenge stereotypes about bisexuality. When you hear someone making a negative stereotype about bisexual people, challenge it. For example, if someone says that bisexual people are promiscuous, you could say “That’s a harmful stereotype. Bisexual people are just as diverse as any other population group.”
- Include bisexual people in your conversations and activities. Make sure that bisexual people are represented in your social circle, your workplace, and your community.
- Support bisexual-led initiatives and organizations. There are many bisexual-led initiatives and organizations that are working to promote bisexuality awareness and acceptance. You can support them by donating your time, money, or resources.
By taking these steps, we can help to create a more inclusive and accepting world for bisexual people.
Here are some additional tips for preventing bi-erasure and biphobia:
- Be careful about the media you consume. Be mindful of the way that bisexual people are portrayed in the media. If you see a piece of media that is biphobic, speak out against it.
- Support bisexual representation in the arts and entertainment. Look for movies, TV shows, books, and music that feature positive representations of bisexual people.
- Be an advocate for bisexual rights. Support legislation and policies that protect the rights of bisexual people.
- Talk to your friends and family about bisexuality. Help to educate the people in your life about bisexuality and biphobia.
By taking these steps, we can help to create a more inclusive and accepting world for bisexual people. Be sure to check out more articles in our column for bisexual women.
Team Nonchalant x
Last Updated on 28th September 2023 by Nonchalant Magazine