A bit of bisexual mythbusting inspired by Halsey.

People seem to have a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be bisexual. Thankfully, pop star Halsey is here to clear things up.

On Twitter, the "Bad at Love" singer joked, "So if I'm dating a guy, I'm straight, and if I date a woman, I'm a lesbian. The only way to be a #True bisexual is to date two people at once."

Believe it or not, this is not how bisexuality works. Bisexual people in monogamous relationships don't "become" gay or straight based on who their partner is at any given time. A bisexual woman might date a lesbian woman, or she might date another bisexual woman, or she might date a straight man. No matter who her parter is, she's still bisexual.


Fellow bi icon ("bi-con?"), actor Evan Rachel Wood, jumped in with another joke rolling her eyes at some of the totally frustrating misconceptions people have about bisexuals.

Since there seems to be a bit of confusion about the B in LGBTQ, let's break down seven other majorly common myths people have on the topic.

1. "There's no such thing as bisexuality."

This is silly. In fact, a 2011 study by the Williams Institute found there are actually more bisexual people than there are gay and lesbian individuals combined. If you believe gay and lesbian people exist (which, yeah, of course they do), there's really no reason to doubt the existence of the bi folks of the world.

2. "Bisexuals have it easy compared with gay men and lesbian women."

It's easy to understand where this line of thinking comes from. In theory, bisexual people can just "blend in" as straight if and when it's convenient for them. The truth is a lot more complicated than that. A 2011 Centers for Disease Control report of high school students found that bisexual individuals are more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence (23% of bi people surveyed) than their gay and lesbian counterparts (20% of those surveyed). Much like other members of the LGBTQ community, bi individuals experience high levels of discrimination in  health care, employment, and housing.

Halsey performs at Coachella in 2016. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella.

3. "Bisexuals are just gay or lesbian but don't want to admit it."

This line is pretty easily debunked by looking at a 2013 Pew Research Center report that found that out of self-identified bisexual individuals in committed relationships, 84% were paired with someone of the opposite sex and just 9% were in a same-sex relationship. Some might conclude from this data that bisexuals are actually straight and not bi at all, but that's also flawed. What's likely is that bi individuals tend to be in opposite-sex relationships simply because the dating pool is larger.

4. "Bisexuals are more likely to cheat in monogamous relationships."

The bi-person-as-greedy-sex-fiend myth goes way back, but there's never been any firm data to support that nor is there much in the way of supporting this idea that bisexuals are anti-monogamy as a whole.

5. "Being bisexual excludes non-binary trans people."

This isn't necessarily true. While some people prefer the term "pansexual" as a way of describing attraction to people of all genders, plenty of bisexual people are perfectly accepting of trans people. The idea behind this is that since the word "bisexual" has "bi" in it, that it's an attraction to two options: men and women. There's another way of looking at it, however. Here's how the American Institute of Bisexuality defines the term (emphasis added):

"Bisexuality describes anyone whose attractions are not limited to one sex. The term comes to us from the world of science and describes a person with both homosexual (lit. same sex) and heterosexual (lit. different sex) attractions."

People carry a bisexual flag during the 2013 LA Pride Parade. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

6. "You're not bisexual unless you're equally attracted to men and women."

While it's true that some bi people are equally attracted to men and women (and, taking a cue from point #5, non-binary people), it's not true for all. It's not always a 50-50 split; some might lean 90-10 toward men or 75-25 toward women, and for some people, it might be a constantly changing and shifting ratio. If you're attracted to people of the same and different genders as you, the bisexual label is yours to claim (if you want it).

7. "You're not bisexual unless you've dated men and women."

The truth is that you don't need to have dated or been physically intimate with anyone. Most straight people know they're straight before they're ever in a straight relationship; certainly, there are gay people who know they're gay before they've ever been intimate with someone else; so why would it be any different for bi folks? Your identity is yours alone, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise can take a hike.

Evan Rachel Wood at the 2016 premiere of "Westworld." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Hopefully, the ever-increasing visibility of bi people in the public spotlight will lead to a drop in some of these misconceptions and harmful stereotypes. It's been great seeing shows like "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Brooklyn 99" include some myth-busting and accurate depictions of bi characters, but there's certainly a long way to go before "So, like, are you really just gay?" questions become a thing of the past.

One day, the myths will all be busted. Until then, Evan Rachel Wood, Halsey, and the rest of us bi folks will have to commiserate over a few snarky tweets.

True

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday are teaming up to find the people who lead with love everyday.

Know someone in your neighborhood who's known for their optimistic attitude, commitment to bettering their community and always leading with love? Tell us about them for the chance to win a $2,000 grant to keep doing good in their community.

Nomination ends November 22, 2020

via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

When Kinley filled out the order form for her son Mason's kindergarten class pictures, there was an option to have his name engraved into the photos. But Kinley wasn't interested in having her son's name on the photos so she wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" on the box.

Well, it appears as though she should have left the box blank because the computer or incredibly literal human that designed the photographs wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" where mason's name should be.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

Keep Reading Show less
via UDOT / Facebook

In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

Its construction was intended to make traveling through the I-80 corridor in Summit County safer for motorists and the local wildlife.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

Keep Reading Show less