"But I thought they were gay?": Bi-erasure in celeb culture

purpleclosetRecently an article was shared in a bi Facebook group about celebrities everyone who thought were gay but who were actually bisexual. It was filled with celebrities stating they are attracted to men and women and sleep with both. Statements like “I’m not gay. I’m not straight. But I don’t like labels.” I am paraphrasing a bit but you get the idea. Much discussion about this followed. Several points were brought up about lack of bisexual representation and the right of people to define themselves as they wish.

And then a friend posted this. I did not write it. But I wish I had. We lack #bicelebheroes to connect with. To validate us. To make coming out as bi just as heroic as coming out as gay. There are a handful. Which I admire and am very proud of.  But the following is why being a role model is important…

“Please be aware that for many years, research has lumped gays, Lesbians, and bisexuals together, found serious physical and mental health problems in the community, and these problems were used to get funding. But more recently the various groups have begun to be researched separately. When this is done, it is clearly seen that due to the stigma born by the bisexual community, the bisexual community bears the brunt of the problems. In childhood, bisexuals are more likely than gay men and Lesbians to be abused or bullied – see “Friedman, et al., A Meta-Analysis of Disparities in Childhood Sexual Abuse, Parental Physical Abuse, and Peer Victimization Among Sexual Minority and Nonminority Individuals.

American Journal of Public Health, 2011, 101 (8), 1481-1494. In adulthood, 45% of bi women have considered or attempted suicide, 35% of bi men, 30% of Lesbians, 25% of gay men, and much lower rates for heterosexuals. Similar discrepancies are found for other health problems, and we are much more likely to be poor. A quarter of us are on food stamps, but only 14% or Lesbians and gay men.

Bisexuals of all genders suffer much greater rates of rape and domestic partner violence than monosexuals: http://www.cdc.gov/violencepreve…/pdf/nisvs_sofindings.pdf

Yet over the past 30 years, while the LGT community has received $487,677,799 in funding, the bi community has received a grand total of $85.356. So the gay and lesbian groups use our suffering to get funding, and then do not spend any of it on us (although this is beginning to change a tiny little bit, as they see that gay men’s goals are being met, and need to have a reason to stay in existence).

Most years, the bi groups get ZERO dollars in funding, despite bisexuals having the biggest needs.

I respect people needing to identify how they feel comfortable. But when people do not identify as bisexual, it feeds into the myth that we do not exist, and therefore we are not a community with needs. So they think we have no need for funding, when bisexuals are dying, and two of the three national bisexual groups are run by volunteers. And we have people like Dan Savage telling us we have to come out, when really it is the monosexuals who need to come out as bi.”

I thank all famous bisexuals for being out and open. And simply saying the word “bisexual” It means so much to us. I further encourage others to do so. And connect with the bisexual community. Say you support us.

We know it is a risky thing. We know the level of biphobia in the entertainment industry. But saying you are anything but bi does not help. We cannot connect to that. There is strength in numbers. And our community needs trailblazers. Heroes. People who will say I am bisexual. And I support my bisexual community.”

Thank you,


The following are links to some of our organizations.



Bisexual Resource Center

Bisexual Organizing Project

American Institute of Bisexuality


The Bisexual Index

BiPhoria/The Manchester Group

There many online papers to connect with also.


This is Biscuit

Midwest Bi* Activist

Bi Women’s Network-Boston

And of course my show.

www.thebicast.org (where this article was originally published).

The following two tabs change content below.


My name is Lynnette McFadzen and I live in Portland, Oregon, USA. I am a 57-year-old single woman with three daughters and four grandchildren. I am single and, at the moment, celibate. I am disabled and a widow. I conceived, produce and publish The BiCast (www.bicast.org) directly from my home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *