I’ve been lucky in my time as an out bisexual women to encounter a lot of lesbians who have lived out wonderful examples of how to be a solid ally to my needs as a bi woman. These are friends who, despite being uninterested in men, will support me in whichever relationships I happen to end up in, and talk me through heartbreak without blaming it on my bisexuality.
But unfortunately, not all lesbians are quite as great for bisexual women. There remains persistent biphobia in the lesbian community, mainly that which extends from a disregard for men. Some lesbians, in attempt to get past their biphobia, have asked me what it looks like to be a better ally to the bisexual community.
Support our dating choices.
Some of us, as bisexual women, are going to date men. It’s part of that whole “bi” thing. For some lesbians, this is going to be hard to understand, as men hold absolutely no attraction. Love between women is an incredibly special thing, and I understand that it can feel like a betrayal for a woman to choose the love of a man when she could date women. But it’s not simply a matter of choice–it’s who we connect with, who we catch feelings for, who’s there in our lives. Understanding this will help you understand us.
Keep Your Jokes to a Minimum.
You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. I’m in the continual process of coming out to new batches of people, and almost inevitably, the coming out is followed by jokes about how I’m “greedy” or “slutty.” These are all meant in jest, but with the ongoing stereotypes about bisexual people as “people who want orgies,” the jokes sometimes hit a little bit too close to home. As with any comedy, know your audience.
Try Us Out!
Some of you lesbians are super reluctant to date bisexual women because of the myths about bisexual people you’ve heard. Or perhaps you’ve been burned in the past by a bisexual woman who behaved badly. Reluctance for dating us can be understandable from that point! I totally understand! You don’t have to date bisexual women to be our allies. But don’t automatically discount us when we come up in your dating app or in life. Some of us are really good lovers.
Call Your Friends Out On Their Biphobia
We’re not always there to call out the myths and bad ideas that get circulated about us. If you want to be our allies, this is a great way to do it–stop the spread of biphobic myths in their tracks. We’re not going to leave you for men. We’re not tainted or contaminated by our attraction to different sexes. We’re not fake queers. We’re here. We’re part of your community and we’re happy to participate.
The rift between lesbians and bisexuals doesn’t have to be that way. With work and care, we can develop an understanding and love for each other, as women supporting women.