Nayeli Cruz does not feel that bisexuality is a transitional phase in her life.
“There is a lot that people don’t understand,” said junior undeclared major Nayeli Cruz. Most people think you’re either queer or your not, that there isn’t a possibility to be attracted to both and of course, that is wrong.”
Bisexuality is a label but a sexual orientation nonetheless, where a person can be attracted to either a male or female, according to Chara Bui, a senior environmental studies major.
These are the general myths of bisexuality, according to Bui.
- A bisexual person wants to be with a man and a woman at the same time.
- Bisexual women are faking their sexuality to appear more attractive to men.
- Men say they are bisexual so it seems less intense than saying they are gay.
- Bisexuality is a stepping-stone, phase, or transitional period before one becomes gay.
“It hurts not being accepted or validated,” Bui said. ”One would like the respect of expressing yourself without judgment or assumptions.”
Myths and stereotypes are not the whole truth, but do have some truth, according to Bui.
“To me, the myth of it being a transitional period is partially true,” Cruz said. ”Personally, it is not for me. It is something that I have felt since I can remember, but I have a lot of gay and bi friends who would argue otherwise.”
According to Cruz, she noticed she was bisexual at a young age.
“I probably was around seven-ish when I realized I was bisexual,” she said. “I think that is around the time we start noticing others in ways more than just friends.”
However, Cruz said, since she was young, she suppressed her feelings toward a classmate of the same sex for years.
“At that young age, that was when I knew I was attracted to women. I also knew I like boys as well,” she said. ”I have had an equal attraction.”
According Steven Prudencio, a senior photography major, one of the myths of bisexuality is that men don’t have the option to be bisexual — only women do.
Prudencio defines bisexuality as “an individual who looks at love in both terms of gender but in a not so specific manner.”
According to Prudencio, one of the biggest challenges of being bisexual is that there is a double standard.
“If a girl is with a guy and she kisses another girl they (her boyfriend) don’t consider that cheating,” Prudencio said. ”If a guy is with a girl and he kisses another guy the girl will immediately see it as cheating and will, in many cases, say you are gay.”
According to Prudencio, the media play a big role in the stereotypes of bisexuality and lesbianism.
Prudencio used the example of singer Katie Perry’s song “I kissed a Girl,” which completely obliterated what it means to be a bisexual.
According to Prudencio, the song empowers the stereotype that women have the option to choose who they fall in love with and men do not.
“Honestly, I dislike the way the media portrays bisexuality,” Cruz said. ”I feel they try to sexualize everything. It’s not just about sex— it’s way more than that— it’s about feelings.”
Prudencio said he’s seen an artistic photography work where two women are pictured kissing while a man is also present in the room watching them which sends the wrong message about the lesbian community.
According to Stephanie Monterroza, a senior nutrition education major, the media has an effect on the queer community and how others view it.
“I feel that the media portrays lesbians as hot and is much more acceptable in society than gay men,” she said. “The media glorifies lesbian woman and is geared toward entertainment for male viewers.”
According to Bonnie Sugiyama, assistant director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender resource center, the idea that males view lesbians as attractive stems from the media.
“There’s porn where there are women together, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that they’re lesbians, its for the entertainment of men,” Sugiyama said, “which is different than if you were to watch actual lesbian porn, it looks a lot different.”
According to Sugiyama, men are more inclined to be attracted to the more feminine-looking lesbians as apposed to masculine-looking lesbians.
“How men react is interesting because a lot of it depends on whether or not they think that they can become a party to it or if it serves them in a purpose of being entertained by it,” said Sugiyama.
Due to the media’s portrayal of lesbians, men are inclined to think it’s attractive, Monterroza said.
“What is sad however, is that a lot of folks even in the queer community carry that same belief— You are either queer or not and you’d think they would be more understanding,” she said.