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Biphobia describes a hatred, intolerance, fear, or aversion towards bisexual people and bisexuality. The negative feelings biphobic people have perpetuates stereotypes about bisexual people and prejudice towards them. In some cases, biphobia can even trigger violence towards members of the bisexual community.
Biphobia is an adaptation of the term homophobia, used to describe similar intolerance directed towards homosexual people
Biphobia is sometimes called monosexism, as it's a sexist prejudice against people who aren't attracted to a single gender. However, this term isn’t used as commonly, as biphobia is more widely understood, even by people who haven’t heard the word before.
Biphobic people are often homophobic as well. People who fall into both categories tend to react negatively to any people who are not heterosexual, regardless of whether they’re bisexual or homophobic.
However, bisexual people can also face biphobia from people who aren’t homophobic. These people usually struggle to accept people can be attracted to men and women. They may feel bisexual people are hiding their true feelings, going through a phase, or not being honest about their sexuality. They may also feel bisexual people can’t make up their minds about their sexuality or commit to a heterosexual or homosexual lifestyle. They might feel bisexual people are attempting to project a certain image, seeming cool or rebellious for example.
Common biphobic attitudes see bisexual women as overly sexual creatures ready to seduce anyone and everyone and bisexual men as closeted homosexuals. Both are fickle and not to be trusted with your heart.
Biphobia can be very harmful for bisexual people. They may not come out about their sexuality for fear of judgement and instead hope to pass as heterosexual or homosexual. They may struggle with confidence and self-worth, and experience depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
Education is a powerful weapon against biphobia. Correcting biphobic attitudes when you hear them can be valuable. If you are bisexual, being honest about your sexuality with those closest to you is important. Reporting any biphobia you face at school or the workplace can also change behavior. People who aren’t bisexual can also combat biphobia by supporting the bisexual community and the bisexual people in their lives.