Q: What’s the difference between a heterosexual and a het-partnered bi?
A: Trick question, there is no difference.
There is a difference. A bisexual person in a heterosexual relationship is still bisexual. Bisexuals do not turn straight or gay when they enter a monogamous relationship.
And yes, if a bi person is in a hetero relationship, they will attain straight passing privilege and be (incorrectly) seen as heterosexual by people who do not know their true sexual orientation. There’s no denial of that fact.
However, a bi person does not all of a sudden have their same sex desires and experiences rendered obsolete when they enter a hetero relationship. All of the homophobia, heterosexism, and negativity they’ve ever experienced for their sexuality still matters and will always matter.
Not to mention that a straight person will never have to come out to their different sex partner, while a bisexual person will have to make the tough decision of either hiding a part of themselves from their partner or coming out to them.
The possible repercussions of coming out as bisexual in a hetero relationship can be painful. Bisexual women in particular are vulnerable to cases of domestic and sexual violence when they are partnered with straight men. And don’t even get me started on the disgusting amount of homophobia straight women direct towards bisexual men.
Seeing posts like yours makes me wonder: everything a bi person has endured through does not matter anymore when they enter a heterosexual relationship? Any activism or work they’ve done for lgbt people is considered meaningless or on the same level of a straight ally?
As I’ve said, I know that there are many privileges that come with being in a heterosexual relationship. I will never disclaim that. Bisexuals do have to be aware of this. But if that was the intention of your post, you’ve made it poorly; it reads more as if you’re claiming that bisexuals in heterosexual relationships might as well be heterosexual and do not count anymore as a part of the lgbt community.
Things to keep in mind:
- While some Queer People (for example some bisexual, trans* or gender-variant people) can be in what might be termed ‘straight appearing’ relationships they can NEVER be in an actual ‘straight’ relationship becasue THEY ARE NOT STRAIGHT. So by just showing up to the party they automatically make it into a Queer Space.
- “Straight privilege is all those things you get just by being, acting, or appearing straight.” So unless you are in the habit of always marching around in a “Hey I’m Gay” or a “Hi I’m Bi” T-shirt, becasue of the assumptions of society that default to “everyone is straight until proved otherwise”.
So even if you are So totally homosexual you pretty much define “6” on the Kinsey Scale, even you will get some percentage of ‘Hetro Privilege’ some percentage of the time. The question is more are you doing it on purpose (i.e. are you in the closet?) and what do you do to correct this mistaken impression. As long as you are “out, loud and proud” as much as possible then it doesn’t matter if you are the T, the Q, the B, the L, the G or some combo of all of the above.
Remember: Being bisexual is not actually some sort of status crime.
Early on in my relationship with my girlfriend, whom I love very much, I came out to her as bisexual. It was very scary and I knew by telling her this I was taking the risk of losing her which I did not want to do. She has always been very supportive of LGBT rights but I didn’t know how she would feel about being in a relationship with a bisexual male. Luckily for me she was very cool about it and we are able to speak freely about it. When the local Gay Pride festival was here she even encouraged me to go! She told me that she loves me for me and that is just a part of me. It was at that point then and there that I KNEW she was the one!! I am hoping someday soon to propose to her and make her more than just my girlfriend! :-)