It’s not easy for young Australian men to come out as bisexual
The “What’s Up in Your World?” survey heard from 11,000 18 to 29 year old triple j listeners. The survey asked questions about the private lives of young people in Australia.
The survey revealed some interesting data.
Coming out as LGBTIQ is rarely easy, but one interesting stat from this study showed it’s hard for young Australian men to come out as bisexual.
It turns out women are more likely to identify as sexually diverse and to be open about their sexuality but young men who identify as bi are the least likely to be out of all young LGBTQ people.
In fact, young men who identify as gay are twice as likely to have come out compared to bisexual guys.
I spoke on the ABC triple j radio show The Hack about this study and the challenges of coming out for bisexual men.
Here’s a summary of the main points I discussed. You can also listen to the audio recording below this summary.
The stigma of being bi
For many bisexual men there’s a stigma associated with being bisexual. There are a number of reasons for this stigma including:
- There are a lack of bisexual role models today. When you look around in popular media there are now more gay and lesbian role models but there are very few bisexual role models.
- Bi-erasure is real. Bi-erasure is a phenomenon that refers to a common myth about bisexual men. Many people believe that if a man says he’s bisexual, he just hasn’t come out of the closet as gay. Bi-erasure is a way of dismissing the possibility that bisexuality is a legitimate sexual orientation.
- Some gay people perpetuate bisexual sterotypes. Gay men are often guilty of not believing that bisexuality is real. Some gay men believe bisexual men are “greedy” and are secretly gay, but don’t want to commit to a gay identity.
- Bisexual men can’t be monogamous. This is a myth that says if you’re bisexual you can’t be monogamous. Some women believe a bisexual man will cheat on them with another man.
- Lack of social support. While there are many support services for gay and lesbian people, bisexual people often feel left out. They are a minority of the LGBTIQ minority and sadly, our society doesn’t offer them much acknowledgement or support.
- Bi-phobia happens in LGBTQI spaces. Sadly, bi-phobia exists not only in the heterosexual community, but also within queer spaces. This can lead to many bi men feeling outcast and disconnected from the one community they thought they were a part of.
Facts about bisexuality:
- Bisexuality is a real sexual orientation. Bisexuality is on a spectrum because there are variations within a bisexual orientation. For example, a bisexual man may enjoy sex with men, but be only interested in romantic relationships with women (this is often called hetero-amorous.)
- Bisexual men can be faithful. Many bisexual men are in sexually exclusive relationships. Others are in open relationships. Bisexual people can and do form faithful relationships. There is no evidence that bisexual men have more affairs or cheat than heterosexual men.
- Young men are less hung up on labels. We are seeing the emergence of men describe themselves as, “I’m mostly straight” or “I’m hetero-flexible.” This means they are predominately heterosexual but if they meet the right guy and the conditions are right, they’re open to having a bisexual experience.
Listen to my interview on ABC triple radio station The Hack below:
Are you a gay, bisexual, or lesbian person who is struggling with coming out?
If so, contact Sydney Gay Counselling on 0412 241 410 or book an appointment online today to find out how we can help.