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Bisexual Awareness Week 2023: It’s time to stop making assumptions about the bi+ identity!

Sep 18, 2023

Bisexual Awareness Week 2023: It’s time to stop making assumptions about the bi+ identity!

Sixty-three percent of bisexual users surveyed said negative stereotypes are causing anxiety and depression

HER’s Bi+ team members share their personal experiences with (bi)as

Cue the Bisexual lighting and turn up the Frank Ocean! Bisexual Awareness Week 2023 is here! According to a 2022 Gallup Research poll, 57% of LGBTQIA+ Americans identify as bisexual. We at HER are always excited and eager to celebrate everyone in the LGBTQIA+ fam and this year for Bi+ Week we thought it was important to share our most recent survey data of our bi+ users, as well as some personal bi-anecdotes from our team.

But first, a little history–

Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek, was originally co-founded by GLAAD and BiNet USA to raise awareness about the struggles and triumphs of the bisexual community. This amazing week aims to educate people about the unique challenges faced by bisexual individuals and promote acceptance. The week-long, annual celebration is held from September 16–23, culminating in Celebrate Bisexuality Day, on September 23.

As the Gallup poll shared, bi folks make up a HUGE portion of the LGBTQIA community, but unfortunately, this group of humans historically has had to shoulder some pretty unfortunate stereotypes for decades. We hope our survey summary sheds light on what this community has had to deal with and what we can all do to be more tolerant.


One common theme that we ran into in our planning, research, and surveying was assumptions. Bi+ folks are continually having aspects of their romantic and sexual lives assumed or stereotyped. For those in our bi+ community who date men, 77.2% have experienced people assuming they are straight. While 52.4% have had the experience of being labeled gay if they were dating a woman. 

“The assumptions folks make in my relationship is wild. I’m 100% accepted in queer spaces with my partner until it’s made known that I’m not a lesbian. The vibe changes and all of a sudden it’s like I’m an invader. My partner (who is a lesbian) has actually been warned about ‘people like me’ in front of my face like I wasn’t even there. She’s also been treated like some kind of traitor for wanting to be with someone who isn’t a gold star lesbian. Like, I’m sorry our 13 years together threatens you, babe, but we are doing just fine without your stereotypes and bullshit,” said Jill O’Sullivan, Community Manager and Customer Support Specialist here at HER.

To our chagrin, a lot of the old bi+ stereotypes are still in high circulation. 56.9% of bisexual folks surveyed said they have been labeled as ‘attention-seeking’ due to their BIdentity. With 59.1% had people tell them their sexuality is just a ‘phase’, and 63.9% felt that people in their lives believed they couldn’t make up their minds about their sexuality. 

“When one of my boyfriends came out as bi+ to my family, it did not go well. ‘Oh honey’ – they gave me the most condescending looks, convinced their nice Catholic daughter had been hoodwinked by a secretly gay man who was using me to stay in the closet. Little did they know how gay my life would actually become. Moral of the story? Venmo a bi+ person $10 right now, because we’re tired,” shared Taylor Gobar, head of marketing for HER.

This kind of thinking is damaging and is causing actual harm to our queer community. 71.5% of bi+ users surveyed said they have internalized these and other bi+ stereotypes, consciously or unconsciously, with 62.8% having experienced increased anxiety or depression (with 17% of Bi+ folks sharing it has triggered eating disorders) due to this kind of antiquated thinking. 


We couldn’t just talk about the internal experience and expectations that bi+ individuals are having without diving into dating! A lot of classic stereotypes label bisexuals as insatiable, unstable, non-monogamous sapphics, and while that sound like a fun weekend, the lived experience is less so.  52.4% of bi+ folks surveyed said they have experienced being accused of being more likely to cheat, with 67.4% of bi+ folks having been sexualized or fetishized because of their BIdentity. 60.1% feel that their dating pool is limited because of stereotypes associated with being bisexual.

“One thing that has really driven me crazy over the years in my professional life is when a CIS man I’m working with finds out that I’m bi and was previously married to a man (I’m now married to a woman). It seems to cause some sort of meltdown in their brains where they seem to think it’s ok to ask me really personal questions. I can just see this light go on in their heads where I’ve suddenly moved from the lesbian-never-going-to-happen category to the completely-fuckable lane,” said Evie Smith Hatmaker who leads PR for HER.

A ray of positivity (and sanity) for our bi+ folks who shared that (62%) said they do not feel the need to ‘prove’ their orientation/attraction to a potential partner, and 72.8% do disclose their bi+ orientation/identity on dating apps–WE SEE YOU OUT THERE ROCKING THOSE BI+ PRIDE PINS! 

The negative stereotypes are creating pressure and are influencing bi+ folks’ dating preferences. 62% of respondents said stereotypes do affect the types of people they feel they “should” be attracted to, BUT 65.9% of bi+ people surveyed said they do not feel pressure to date certain genders more than others due to societal expectations. Take that society! 

 A little more good news on the relationship front! 72.2% of users surveyed said their identity has never been a deal-breaker in a romantic relationship, with 56.2% of bi+ folks saying these outside stereotypes have never caused a rift or tension in a relationship. 


Bi+ folks ARE experiencing assumptions and stereotypes more in hetero spaces (77.4%), BUT they are also experiencing these harmful behaviors in LGBTQIA+ spaces at an alarming rate (60.8%). Nothing sucks more than when the call comes from inside the rainbow pied-à-terre. 

“Having dated all over the gender spectrum it’s bizarre to see how different the reception is to your bisexuality based on who you’re currently in a relationship with. You’re super validated by the community if you introduce yourself as a bi girly who mainly celebrates/focuses on your attraction to women, but as soon as you date a man you’re dropped from those spaces and treated like an outsider- even if it’s not overt. It’s like the people around you expect you to drop the queer label as if you haven’t been bi the whole time. Some people seem to forget that the biggest portion of LGBTQ+ is made up of the B! Personally, I’m not asking for anyone’s approval, permission, or validation- I’ll say which spaces I belong in,” said Sineade Bates, Growth Acquisition Manager for HER. 

63.1% of bi+ users surveyed said they have felt excluded from the LGBTQIA+ community due to bi+ stereotypes. What’s worse is that 59.8% of respondents shared that they have had people question their “authenticity” as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and 67.4% have delayed or avoided coming out altogether because of these stereotypes. 

“Even though I identify as Bi+, I’ll default to introducing myself as queer. In queer spaces, I’ve noticed a reaction I tend to receive from sapphics that keeps me from wanting to share this identity with them. There are countless times that I’ve been met with ‘I could never be with a cis man!’ as a truly unwarranted response to just introducing myself as Bi+. On the other hand, when I introduce myself as Bi+ in hetero spaces, I get weird fetish-y comments from the men. So I just try to avoid it altogether.” shared Alexis Kwan, who leads HER’s organic social media efforts. 

Interestingly, even with all of the in-community stereotyping happening, 72.8% of our bi+ users said they do have a preference for dating within the LGBTQIA+ community

“At HER we know how dangerous stereotypes and assumptions can be. Tolerance and seeing all identities is a core value for us. Bi+ individuals we see you and celebrate you this week and every week,” said HER founder and CEO (and known bisexual queen) Robyn Exton. “The survey results were both surprising and not surprising to our team. The effects these decades-old stereotypes are having on present-day individuals is crushing. To feel like you don’t have acceptance from your own community must feel really lonely and we just want all our current and future bi+ users to know they have a home here with us. We see you.”

HER is celebrating Bisexual Awareness Week by raising attention to the assumptions and stereotypes that bi+ individuals have to deal with every day. Our new visual campaign “Bi-sumptions” by artist Helena Janecic (@mr_dodge_dart on Instagram) takes a fun and cheeky approach to some much-needed myth-busting through the lens of pulp novel art.  

If you or someone you know needs some love and support coming out both The Trevor Project and the Human Rights Campaign have some amazing resources! Let’s start at home by STOP making assumptions and START supporting everyone’s queer experience and journey. 


HER is the largest dating and community app designed for LGBTQIA+ women & GNC folks on the planet. HER was created by queer women for queer women and gender-diverse people. Our safe and inclusive space is perfect for connecting with fellow sapphics online and IRL. With over 13 million registered users worldwide and thriving communities in the US, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Thailand, and Brazil, HER is the perfect place to connect with like-minded queer humans.

Evie keeps queer journalists updated about everything going on at HER. Reach out if you're doing a story on HER, Robyn, or FLINTA dating.

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