Bisexual woman reveals phobia she encounters about sexuality
It was one of those “big” first dates – the conversation was going around and there was an “immediate spark” between Chloe Sargeant and the woman she had agreed to meet for a drink.
As the night wore on, the talks naturally turned to their previous relationships and while the woman mentioned an ex-girlfriend, Ms Sargeant began to talk about her last relationship which turned out to be with a man.
“I was talking candid and when the penny dropped that I was bisexual rather than lesbian, she was like, ‘Oh, you’re bisexual’, and I said, ‘I am, I’m bisexual'” said Ms Sargeant, 30, told news.com.au.
“Her immediate response was that she stood up, finished the rest of her drink and put the glass down and said, ‘Thanks for wasting my time’ and walked out of the pub.”
Unfortunately, for people like Ms. Sargeant, the experience is not unusual, as those who identify as bisexual often face frustrating dating biases.
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“Hurtful” assumptions about being bisexual
Sydney-based writer Ms Sargeant, who appears in this week’s episode of Overview, first realized she was attracted to men and women when she was 12, when the rest of her friends started to have crushes.
“I was one of those people who didn’t understand why my friends only developed boyfriends,” she said.
“I was like, ‘Oh, this is weird’. It took me a while to figure out that some people were only attracted to boys and some people only to girls.
Over the years, Ms. Sargeant has dated both sexes, but most of her long-term relationships have been with men.
Revealing that she was bisexual in her youth could be intimidating, she said, as she often encountered “hurtful” assumptions.
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“One of the most important is that all bisexuals are hypersexual, so a lot of cis men I’ve dated in the past expected that at some point I would want to have a threesome,” Ms Sargeant said.
While she has always had monogamous relationships, some men thought that she “was not going to be satisfied” and would cheat with a woman.
While the vast majority of biphobia came from straight men, Ms Sargeant also found that some women were reluctant to date her.
“What I’ve been through with biphobic lesbians, they just assume bisexual women will cheat on them with a man,” she said.
Australians’ “shock” reaction to encounters with bisexuals
Last month, ABC’s Australia Talks survey asked 60,000 people if they would be open to dating a bisexual person.
Of those polled, 44% said they were “not at all” open to dating a bisexual person, while 15% said they would be reluctant but slightly open to the idea. .
The result of the investigation was a confrontation for Ms. Sargeant.
“I think my first reaction was a shock,” she said.
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“I’ve been openly bi for 14, 15 years now and even though I’ve been dealing with a lot of biphobia throughout my life and a lot of these stereotypes, myths… it’s one of those things that when you see a percentage that great you are like, ‘Oh my god.’ It always takes you by surprise.
Ms. Sargeant appears in the Tuesday Night episode of Overview on SBS to discuss her experiences alongside others who identify as bisexual.
She encourages people who want to learn more about bisexuality to read stories about bisexual people or better yet, to talk to someone who is bisexual.
“We are so widely misunderstood that many people seem reluctant to approach this topic as if it were taboo,” Ms. Sargeant said.
“But bisexuality is not taboo, we are just your friendly neighborhood bisexual, we are happy to chat.”
Hear more from Chloe Sargeant and others on Insight’s Being Bisexual airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on SBS and SBS On Demand.