Dear TV writers and boomers, bisexuality is not a phase or a stepping stone.
Though bisexual people make up roughly 52% of the LGBTQ+ community, they've been underrepresented on television and in media for a long time.
When they do appear, they're frequently painted as sociopaths (cough, Villanelle on Killing Eve) or are painted as promiscuous or confused, if their identities are addressed at all.
Fortunately, many recent TV shows have been making up for decades of bisexual erasure and misrepresentation by featuring nuanced bisexual characters. On this Bisexual Visibility Day, here are some of TV's greatest bisexual icons.
4. Petra Solano and Jane Ramos (Jane the Virgin)
For so long, TV shows hinted at queer relationships and bisexuality without ever letting it come to fruition onscreen, otherwise known as queerbaiting. Lately, though, it seems that more shows are refusing to fall into this unpleasant pattern and instead are offering us the nuanced queer and bisexual visibility that we've dreamed of.
On the latest season of Jane the Virgin, Jane Ramos and Petra Solano got together as part of a carefully stitched plan, concocted by the show's writers in order to subvert tokenization and to honor the validity of the bisexual identity. "We wanted to be able to tell that story [of Petra], but we also wanted to make sure we were balancing our representation and not just doing girls making out with girls," said the show's creator, Jennie Urman. Fans were pleased, to say the least.
The truth is that every kind of bisexual person is different, just as every person of any particular identity is different. Still, the most important thing to know is that bisexuality is a valid identity, and it doesn't mean that you have to act any particular kind of way. You can be sexually promiscuous or perpetually single; you can be cis, trans, or anything and everything in between. You can be in a straight relationship or gay relationship and still be bisexual, or you can deviate from expectations about your sexual orientation without feeling bad about disloyalty to the queer cause. Don't let TV or the Internet tell you what to think or dictate your reality or tell you what it means to be a "good" or "bad" bisexual (or person). Just love who you want to love, and if you feel up to it, be out, loud and proud this Bisexual Visiblity Day and every day.
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