Violence and abuse happen in LGBTQ relationships. It’s never a survivor’s fault.
- Even if they argued back or protected themselves from getting hurt
- Even if society or families don’t accept LGBTQ relationships
- Even if a survivor is attracted to men and women and has no intention of ever identifying as straight or gay
It’s STILL not a survivor’s fault.
No one deserves to be abused, teased, hurt, controlled, or isolated. Partner abuse includes many types of abuse (link to power and control wheel) and can happen on the first date, during or after a hookup or in a relationship of 20 years.
Bisexual people face some unique challenges in identifying partner abuse in their own relationships and in their friends’ relationships. This page includes challenges and resources that specifically discuss partner abuse experienced by bisexuals.
Bisexual community? What bisexual community?
People within the LGBTQ “community” often chuckle at the concept that there is one identifiable community. This may be particularly true for bisexual people. What is the bisexual community? Because of heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, sexism, and perhaps other –isms or oppression, bisexuals may not consider other bisexual people as part of their peer group. For example, a mixed group of all genders who identify as bisexual would not necessarily view each other as peers. Bisexual individuals may socialize with gay men or lesbians, and yet might not feel comfortable being out in these groups as bisexual. Unless there are specific social groups for bisexual people in a local community center, bisexual people may experience difficulty finding each other and being found by service providers–thus a bisexual survivor may experience limited peer and provider support around living as a bisexual person experiencing partner abuse.
How can straight people and gay and lesbian people be biphobic?
Bisexual individuals may experience discrimination around their sexual orientation, and can be targeted with biphobia from other LGBTQ people and from mainstream society. For example, an out bisexual woman may be ridiculed by lesbian women as “not being able to decide on her orientation” or “just not out (as lesbian) yet.” Conversely, she may experience homophobia in heterosexual peer groups, which may label her relationships with women as “a phase,” “confused,” or “just having sex with anyone.” Peers and providers may make her orientation invisible by presuming heterosexuality when she is partnered with a man and assuming she is a lesbian when she is partnered with a woman, without checking out her identity with her first. The same holds true for bisexual men in the company of men. Dismissal from non-LGBTQ people or from within the community can leave a bisexual person feeling like support is hard to find.