There's a big problem when it comes to bisexual representation on TV. Characters who are attracted to and end up dating more than one gender rarely ever say the words "bisexual," "queer," or "pansexual" aloud. And definitely not to refer to themselves.
Some of those characters (for example, Marissa on The OC) seemingly date someone of their same gender only as a ploy from producers to grab better ratings, and then go back to their otherwise straight lives when the relationship crashes and burns.
By not naming their bisexual characters as such, or making it seem as if bisexuality is only a phase or exploration, television writers are contributing to the very real problem of bisexual erasure — and therefore impacting young people who are questioning their sexuality.
So bisexual celebrities — who are bi in real life, not just on TV — joined up with GLAAD in celebration of #BiWeek to let young bi and queer people know that they are not alone, and that their sexuality is real and valid.
"Bi+ youth are, sadly, often denied the privileges of seeing themselves reflected in the media, knowing that who they are is valid and lovable, and having community support," Alexandra Bolles, associate director of campaigns at GLAAD, says to Refinery29. "Hearing such supportive messages from some of their favorite celebrities will help provide the affirmation that too many bi+ young people grow up missing."
Of course, TV representation is getting better in recent years. Callie Torres on Gray's Anatomy, for example, not only names herself bisexual, but also stands up for herself when her lesbian wife implies that bisexuality isn't real (highlighting that bi erasure sometimes even comes from people within LGBTQ communities).
But there still aren't nearly enough Callie Torreses in the TV world (especially since she has now left Shondaland behind), and we've got a long way to go before bisexual characters and the real bisexual community they portray are treated with the same respect as straight or gay characters.
But messages of love and support from celebs who are bisexual+ in real life is a good place to start.
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