Poly Discrimination

Before reading: polysexual is used as umbrella terms for all polysexual identities and acts as an umbrella term and an identity at the same time.

Discrimination against polysexual identities is rooted in compulsory monosexuality. It’s the idea that we live in a society where it’s assumed and enforced that you are attracted to only one gender. Compulsory monosexuality is enforced because bisexuality disrupts heterosexual and the homosexual binary. If you accept that bisexuality and bisexuals exist, then you admit that you have the potential to be polysexualfor many heterosexuals and homosexuals this is hard to swallow. In addition, there is a significant incentive to delegitimize polysexualities: it raises homosexuality and heterosexuality.

For homosexuality, it reinforces the gay box and the born argument to put down polsexuality. Polysexualities also destroy the “normal” and “I’m just like you” defense of many lesbians and gays. Not only that, people who have polysexual identities can “pass” as straight depending on their relationship.

The hardships for polysexual identities thickens when choice vs. attraction is brought up. The choice aspect becomes particularly prominent when people and society demand polysexuals to make a choice: be gay (homosexual) or straight (heterosexual). Similar to how compulsory heterosexuality works in how it says that you have to be heterosexual and being homosexual is a choice, the same logic is now applied to polysexuals from both the LG community and mainstream at large in the form of compulsory monosexuality.

Even if a person or a part of society believes that their polysexual identity exists, it is asked of them to PROVE they’re polysexual (Note: Less is asked of homosexuals and no such thing is asked of heterosexuals). As a result, polysexual identifying people have to bring up relationships and who they have had sex with as evidence of identity to be legitimized and even then it won’t be recognized. For example, let us say that there is a person (she pronouns) who is perceived as a woman who is dating a man: that woman is now said to be heterosexual. Two years later the woman broke up with the man and another five years after that she entered into a relationship with a woman. Now she will be perceived as a lesbian. There is no point where her polysexuality will be acknowledged, based on observation.

Statistics: (bisexual can also be used as an umbrella term for polysexual identities)

  • “bisexual men are 6.3 statistically more likely to consider consider suicide than heterosexual counterparts.”
  • “Bisexual women are 5.9 times more likely to consider suicide than heterosexual counterparts” (“Bi the Way, We Exist”).
  • “19 to 29% gay lesbian students and 18% to 28% of bisexual students experienced dating violence in the prior year”
  • “14% to 31% of gay and lesbian students and 17% to 32% of bisexual students had been forced to have sexual intercourse at some point in their lives” (“LGBT Youth”).
  • “25% of bisexual men and 30% of bisexual women live in poverty, in contrast to 20% and 23% percent of gay men and lesbians, respectively” (“High Rates of Violence, Discrimination Against Bisexual People”).

-I apologize for the lack of a non-binary or genderqueer statistic of bisexuals.-



Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans 

  • Note: Does not include non-binary individuals
  • Additional Statistics

New Patterns of Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community

  • Note: does not include non-binary individuals
  • Additional Statistics



LGBT Youth.Center for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC, 12 Nov. 2014. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.

“High Rates of Violence, Discrimination Against Bisexual People.Advocate. Advocate.com, 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.

TEDxTalks. “Bi the Way, We Exist | Viet Vu | TEDxTerryTalks.” YouTube. YouTube, 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.

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